Coup de soleil – La lecture matinale de ce qui fait chaud dans la politique en Floride – 3.30.21


Ce n’est pas étonnant que Gov. Ron DeSantis prend souvent des tours de victoire, analysés avec le dédain dégoulinant de ses fouilles sur les médias toujours critiques.

Peu importe à quel point la position de DeSantis est controversée, il semble sortir du bon côté. L'ouverture d'écoles ne s'est pas avérée être le mouvement super répandu que les critiques s'attendaient. Ouvrir complètement et rapidement des entreprises aurait peut-être augmenté le nombre de COVID-19, mais pas au point de catapulter la Floride au-delà des États qui ne l'ont pas fait, et l'économie est malgré tout favorable.

Et maintenant, DeSantis aurait-il pu recommencer?

Ron DeSantis semble toujours atterrir du bon côté. Image via Colin Hackley.

Nous entrons (espérons-le) dans la phase finale de la pandémie. Nous pourrions continuer à débattre de l'opportunité de laisser naviguer les navires de croisière de Floride et de savoir s'il devrait y avoir des passeports vaccinaux (DeSantis dit absolument non). Et DeSantis continuera sans aucun doute à se positionner face aux autorités fédérales, aux médias et même aux experts de la santé, parfois de manière explosive.

Mais bon sang, il semble qu'il remporte une ou deux autres victoires, au grand dam de ses ennemis.

Au début de la campagne de distribution de vaccins, DeSantis a commencé à nouer des partenariats avec des pharmacies de détail, en commençant d'abord par Publix, puis en s'étendant plus tard aux détaillants CVS, Walgreens et Walmart, ainsi qu'à Winn Dixie.

Après le président Joe Biden a pris ses fonctions, DeSantis a sévèrement rejeté la notion de «camps FEMA» pour administrer des vaccins sur des sites gérés par le gouvernement fédéral. Il a été immédiatement foudroyé pour rejeter l'aide avant même de savoir ce que cette aide impliquait. Avance rapide jusqu'à maintenant, et, par bonheur, il avait raison de toute façon.

Le gouvernement fédéral a dépensé 4 milliards de dollars sur un système mis en place pour aider aux efforts de vaccination, y compris des centres de vaccination de masse, dont quatre en Floride. Pourtant, ces sites administrent une fraction des doses de vaccin que les pharmacies de détail gèrent, selon une histoire aujourd'hui à POLITICO.

En fin de compte, selon ce rapport, les Américains préfèrent se rendre à pied à leur pharmacie locale pour prendre une photo plutôt que de se rendre sur un site fédéral.

Bien sûr, établir un partenariat d'abord avec un donateur majeur n'est pas un bon look, mais l'idée générale était, semble-t-il, la bonne.

En plus de cela, DeSantis a fait face à un retour de flamme pour avoir déclaré, encore une fois au début de la campagne de vaccination, qu'une dose d'un vaccin à deux doses valait mieux que rien. À l'époque, il semblait être cavalier. Mais il s'avère qu'une seule injection du vaccin Pfizer ou Moderna n'est en effet pas trop minable.

En décembre, DeSantis a cité un article dans le Wall Street Journal – c'était un article d'opinion écrit par le neuroscientifique Michael Segal – sur l'efficacité de l'approche à dose unique. DeSantis a qualifié la deuxième dose d’injection de «rappel», faisant écho au choix de mots de Segal. Les média a déclaré que DeSantis «contournait» la science.

Selon une étude des Centers for Disease Control and Prevention menée auprès des agents de santé, une dose de ces schémas à deux doses s'est avérée 80% efficace dans la prévention du COVID-19.

Peut-être que DeSantis ne mérite pas un cookie pour avoir raison avec le recul. Après tout, une horloge cassée a raison deux fois par jour. Mais l'horloge, qu'elle soit cassée ou non, a eu raison plus de deux fois, et la haine continue de s'accumuler.

Nous ne savons pas si quelqu'un va faire la queue pour des excuses. En fait, nous sommes à peu près certains qu'ils ne le feront pas, mais à tout le moins, DeSantis devrait être reconnu que sa frustration avec les critiques est justifiée.

Dans d'autres notes:

🌿Biden sauve les Everglades: Un projet de 7,8 milliards de dollars lancé à la fin de l’administration Clinton a fonctionné par à-coups. Et maintenant, alors que la nouvelle administration Biden envisage une politique environnementale radicale et des financements pour l'accompagner, le projet a la possibilité de faire ce qu'il a prévu: améliorer le débit d'eau à destination et en provenance des Everglades et restaurer le trésor du sud de la Floride. Mais d'abord, l'administration doit trouver l'argent pour le faire. Lisez comment Biden peut être le sauveur, tout en étant bipartisan, ici.

✊🏻 – Insurrection américaine: La dernière production de Frontline, ProPublica, American Insurrection, suit la montée de l'extrémisme politique et des groupes d'extrême droite souvent liés à la suprématie blanche et aux sentiments anti-gouvernementaux. L'épisode complet est diffusé le 13 avril, mais une bande-annonce montre des extraits de la violente insurrection du 6 janvier au Capitole des États-Unis, ainsi que des interviews de Proud Boys et d'autres milices et experts suite à leurs actions. Regardez-le ici.

🗳Kevin Cate est tout au sujet de Nikki Fried: Le même consultant qui a écrit sur l'ancien candidat au poste de gouverneur Andrew GillumLa poussée éventuelle de s est désormais all-in pour Frit, Le seul démocrate élu de l’État de Floride et le premier à occuper un tel poste depuis 2011. Cate note que les républicains agissent comme si elle pouvait gagner dans un affrontement hypothétique contre le gouverneur DeSantis, et les démocrates devraient aussi. En savoir plus ici.

📘Vous ne jugez pas un livre à sa couverture?: Le New York Times a créé ce qui est probablement son exercice interactif le plus divertissant de tous les temps, et qui parle de nos préjugés individuels. La fonctionnalité montre des images de divers quartiers demandant si le spectateur peut deviner comment ce quartier a voté à l'élection présidentielle de 2020 simplement en regardant autour de lui. Pouvez-vous juger avec succès un livre par sa couverture? Découvrez ici.

🙏🏻 – En tant qu'homme de foi, c'est décevant: Moins de la moitié des Américains disent que la religion est très importante pour eux, selon un sondage Gallup 2020. C’est une vieille nouvelle, mais elle est pertinente dans le contexte de Lil Nas XLe dernier gadget de la marque: vendre des baskets sur le thème de Satan. Malgré l'apathie relative des Américains envers la religion, le coup a suscité beaucoup de colère, car documenté ici.

– CONNAISSANCE DE LA SITUATION –

Tweet, tweeter:

@VernBuchanan: Je surveille de près la situation à Piney Point dans le comté de Manatee, où une fuite d’eaux usées contaminées menace la région. Mon bureau a été en contact avec des responsables de l'environnement de l'État qui sont sur place et s'efforcent de contenir le problème

@RepStephMurphy: Pour tous ceux qui ont déjà dû faire la queue dans la chaleur de la Floride – en particulier lors des primaires d'août – cette dernière initiative des républicains de Tallahassee est tout simplement cruelle et inhabituelle.

@AndrewLearned: Remarque pour moi-même, si jamais je suis du côté de ne pas donner d'eau aux personnes assoiffées, je me trompe …

@MarcEElias: Il semble que les républicains de Floride aient regardé l'indignation contre la loi de répression de la Géorgie avec envie plutôt que dégoût. J'ai déjà poursuivi la Floride pour leurs lois électorales répressives et je n'hésiterai pas à le faire à nouveau.

@AnaCeballos_: Une disposition du projet de loi anti-émeute de la Floride – priorisée par @GovRonDeSantis– qui n’a pas reçu beaucoup d’encre ne permettrait pas à une personne arrêtée pour quelque vol que ce soit de sortir de prison si son comté est sous l’état d’urgence. Ils n’ont pas à être liés à une émeute.

Tweet, tweeter:

@SteveSchale: La génération X a été formée depuis sa jeunesse à rester à la maison, à rester seule, à se divertir gratuitement et à vivre à bas prix de la pizza au pain français de Lunchables & Stouffer. Aucune génération dans l'histoire n'était mieux préparée à vivre une pandémie

@MacStipanovich: Je me demande sur quelle théorie un prétendu conservateur et défenseur présumé des droits de propriété comme DeSantis pense qu'une entreprise privée qui peut interdire aux personnes portant des armes protégées par le 2A ne peut interdire des personnes sans passeport de vaccination. BS plus performant.

@Fineout: Ajoutons maintenant à ceci: la page Facebook du groupe dit qu’ils ont reçu un «appel téléphonique très cool» leur demandant de le faire. Ils ont également déclaré sur FB: «Lorsque le gouverneur appelle et veut l'autoroute 85, ils obtiennent l'autoroute 85!»

@RenzoDowney: Les gens pourront-ils toujours obtenir leur beignet Krispy Kreme gratuit si le gouverneur Ron DeSantis interdit les passeports vaccinaux?

@JoeGruters: Ma motivation était de créer des règles du jeu équitables entre les entreprises physiques basées en Floride et leurs concurrents à l'étranger et à l'étranger. Parallèlement à cela, j'ai toujours plaidé pour une réduction de la taxe sur le loyer professionnel, Great job @ChrisSprowls & @WiltonSimpson!

@GNewburn: Demain matin, le projet de loi le plus stupide a déposé cette séance, #HB325, sera entendu dans son * deuxième * comité de la Florida House. Le principe central de ce projet de loi est que les lois de Floride sur les peines en matière de drogue fonctionnent si mal et qu’elles ont tellement échoué que nous devons les doubler.

