Capitol preview: What to expect this week in Florida politics

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With last week’s primary election in the books candidates can turn their attention to the general election. And a week ahead of the Republican convention, both presidential campaigns are already focused on Florida


FPL RATES ARGUED: The state Public Service Commission is scheduled to start a hearing about a proposal by Florida Power & Light to raise base electric rates. FPL earlier this year proposed a $690.4 million increase that would take effect in 2013, though it has also pitched a proposed settlement that would lower that number to $548 million. The hearing could continue throughout the week. (Monday, 9:30 a.m., Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.)

FLORIDA POLYTECHNIC BOARD OF TRUSTEES: The Transition Committee of the new FPU Board of Trustees holds a conference call. (Monday, 1 p.m., Number: 888-670-3525, conference code: 4122150353 then #.)

STATE EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE DISCUSSED: The Self-Insurance Estimating Conference will meet to discuss issues related to the state employees’ health insurance trust fund. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

DEMOCRATIC CLUB OF NORTH FLORIDA DINNER WITH DIANE ROBERTS: Author, radio commentator and essayist Diane K. Roberts speaks to the Democratic Club of North Florida. (Monday, Time TBA, 2714 Graves Rd., Tallahassee.)


CD 10: DEMINGS TOWN HALL: Democratic Congressional candidate Val Demings hosts a town hall with voters in Dundee. It’s open to the public. (Monday, 6:30 p.m., Acropoli Pizza, 2809 US 27, Dundee.)


WATER STANDARDS WEIGHED IN WEST-CENTRAL FL: The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will hold a workshop on water-quality standards, known as total maximum daily loads, for the Springs Coast Basin in the west-central part of the state. (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., Bay Regional Planning Council, 4000 Gateway Center Blvd., Suite 100, Pinellas Park.)

CUBA-FLORIDA RELATIONS FORUM: The League of Women Voters of Florida and the the World Trade Center Tampa Bay host a Cuba-Florida Relations Forum on Tuesday to discuss potential legal, social, cultural and economic relations between the country and the Tampa Bay area. Opening remarks will be delivered by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor. Panelists include former Rep. Annie Betancourt, former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco, Tampa Councilman Charlie Miranda and others. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Hyatt Regency Tampa, Tampa.)

SWOOPE TO SPEAK AT ECONOMIC CLUB OF FLORIDA: Florida Commerce Secretary and Enterprise Florida CEO Gray Swoope speaks to the Economic Club of Florida, on Florida Economic Development. (Tuesday, 12:10 p.m., Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center, A2-A3, 505 W. Pensacola St., Tallahassee.)


BARREL RACING CASE SADDLES UP AGAIN: An administrative law judge will resume hearing arguments in a long-running dispute about whether a Gretna parimutuel facility should be allowed to run barrel races instead of more-traditional quarter horse races. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., state Division of Administrative Hearings, DeSoto Building, 1230 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee.)

OIL SPILL RESPONSE PANEL TO MEET: The state’s Commission on Oil Spill Response Coordination will hold its first meeting. The commission, which must submit a report to the governor and Legislature by Jan. 1, will look at issues such as offshore drilling, disaster relief and damage claims. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Emerald Coast Convention Center, 1250 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, Fort Walton Beach.)

PSC APPLICANTS INTERVIEWED: The Florida Public Service Commission Nominating Council will interview a short list of applicants for a commission seat opening in January.Commissioner Lisa Edgar, whose term will expire, is among the applicants. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport, 9300 Jeff Fuqua Blvd., Orlando.)

AHCA WEIGHS ACCEPTED MEDICAL PRACTICES: The Agency for Health Care Administration will hold a workshop to take input about determining generally accepted medical practices. This has been an issue, at least in part, because of a lawsuit about a treatment known as “applied behavior analysis” for Medicaid beneficiaries with autism. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., 6800 North Dale Mabry Highway, Suite 220, Tampa.)

PUTNAM SPEAKS ON ENERGY DIVERSITY: Diversifying Florida’s energy portfolio will be the topic of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s address in the Future of Energy series at the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College. (Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., Digitorium, Seminole Campus, St. Petersburg College, 9200 113th St., North, St. Petersburg.)

CAMPAIGNS: COURIEL FUNDRAISER: Jeb Bush, Jr., Paul Huck and Jorge Arrizurieta host a fundraiser for Republican state Senate District 35 candidate John Couriel. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Home of Alex Acosta, or (305) 469-7329.)


WATER STANDARDS DISCUSSED IN NORTHWEST FLORIDA: The state Department of Environmental Protection will hold a workshop on water-quality standards, known as total maximum daily loads, for the Pensacola Bay Basin. (Thursday, 9:30 a.m., DEP Northwest District Office, 160 W. Government St., Suite 308, Room 502, Pensacola.)


CARVALHO AT LATIN BUILDERS LUNCHEON: Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is the speaker at the Latin Builders Luncheon on Friday. (Friday, 1 p.m., Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, Hall of the Ambassadors, 50 Alhambra Plaza, Coral Gables.)

RULING EXPECTED IN DOAH CASE ON VOTING LAWS: An administrative judge is expected to rule Friday in a challenge to the state’s decision to move forward with a new elections law in 62 counties, even though it is held up in five other counties. Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, and a pair of voting-rights groups contend that a two-tiered system violates state law requiring elections rules to be uniform across the state. Judge Thomas Crapps has said he would rule on Friday. (Friday.)

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.