Jack Latvala visits “Live With Lori” to talk Arroz Con Pollo and his bill helping the homeless

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Lori Halbert learned the secret to having voters pay attention to politicians — pair politicos with delicious food.

Halbert, host and creator of Live with Lori, Political Food for Thought, features a unique combination of political talker and how-to cooking show, which highlights Florida’s most influential lawmakers discussing the ins-and-outs of Tallahassee. 

And the recipes are pretty tempting, as well.

Filmed at the recent Great American Realtor Day in Tallahassee, Sen. Jack Latvala appears on the latest Live with Lori, now in its fourth season

The Clearwater Republican took the opportunity to show off a tasty recipe for Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken with Rice) as well as discuss his strategy for funding homeless projects. Latvala has been a long-time champion for the plight of displaced Floridians.

Latvala described how he first noticed Gov. Rick Scott used line-item budget veto powers to single out a variety of homeless projects, but it was not because the governor didn’t agree with the issue. Many of the projects were “turkeys” — individual items added on by well-connected legislators.

“I decided then we needed a little more cohesive approach for putting state money into homeless projects,” Latvala tells Halbert. “Right now, there is a miniscule amount going into local governments, where much of the responsibility rests on local cities and counties.”

Latvala filed SB 1090, currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee, instructing the state to develop a series of “challenge grants,” which provide local governments access to funds for a variety of homeless projects. Florida Housing Finance Corporation would deliver those grants to the Department of Children and Families, using funds from the Local Government Housing Trust Fund, for support, training, and technical assistance to homeless families across the state.

Live with Lori, Political Food for Thought airs at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, at SUN Sports Channel — Bright House Network Channel 31 and HD Channel 1148; Wide Open West of Pinellas County Channel 52 and HD Channel 987; and Verizon FIOS in Temple Terrace Channel 76 and HD Channel 1525.

For more information on Halbert and her series, visit www.livewithlori.com.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.