– JOURS JUSQU'À CE QUE –

Premières «Godzilla vs Kong» – 1; Les parcs à thème de Californie commencent à rouvrir – 2; Journée d'ouverture de la MLB – 2; Pâques – 5; Sommet des donateurs du printemps RNC – 10; 2021 WWE WrestleMania 37 commence – 11; Disneyland ouvrira – 31; Fête des mères – 40 ans; Conférence inaugurale du Southeastern Leadership Conference du Florida Chamber Safety Council sur la sécurité, la santé et la durabilité – 41; Première reprogrammée de «A Quiet Place Part II» – 59; Memorial Day – 62; Fête des pères – 82; Première reprogrammée de «Top Gun: Maverick» – 94; 4 juillet – 96; Première reprogrammée de «Black Widow» – 100; Match des étoiles de la MLB à Atlanta – 104; nouvelle date de début pour les Jeux Olympiques de 2021 – 115; Premières «Jungle Cruise» – 123; Les premières de la Suicide Squad – 129; Élection primaire de Saint-Pétersbourg – 147; Les premières de Disney «Shang Chi et La légende des dix anneaux» – 157; Les premières de «The Many Saints of Newark» (reportées) – 178; Premières «Dune» – 185; Fin de la saison régulière de la MLB – 187; Premières «No Time to Die» (reportées) – 193; World Series Game 1 – 210; Élections municipales de Saint-Pétersbourg – 217; Premières «Eternals» de Disney – 220; Début du Comic-Con de San Diego – 241; Steven SpielbergPremières de «West Side Story» – 255; La suite de «Spider-Man loin de chez soi»: 262; Les premières de «Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness» – 360; "Thor: Love and Thunder" premières – 402; Premières «Black Panther 2» – 465; «Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse» première suite – 556; "Captain Marvel 2" premières – 591.

– DATELINE TALLAHASSEE –

"Ron DeSantis cible les «passeports» COVID-19 et signe une facture de responsabilité»Via Christine Sexton du News Service of Florida – Soulignant des problèmes de confidentialité, DeSantis a déclaré lundi qu'il publierait cette semaine des règles d'urgence qui empêcheraient les entreprises d'exiger des clients qu'ils présentent une preuve de vaccination via des« passeports »COVID-19 et demanderont à l'Assemblée législative de passer une interdiction permanente. DeSantis a déclaré qu'il pensait que les passeports de vaccins créeraient d'énormes problèmes de confidentialité qui pourraient amener les gens à transmettre des informations médicales à une «grande entreprise». Les remarques de DeSantis sont intervenues alors qu'il signait un projet de loi qui protégerait les entreprises et les prestataires de soins de santé contre les poursuites en responsabilité COVID-19. Ils ont également suivi les informations selon lesquelles l'administration Biden envisage de pousser les agences fédérales et les entreprises privées à développer un programme qui permettrait aux gens de montrer qu'ils ont été vaccinés.

Ron DeSantis signe le projet de loi sur la protection de la responsabilité COVID-19 tout en se moquant de l’idée de «passeports de vaccination». Image via Twitter.

– "DeSantis signe le projet de loi sur la responsabilité du COVID-19 et engage un groupe de rock pour se produire lors de la signature du projet de loi»Via Jason Delgado de Florida Politics

– "DeSantis dénonce le «passeport» des vaccins. Heat prévoit des sièges spéciaux pour les fans qui en ont un.»Via le Miami Herald

La Chambre de Floride accueille favorablement les garanties de responsabilité – La Chambre de commerce de Floride, l’un des plus grands défenseurs de la protection contre la responsabilité, n’a pas tardé à célébrer la victoire ultime de la mesure. «La Chambre de Floride remercie le gouverneur DeSantis pour son leadership dans la protection de la communauté d’affaires de Floride et apprécie la priorité accordée à ces protections pour les créateurs d’emplois de la Floride», a déclaré le président et chef de la direction de la Chambre. Mark Wilson m'a dit. «La protection de la responsabilité civile COVID-19 pour les créateurs d’emplois de Floride est une priorité absolue pour la Chambre de Floride depuis le premier jour de la pandémie mondiale. Avec la signature aujourd'hui du SB 72 par le gouverneur DeSantis, les entreprises et les établissements de santé de Floride qui continuent de faire de leur mieux pour assurer la sécurité des employés, des clients et des patients n'auront plus à craindre des poursuites frivoles alors qu'ils continuent de relancer l'économie de la Floride. "

APCIA félicite DeSantis pour avoir signé le projet de loi sur la responsabilité civile COVID-19 – L'American Property Casualty Insurance Association a félicité le gouverneur pour avoir signé le projet de loi sur la protection de la responsabilité COVID-19. aujourd'hui Vice-président adjoint de l'APCIA chargé des relations avec le gouvernement de l'État Logan McFaddin a déclaré que DeSantis a "fait preuve d'un leadership remarquable sur cette question et a été un ardent défenseur de la nécessité d'une législation pour protéger les entreprises et les prestataires de soins de santé de Floride contre les litiges frivoles liés au COVID." McFaddin a également fait l'éloge du leadership législatif et des sponsors du projet de loi Sen. Jeff Brandes, Rép. Lawrence McClure et Rep. Colleen Burton «Pour leur leadership dans la présentation de ce projet de loi et son orientation tout au long du processus législatif.»

Le Conseil de Floride des 100 applaudissements à la signature du bouclier COVID-19 – Président du Florida Council of 100 Syd Kitson et le président du comité de la compétitivité économique Loi Rhea a fait l'éloge de DeSantis pour avoir signé le SB 72 et a déclaré que la communauté des affaires nationale en prenait note. «En signant ce projet de loi sur la protection de la responsabilité contre le COVID-19, le gouverneur DeSantis, ainsi que les dirigeants de la Chambre et du Sénat de Floride, continuent de faire preuve de leadership et de surmonter les défis de la pandémie de COVID-19», a déclaré Kitson. Law a ajouté: «En signant ce projet de loi, la Floride a une fois de plus agi de manière décisive et a démontré au reste de la nation que les États peuvent protéger les consommateurs et permettre à l'économie de continuer à prospérer. En conséquence, la Floride attire des entrepreneurs et des entreprises d'autres États. »

Le contre-argument:

Et"Aucune quantité de musique rock ne peut le dissimuler. DeSantis a esquivé la question, encore une fois»Via le comité de rédaction du Miami Herald – DeSantisLa conférence de presse contenait tous les éléments d’un spectacle en Floride: un groupe de rock live jouant «With a Little Help from My Friends», un groupe de personnes sans masque et un gouverneur grognon qui n’aime pas que les questions difficiles s’immiscent dans le récit de son choix. L'événement au Capitole de Tallahassee était censé montrer la signature par DeSantis d'un projet de loi visant à protéger les entreprises contre les poursuites liées aux coronavirus. Le groupe était là, a déclaré DeSantis, pour nous rappeler ce que nous manquons lorsque les entreprises ont peur de la responsabilité d’organiser de tels événements. Quelle meilleure façon de le démontrer qu'en rassemblant une poignée de républicains sans masque et en la diffusant sur les réseaux sociaux?

Pendant ce temps … "Le Sénat cherche à protéger les collèges des poursuites contre COVID-19»Via News Service of Florida – Un comité du Sénat adoptera mardi un projet de loi qui protégerait les collèges et les universités des poursuites judiciaires sur la décision de fermer des campus en raison de la pandémie. Le projet de loi (SPB 7070), qui sera examiné par le Comité sénatorial de l'éducation, se concentre en partie sur les poursuites intentées en Floride et dans d'autres régions du pays contre des collèges et universités qui avaient demandé le remboursement des frais de scolarité parce que les étudiants étaient obligés de suivre des cours en ligne. cours lorsque les campus ont fermé l'année dernière pour essayer d'empêcher la propagation du COVID-19. Le projet de loi empêcherait également d'utiliser la performance sur les évaluations standardisées cette année pour déterminer s'il faut retenir les élèves de troisième année. De plus, cela permettrait aux parents de demander que leurs élèves soient retenus en troisième année.

– TALLY 2 –

"Accord conclu pour réduire la taxe sur les loyers professionnels»Via Jim Turner du News Service of Florida – Le House Commerce Committee a soutenu lundi une mesure (HB 15) qui obligerait les détaillants hors de l'État à collecter et à verser les taxes de vente, avec un chiffre d'affaires prévu de 1 milliard de dollars par an proposait maintenant d'aller vers la reconstitution du fonds fiduciaire d'indemnisation du chômage de l'État. Le Sénat a voté jeudi 30-10 sur sa version de la proposition de taxe de vente (SB 50), qui était liée à un accord précédent d'utiliser l'argent pour reconstituer le fonds fiduciaire de chômage. Alors que le comité de la Chambre votait lundi pour faire avancer sa version du projet de loi, Simpson et Sprowls ont annoncé que l'argent supplémentaire de la taxe de vente ferait également baisser la taxe sur les loyers commerciaux de 5,5% à 2% après le reconstitution du fonds en fiducie pour le chômage.

"Le projet de loi sur l'équité électronique, maintenant avec une mise à jour de la taxe sur les loyers professionnels, se dirige vers l'étage de la maison»Via Renzo Downey de Florida Politics

"Les groupes de soins de santé de Floride dénoncent les budgets proposés par l'Assemblée législative»Via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics – La pandémie de COVID-19 oblige les législateurs à faire de fortes compressions budgétaires, et les défenseurs des soins de santé déplorent les coupes dans les aidants naturels de Floride. Avec le début du déploiement du budget de l'Assemblée législative la semaine dernière, la Chambre et le Sénat ont dévoilé leurs plans de dépenses en soins de santé pour l'exercice 2021-2022, tous deux s'élevant à environ 42 milliards de dollars. C'est au-dessus des 39,4 milliards de dollars approuvés par l'Assemblée législative pour l'exercice en cours. Mais cela ne veut pas dire que les fournisseurs de soins de santé ne subiront pas de coupes. Le plan du Sénat propose une réduction de 251,2 millions de dollars des tarifs Medicaid de base pour les patients hospitalisés et ambulatoires, une réduction qui toucherait tous les hôpitaux. En outre, cela éliminerait 77,3 millions de dollars destinés aux hôpitaux qui traitent un grand nombre de patients Medicaid.

"Les plans de dépenses indiquent une «année maigre» dans l’enseignement supérieur»Via Ryan Dailey du News Service of Florida – Une proposition de budget du Sénat appelle à une réduction de près de 217 millions de dollars des dépenses du système universitaire d'État. Mais alors que le Sénat examine un projet de loi distinct controversé (SB 86) qui lierait les bourses d'études Bright Futures à des montants mis de côté dans le budget, le président du Sénat sur les crédits pour l'éducation Doug Broxson a déclaré que le plan de dépenses proposé financerait entièrement le programme à plus de 651 millions de dollars. Actuellement, le programme utilise une structure à plusieurs niveaux pour fournir une aide à Bright Futures à 75% ou 100% des frais de scolarité et des frais. «Je veux dire ceci pour que tout le monde puisse l'entendre; la proposition maintient les bourses d'études Bright Futures à des niveaux qui sont conformes à la loi actuelle », a déclaré Broxson au sous-comité des crédits pour l'éducation du Sénat.

