Capitol Preview: What to expect this week in Florida politics

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Governor Rick Scott is expected to release his proposed budget for the coming year this week, although officials in the governor’s office haven’t said when. 

The budget announcement is due by Feb. 3, which is next Sunday, and the governor told reporters this week that he will make his recommendations known sometime next week. It’s also not clear whether Scott will make his announcement in Tallahassee, or elsewhere in the state. The governor traveled to Orlando this past week to announce a teacher pay raise proposal. And in 2011 Scott made his first budget proposal announcement in the Lake County town of Eustis. 

The governor’s budget proposal is mainly that – a proposal that lawmakers often use as a guideline, but from which they deviate widely. The budget that lawmakers will write in the spring is for the fiscal year that begins July 1. 

Scott has already said that he will recommend more spending on education, including the $480 million teacher pay raise proposal, which would give each full time classroom teacher a $2,500 bump. Lawmakers have already expressed some skepticism about that proposal, however, expressing more interest in a pay system based largely on merit. 

Scott will be in town on Wednesday when he’ll address a gathering of newspaper editors and is likely to either preview some of his budget recommendations, or review them if he announces the proposal earlier in the week.

Lawmakers are back in their districts this week for a week before returning for more committee meetings starting Feb. 4.

A preview via the News Service of Florida.


CHILD DEATH DATA REVIEW: The Agency for Health Care Administration’s Child Death Data Review Workgroup holds a conference call to complete discussions of draft legislative language to implement the group’s recommendations. (Monday, 9 a.m., 1(888) 670-3525, conference code 754-865-7238.)

LIP PANEL CONTINUES TALKING: The Low Income Pool Council will discuss the so-called “LIP” program, which funnels about $1 billion a year to hospitals and other health providers that serve large numbers of poor and uninsured patients. (Monday, 10 a.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Dr., Tallahassee.)

DON’T MISS CHILD ABUSE SIGNS: Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins and advocate Lauren Book launch child abuse awareness campaign Don’t Miss the Signs. The campaign will seek to educate Florida residents about some newly required obligations to report suspected abuse under the law. (Monday, 11 a.m., Florida Press Center, 336 E. College Ave., Tallahassee.)

SWFWMD INVESTMENTS: A Southwest Florida Water Management District committee holds a public meeting to evaluate the district’s investment portfolio and discuss possible future investment opportunities. (Monday, 1 p.m., SWFWMD 7601 US Highway 301 North, Tampa.)

DOH DRUG POLICY MEETING: The Florida Department of Health’s Statewide Drug Policy Advisory Council holds its regular meeting Monday afternoon. (Monday, 1 p.m., 4052 Bald Cypress Way, Room 301, Tallahassee.)

FETC: The Florida Education Technology Conference brings more than 200 demonstrations and conference sessions to Orlando this week, beginning Monday. More info at (Monday – Thursday, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando.)


PANEL TO DISCUSS MEDICAID ISSUES: The Medical Care Advisory Committee, which includes representatives of consumers, state agencies and the health-care industry, will discuss issues in the Medicaid system. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Dr., Tallahassee.)

WALTON, HOLMES, WASHINGTON CO DELEGATIONS: The two members of the Legislature who represent Walton, Holmes and Washington counties in the central Panhandle will hold public hearings in each county on Tuesday to hear comments from local constituents on the upcoming legislative session. The delegation – Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, and Rep. Marti Coley, R-Marianna, will also vote on local bills.Schedule (All Central Time)1:30 p.m., Walton County Commission Chamber, 571 Highway 90 West, DeFuniak Springs.3:30 p.m., Holmes County School District Office, 701 E. Pennsylvania Ave., Bonifay.5:30 p.m., Washington Co. Commission Chamber Annex Boardroom, 1331 South Blvd., Chipley.


AP EDITORS MEETING: Newspaper editors gather in Tallahassee for the Associated Press annual editors meeting, which always draws several high profile state government speakers. Gov. Rick Scott, Senate President Don Gaetz, House Speaker Will Weatherford, the Democratic legislative leaders, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich and new Education Commissioner Tony Bennett all will be speakers. There’s a panel discussion on the elections system with Sen. Jack Latvala, R-St. Petersburg; Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa; Seminole County Elections Supervisor Mike Ertel; University of Florida professor Dan Smith and representatives of the political parties. RSVP to Brendan Farrington, [email protected] required. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., 22nd Floor, The Capitol.)

AQUACULULTURE REVIEW COUNCIL: The Aquaculture Review Council holds a public meeting to discuss the growth of the industry in Florida. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Evans Farms, 1195 E. Washington Ave., Pierson.)

ENTERPRISE FLORIDA: The Board of Directors of Enterprise Florida, the state’s public private economic development agency, holds its regular meeting Wednesday and Thursday in Tallahassee. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is expected to attend Wednesday. (Wednesday, 11:15 a.m., Doubletree Hotel, 101 S. Adams St., Tallahassee.)

JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORMS DISCUSSED: The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice will hold a town hall meeting to discuss the agency’s efforts to reform juvenile justice. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., CST, County Commission Chambers, Bay County Government Center, 840 W. 11th Street, Panama City.)


LEGISLATIVE PRESS BACKGROUND BRIEFING SESSION: The Senate and House hold their annual background staff briefing for journalists on major issues expected to be addressed during the legislative session. Senior legislative staff present briefings for media on budget issues, health care, ethics, elections law and other issues. (Thursday, 8:30 a.m., 333 Capitol.)

ENTERPRISE FLORIDA: The Board of Directors of Enterprise Florida continues its regular meeting Thursday in Tallahassee. (Thursday, 8:30 a.m., Doubletree Hotel, 101 S. Adams St., Tallahassee.)

AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY: The Education Commissioner’s Task Force on African-American history holds its annual meeting, and will discuss its mission, an annual award and update the bylaws and the group’s goals. (Thursday, 9 a.m., and Friday, 8 a.m., Miami Dade County Public School Board Conference Room 726, 1450 NE 2nd Ave. Miami.)

SUPREME COURT OPINIONS: The Florida Supreme Court releases opinions. (Thursday, 11 a.m.) 

JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORMS DISCUSSED: The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice will hold a town hall meeting to discuss the agency’s efforts to reform juvenile justice. (Thursday, 6 p.m., CST, John and Paul Amos Performance Studio, Building 23, Pensacola State College, 1000 College Blvd., Pensacola.)

DANA YOUNG FUNDRAISER: Floridian Partners hosts a fundraiser for Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa, in her bid for re-election to House District 60. (Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Floridian Partners, 726 E. 7 Ave., Suite 2, Tampa.)

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.