Capitol preview: What to expect this week in Florida politics

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The week starts with FAMU officials discussing the ongoing hazing issue at the school related to the band. There also this week are lobbying disclosures due.


Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is in Florida this week, with several events said to be in the works, and fundraisers in Tampa and Jacksonville already made public.


FAMU BOARD SCHEDULES HAZING UPDATE:  The Florida A&M University Board of Trustees has scheduled a teleconference meeting to discuss updates surrounding the November hazing death of Marching 100 drum major Robert Champion.  Recent developments in the case, including the retirement of Dr. Julian White and a letter from Florida Chancellor Frank Brogan are expected to be part of the agenda. Brogan has called on FAMU officials to avoid reinstating the marching band as investigations into Champion’s death and financial improprieties continue.  Board members are also expected to discuss a memo sent by FAMU President James Ammons to the board that says nearly  25 percent of band members in the fall of 2011 were not FAMU students.   (Monday, 11 a.m. The call-in number is 1-800-309-9169 and the conference ID number is 81170434.)

PANEL GOES TO WORK ON UNEMPLOYMENT TAXES: The state Revenue Estimating Conference will consider several issues during an “impact conference,” including part of a new law (HB 7027) that made changes in unemployment compensation taxes. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

SUNRAIL STATION AREA DEVELOPMENT: The Florida Department of Transportation hosts a forum for vendors and developers interested in development opportunities around new stations along the SunRail line in Orlando. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., Sheraton Orlando, 400 W. Livingston St., Orlando.)

NFIB LOBBYING DAY IN WASHINGTON: Florida small business owners who are members of the National Federation of Independent Business travel to Washington for a few days of lobbying starting Monday.


TIME FOR LOBBYISTS TO COME CLEAN: Lobbyist compensation reports are due Tuesday, offering details about how much money was spent on lobbying during the first quarter of the year, including during the legislative session.

CAT FUND: Insurers who are part of the state’s Hurricane Catastrophe Fund meet in a workshop at Disney for an update on reimbursement policy for 2012, a status report on the Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, and an update on 2012 legislation. (Tuesday, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Orlando.)

DEP TRIENNIAL REVIEW OF WATER QUALITY STANDARDS: The Department of Environmental Protection is starting its triennial review of surface water quality standards, and considering a number of rule changes. The department is considering amendments to the standards, and holding three rule development workshops this week:
Tuesday, 9 a.m., DEP, Southeast District Office, 400 North Congress Avenue, Suite 200, West Palm Beach, Florida.
Wednesday, 9 a.m., DEP Central District Office, 3319 Maguire Boulevard, Suite 232, Conference Rooms A/B/C, Orlando.
Thursday, 9 a.m., Bob Martinez Center, 2600 Blair Stone Road, Room 609, Tallahassee.


HAYDEN FOR CONGRESS: Democrat Nina Hayden officially kicks off her campaign for a congressional seat in the Tampa Bay area. (Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., Hilton Carillon, 950 Lake Carillon Dr., St. Petersburg.)


BONDI HOSTS NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BLACK COMMUNITY CRIME: Attorney General Pam Bondi will host the annual National Conference on Preventing Crime in the Black Community May 16 through May 18 in Tampa. The Florida Attorney General’s Office established the conference in 1986 in order to showcase ideas that encourage crime prevention in the black community. Additional information is available online at: (Wednesday – Friday, Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, 700 S. Florida Ave., Tampa.)

CITRUS COMMISSION: The Florida Citrus Commission meets on Wednesday in Lakeland. On the agenda are domestic orange juice marketing, grapefruit marketing and international marketing updates, discussion of research and the 2012-13 proposed operating budget. The commission also discusses various contracts, including for advertising and marketing, and gets an update on rulemaking. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Department of Citrus, 605 E. Main St., Bartow.)

PAROLE COMMISSION MEETS: The Florida Parole Commission has its regular commission meeting and will take votes on parole requests. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., 4070 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.) Agenda:

SCOTT SPEAKS TO LATIN BUILDERS: Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday will address the Latin Builders Association at an evening reception. (Wednesday, 5 p.m., Bank Atlantic Center, 2555 NW 136 Ave., Sunrise.)