Ce sera une année maigre pour l’enseignement supérieur, déclare Doug Broxson. Image via Colin Hackley.

"La crise du financement des prisons en Floride pourrait devenir un problème de sécurité publique»Via Joe Henderson de Florida Politics – Toute personne raisonnable conviendra que la Floride est sévère contre le crime. L'État a la troisième plus grande population carcérale du pays, avec près de 100 000 détenus. C’est en partie grâce aux lois sur les peines minimales obligatoires qui ont conduit à un taux d’incarcération 21% plus élevé que la moyenne nationale. Cette approche verrouillée, quelle que soit la nature de l'application de la loi, a un coût élevé, en particulier pour ceux qui sont en première ligne. Les législateurs semblent considérer ces dommages collatéraux et se sont montrés peu intéressés à y remédier. Combinez cela avec la réticence de l’Assemblée législative à assumer le coût total de ces politiques, et vous obtenez ce que nous avons aujourd’hui, un gâchis impie qui pourrait devenir un problème de sécurité publique.

"Le Sénat veut des rapports d'agence sur l'amendement du salaire minimum»Via Drew Wilson de Florida Politics – Le budget du Sénat demande aux agences de l'État de rendre compte de l'impact de l'amendement sur le salaire minimum sur leurs résultats. Les électeurs ont approuvé l'année dernière un amendement qui porterait le salaire minimum à 15 $ l'heure d'ici 2026. La première hausse – de 8,65 $ l'heure à 10 $ l'heure – entrera en vigueur le 30 septembre. Le salaire augmente ensuite d'un dollar chaque année jusqu'à il atteint 15 $, après quoi les augmentations viendront en fonction de l'inflation. Le budget du Sénat comprend un financement pour mettre l'État en tête de la courbe en augmentant le salaire minimum à 13 $ l'heure. L'augmentation est une priorité de Simpson.

Le budget du Sénat consacre l'argent de l'acquisition de terres au stockage dans le Nord – Le budget du Sénat utiliserait 70 millions de dollars en fonds d’acquisition de terrains pour construire des puits d’injection d’eau au nord du lac Okeechobee, rapporte Bruce Ritchie de POLITICO Florida. La réexpédition est incluse dans une facture d'exécution, SB 2416, déposée vendredi. Le projet de loi permettrait également de prélever 50 millions de dollars du Fonds fiduciaire d'acquisition de terres pour d'autres efforts de stockage de l'eau dans le cadre du projet de restauration du bassin hydrographique du lac Okeechobee. Croix de Lindsay, directeur des relations gouvernementales de Florida Conservation Voters, a déclaré que les puits sont «loin d'être prouvés comme une approche scientifiquement efficace ou fiable pour la conservation». La proposition de budget de la Chambre n'inclut pas les dépenses pour le projet.

"Le budget du Sénat pourrait annuler un contrat SLERS en difficulté»Via Drew Wilson de Florida Politics – Le système radio national de l'application de la loi doit faire l'objet d'une mise à jour depuis des années. Le principal retard a été un processus d'approvisionnement perfide. À la mi-2020, Motorola et DMS, lauréat du contrat, se sont séparés. Le Sénat, cependant, a ordonné à DMS de résoudre les problèmes de la tour et leur a donné la possibilité de renouveler le contrat de Motorola afin que le projet puisse éviter un autre redémarrage. Maintenant, le projet SLERS est peut-être mort. Au moins, le Sénat a montré qu’il était prêt à franchir cette étape. Le budget de l'année en cours prévoyait environ 21,6 millions de dollars pour les paiements contractuels du SLERS. Le poste a été rayé du budget du Sénat. Simpson a déclaré que cette décision montrait que la chambre était prête à jouer au hardball.

– TALLY 3 –

"DeSantis ne soutient pas les bouchons de THC mais dit que la marijuana d'aujourd'hui est peut-être trop forte»Via A.G. Gancarski de Florida Politics – Lundi à Tallahassee, lors d'une médiatisation avec CFO Jimmy Patronis et les dirigeants législatifs, DeSantis a déclaré aux journalistes que le cannabis d'aujourd'hui frappe différemment des variantes les plus innocentes des temps passés. Malgré ces inquiétudes, DeSantis a déclaré qu'il ne soutenait pas un plafond de THC. «Je n'ai pas approuvé cela. Ce n’est pas quelque chose que je préconise », a-t-il déclaré. La déclaration du gouverneur ne peut pas changer la trajectoire de la proposition. Il bouge à la Chambre mais est bloqué au Sénat. Le président du comité judiciaire, Brandes, a déclaré que les plafonds de THC ne sont pas une question de départ et qu'il n'a pas programmé le projet de loi pour une audience.

Ron DeSantis pense que le pot est aujourd'hui trop puissant mais n'arrête pas d'appeler à des bouchons de THC.

"Le comité de la Chambre avance l'exigence des 2/3 d'approuver les amendements des citoyens»Via Jacob Ogles de Florida Politics – Un projet de loi augmentant le seuil de modification de la Constitution de la Floride a autorisé lundi le Comité de l’intégrité publique et des élections de la Chambre. Les membres ont voté 11-6 sur un vote largement en ligne de parti. La législation (HJR 61) poserait la question aux électeurs de savoir s'il devrait y avoir une exigence de majorité des deux tiers pour que les amendements constitutionnels proposés soient adoptés. À l'heure actuelle, il faut une majorité de 60% pour approuver un amendement. représentant Rick Roth a noté que l'Assemblée législative doit avoir un vote à la majorité des deux tiers pour augmenter les impôts en Floride. Il n’est pas normal qu’une plus petite majorité d’électeurs puisse imposer des changements politiques majeurs en Floride alors que le gouvernement représentatif élu par le peuple doit répondre à une exigence plus stricte. «Nous comprenons qu'en tant que représentants élus du peuple, le moment est venu de protéger nos libertés et nos droits constitutionnels», a-t-il déclaré.

"Un comité sénatorial envisage des plafonds de contribution pour les initiatives de scrutin mené par les citoyens»Via Kelly Hayes de Florida Politics – Un comité du Sénat examinera mardi un projet de loi visant à limiter les contributions aux comités politiques parrainant des amendements constitutionnels conduits par les citoyens. Le Comité sénatorial d'éthique et d'élections, qui se réunit à 12 h 30, entendra le sénateur. Ray Rodrigues»(SB 1890), qui plafonnerait les contributions à 1 000 dollars pour« un comité politique qui est le parrain d'un amendement constitutionnel proposé par initiative ». Actuellement, aucune limite à l'échelle de l'État n'existe sur le montant qui peut être versé à un comité politique. Cependant, Rodrigues prévoit proposer un amendement qui fixerait les plafonds de contribution à 3 000 $. La proposition mettrait les commissions politiques spécifiées en conformité avec les mêmes limites de contribution pour les candidats à la législature des États et les candidats aux bureaux de comté.

"Le projet de loi adopté par le Sénat accordant la priorité aux foyers permanents pour les enfants en famille d'accueil clarifie le panel de la Chambre»Via Renzo Downey de Florida Politics – La législation visant à donner la priorité à la recherche de foyers permanents pour les enfants adoptés en Floride est presque à la fin du processus du comité après avoir effacé son avant-dernier panel de la Chambre lundi. Le sous-comité des crédits pour les soins de santé de la Chambre a donné son approbation unanime au Rep. Demi Busatta CabreraLe projet de loi (HB 1473), visant à réduire les traumatismes chez les enfants placés en famille d’accueil en réduisant les déménagements et en exigeant un processus réfléchi pour faire passer les enfants d’un foyer à un autre. La mesure est un Simpson priorité. Sa chambre passa le sénateur. Jason BrodeurVersion de (SB 80) plus tôt ce mois-ci. Simpson et Brodeur ont tous deux été adoptés alors qu'ils étaient enfants.

"Le projet de loi sur la pension alimentaire libère le premier comité du Sénat malgré le refus»Via Haley Brown de Florida Politics – Les efforts visant à abolir la loi permanente sur la pension alimentaire de Floride sont un effort fréquent au sein de l'Assemblée législative, et cette année les législateurs républicains respectent la tradition. Sen. Joe Gruters adopte une loi (SB 1922) pour éliminer la pension alimentaire permanente, en favorisant à la place «combler le fossé» ou pension alimentaire temporaire. Une autre partie importante du projet de loi touche la garde des enfants. En vertu du projet de loi, la garde des enfants commencerait sur la présomption d'un partage 50-50 entre les deux parents. La réunion judiciaire de lundi a attiré des dizaines de divorcés pour s'exprimer de chaque côté de la question. De nombreux orateurs ont pris la parole pour la deuxième fois parce que le projet de loi a été temporairement reporté la semaine dernière. Cette réunion, le projet de loi a été mis aux voix, passant 6-4 le long des lignes de parti.

Un panel du Sénat organisera un atelier sur les lois sur les visites des grands-parents – Le Comité sénatorial des enfants, des familles et des aînés discutera des lois sur les visites des grands-parents en Floride lors de sa réunion à 9 heures mardi. Les lois ont été au centre des préoccupations au cours des années qui ont suivi le meurtre du professeur de droit de la FSU Dan Markel. Markel a été assassiné par des tueurs à gages qui auraient travaillé pour son ex-femme ou sa famille. Depuis la mort de Markel, ses parents ont été empêchés de voir leurs petits-enfants. «Dans ces situations impensables, la loi de Floride ne donne pas aux enfants ou à leurs grands-parents une chance d’être entendus. Nous espérons trouver une voie à suivre pour changer cela, »président du comité Livre Lauren m'a dit. Les participants à l'atelier comprendront des représentants de la famille Markel, des avocats et des psychologues.

Tweet, tweeter:

"Le projet de loi interdirait l'isolement des étudiants handicapés comme punition»Via Albert Pefley de CBS 12 – Livre dit qu'elle se bat pour empêcher les écoles d'utiliser l'isolement des élèves handicapés comme punition. Son projet de loi (SB 192) limiterait également l'utilisation de moyens de contention sur les étudiants handicapés. Les moyens de contention ne peuvent être utilisés qu’en dernier recours ou pour éviter un préjudice imminent. La sénatrice Book dit qu'elle travaille sur ce projet de loi depuis plusieurs années. Le projet de loi comprend également un programme pilote pour les écoles du comté de Broward qui exigerait qu'une caméra vidéo soit placée dans des salles de classe spécifiques à la demande des parents.

