Capitol preview: What to expect this week in Florida politics

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With the special session on redistricting over, and lawmakers waiting to hear from the Supreme Court on their latest effort in that regard, a sense of unusual quiet descends on Tallahassee this week.

The end of the Legislature means the beginning of campaigning in earnest, beginning with filing for office this week for at least one candidate, Democrat Ron Saunders, who will run for Senate, and including a number of fundraisers and speeches.

The week ends early, with Passover beginning at sundown on Friday, which is also Good Friday and the day is an expectedly slow one.

A preview, with information from the Florida Current and the News Service of Florida.

BILLS ON THE DESK

Gov. Rick Scott has an April 7 deadline to act on more than three dozen bills. They include HB 711, which would place new requirements on the sales or leases of public hospitals. Also, SB 730 would make changes in the Medicaid program, including allowing a “medical loss ratio” for managed-care plans. Another bill, HB 809, would revise the state’s communications services tax. He could sign them at any point this week.

Scott still hasn’t received the state budget.

MONDAY

SAUNDERS TO FILE FOR SENATE RACE: Rep. Ron Saunders, D-Key West, plans to file paperwork to run for Senate District 39. Saunders, the House minority leader, dropped his House re-election bid on Friday. Rep. Dwight Bullard of Miami and former Rep. James Bush of Miami are already in the race for state Senate District 39, which roughly will correspond to the current District 39, represented by Bullard’s mother, Sen. Larcenia Bullard, D-Miami, who is term-limited.

EMPIRE WORLD TOWERS VS. CDR CREANCES: A long-running fight between a Miami Beach developer and a French government entity trying to recover money owed a French bank is before the Third District Court of Appeal in Miami in oral arguments. The case is Empire World Towers v. CDR Creances. The three judge panel is Shepherd, Rothenberg and Emas. (Monday, 10:50 a.m., 2001 SW 117 Ave., Miami.)

TUESDAY

TEACHING KIDS TO COOK HEALTHY: First Lady Ann Scott joins state Department of Agriculture Chef Justin Timineri for “Xtreme Cuisine Junior” Cooking School with third grade students. The program teaches kids to make snacks using “Fresh from Florida” fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and other healthy ingredients. (Tuesday, 12:30 p.m., Springwood Elementary School, 3801 Fred George Road, Tallahassee.)

IBUDGETS EYED: The Agency for Persons with Disabilities will hold a workshop about iBudget Florida, which is a new system aimed at better managing costs in the state’s key program for people with developmental disabilities. (Tuesday, 2 p.m., Agency for Persons with Disabilities, 4030 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.)

NEW LOTTERY GAME: The Lottery launches a new game featuring Guy Harvey images on new scratch off tickets on Tuesday. The $2 Scratch-Off game will feature six scenes of original Guy Harvey Collector’s Series artwork.

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT SPEAKS AT USF: Lara Logan, CBS News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, speaks on “From Apartheid to Afghanistan, Reporting from the Front Line,” as part of the University Lecture Series at the University of South Florida. (Tuesday, 8 p.m., Marshall Center Ballroom, USF, Tampa.)

CAMPAIGNS

SOUTHERLAND FUNDRAISER: Everitt and Julie Drew host a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland’s re-election campaign. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., 2609 Cline St., Tallahassee.)

WEDNESDAY

SCOFLA ORAL ARGUMENTS IN DEATH CASE: The state Supreme Court hears oral arguments in an appeal brought by serial killer David Alan Gore, who is set to be executed April 12. He has admitted killing six women. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Florida Supreme Court, 500 S. Duval St., Tallahassee.)

THURSDAY

FLORIDA A&M BOARD OF TRUSTEES: The FAMU Board of Trustees holds its regular full board meeting. The agenda isn’t up yet, but when it is, it will be here: http://www.famu.edu/index.cfm?BOT&AgendasandMinutes . (Thursday, 9 a.m., CALL-IN NUMBER: 1-800-309-9169 and the conference ID number is 66704473.)

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

CAMPAIGNS

SOUTHERLAND FUNDRAISER: Matt and Amy Marshall host a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland. (Thursday, 6 p.m., CDT, 2402 Country Club Dr., Lynn Haven.)

FRIDAY
Good Friday
Passover begins at sundown

SATURDAY

PUBLIC HOSPITAL, MEDICAID DECISIONS DUE: Gov. Rick Scott has an April 7 deadline to act on more than three dozen bills. They include HB 711, which would place new requirements on the sales or leases of public hospitals. Also, SB 730 would make changes in the Medicaid program, including allowing a “medical loss ratio” for managed-care plans. Another bill, HB 809, would revise the state’s communications services tax.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.