Capitol Preview: What to expect this week in Florida politics

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The Senate returns to the Capitol this week with a redistricting plan that is expected to emerge over the weekend, to replace the one produced earlier that the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional.

The plan is expected to come out Saturday, with a Reapportionment Committee meeting scheduled to go all day on Tuesday. Approval there for a revised plan would set up floor action on Thursday. The Senate hopes to vote then, but could take a vote on Friday if needed. That would set up House approval the following week.

The only other major meetings this week: the governor and Cabinet on Tuesday and the state university system Board of Governors meeting in Jacksonville at mid-week.

A preview via The News Service of Florida:


BONDI, PUTNAM PADDLE ST. JOHNS: Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam will join a kayaking and canoeing trip on the St. Johns River on Monday. Several conservationists are leading a trek paddling up the Florida Wildlife Corridor, from the Everglades to the Okefenokee Swamp. The group will be on Day 63 on Monday, and they’ll be joined for part of that time by the two Cabinet members. (Monday, 10 a.m., Boat Launch, 100 Hatbill Rd., Titusville.)

MEDICAID REFORM PANEL MEETS: The Medicaid Reform Technical Advisory Panel will meet and is expected to receive a presentation about choice counseling and enhanced benefits for Medicaid beneficiaries. (Monday, 1 p.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee. Call-in number: 1-866-498-8391, Conference ID: 93873056)

STATE INVESTMENTS GET REVIEW: The Investment Advisory Council will meet and discuss the state’s investments. (Monday, 1 p.m., 1801 Hermitage Blvd., Tallahassee.)


SENATE REAPPORTIONMENT COMMITTEE: The Senate Reapportionment Committee on Tuesday gets the new redistricting plan (SJR 2-B), which is expected to be released over the weekend. The committee plans a nearly-all day meeting Tuesday to ready the bill for the floor later in the week. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 412 Knott Building, The Capitol.)

CABINET GETS QUARTERLY INVESTMENT REPORT: State Board of Administration executive director Ash Williams will brief the governor and Cabinet on the shape of Florida’s investment portfolio as part of a quarterly review of the state’s finances. Included in the review will be a look at the Florida Retirement System. The cabinet will also approve a number of construction bond sales including $310 million in transportation bonds and nearly $80 million for dormitory facilities at UF and FIU.  (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Cabinet meeting room, The Capitol.)

BOARD OF TRUSTEES: Acting as the board or trustees over state lands, Scott and the Cabinet will be asked to sign off on the purchase of two parcels of land adjacent to The Grove, the historic 1820s house that later was home to Gov. Leroy Collins and family. The Grove is adjacent to the Governor’s Mansion and set to open to the public next year. The stat e has right of first refusal on three other nearby properties and the proposal the Cabinet will consider Tuesday is to buy two of those. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Cabinet meeting room, The Capitol.)


BOARD OF GOVERNORS GATHERS: The university system’s Board of Governors will meet in Jacksonville and discuss issues such as the recently completed legislative session. Committees of the board also will hold a series of meetings Wednesday and Thursday. Details of the committee meetings can be found on the Board of Governors website:, Committees starting at 2 p.m., University of North Florida, West Building, Student Union Complex, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville.)

SENATE SPECIAL ORDER: The Senate Special Order Calendar Group should have a short meeting Wednesday to set the special order calendar for Thursday. The only bill before the Senate at the moment is the proposed reapportionment re-write, assuming it gets out of the Reapportionment Committee on Tuesday. (Wednesday, 2:45 p.m., 401 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)


SENATE IN SESSION: The Senate will return to the floor Thursday in hopes of passing a new redistricting plan (SJR 2-B), after a week of consideration of a reworked proposal. The product of the Tuesday Redistricting Committee will be up for consideration by the full Senate, though it’s not clear whether the Senate will pass the bill Thursday or take two days with passage on Friday. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Senate Chamber, The Capitol.)

PROPOSED RULE CHANGES ON PUBLIC ADJUSTERS: The Department of Financial Services holds a hearing on proposed rulemaking related to public adjusters and public adjuster apprentices. The proposed changes to Rule 69B-220.051 clarify the responsibilities and requirements of public adjusters, specify the terms and conditions of contracts, require the license number on advertisements, and prescribe practices to ensure fair dealing between public adjusters and claimants. Also at issue is proposed changes to Rule 69B-220.201 update the code of ethics for all adjusters, delete provisions that reiterate or paraphrase statutory material, and clarify the responsibilities and requirements of all adjusters. Policyholders of Florida has argued that the changes would hurt consumers. (Thursday, 9:30 a.m., 116 Larson Building, 200 E. Gaines St., Tallahassee.)

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

FULL BOARD OF GOVERNORS: The State University System’s Board of Governors holds its regular meeting Thursday, following Wednesday’s committee meetings. Chairman Dean Colson gives the chair’s report, followed by the chancellor’s report from Frank Brogan. The board is also expected to formally approve Dr. Donal O’Shea as the fifth president of New College. The board’s governmental relations liaison, Janet Owen, gives a legislative update, and the various committees bring agenda items to the full board, including several fee proposals. Agenda, with links to action items: (Thursday, 11 a.m., Ballroom, West Building, Student Union Complex, University of North Florida, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville.)

CAT FUND PREMIUMS DISCUSSED: The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Advisory Council will meet and is expected to discuss premium issues for the state-run reinsurer. (Thursday, 1:30 p.m., 1801 Hermitage Blvd., Tallahassee.)


SENATE FLOOR SESSION IF NEEDED: The Senate has blocked out time on Friday in case it isn’t able to get through the redistricting bill and vote on it Thursday. (Friday, 9 a.m., Senate Chamber, The Capitol.)

FLORIDA HEALTH CHOICES HEADS TO JAX: The Florida Health Choices board will continue discussing plans to create an online health-insurance marketplace. (Friday, 11 a.m., Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida conference center, 4800 Deerwood Campus Parkway, Jacksonville.)

WEST TO HEADLINE MAV PACK FUNDRAISER: U.S. Rep. Allen West headlines a Jacksonville reception for Maverick PAC, aimed at fundraising among the young Republican set. Local hosts include state Rep. Daniel Davis and House candidate Travis Hutson, as well as campaign consultant Peret Pass. (Friday, 6 p.m., San Jose Country Club, 7529 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville.)

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.