"Conseils d'application de code anonyme ciblés»Via The News Service of Florida – Le comité d'intégrité publique et d'élections de la Chambre a soutenu lundi un projet de loi (HB 883) par le représentant. Toby Overdorf cela modifierait les règles d'application des codes des comtés et des municipalités de sorte que les inspecteurs et les agents chargés de l'application de la loi seraient empêchés d'ouvrir des enquêtes à moins que les personnes signalant des violations présumées du code ne fournissent leurs noms et adresses. Les agents chargés de l'application du code peuvent toujours prendre des mesures sur des conseils anonymes s'ils ont des raisons de croire que les violations présentent des menaces imminentes pour la santé publique, la sécurité ou le bien-être ou peuvent entraîner la destruction imminente de l'habitat ou des ressources sensibles. La version sénatoriale du projet de loi (SB 60), parrainée par le sénateur. Jennifer Bradley, a été approuvé par 27 voix contre 11 la semaine dernière. Toute l'opposition venait des démocrates.

– TALLY 4 –

"L'exemption de recherche présidentielle va à la salle pleine»Via The News Service of Florida – Un panel de la Chambre a approuvé une proposition qui fournirait une exemption des archives publiques pour les informations sur les personnes souhaitant devenir présidents d'université et d'université d'État. La mesure (HB 997) protégerait du public les «informations d'identification personnelle» sur les candidats. Les informations seraient publiées sur les finalistes pour les postes. Le comité de l'éducation et de l'emploi de la Chambre a avancé la mesure sur un vote 15-4. Les réunions qui exposeraient des informations d'identification sur les candidats pourraient être fermées au public en vertu de la proposition, mais un «enregistrement complet» devrait être effectué. Le projet de loi dit que de nombreux candidats à la présidence d'un collège ou d'une université ont un emploi «et pourraient mettre en péril leur poste actuel si l'on apprenait qu'ils cherchaient un emploi ailleurs».

Mais nous réduisons le budget de l'enseignement supérieur? – "Les étudiants de l'extérieur de l'État avec des grands-parents de Floride pourraient recevoir des frais de scolarité dans l'État»Via James Call du démocrate de Tallahassee – Les dirigeants républicains de l'Assemblée législative veulent offrir des cours dans l'État aux petits-enfants des résidents de Floride hors de l'État. Des propositions sont en cours à la Chambre et au Sénat pour offrir le taux le plus bas, soit une économie de 490 $ par heure de crédit. Pour se qualifier, les étudiants doivent obtenir un score dans le 89e centile ou plus aux tests standardisés et avoir un grand-parent qui réside en Floride. State Sen. Dennis Baxley, un républicain d'Ocala qui a huit petits-enfants, a parrainé le projet de loi (SB 1728) parce que, a-t-il expliqué, de nombreux grands-parents de Floride paient des impôts de l'État mais n'ont pas d'enfants dans le système éducatif public. représentant Ramon Alexander, un démocrate de Tallahassee, a critiqué le fait d'accorder une pause financière aux étudiants étrangers au détriment des résidents de Floride.

Si vos grands-parents vivent en Floride, Dennis Baxley souhaite que vous ayez droit aux frais de scolarité dans l'État.

"Le projet de loi sur le moment de silence autorise le deuxième comité sénatorial»Via Haley Brown de Florida Politics – Un projet de loi sur la minute de silence qui a déjà été adopté à la Chambre prend de la vitesse au Sénat. Le projet de loi (SB 282) a été adopté lundi par le Comité judiciaire du Sénat, son deuxième arrêt de comité, avec le soutien unanime des membres du comité. Le projet de loi exigerait une minute de silence d'une à deux minutes au début de la journée scolaire dans les classes publiques de la maternelle à la 12e année. «En fait, je pense qu'un moment de silence peut changer la journée. It’s a noisy world, a noisy place,” bill sponsor Baxley said. Current law allows, but does not require, schools to set aside up to two minutes each day or each week to give students the opportunity for prayer or meditation.

"Timeshare bill could cost Florida counties, cities and schools $170 million in property taxes” via Caroline Glenn of the Orlando Sentinel — After the Osceola County property appraiser won a major case against Wyndham timeshares upholding the way it values the company’s resorts, some Florida lawmakers want appraisers to use a different method. The proposal (HB 1007/SB 1358) would cut taxes for some of the largest corporations in the timeshare business. In Orange County, timeshares account for more than $9 billion in taxable property value and about $175 million in annual property taxes. If the bill passes, Orange County Tax Collector Amy Mercado estimated the taxable value of her county’s timeshares — and thus the amount of property taxes they must pay — could plummet between 50% and 70%. It’ll be discussed for the first time Tuesday in the Senate Regulated Industries committee.

"Bryan Avila bill setting up Biscayne Bay Commission heads to House floor” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics — Newly-amended legislation setting up a commission to oversee public projects in the Biscayne Bay is now moving to the House floor. The House State Affairs Committee unanimously approved the measure Monday via a 22-0 vote. The bill from Republican Rep. Bryan Avila (HB 1177) has now cleared all three committee stops. “Last August, my community was horrified to see thousands of fish and marine life turn up dead in Biscayne Bay,” Avila said to lawmakers in explaining the need for the bill. Avila blamed “excess nutrients, sewage contamination, pollution and littering” as leading factors creating those environmental issues. By setting up the commission, Avila says he’s hoping to overcome intra-agency finger-pointing that’s existed in cleaning up the bay in the past.

"Tourist taxes for flood control clears final House committee” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics — Despite stern opposition from the tourism sector, a bill that would allow local governments to spend tourist taxes to combat climate change flooding cleared its final House committee Monday and is now set for the floor. This time HB 1429 from Avila lost a couple of votes when two Republicans on the State Affairs Committee opposed diverting tourist development tax revenue from its original purpose, direct marketing of Florida’s tourism industry. It didn’t help the bill’s cause that Speaker Sprowls’ latest proposal would redirect money from the Sadowski Fund for Affordable Housing to fight sea level rise flooding and other effects of climate change.

"Senate to take up property insurance revamp” via The News Service of Florida — The Senate will take up a potentially far-reaching plan that would make changes, including allowing insurers to limit amounts paid for many homeowners’ roof damage. The insurance measure (SB 76), sponsored by Senate Banking and Insurance Chair Jim Boyd, is on a list of bills slated for consideration Thursday during a floor Session. Supporters of the bill say it is needed to address financial problems in the property-insurance industry, as many customers face large rate increases and others turn to the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. for coverage. The bill also would place new limits on attorney fees in lawsuits filed by property owners against insurers.

Jim Boyd is behind a series of broad insurance reforms. Image via Colin Hackley.

Scott Plakon lands PSC interview — The PSC Nominating Council voted to interview Rep. Plakon and four others to fill the seat previously held by newly appointed DBPR Secretary Julie Brown, Bruce Ritchie of POLITICO Florida reports. Plakon, who is term-limited, was one of nine applicants for the job. Also getting an interview are Rocket Ship Consultants founder Rosanna Catalano, former Livable Florida director Jeanne Curtin and PSC employees Ana Cristina Ortega et Gabriella Passidomo, the daughter of Sen. Kathleen Passidomo. The nominating council will interview the candidates and vote on who to recommend to the Governor on April 12.

— LOBBY REGS —

New and renewed lobbying registrations:

Mike Corcoran, Jacqueline Corcoran, Matt Blair, Ralph Criss, Andrea Tovar, Corcoran Partners: Florida Clubhouse Coalition

Jerry Haag: Florida Baptist Children’s Homes

Harold Kim: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Mauricio Montiel, Marin and Sons: Town of Bay Harbor Islands

Tiffany McCaskill Henderson: American Heart Association

Timothy Stanfield, Greenberg Traurig: Guy Carpenter & Company

— LEG. SKED —

Assignment editors — Sen. Book‘s Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee is holding a public workshop on the ‘Dan Markel‘ grandparent visitation issue, 9 a.m., Mallory Horne Committee Room, Room 37, Senate Building.

The Senate Education Committee meets to consider SB 2010, from Sen. Manny Diaz Jr., setting up steps to curb foreign influence in Florida colleges and universities and other agencies., 8:30 a.m., Room 412, Knott Building.

The Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee meets to consider confirmation of all that as secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families., 9 a.m., Room 37 Senate Office Building.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee meets to consider SB 1156, from Brandes, to prevent execution of people who had “serious mental illness” at the time of their crimes., 9 a.m., Room 110, Senate Office Building.

The House Environment, Agriculture and Flooding Subcommittee meets to consider HB 1601, from Rep. Jayer Williamson, to shield farmers from lawsuits., 9 a.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building.

The House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee meets to consider HB 523, from Rep. Jackie Toledo, to help victims of human trafficking., 9 a.m., Room 212, Knott Building.

The House Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee meets to consider HB 1071, from Rep. Rick Roth, to help former foster children enroll in the Medicaid program., 10 a.m., Room 404, House Office Building.

The House Civil Justice and Property Rights Subcommittee meets to consider HB 1355, from Reps. Kristen Arrington et Amber Mariano, to provide a public-records exemption for personal information about county attorneys, assistant county attorneys and family members., 12:30 p.m., Room 404, House Office Building.

The House Infrastructure and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee meets to consider HB 1113, from Rep. Randy Fine, to make changes related to pedestrian crosswalks., 12:30 p.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building.

The House Secondary Education and Career Development Subcommittee meets to consider HB 157, from Reps. Fred Hawkins et Demi Busatta Cabrera, requiring high school students to receive training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation., 12:30 p.m., Room 212, Knott Building.

The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee meets to consider SB 1890, from Rodrigues, to restrict contributions to political committees working to place proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot, 12:30 p.m., Room 110 Senate Office Building.

The Senate Military and Veterans Affairs, Space and Domestic Security Committee meets to consider SB 1924, also from Diaz, to place restrictions on local emergency orders., 12:30 p.m., Room 37, Senate Office Building.

The Senate Regulated Industries meets to consider SB 902, also from Rodrigues, to restrict regulation for pools serving condominium, cooperative or homeowners’ associations., 12:30 p.m., Room 412, Knott Building.

The House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee meets to consider HB 609, from Rep. Ben Diamond, to make several changes related to estates and trusts., 1 p.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building.

