Capitol preview: What to expect this week in Florida politics

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The big news this week in state government is likely to be outside the capital – as the state panel investigating the stand your ground law moves to central Florida for its first meeting. The panel, created by Gov. Rick Scott in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, meets in Seminole County, where the shooting occurred.


FLORIDA INNOCENCE COMMISSION: The Florida Innocence Commission meets Monday in Orlando to continue its look at the ways the criminal justice system allows innocent people to be sentenced to prison and ways in which it might avoided. (Monday, 9 a.m., Rosen Plaza Hotel, Orlando.)

MORE COLLEGE REFORM TALK: The Blue Ribbon Task Force on State Higher Education Reform meets Monday to hear from state economist Amy Baker on economic and demographic trends and Chancellor Frank Brogan and Board of Governors Chairman Dean Colson on the board’s strategic plan. Brogan is also set to brief the panel on the work of the Higher Education Coordinating Council. The full task force meets after each of its three subcommittees hold organizational meetings. (Monday, 12:30 p.m., Cabinet Room, The Capitol.)

DEP DISCUSSES MERCURY LIMITS: The Department of Environmental Protection will discuss development of what is known as a “total maximum daily load” for mercury in waterways. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., Department of Environmental Protection, 2600 Blair Stone Road, Room 609, Tallahassee.)

GULF COAST RESTORATION SUMMIT: Business and government leaders discuss the ongoing effort to recover from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf. The BP claims process, and the federal RESTORE Act are among the issues to be discussed. (Monday and Tuesday, The Palms Resort, Destin.)


TASK FORCE ON CITIZEN SAFETY AND PROTECTION HOLDS FIRST MEETING: The task force created by Gov. Rick Scott to look into the state’s Stand Your Ground self defense law in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting holds its first meeting in Seminole County where the shooting that spurred it occurred. The panel is chaired by Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Northland Church, 530 Dog Track Rd., Longwood.)

DIBELLO AT SPACE CLUB LUNCH: Space Florida President Frank DiBello discusses “Future Directions for Florida’s Space Industry,” at the National Space Club meeting. (Tuesday, 11:30 a.m., Radisson at the Port, Cape Canaveral.)

CITIZENS BOARD MEETS BY PHONE: The Citizens Property Insurance Corp. board of governors will hold a teleconference. (Tuesday, 1:30 p.m., Call-in number: 888-942-8686. Participant code: 5743735657)

PANEL LOOKS AT SCHOOL ENROLLMENT: The Education Enrollment Conference will dig into public-school enrollment numbers.(Tuesday, 1:30 p.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION: The Public Service Commission goes on the road for a hearing on a proposed rate increase by Florida Power & Light. The PSC will take public testimony. Witnesses are subject to cross-examination. (Tuesday, 4 p.m., Sunset Harbor Yacht Club and Conference Center, 861 Ballough Rd., Daytona Beach.)


ADKINS FUNDRAISER: The next three expected House speakers are raising money for Republican Rep.  Janet Adkins, who is expected to have a fight with fellow Republican Cord Byrd in the new HD 11 in northeast Florida. The Florida Times-Union reported Speaker-designate Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel; Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary and Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity, will attend the event. (Tuesday, University Club, Jacksonville.)


CITRUS COMMISSION: The Florida Citrus Commission and its committees meet in conjunction with the Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, 5001 Coconut Road, Bonita Springs.)

MAYORS MEET IN ORLANDO: Many of the nation’s mayors, led by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, will gather in Orlando from Wednesday through Saturday for the 80th Annual Meeting of The United States Conference of Mayors, to be hosted by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.  Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to address the group on Friday.  Other anticipated speakers including Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS SUMMER CONFERENCE: University system Chancellor Frank Brogan, and Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson are among the speakers at the Florida Association of School Administrators summer conference. (Wednesday – Friday Tampa Airport Westshore Hilton, 2225 North Lois Ave., Tampa.)

CITIZENS SEARCHES FOR PRESIDENT: The Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s presidential-search committee will meet, followed by a meeting of the Citizens board of governors. Former lawmaker Tom Grady has served as interim president, after the resignation earlier this year of Scott Wallace. (Wednesday, presidential search committee meets at 8 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport Hotel. The full board meets at 9 a.m. in a teleconference. Call-in number: 1-888-942-8686. Participant code: 5743735657#)

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION: The PSC continues its hearing on the proposed FPL rate increase. (Wednesday, 4 p.m., Brevard County Governmental Center, Commission Room, Building C, 1st Floor, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Melbourne.)


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

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION: The PSC continues its hearing on the proposed FPL rate increase. (Thursday, 4 p.m., Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County Auditorium, 7501 North Jog Road, West Palm Beach.)

RUBIO AT FAITH AND FREEDOM CONFERENCE: U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio speaks at the gala luncheon of the Faith and Freedom Conference. (Thursday, 12:30 p.m., Renaissance Hotel, 999 Ninth St., NW, Washington.)

FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2012

PUTNAM SPEAKS TO WATER CONTROL ASSOCIATION: Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam speaks Friday morning to the breakfast meeting of the Florida Association of Water Quality Control. (Friday, 7:45 a.m., Sabal Palm Room, Naples Grande, Naples.)

ETHICS COMMISSION TO CONSIDER SCOTT GREETING AT TAMPA AIRPORT: “This is Florida Governor Rick Scott, and I’d like to welcome you to Tampa Bay, a great place to live, work and play.” That’s part of the message passengers arriving at Tampa International Airport could soon hear – but Scott’s office wants to make sure it’s legal first. The Florida Ethics Commission is expected on Friday to address whether in giving the governor a forum to talk to people the airport might be violating the state’s gift ban for lobbyists. The Tampa airport’s operating organization, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, has a lobbyist – and the law bans agencies or companies that employ lobbyists from giving things of value to the governor. The governor’s office says it doesn’t think the messages would violate the ban – but they want to make sure. (Friday, 8:30 a.m., 37 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)

TANF, KIDCARE TALLIED: The Social Services Estimating Conference will look at caseloads and expenditures in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and caseloads in the KidCare program. (Friday, 9 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

LAND BUYING PANEL MEETS: The Acquisition and Restoration Council will review land-acquisition and land-management issues. (Friday, 9 a.m., Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Building, 3900 Commonwealth Blvd., Tallahassee.)

MAY UNEMPLOYMENT: The Department of Economic Opportunity reports jobless statistics for May. .Florida’s jobless rate in April fell to 8.7 percent as the state continued an employment rebound that began 11 months ago, but nearly 30,000 job seekers dropped out of the picture that month. (Friday, 10 a.m.)

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.