Capitol Preview: What to expect this week in Florida politics

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The nation celebrates its birthday this week, and by the looks of the state government schedules it will be a long party. The big day for state government watchers of course is July 1, Monday, which begins the new fiscal year and puts the new budget into effect. Nearly 200 new laws take effect on Monday too.

For politicos, July 1 means the start of new fundraising quarter, and for those watching campaigns, former Gov. Charlie Crist talks about what’s going on in his world on Sunday on TV in the Tampa area on Bay News 9. 


END OF THE FUNDRAISING PERIOD: June 30 marks the end of the second quarter for fundraising purposes for candidates.  For 2014, 2016 and 2018 candidates, political committees, committees of continuous existence, electioneering communication organizations and independent expenditure organizations that file with the Division of Elections, the reports for the quarter that ends Sunday are due July 10.


NEW FISCAL YEAR: July 1 marks the beginning of the new fiscal year. The state’s $74.1 billion budget, which will fund 114,481 positions, 3,955 more than in the current fiscal year, kicks in on Monday. The fiscal package also includes the first raise those workers will see in seven years. Also on July 1, almost 200 bills signed into law this year go into effect. 

DUKE ENERGY GETS NEW CEO: Lynn Good, who has been the chief financial officer for Duke Energy, will take over as company president and CEO on Monday, succeeding the retiring Jim Rogers. The North Carolina-based Duke is the largest electric-power holding company in the country and merged last year with Progress Energy. In doing so, it became Florida’s second-largest electric utility, behind only Florida Power & Light.

SCHOOL GRADES ADVISORY TASK FORCE TO MEET: A task force that will review the state’s system of grading schools will hold its first meeting. The group was formed amid worries by some educators that a complicated mix of new grading policies could lead to a collapse in scores. (Monday, 12:30 p.m., Turlington Building, Room 1721, 325 West Gaines St., Tallahassee.)

CEREMONIAL BILL SIGNING: Gov. Rick Scott will hold a ceremonial bill signing for a measure (HB 1223) that imposes additional penalties on people who use deceptive and unfair trade practices against a member of the military.  (Monday, 2:30 p.m., Davis Conference Center, MacDill Air Force Base, 7633 Bayshore Boulevard, Tampa.)


MEDICAID AUDITS DISCUSSED: The state Agency for Health Care Administration is scheduled to hold a rule hearing on financial compliance audits required in part of the state’s planned statewide Medicaid managed-care system. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Dr., Tallahassee.)

REP. JONES’ U.S. 441 FORUM: State Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, is hosting  a forum with the Florida Department of Transportation on road projects along the U.S. 441/State Road 7 corridor. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., Rep. Jones District Office, 1965 South State Road 7, West Park.)

ROSS TO HOST TOWN HALL MEETINGS IN LUTZ AND BRANDON: US Rep. Dennis Ross holds hall meetings in Lutz and Brandon on Tuesday. (5:30 p.m., Lutz Elementary School, Lutz; 7:30 p.m., Brandon Regional Service Center, 311 Pauls Dr., Brandon.)


SUPREME COURT RELEASES OPINIONS: The Florida Supreme Court is expected to release opinions, a day earlier than usual because of the July 4 holiday. 

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.