The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee meets to consider SB 360, from Sen. Ed Hooper, to make changes related to radio systems used by fire departments., 3:30 p.m., Room 412, Knott Building.

The Senate Community Affairs Committee meets to consider SB 2008, from Diaz, to allow counties to spend tourist-development tax — commonly known as “bed tax” — money to combat flooding., 3:30 p.m., Room 37, Senate Office Building.

The Senate Transportation Committee meets to consider SB 566, from Sen. Keith Perry, to address insurance and tax issues related to peer-to-peer car sharing., 3:30 p.m., Room 110, Senate Office Building.

The House Finance & Facilities Subcommittee meets to consider HB 1155, also from Rep. Toledo, to make several changes related to pharmacy benefit managers., 4 p.m., Room 404, House Office Building.

The House Government Operations Subcommittee meets to consider HB 1395, from Rep. Tracie Davis, to provide a public-records exemption for the names of people who win more than $250,000 in the lottery., 4 p.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building.

The House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee meets to consider HB 559, from Hawkins, to require elementary schools to teach certain computer science skills, 4 p.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building.

The House Regulatory Reform Committee meets to consider HB 1645 and HB 1647, from Reps. Brad Drake et Rene Plasencia, respectively, which involve alcoholic-beverage licenses in Freeport and Orlando., 4 p.m., Room 212, Knott Building.

— TALLY MADNESS —

And then there were four.

Upsets, blowouts, Cinderella stomping and record voting numbers. Round 4 of TallyMadness had all that and more.

The head-to-head between Duke Energy lobbyist Chris Flack vs. FSU lobbyist Clay Ingram delivered a stunning blow to Seminole fans as Ingram went down like the Noles did vs. the Wolverines. It was a stunner, considering Ingram was fresh off a double-digit win in the Sweet 16. There’s a silver lining, however. As an FSU alum, Flack keeps the Noles in contention for the title.

Charter Communications lobbyist Albie Kaminsky has put on quite the show in his TallyMadness debut, but Joe Anne Hart of the Florida Dental Association snuffed out the Cinderella story in what could only be described as a rout. To her fans, it was no surprise — she’s made it look easy all tournament, notching 60% or more in each of the first three rounds.

The TallyMadness Final Four. Who will win? Cast your vote NOW!

Florida Health Care Association lobbyist Toby Philpot is headed to the Final Four after a convincing win over Danielle Scoggins of the Florida Realtors. While the victory is reason enough to celebrate, the Governor’s signature on the COVID-19 liability bill meant he was already due for a Gatorade bath.

While those matches were exciting, the bout between Florida School Boards Association lobbyist BillieAnne Gay et Justin Thames of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants was the highlight of the Elite Eight.

It was an absolute barn burner and, if the bracket were just a bit different, this could have been an epic championship game.

Both recorded insane vote totals — more than 12,000 between them — and were only separated by a handful at the final whistle. If games had five quarters (quinters?), Thames might’ve won a spot in the semifinals and a chance to win the title he came within inches of securing a year ago.

But they don’t, and it’s Gay who gets the Final Four repeat.

The semifinals are on. Cast your votes to decide who heads to the title game before midnight Tuesday.

— STATEWIDE —

First in Sunburn — "Nikki Fried leans on White House over hiring policies on weed use” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Agriculture Commissioner Fried penned a letter asking the White House to stop allowing prior marijuana use to influence hiring decisions. “There are recent concerns regarding Administration policies on the use of marijuana, concerns which I share as an advocate for modernized cannabis policy,” Fried wrote. “Reports have indicated that dozens of current and potential White House staffers have been adversely affected through the personnel process for prior use of marijuana, despite assurances that such use would not be disqualifying for employment.” The letter, sent to Presidential Personnel Director Catherine Russell, comes days after reports of dozens of staffers asked to resign.

Nikki Fried takes her pot stance to the White House. Image via Colin Hackley.

"More than 20% of Florida drivers are uninsured, new study says” via Trevor Fraser of The Orlando Sentinel — More than one in five Florida drivers are on the roads without insurance, according to a new study by the Insurance Research Council. Florida was the sixth-worst state in the nation for uninsured motorists, with a rate of 20.4% driving unprotected. Mississippi was first with a rate of 29.4%. New Jersey had the fewest uninsured drivers at 3.1%. The national average was 12.9%. The study did not address what caused the disparity in rates among the states. Florida requires proof of Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage Liability auto insurance to register a vehicle.

"Stimulus could give bump to lottery sales” via The News Service of Florida — Federal stimulus checks could provide a short-term boost to Florida’s lottery, while play is expected to slow later amid widespread vaccination against COVID-19. A state panel known as the Revenue Estimating Conference noted lottery games, particularly scratch-off tickets, saw increases when Floridians received earlier federal coronavirus relief checks. The panel expects the trend to continue as a new round of checks arrives through Biden’s stimulus package signed into law this month. REC expects sales to dip by 7.3% early in the 2021-22 fiscal year, which begins July 1, due to the widespread distribution of vaccines.

"Gas prices dip in Florida, but ship blocking Suez Canal could cause future increase” via Cathleigh Winningham of Click Orlando — There’s some good news for drivers in Florida. According to new numbers released by AAA, gas prices have slipped 2 cents per gallon in the past week. The agency says the average price for a gallon of regular in Florida is now $2.88, down from $2.90 a gallon last week. Experts say the drop is due to a decrease in crude oil prices as refineries along the Gulf of Mexico rebound after February’s winter weather, leading to widespread power outages.

The Ever Given blocking the Suez Canal could lead to higher gas prices in Florida.

"Two Florida businessmen interested in buying Orlando Sentinel to prevent sale to Alden hedge fund” via Caroline Glenn of the Orlando Sentinel — In an attempt to prevent the Orlando Sentinel from being sold to hedge fund Alden Global Capital, two Florida businessmen have said they’re interested in buying the 145-year-old Orlando newspaper to keep it in local hands. One of them, Mason Slaine, a former CEO of Thomson Financial, has expressed interest in buying both the Orlando Sentinel and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The other, Craig Mateer, founder and former owner of Orlando-based baggage-handling company Bags Inc., said he was primarily interested in the Orlando Sentinel — a newspaper with which his father worked in its very early years. Alden’s bid has worried many inside and outside Tribune newsrooms since the hedge fund has a history of downsizing at newspapers it acquires.

— 2022 —

"Redistricting disarray nudges House Democrats toward statewide bids” via POLITICO — The House’s most vulnerable Democrats won’t know for several months if their seats will be winnable next year. For some, a once-daunting statewide run just got a lot more appealing. In Florida, Rep. Stephanie Murphy is seriously weighing a Senate bid as her seat in the Orlando suburbs remains a major question mark next year. Murphy is among two Democrats who won their seats thanks to a court-mandated redistricting in 2015 and might be most at risk thanks to a shift in the partisan lean of the state’s judges. The second, Rep. Charlie Crist, is openly mulling a return to the governorship, which he held for one term as a Republican.

Democrats Charlie Crist and Stephanie Murphy are considering statewide seats

First on #FlaPol — “Alan Grayson exploring run for U.S. Senate” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics — Democratic former Rep. Grayson has filed to run for the U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent Marco Rubio in 2022. Grayson said Monday he filed federal paperwork strictly to open up an exploratory effort for a possible run. He said he is not committing yet to actually running. On Saturday, he filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission for Florida’s Senate seat in the 2022 election. Grayson ran for the Senate in 2016, hoping to take on Rubio that year. However, Grayson lost the 2018 Democratic primary to then fellow Rep. Patrick Murphy. Rubio then handily beat Murphy.

— CORONA FLORIDA —

"How Florida left farmworkers out of its COVID-19 pandemic response” via Janine Zeitlin of the Naples Daily News — The sting of the needle dulled the fear of death that compelled Armando Izaguirre to the strip mall vaccination clinic. “I lost a nephew,” Izaguirre said, “and that’s really scary. … When you lose somebody close to you, it’s like, uh oh, wake-up call.” His nephew died of COVID-19 and worked in agriculture, as does Izaguirre. A month earlier, the 68-year-old farmer had pulled into the same Winn-Dixie lot in Immokalee and, to his shock, found a mass of well-heeled coastal retirees on a vaccination pilgrimage to the small inland town. But no spot for him.

"New Hampshire teen thanks DeSantis for grandparents’ vaccinations, urges presidential run” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — DeSantis started his Monday morning with friends, specifically Fox and Friends, who presented a special guest expressing gratitude to the Governor ahead of his segment. Anthony Henry, a 13-year-old from New Hampshire, wrote DeSantis lauding him for getting his grandparents the vaccine, and was spotlighted in a segment toward the end of the Monday morning program. “I felt like he has been doing a great job the whole time and he’s always kind of painted as the bad guy, which is sort of unfair,” Henry said. Henry had not seen his grandparents since 2019, he lamented. But he will see them during the last week of April.

Ron DeSantis returns thanks to Anthony Henry on a Fox and Friends spot. Image via Twitter.

— CORONA LOCAL —

"COVID-19 infections are rising once again in some South Florida counties” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics — Both Broward and Palm Beach counties are showing signs that the coronavirus could be spreading more rapidly after a weekslong lull. Cases have largely fallen throughout South Florida following the most recent post-holiday season spike. In the past week or two, the region’s death toll has finally followed suit. But reports from the past few days show that cases could be on the rise again. Through the first three weeks of March, Broward’s case positivity rate hovered around 6%. The most recent seven-day span, from March 22-28, shows that number up to 6.7%. And that trend is even more evident in the previous four days. Broward saw daily positivity rates of 6.8%, 7.1%, 7.3%, and 8% in that window.

"COVID-19 variants triple in two weeks in Palm Beach County” via Jane Musgrave of The Palm Beach Post — The number of people with a variant version of the coronavirus more than tripled in Palm Beach County in the past two weeks as infections exploded across the state. The 217 county residents tested positive for one of the more contagious versions of the virus pales compared with the nearly 131,000 people diagnosed with the dominant strain. But experts worry that vaccines may no longer be effective if the virus continues to mutate and spread. With only 18.2% of the state’s 1.72 million residents over 18 vaccinated, public health experts said they are in a race to get as many people inoculated as possible before a resistant version of the virus surfaces.

Florida leads the nation in COVID-19 variants. Image via AP.

