At 9 a.m. Wednesday, dozens of journalists with the Capital Press Corps and from around the state will converge on the Capitol’s 22nd floor for the annual Associated Press legislative planning session.
It’s early this year because the 2016 Legislative Session also is early, starting Jan. 12 and not in March as usual.
Years ago, actual “planning” of the AP’s coverage for the legislative session may have taken place at the event, but not so much anymore.
Nowadays it’s an opportunity for various state officials and political candidates to get face time with political reporters, editorial writers and broadcast newsers from near and far for a little “earned media.”
Gov. Rick Scott is scheduled to appear first among a slew of invited guests. He usually uses the opportunity to release his recommended state budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Also on the invitee list are Senate President Andy Gardiner and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli. We’ll soon see whether, after last session’s acrimonious conclusion, they’ll do a joint appearance as they did at the last AP get-together.
Also invited are Senate Democratic Leader Arthenia Joyner, House Democratic Leader Mark Pafford, and an assortment of U.S. Senate candidates, including Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and U.S. Reps. Ron DeSantis, David Jolly, Alan Grayson and Patrick Murphy.