Capitol preview: What to expect this week in Florida politics

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Gov. Rick Scott is headed off to Spain and the dog days of late spring have arrived.

State emergency workers will prep for hurricane season – and the scary possibility that a storm might blow in during the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

The most newsworthy meeting of the week may be in Daytona where the Select Committee on Florida Polytech meets mid-week. It is the first meeting of the group since Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation spelling out the timetable for the creation of the new school.


FLORIDA INNOCENCE COMMISSION: The Florida Innocence Commission, which is trying to figure out ways to reduce the incarceration of innocent people, meets Monday and Tuesday in Tampa. The commission is chaired by Judge Belvin Perry. (Monday, 9 a.m., Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore, 2225 N. Lois Ave., Tampa.)

LOOKING FOR GOLD IN LONG TERM CARE: The Governor’s Panel on Excellence in Long-Term Care will consider applications for designating nursing homes as Gold Seal Award facilities. (Monday, 9:30 a.m., Courtyard Marriott St. Petersburg Downtown, 300 4th Street North, St. Petersburg.)

COULD “HURRICANE GISPERT” DISRUPT RNC?: With the 2012 hurricane season now only two weeks away, state emergency responders will begin a statewide hurricane training session at the Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee. The four-day event will follow a mock hurricane, “Hurricane Gispert,” making landfall in the Tampa Bay area during a “special event with increased population” (can anyone envision such an event this summer in say, Tampa?) and use the scenario to test the coordination of local state and federal responders. (Monday, all day, Emergency Operations Center, Southwood Center, Tallahassee.)


CD 6 : BEV SLOUGH FUNDRAISER: There’s a fundraiser Monday evening for Republican congressional candidate Bev Slough of St. Augustine, running for the sixth congressional district. (Monday, 5:30 p.m., Private residence, 1699 Bishop Estates Rd., Fruit Cove.)


FLORIDA INNOCENCE COMMISSION: The Florida Innocence Commission continues its meeting Tuesday in Tampa. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore, 2225 N. Lois Ave., Tampa.)

PSC TAKES UP POTPOURRI OF ISSUES:  The Florida Public Service Commission is expected to consider a series of electric, telephone and water issues, including changes to Tampa Electric Co.’s tree-trimming plan and a proposal by Utilities, Inc. of Pennbrooke to increase water and wastewater rates in Lake County. (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.)

SUMMER BREAKSPOT: Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam will launch Summer BreakSpot, the state’s summer nutrition program for students, in Orlando on Tuesday. The agriculture department took over child nutrition programs at the beginning of the year. When school is not in session, approximately 3,000 Summer BreakSpots around the state will serve free meals and offer learning and recreational activities. Putnam will launch the program with mascots from the Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Rays, Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Nap Ford Community School, 648 West Livingston St., Orlando.)


CD 6 – DESANTIS FUNDRAISER: On Tuesday, Republicans in congressional district 6 can follow up Monday evening’s Slough fundraiser by giving to Ron DeSantis, one of Slough’s opponents in the crowded GOP primary. (Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., San Jose Country Club, 7529 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville.)


SELECT COMMITTEE ON FLORIDA POLYTECH: The Board of Governor’s Select Committee on Florida Polytechnic University meets Wednesday in Daytona Beach. The agenda includes an overview of SB 1994, the legislation signed by Gov. Rick Scott that authorizes the timetable for splitting the university off from the University of South Florida. Board of Governors General Counsel Vikki Shirley discusses governance and legal issues, BOG CFO Tim Jones discusses finance, facilities and operations, and panel members will get an update on new campus construction. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach. For conference call participation, the dial-in number is 888-808-6959, and the conference code is 8502450.)

REVENUE ESTIMATORS LOOK AT PECO: The revenue estimating conference will take a look at Public Education Capital Outlay funding in its first post-session look at the school construction program. The panel of economists from the Legislature and governor’s office will also look at the revenue impact of other state programs including general tobacco settlement revenues, the state school Trust Fund, and the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund. (Wednesday 3:30 p.m. 117 Knott Building, The Capitol.)


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


NEXTERA ENERGY SHAREHOLDERS: NextEra Energy, Inc., the parent of the state’s largest electric utility, Florida Power & Light, will provide a live webcast of its 2012 annual meeting of shareholders. Viewers can access the webcast on NextEra Energy . (Friday, 10 a.m.)

HEALTH MARKETPLACE DISCUSSED: The Florida Health Choices board of directors will continue discussing plans for an online health-insurance marketplace that lawmakers approved in 2008 to try to make coverage more available and affordable. (Friday, 11 a.m., 200 West College Ave., Tallahassee.)

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.