"The vaccination site at MDC North expanded to 3,000 first doses, but they’re going quick” via Ben Conarck and Michelle Marchante of the Miami Herald — Miami-Dade County’s federally supported vaccination site at Miami Dade College’s North Campus upped its first-dose capacity to 3,000 on Monday, a major expansion on the first day that anyone 40 and over is eligible for a shot in the state of Florida. The expansion at MDC North, which previously had a capacity of 1,200 first doses, was announced on Monday morning by spokesperson Mike Jachles. It follows a similar expansion at all four federally supported hubs in the state, Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville, in addition to Miami. It will be the daily capacity through April 7, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

"Bealls COVID-19 vaccine site in Milton vaccinating thousands each week. Here’s how they’re doing it.” via Annie Blanks of the Pensacola News Journal — Santa Rosa County’s clinic is unique in that it’s one central location where the county can administer its vaccines, as opposed to more fractured systems in other counties where people have to choose between community centers, hospitals, pop-up church clinics and other places to get the vaccine. While Santa Rosa has offered satellite clinics at places in the south end of the county — and people can still go to retailers like Publix, CVS and Winn-Dixie to get the shot — the old Bealls location is the central, massive vaccine destination where the majority of the 36,000-plus shots the county has administered so far have been given.

"UF joins study on COVID-19 spread among vaccinated young people” via Drew Wilson of Florida Politics — UF announced it will vaccinate more than 1,000 students as part of a study into whether vaccinated young people can still spread the virus. Two groups of 500 to 700 students each will be given the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Clinical trials of the vaccines were designed to assess whether they prevented the vaccinated person from having the symptomatic disease and prevent serious illness and death. The new study, known as “Prevent COVID U,” will shed further light on whether the vaccine prevents people from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. In addition to the students, people who are considered “close contacts” of study participants can choose to be enrolled and monitored to track virus spread.

"John Carioscia, ex-Cape Council member, dies of COVID-19 complications” via Bill Smith of the Fort Myers News-Press — Former Cape Coral City Councilmember Carioscia died Sunday of complications from COVID-19. He served as a member of the Cape City Council from 2011 until his second term expired last year. In his last months in office, Carioscia was a strong supporter of an unsuccessful effort to make wearing a mask in public mandatory in Cape Coral. Mayor John Gunter said it was “with profound sadness” that he learned of Carioscia’s death. “He cared deeply about our city, and we are grateful for his dedication, leadership, and many contributions to our Cape Coral community,” Gunter said. “I extend my deepest condolences to the Carioscia family and ask our community to pray for John’s family during this very difficult time.”

— STRESSED OUT —

A new survey by the Florida Association of Managing Entities confirms what most already know: The pandemic has launched stress levels through the roof.

FAME asked 600 Florida voters how the pandemic has impacted their mental health, and 56% said they’ve been more stressed over the past year. Also, 39% say they’ve experienced new or increased anxiety or another mental health concern.

Unsurprisingly, the stress in Florida is on the rise.

Despite the large number of Floridians who acknowledge experiencing a mental health concern since the start of the pandemic, fewer than half (44%) say they have reached out to a professional for help.

To FAME, that’s the key data point.

April is Stress Awareness Month, and the organization says there’s no better time to spread the word about the resources available to Floridians who are going through a tough time.

FAME, which represents Florida’s seven Managing Entities, encourages Floridians to take a selfie with 2-1-1 written on their hand and post it on social media using the hashtag #MindYourMentalHealthFL. Alternatively, they can also download this sign to print or use for their social media photo.

“That first call to 2-1-1 can be the call that changes the rest of your life,” said Natalie K. Kelly, the association’s CEO and President. “If you’re living with mental health or substance use issues, you’re not alone, and help is available.”

Once that first contact is made, professionals will help direct the person to the services and resources available.

Florida’s seven local Managing Entities work with a network of over 300 behavioral health care providers who deliver services to over 300,000 of Florida’s most vulnerable residents, including children, expectant mothers, veterans, and the chronically homeless.

Providers meet patients’ diverse needs with “wraparound services” that address mental health issues and substance abuse and assist with housing, transportation, and employment. Managing Entity community boards administer, manage, and ensure accountability of state and federal funds for behavioral health services, keeping oversight and accountability closest to the people they serve.

— CORONA NATION —

"Joe Biden, CDC director warn of virus rebound if nation lets up” via Zeke Miller of The Associated Press — Biden and a top health official warned Monday that too many Americans are declaring virus victory too quickly, appealing for mask requirements and other restrictions to be maintained or restored to stave off a “fourth surge” of COVID-19. The head of the CDC said she had a feeling of “impending doom” if people keep easing off. La double dose d'avertissements est venue alors même que Biden décrivait de nouvelles étapes prometteuses pour étendre les vaccinations contre les coronavirus, tous les adultes devenant éligibles au cours des 5 prochaines semaines. Biden a annoncé son intention d'augmenter le nombre de pharmacies de détail qui administrent des vaccins et des investissements pour aider les Américains à se rendre sur les sites de vaccination. Mais l'optimisme a été tempéré par des avertissements sévères sur la possibilité d'une nouvelle vague de cas.

Now is not the time to let up on COVID-19 safety, Joe Biden says. Image via AP.

—“COVID-19 hospital cases rise in 25 states as CDC sees fourth wave” via Jonathan Levin of Bloomberg

"Biden admin remakes vaccine strategy after mass vaccination sites fizzle” via Erin Banco of POLITICO — The Biden administration is rethinking a costly system of government-run mass vaccination sites after data revealed the program is lagging well behind a much cheaper federal effort to distribute doses via retail pharmacies. The government has shipped millions of doses to the 21 mass vaccination hubs, or “pilot” community centers, in California, Florida, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and Texas. The hubs are part of a $4 billion federal system that funds more than 1,000 smaller vaccination locations across the country and provides other vaccination support.

"U.S. vaccine doses head for 3 million a day as supply loosens” via Drew Armstrong of Bloomberg — The U.S. is on pace to soon administer 3 million doses a day of COVID-19 vaccine, as the supply increases and states widen eligibility. After stalling at about 2.5 million doses a day, the rate of shots administered in the U.S. has started to climb again. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the U.S. reported a total of more than 10 million shots in arms, a record three-day stretch that helped push up the average rate. On Monday, the U.S. reported 2.4 million doses administered.

"Mitch McConnell makes pointed vaccine appeal to male conservatives: I ‘encourage all Republican men’ to take it” via Josh Feldman of Mediaite — McConnell said “there’s no good argument” not to get vaccinated. During an event in Kentucky at the Appalachian Regional Healthcare Hazard Clinic promoting vaccines, McConnell was specifically asked about vaccine hesitancy among Republican men. Polling earlier this month showed almost half of Republican men saying they wouldn’t get the vaccine. McConnell responded, “As a Republican man, as soon as it was my turn, I took the vaccine. I would encourage all Republican men to do that.”

"What’s behind the Hispanic vaccination gap?” via Amy Schoenfeld Walker, Lauren Leatherby and Yuriria Avila of The New York Times — The Hispanic share of the vaccinated population is less than the Hispanic general population in all states with large Hispanic communities. Barriers to vaccine access faced in many Hispanic communities stand in the way of higher vaccination rates, even as the vaccine becomes more widely available. There is limited access to the digital tools needed to secure an appointment, especially among those who are older and live in immigrant communities. And often, information about vaccine eligibility and registration is only readily available in English. While the Biden administration has stated getting a vaccine will not affect a person’s immigration status, community health workers say this is still a major concern for immigrant families.

"Pfizer, Moderna vaccines are 90% effective after two doses in study of real-life conditions, CDC confirms” via Lena Sun of The Washington Post — The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines being deployed to fight the coronavirus pandemic are robustly effective in preventing infections in real-life conditions, according to a federal study released Monday that provides reassurance of protection for front-line workers in the United States. In a study of about 4,000 health care personnel, police, firefighters and other essential workers, the CDC found that the vaccines reduced the risk of infection by 80% after one shot. Protection increased to 90% following the second dose.

Even a single shot of the two-dose vaccine is beneficial. Image via AP.

"Care for dying with human touch an enduring casualty of pandemic” via David Baker and Dina Bass of Bloomberg — Never has there been a greater need for hospice care than during the deadly pandemic that has killed more than half a million Americans. But COVID-19 has disrupted almost every aspect of comforting the terminally ill at the end. Even as vaccinations roll out across the country, the system remains under unprecedented strain. As infection rates and hospitalizations plateau and, in some regions, rise after months of improvements, pressures on hospice care are unlikely to ease anytime soon. “We’re preparing for another wave,” said Melinda Gruber, president of the Caring Circle hospice provider in Michigan, where COVID-19 hospitalizations are climbing again.

— CORONA ECONOMICS —

"Biden administration extends ban on renter evictions through end of June” via Tony Romm of The Washington Post — The Biden administration on Monday announced it is extending a federal policy that prohibits landlords from evicting tenants who are behind on their rent. The new protections cover Americans until the end of June, extending an eviction moratorium that had been set to expire before the end of the week. The extension comes as the Biden administration races to dole out nearly $50 billion in housing aid to renters who are out of work or otherwise facing economic hardships caused by the coronavirus. Most of the federal funds, which Congress first approved in December, have not yet been distributed because of stimulus implementation delays.

— MORE CORONA —

"WHO report: COVID-19 likely 1st jumped into humans from animals” via Jamey Keaten and Ken Moritsugo of The Associated Press — A joint World Health Organization-China study on the origins of COVID-19 says that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is “extremely unlikely.” The findings offer little new insight into how the virus first emerged and leave many questions unanswered. But the report does provide more detail on the reasoning behind the researchers’ conclusions. The team proposed further research in every area except the lab leak hypothesis, a speculative theory promoted by former U.S. President Donald Trump, among others.

In Wuhan, the WHO discovers that COVID-19 likely was transmitted from animals to humans. Image via AP.

"COVID-19: Mexico revises coronavirus death toll up by 60%” via BBC — More than 321,000 people are now believed to have died from COVID-19 in Mexico. The revised toll places Mexico with the second-highest number of COVID-19-related deaths in the world after the U.S. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has faced widespread criticism over his handling of the crisis. The opposition has accused him of downplaying the pandemic’s severity and blamed him for delays in the vaccination program. Experts have long warned that Mexico’s true death toll is probably much higher due to a lack of testing. It is also believed that a shortage of intensive care beds in many states has led to many people dying at home.

