Capitol preview: What to expect this week in Florida politics

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Gov. Rick Scott has the last of the bills from this year’s legislative session, though he doesn’t have to sign (or veto) all of them this week.

That means the legislating part of the year is largely over and politicians can get to campaigning. A number of them are still trying to figure out what their district will be, but for the most part, campaigning is in full swing.

Along those lines, the state Supreme Court could decide anytime on whether the second attempt at a Senate map is good. A circuit judge in Tallahassee is considering a motion for an immediate decision on the congressional map.

Here’s what to expect this week in Florida politics, thanks to the News Service of Florida.


BIDEN HEADED TO EVERGLADES: Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Everglades National Park in Miami-Dade County on Monday to discuss the Administration’s efforts to restore the Everglades, the White House said. Details haven’t yet been released.

MACMANUS AT POLK TIGER BAY: University of South Florida Political Science Professor Susan MacManus is the featured speaker at the Tiger Bay Club of Polk County on Monday. MacManus is one of the most quoted political observers in the state. (Monday, 11:30 a.m.,  Peace River Country Club, 150 S. Idlewood Ave., Bartow.)

GOOD FOOD FOR KIDS: Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam will officially open the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Fresh For Florida Kids Garden in a ceremony Monday. The department will grow in-season Florida commodities in the garden. The garden was designed in the shape of a plate – a nod to the USDA’s new image for the five food groups, My Plate. (Monday, 1 p.m., Holland Building, 600 S. Calhoun St., Tallahassee.)

MAKAR INVESTED AT FIRST DCA: Judge Scott Makar’s official investiture as a member of the First District Court of Appeal is Monday in Tallahassee. (Monday, 3 p.m., 2000 Drayton Dr., Tallahassee.)


Monday is the deadline for submissions of bids for a contract for consulting and production services by “multicultural consulting firms” to help VISIT FLORIDA market the state to African-Americans and another for Hispanics.


DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN WORKSHOP IN MIAMI: State Democratic Party officials, including House campaigns director Christian Ulvert, hold a workshop for candidates, and discuss the new districts. (Monday, 5:30 p.m., IAM Hall, 4349 NW 36 St., Miami Springs.)


PRIMARIES IN NORTHEAST: Much of the political world on Tuesday evening may still focus on Republican presidential primaries being held in Pennsylvania and New York, but also in Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island, even though Mitt Romney is the presumptive nominee.

CABINET MEETS, TALKS CAT FUND, FLORIDA FOREVER: Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet meet Tuesday, and on the agenda is a State Board of Administration request for approval of rates for the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund as well as rule changes made necessary by recent legislative action. The SBA also will ask the trustees to approve a revised investment strategy statement. The Cabinet will also be asked to approve the Florida Forever five-year plan. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Cabinet Room, The Capitol.)

HARVARD POLL: Harvard University hosts a conference call for reporters to release the  results of a new poll of the political views of 18-to-29-year-olds. The poll of 3,096 Americans in that age range includes questions about the presidential election, the economy, foreign policy and trust in financial and government  institutions. The conference call will include remarks from Trey Grayson, director of the Harvard Institute of Politics, John Della Volpe, polling director for the IOP, and Harvard students. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Call-in number: 866-889-3913; Password: YOUTH)

WORKERS COMP JUA TALKS SAFETY: The Florida Workers Compensation Joint Underwriting Association holds a conference call to discuss its safety program. To participate in the teleconference meeting, contact Kathy Coyne at (941) 378-7408.

CLERK OF COURTS BUDGETS: The Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corp. discusses clerk of courts’ budgets for the FY 11-12 and FY 12-13. Clerks have bemoaned the new state budget, signed by Gov. Rick Scott last week, which includes a 7 percent cut in the budget for the clerks, which comes on top of a more than 15 percent hit the clerks took a couple years ago.  (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., Century Room, Hilton Hotel, University of Florida, Gainesville.)

RX DRUG ABUSE AND NEWBORNS: The new Statewide Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse and Newborns holds a meeting Tuesday. The panel was created to collect and organize data on the extent of neonatal withdrawal syndrome from prescription drugs in Florida; collect and organize data concerning the costs associated with treating expectant mothers and newborns suffering from withdrawal from prescription drugs; identify available federal, state, and local programs that provide services to mothers who abuse prescription drugs and newborns with neonatal withdrawal syndrome; and evaluate methods to increase public awareness of the dangers associated with prescription drug abuse, particularly to women, expectant mothers, and newborns. (Tuesday, 2 p.m., Cabinet Room, The Capitol.)

DISCUSSION OF PLANS FOR HUD MONEY: The new Department of Economic Opportunity’s Division of Community Development holds a public meeting Tuesday to discuss its annual action plan to be submitted to federal housing officials. The agency has to submit a plan for how it would spend federal Housing and Urban Development grant money to HUD each year in order to get the money. Staff will consider possibilities for that money. (Tuesday, 3 p.m., Betty Easley Conference Center, 180, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.)


PAROLE COMMISSION: The Florida Parole Commission holds its regular meeting for all Parole, Conditional Release, Conditional Medical Release, Addiction Recovery, Control Release and all other Commission business. A copy of the agenda may be obtained by contacting: Florida Parole Commission, (850)488-1293. (Wednesday, 8:30 a.m., 4070 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.)