ROMNEY IN TAMPA: Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds a fundraiser in Tampa. (11:30 a.m., Avila Golf and Country Club, 943 Guisando de Avila, Tampa.)


SUNSHINE STATE INSURANCE: The Office of Insurance Regulation hears a rate increase request by Sunshine State Insurance Co. (, a privately-held Florida insurer. The company is seeking an average statewide rate increase of 17.8 percent for homeowners policies and 28.9 percent for dwelling fire policies. The proposed rate increases would be effective June 3, 2012 for new and renewal homeowners business and effective July 1, 2012 for new and renewal dwelling fire business. The proposed increases vary depending on geographic area.(Thursday, 9 a.m., 401 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)

ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION DIGS INTO WASTE ISSUES: The state Environmental Regulation Commission will consider proposed changes to regulations that deal with landfills and other types of waste facilities. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Marjory Stoneman Douglas Building, 3900 Commonwealth Blvd., Tallahassee.)

BROWARD REFUGEE TASK FORCE: The Broward Refugee Task Force holds its regular public meeting. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Location TBD, Contact: Miriam Rosario, (561)837-5022 Fort Lauderdale.)

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

INTERSTATE 10 MASTER PLAN: The Florida Department of Transportation holds a public meeting to present proposed updates to the I-10 Master Plan in Gadsden, Leon and Jefferson counties. Future and existing conditions and potential alternatives to meet future transportation needs will be discussed. After a brief presentation, FDOT and project staff will be available to discuss the project, answer questions, and address any concerns. (Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Gadsden County Commission Chambers, 7 W. Jefferson St., Quincy.)


MORE ROMNEY FUNDRAISING: GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney attends a fundraiser hosted by Bill Foley and Frank Martire. (Time TBA, Epping Forest Yacht Club, 1830 Epping Forest Dr., Jacksonville.)

FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2012

BOARD OF DENTISTRY: The Board of Dentistry holds a public to conduct its regular board business. (Friday, 7:30 a.m., CDT, Wyndham Bay Point Resort, 4114 Jan Cooley Drive, Panama City Beach.)

SRWMD EXEC DIRECTOR INTERVIEWS: The Suwannee River Water Management District governing board executive director selection committee meets to interview candidates for the director’s position. (Friday, 8:30 a.m., 9225 CR 49, Live Oak.)

DOT RULEMAKING HEARING: The DOT holds a rulemaking hearing on a proposal to amend state transport rules to increase maximum loads for containerized cargo, reduce the number or types of escorts required, and clarify the requirements for permit applications. (Friday, 8:30 a.m., Haydon Burns Building, 605 Suwannee Street, Auditorium, Tallahassee.)

COMMITTEE LOOKS AT HEALTH INFORMATION: The Health Information Exchange Coordinating Committee will discuss strategies to increase the use of electronic-health records. (Friday, 10 a.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee.)

COREY AT FIRST COAST TIGER BAY: Angela Corey, the state prosecutor in the Jacksonville area, and the special prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin shooting case, is the speaker Friday at the First Coast Tiger Bay Club in Jacksonville. Corey’s been a prosecutor in the area for 30 years. (Friday, 11:30 a.m., University Club, 1301 Riverplace Blvd., Jacksonville.)

JORGE MAS SPEAKS TO LATIN BUILDERS: Jorge Mas is the main speaker at the Latin Builders Association luncheon on Friday in Miami. (Friday, 12 p.m., La Ermita de la Caridad, Felix Varela Hall, 3609 S. Miami Ave., Miami.)

PAROLE COMMISSION APPLICANTS: The Florida Parole Commission and the Florida Parole Commission Qualifications meet via conference call to discuss applicants for a parole commissioner vacancy. (Friday, 2 p.m., 1(888)808-6959, Conference Code 4884460.)

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.