"Against the odds, Cuba could become a coronavirus vaccine powerhouse” via Anthony Faiola and Ana Vanessa Herrero of The Washington Post — Five vaccine candidates are in development, two in late-stage trials with the goal of a broader rollout by May. Should they prove successful, the vaccines would be an against-the-odds feat of medical prowess for an isolated country of 11 million that was added back to the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism in the final days of the Atout administration. Cuban officials say they’re developing cheap and easy-to-store serums. They can last at room temperature for weeks and long-term storage as high as 46.4 degrees, potentially making them a viable option for low-income, tropical countries.

"Why people keep asking which vaccine you got” via Ian Bogost of The Atlantic — Of course, people are talking about inoculation: It’s the most recent news to process. But the liveliness of vaccine talk makes clear how fitful all previous pandemic conversation has been. Looking back, that void issued a constant, if unseen, stressor on daily life. Now vaccine discourse shows how badly people — Americans especially — want and need small talk. Despite its name, small talk plays an outsize role in socialization. Social scientists refer to this type of speech as phatic communication. Altogether, phatic speech is the linguistic glue that holds our interactions together. And the pandemic has utterly broken it, making social interactions even more exhausting. Suddenly, asking “How are you?” involved really and truly asking the question, whether you meant to or not.

"Apple encourages staff to get vaccinated, offers paid time off” via Mark Gurman of Bloomberg — Apple is encouraging employees to get COVID-19 vaccines by offering paid time off for appointments and paid sick leave for those experiencing side effects, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The technology giant also told staff in recent weeks that it does not have access to vaccines and is not providing shots to workers, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing private matters. Since the pandemic began to spread last year, Apple has offered paid time off to those with COVID-19 symptoms. De nombreux employés de l'entreprise travaillent toujours à domicile, mais l'entreprise a progressivement ramené du personnel de vente au détail à mesure que les magasins Apple à travers les États-Unis ont rouvert leurs portes.

Apple is generous with sick time for employees who may have COVID-19.

"High-tech face masks aim to step up the fight against COVID-19” via Suzanne Oliver of The Wall Street Journal — The face mask is getting a high-tech upgrade. Models now in testing do more than provide a physical barrier between the wearer and potential viruses. Materials scientists, chemists, biologists and engineers have created working prototypes of masks that include diagnostics, sensors and even the ability to kill viruses. In the near future, if you’re on a plane and the person next to you sneezes, you could be wearing a mask that sterilizes the air before you breathe it in. Some of these new masks are designed for health care workers, while others will be marketed to both health care workers and consumers.

"School districts tackle ‘learning loss,’ school safety with COVID-19 aid” via Jennifer Calfas and Kristina Peterson of The Wall Street Journal — The new federal COVID-19 relief law will inject billions of dollars into K-12 schools to expand in-person learning and help students get their education back on track, but districts still face uncertainties over when they will return to full-time traditional instruction. Superintendents and budget officers in the nation’s more than 13,000 districts are now determining how to use the $122 billion in funding to pay for mitigation measures, make up for students’ lost school time, hire tutors and counselors, overhaul buildings and fill any budget gaps. “This is an opportunity for us to really think big,” said Mark Sullivan, superintendent of Birmingham City Schools in Alabama, which currently offers in-person and remote instruction.

— THE DEFINING FIGHT —

"Republicans’ blunder on voting rights” via Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post — Republicans apparently were not concerned as to why voters, especially in African American neighborhoods, would be forced to wait hours in line to exercise the right to vote. After all, in White neighborhoods, waiting times are considerably less. No, what galled them is that anyone should try to make their wait less torturous by offering them water. That they could not tolerate. It was a political error born of Republicans’ own arrogance and inhumanity. And it may cost them greatly in the battle over voting rights. Biden picked up on it immediately.

We’re better than this — “Florida bill would join Georgia in banning giving water to people in line to vote” via Steven Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel — A provision in Florida’s controversial elections bill echoes one of the most controversial measures in Georgia’s new law restricting voting rights: a ban on giving anything, including food and water, to people in line to vote. Florida House bill 7041 would increase the distance from a polling site in which voters couldn’t be “solicited” to 150 feet from the current 100 feet. “Solicit” has been defined to include distributing campaign materials, selling items, or conducting polls. But a new provision has been added in the bill that would add “giving or attempting to give any item” to the list of banned solicitations. Anyone violating the provision, if passed and signed into law, would be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Brian Kemp leaves the Georgia state Capitol after enacting sweeping (and unpopular with many) overhauls of state elections. Image via AP.

"Georgia’s new GOP election law draws criticism, lawsuits” via Ben Nadler and Jeff Amy of The Associated Press — In a letter to more than 90,000 parishioners, Bishop Reginald Jackson said Georgia’s new Republican-backed election law is “racist and seeks to return us to the days of Jim Crow.” Jackson calls for corporate leaders at companies like Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines to speak out in opposition or face a boycott. A lawsuit filed Sunday by organizations, including the Georgia NAACP, against Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and other State Election Board members, asks a judge to find that the law violates the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. A separate lawsuit filed by the New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter, and Rise Inc. seeks to block the law on similar grounds.

"Calling for Masters to be taken out of Augusta fair but not feasible, but MLB All-Star Game easily could be moved” via Tom D’Angelo of The Palm Beach Post — The most iconic names in golf will start gathering at Augusta National Golf Club in less than a week. But the Masters once again finds itself at the center of a brewing social justice controversy brought on by a controversial election bill signed into law by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) called on the PGA Tour and Masters to pull the tournament unless the bill is repealed. Although a fair request, The Masters is not moving. That we know. The tournament has been held in Augusta since its inaugural year in 1934 and Augusta National, a golf club that had a deplorable history of racism and sexism runs the tournament, not the PGA Tour.

— PRESIDENTIAL —

"Why Biden is embracing his age” via Michael Kruse of POLITICO — He talked about the “coffin ship in the Irish Sea” in which his great-great-grandfather came to this country in the 1800s. He talked about the filibuster in part by offering up dusty pieces of his personal past. And he talked about “a Fourth Industrial Revolution,” inviting thoughts of the first three and their scope and scale. On Thursday, in his long-awaited, much-anticipated initial news conference as President, Biden attempted to traffic not in the twitches of news cycles but in sweeping arcs of history, inserting everything from economic dislocation to the recalcitrant actions of Congress to the current surge of migrants at the Mexican border into the broader context of presidential and even epochal ebbs and flows.

Age is not an issue with Joe Biden. Image via AP.

"White House dramatically increased tax proposal as it sought to address tensions over next big spending plan” via Jeff Stein of The Washington Post — When Biden’s team began putting together his infrastructure and jobs package this February, the White House National Economic Council circulated an internal proposal calling for about $3 trillion in new spending and $1 trillion in new tax hikes, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. Soon enough, some economic team members second-guessed themselves, concerned that the plan could jeopardize the nation’s long-term financial stability.

"The Biden administration will investigate Donald Trump-era attacks on science.” via Lisa Friedman of The New York Times — The Biden administration will investigate Trump-era political interference in science across the government. Atout’s disregard for science was regularly on display in his various efforts to belittle masks, dismiss the need for social distancing and declare cold snaps to be evidence against global warming. Behind the scenes, federal scientists said Trump and his top political officials also routinely sidelined researchers who worked on issues the administration disliked, like climate change; disregarded studies that identified serious health risks from certain chemicals; and meddled in scientific decision making, particularly around the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

— EPILOGUE TRUMP —

"The unlikely team of prosecutors hunting Trump in Georgia” via Jose Pagliery of The Daily Beast — A sheriff’s deputy who went to law school but remained a cop for another two decades. A prosecutor best-known for tackling juvenile offenders. And the guy who literally wrote the book on racketeering cases against mafia goons. This is the team Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is assembling to investigate Trump — to go after his advisers and their attempts to manipulate election results in Georgia. In interviews with Willis, her staff, five former members of the team, and several people who interacted with them, The Daily Beast has learned there are now two grand juries underway in Fulton County.

"Trump is losing the war over his legacy” via Philip Bump of The Washington Post — CNN aired a special featuring interviews with the senior officials involved in the early coronavirus pandemic response under Trump. No longer operating under the Trump political umbrella, they offered assessments of the past year that lacked any soothing veneer. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House response under Trump, expressed her belief that the deaths that occurred after the first wave of infections last spring were largely preventable.

"Twitter-less, Trump finds it’s harder to get message out” via Antonio Fins of The Palm Beach Post — Since leaving the presidency in January, Trump has resorted to old-school news releases, now numbering in the dozens, as his go-to form of messaging. The content of those communications has varied. Some have signaled endorsements of candidates. Others have ripped fellow Republicans for being critical of him. Others have aimed at policies, such as immigration, promulgated by his successor. Speaking to Newsmax on March 22, Trump said the news releases are more effective than his tweets because people are waiting for them, Twitter can get you in “trouble,” and the news releases are “really much more elegant,” he said. Communications professionals disagree.

Tweet, tweet:

— CRISIS —

"Insurrection fundraiser: Capitol riot extremists, Trump supporters raise money for lawyer bills online” via Brenna Smith, Jessica Guynn and Will Carless of USA Today — Defendants accused in the Capitol riot Jan. 6 crowdfund their legal fees online, using popular payment processors and an expanding network of fundraising platforms, despite a crackdown by tech companies. The Capitol riot extremists and others are engaging these companies in a cat-and-mouse game as they spring from one fundraising tool to another, utilizing new sites, usernames and accounts. In one case, a crowdfunding website set up in late 2020 has been adopted by a defendant charged with storming the Capitol, who used it to raise almost $180,000. His was one of eight fundraisers on the site as of last week, and his donations accounted for 84% of the money raised on the platform.

The Capitol riot has become a fundraising tool. Image via AP.

"Parler explains ‘free speech’ to angry users after sharing Capitol riot posts with the FBI” via Matt Binder of Mashable — Parler tried to throw Facebook under the bus. Now the right-wing social network’s users are angry. Just as Congress was finishing up grilling the CEOs of Facebook, Google, and Twitter at a hearing on Thursday, Parler published its response to a separate Congressional inquiry into the company’s ties and finances. In its letter, Parler accused the Big Tech companies of trying to scapegoat the right-wing social network to avoid accountability for their own roles in what transpired on Jan. 6 when Atout supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol building. Parler also called for an investigation into collusion between the Big Tech companies and alleged anti-competitive practices.