BONDI HONORS LAW ENFORCEMENT: Attorney General Pam Bondi honors law enforcement officers and victim advocates during an awards ceremony as part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Cabinet Room, The Capitol.)

HEARING ON PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF BP SPILL CASE: U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier of the Eastern District of Louisiana hears a request for preliminary approval of proposed settlements in two class action moves against BP for damages from the oil spill resulting from the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. (Wednesday, 2 p.m., U.S. District Court, 500 Poydras St., New Orleans.)

THE ANEMONE OF MY FRIEND: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be gathering public comments on a proposed harvest closure for the giant Caribbean sea anemone, Condylactis, due to industry concerns and observed declines in commercial landings. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Harvey Government Center, 1200 Truman Ave., Key West.)

CENSUS RELEASES HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES 2010 DATA: The Census Bureau on Wednesday releases a brief that discusses interracial couples, multigenerational households, household composition by race and other findings on household relationships from the 2010 Census. It contains tables and maps that display state and county level patterns. A set of supplemental tables showing interracial married and unmarried couple households will be released along with the brief. (Webinar and release scheduled for April 25.)


HERMAN CAIN AT FUNDRAISER FOR CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE TODD LONG: Former presidential candidate Herman Cain headlines a fundraiser for Todd Long, a Republican Candidate for the 9th Congressional District, where, if he can beat John Quinones and Mark Oxner in the GOP primary he’d likely face Democrat Alan Grayson. (Wednesday, Time TBA, 400 W. Church St., Orlando.)


FLORIDA CHILDREN AND YOUTH CABINET: The state advisory panel on children’s issues holds its regular business meeting and gets updates on various projects from chairmen of the Cabinet’s workgroups. (Thursday, 8 a.m., Santa Fe College, 530 W. University Ave., Gainesville.)

FUTURE OF AEROSPACE BUSINESS IN FLA: The Florida Center for Advanced Aero-Propulsion, a multi-university state-sponsored center of excellence holds a conference on the future and direction of the aerospace, aviation, and related industries in Florida. Officials from the Legislature and the governor’s office are expected to participate, along with academics and officials from NASA and the industries. University system Chancellor Frank Brogan will participate, along with FSU President Eric Baron. The center will also dedicate its new building in Tallahassee during the event. (Thursday, 8:45 a.m., Turnbull Conference Center, 555 W. Pensacola St., Tallahassee.)

CONGRESS – NASA RESEARCH BUDGET: The U.S. House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics holds a hearing on the NASA Research Mission Directorate Budget for FY 13. (Thursday, 10 a.m., 2318 Rayburn OB, Washington.)

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

CRUISE LINE APPEALS AWARD TO INJURED MUSICIAN: The 3rd District Court of Appeal hears a case involving a professional trumpet player who slipped on oil that leaked from a fog machine on a cruise ship stage. The trial court found in favor of the musician, Steven Pavone, whose career was ended by the injury, in the suit against Royal Caribbean Cruises. Pavone was awarded $1.7 million, and this case is the cruise ship company’s appeal. (Thursday, Third case with arguments in first case starting at 9:30 a.m., 3rd DCA, 2001 SW 117 Ave., Miami.)

BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH: The Florida Division of Biomedical Research Advisory Council holds a meeting on business related to the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program and the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program. On Thursday afternoon, the panel will go over HB 655 and SB 1856 with Jo Morris, DOH’s legislative analyst. Later the panel will discuss King program funding, and then Bankhead-Coley funding proposals. The meeting continues on Friday with discussion of the Lawton Chiles Endowment Fund, and election of officers for the council. Agenda and meeting materials located at (Thursday and Friday, 1 p.m. Thursday and 8:30 a.m. Friday, Department of Health, 4042 Bald Cypress Way, Conference Room 301, Tallahassee.)


RPOF QUARTERLY MEETING: The leadership of the Republican Party of Florida holds its quarterly meeting. (Friday, Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, 2900 Bayport Dr., Tampa.)

DCF ID CHECK FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE APPLICANTS: Officials with the Department of Children and Families hold a meeting to make a recommendation for awarding a contract for a system for identity verification for public assistance applicants. The invitation to negotiate is #01F12GC3. (Friday, 10 a.m., 1317 Winewood Blvd., Building 1, Tallahassee.)

DCF MEETS WITH POSSIBLE VENDORS FOR CPI TRAINING: The most high profile mission of the Department of Children and Families – protecting children from harm – is at issue in a negotiation meeting between agency officials and potential vendors for a Child Protective Investigation Training Program in Jacksonville. The Invitation to Negotiate is #NERFS-12-ITN-1, and is available at (Friday, 10 a.m., DCF Roberts Building, 5920 Arlington Expressway, Third Floor Conference Room 1, Jacksonville.)


LEMIEUX AT LATIN BUILDERS LUNCHEON: Republican U.S. Senate candidate George LeMieux is the speaker for the Latin Builders luncheon on Friday in Miami. (Friday, 12 p.m., Hilton Downtown Miami, 1601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami.)


DEMS HOST DANCING TO VICTORY FUNDRAISER: The Florida Democratic Party hosts a fundraising gala in central Florida called “Dancing to Victory.” (Saturday, 6:30 p.m., Orlando Lake Mary Marriott, 1501 International Parkway, Lake Mary.)

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.