— D.C. MATTERS —

RAP campaign targets Matt Gaetz over ‘Big Lie’ — The Republican Accountability Project (RAP) launched a $1 million ad campaign targeting U.S. Rep. Gaetz and other GOP lawmakers who spread misinformation questioning the results of the 2020 presidential election and ultimately leading to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The campaign urges voters to take a pledge: “If our leaders won’t support democracy, we won’t support them.” The ads highlight members’ own words questioning the election. “Since the night of Jan. 6, most Republicans in Congress have been trying to make us forget what happened or rewrite the story,” RAP executive director Sarah Longwell said. “We won’t allow them to get away with helping incite an insurrection. They can’t be trusted with power, and we won’t forget it.”

To watch the ad, click on the image below:

(embed)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gSk3BO7vuc(/embed)

"Environmentalist Lois Frankel eyes oil” via Business Insider — Frankel made a flurry of stock trades during late February and early March, including some that appear to conflict with her clean-and-green policy positions. Her purchases all in the $1,001 to $15,000 range included Alliant Energy Corporation, industrial materials maker Hexcel Corporation, insurer Progressive Corporation and Xcel Energy Inc. Her stock sales include the American Express Company, Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation, consumer credit reporting agency Equifax Inc., and oil company Hess Corporation. All were also in the $1,001 to $15,000 range. Frankel is a staunch environmentalist who receives high marks from the League of Conservation Voters. This makes notable her trades in a petroleum company and utilities that burn fossil fuels.

Assignment editors — U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor will hold a media availability after visiting the vaccine drive-thru site at the University of South Florida, 10:30 a.m., USF Yuengling Center, 12499 USF Bull Run Dr., Tampa.

— LOCAL NOTES —

"Miami, Fort Lauderdale … and North Miami Beach? Another city looks to woo Elon Musk” via Rob Wile Aaron Liebowitz of the Miami Herald — A North Miami Beach official is trying to capitalize on the Musk-backed Boring Company’s newfound interest in South Florida by throwing his city’s name into the mix for one of its futuristic transit systems. In a series of documents obtained by the Miami Herald through an information request, Vice Mayor Michael Joseph and his staff lay out a plan for bringing a tunnel transit route underneath State Road 826 between the Golden Glades exchange and the city of Sunny Isles Beach, with a proposed additional leg north and south along Biscayne Boulevard.

"Another sewer break hits Fort Lauderdale. Is it the vintage pipes or all those tourists flushing?” via Susannah Bryan of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — After months with no nasty sewer pipe breaks, Fort Lauderdale has been hit with two a week apart. Both happened on a Sunday, triggering no-swim advisories warning people to stay out of the water. Both warnings have since been lifted. Thanks to the tourist season and all that extra waste flowing through the pipes? City officials say it has more to do with the age of the long-neglected pipes, which are now being replaced in an ambitious plan designed to keep the river of sludge contained in the city’s network of underground pipes where it belongs.

"U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan resigns after more than two years of prosecutions in South Florida” via Wayne K. Roustan of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — First Assistant U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio “Tony” Gonzalez will lead the office as Acting U.S. Attorney effective Sunday. The change is commonplace when a new President enters the White House, as Fajardo Orshan explained in a statement released Friday. “Serving as your United States Attorney has been the privilege and honor of my lifetime. As the first Senate-confirmed woman to lead the office, I find it moving that my tenure ends in March, the month during which we celebrate women’s contributions to society.” She was nominated by Trump and was sworn into office on Sept. 18, 2018, during the longest federal government shutdown in history, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019.

With a new administration, Ariana Fajardo Orshan makes a hasty exit.

"Should Tampa bill developers or residents to pay for fire and police services?” via Charlie Frago of the Tampa Bay Times — Last week, a firefighter union official made an emotional plea: for more fire stations to reduce response times and new computer software to help fire trucks, worn down by overuse, to arrive at emergencies. It’s an old tune at City Hall. The belt tightened during the Great Recession for city services and never loosened as the city’s economic pulse quickened, prompting increasing calls for more investment in the nuts and bolts of emergency response: stations, vehicles and personnel. Amid a discussion of fire and police needs last week, City Council member John Dingfelder offered a potentially explosive solution: make developers help pay for police and fire capital needs.

"Controversial Orange Crush Festival planning to come to Jacksonville Beach” via Tom Szaroleta of the Florida Times-Union — A controversial beach festival is planned for Jacksonville Beach in June after apparently wearing out its welcome in the Savannah area. The Orange Crush Festival is planned for the beach on June 18-20. It has been on the Tybee Island beach near Savannah for several years, but organizers say they relocated due to “civil rights violations and political injustices.” The festival is a loosely organized beach weekend that draws a largely Black college-age crowd. The event’s Facebook page promotes it as the “biggest beach festival weekend in the country,” with a festival, pool party, block party, car and bike show and photography expo.

"FDOT: Pensacola Bay Bridge to reopen on Memorial Day week, damaged trophy needs replacing” via Emma Kennedy of the Pensacola News-Journal — The Florida Department of Transportation said in a statement that an entire trophy piece will need to be demolished and replaced after additional damage was found earlier this month. The Pensacola Bay Bridge has been out of service since Hurricane Sally in September when loose Skanska barges hit several spans and caused significant damage. Officials said in February that Skanska would complete enough work by the week of March 22 to reopen the bridge in a limited capacity, but recanted that timeline in early March, citing the additional trophy piece damage found.

— TOP OPINION —

"Biden’s chance to save the Everglades” via The New York Times editorial board — With passage of the COVID-19 relief bill behind it, the Biden administration will soon offer its encore, one or more big proposals reflecting Biden’s multitrillion-dollar Build Back Better, which will enlarge government’s role in the American economy. There is, however, one environmentally important project that boasts remarkable bipartisan agreement and has important climate implications. It may be the most ambitious ecosystem recovery project ever, not just in the United States but anywhere, and it has the added virtue of being an act of atonement for past government failures. The project is essentially a vast re-plumbing scheme aimed at replicating as nearly as possible the historical flows of freshwater from Lake Okeechobee.

— OPINIONS —

"UFO comments are clear sign there may be life on Planet Rubio” via Frank Cerabino of The Palm Beach Post — Rubio is talking about UFOs. This is a big development and potential evidence of life — for Rubio. Florida’s senior U.S. Senator has been in a virtual coma for more than four years now. So, the fact that he’s verbal about anything, even if it’s just talking to TMZ about potential space alien fly-bys, is big news. “Stuff is flying over our facilities, and we don’t know what they are,” Rubio said. “Maybe it’s got a logical explanation to it, but people want to know,” Rubio said. “I want to know what it is.” Good for you, Marco. We’re so happy that you want to know something about anything. You’ve been willfully wanting to know nothing about everything these past four years.

"Shame on Deborah Birx” via Jonathan Last of The Bulwark — I understand the idea that, in an imperfect world, sometimes you have to compromise yourself. Sometimes you find that you can do more good working within the system. That’s the impulse that motivated Jim Mattis, H.R. McMaster and a bunch of other people who took high-level jobs in the Trump administration. I might suggest, say, that in the summer of 2020, Anthony Fauci could have done more good for the country by either resigning or forcing Trump to fire him and then blowing the whistle, every hour of every day. But I can understand the argument that Fauci was taking a wise course of action. But whatever Birx was doing, she was also aiding and abetting Trump.

"Think every citizen has the right to vote? Not around here” via Diane Roberts of the Florida Phoenix — Voting: It’s not for everyone. The Founding Fathers only wanted some of us to vote, not all of us, and who are we to question rich, white, slaveholding gents from the 18th century? To that end, the Republican Party is working overtime to make it much, much harder for the wrong sort to go around thinking they have any part in this great democratic republic. This is complicated, so pay attention. You might recall that ballot access experts praised Florida for running an efficient, clean election in 2020, causing the nation to collapse onto the nearest fainting couch in disbelief.

"Jeff Johnson: Unthinkable — lawmakers give nursing homes a free pass, now look to cut quality of care” via Florida Politics — Just as nursing home residents were victimized by the invisible coronavirus during the lockdown, so they are being victimized by the heavy-hitting industry lobbyists for nursing homes and health care executives in the locked-down Capitol. Not only have lawmakers fast-tracked bills that give nursing homes immunity from COVID-19-related lawsuits (SB 72), now they’re fast-tracking cuts to the quality of care. Letting these facilities off the hook by making it nearly impossible for residents and families to seek resolution through the court system is shameful. Piling on proposals that cut the quality of care for nursing home residents is unthinkable — proof that the push for less accountability and more profit is being fulfilled at the expense of resident safety.

"Sarah Wellik: When it comes to eye surgery, let’s put patient safety first” via Florida Politics — Imagine having a “minor procedure” performed by someone who never went to medical school and lacks the necessary clinical experience because they never went through extensive surgical residency training. That is exactly what the Florida legislature is proposing with SB 876 and HB 631. This dangerous legislation would greatly expand the scope of practice for optometrists — who are not medical doctors or trained surgeons — and would allow them to perform this type of surgery. Additionally, it would allow optometrists to perform laser surgery on and inside the globe of the eye itself. Anytime a surgical instrument is used to operate on human tissue — especially inside the eye — it is invasive, serious and should never be taken lightly.

"Lynn Haven violating legislative efforts to help consumers” via Lee Hinkle for the Panama City News-Herald — Lynn Haven hasn’t grasped the importance of rebuilding after Hurricane Michael. And it isn’t responsive to residents and taxpayers. The Legislature passed three different laws trying to make it easier for private-sector inspectors to do the same work as government inspectors — making sure homes and businesses are properly permitted. Private inspectors can often do the job more quickly than public sector counterparts. The current law is unambiguous — if a builder chooses a private inspector, his permit bill should be reduced by the inspection cost. City Commissioners created a convoluted formula to determine the fee charged to builders. At least one Commissioner made it clear he wanted to ignore the law, which amounts to breaking it.

— ON TODAY’S SUNRISE —

Gov. DeSantis has found yet another way to avoid uncomfortable questions from reporters.

Also, on today’s Sunrise:

— Reporters asked the Governor why the state didn’t extend unemployment payments to pregnant women, workers sick with COVID-19, and parents who were forced to stay home to care for their children. Still waiting on an answer.

— Three days after it cleared the Legislature, DeSantis signs a bill protecting businesses from COVID-19 liability lawsuits. Simpson says it’s payback for companies that never closed during the crisis.

— After signing the law, the Governor announced he would sign an executive order that forbids businesses from requiring proof of vaccination to enter their stores.

— DeSantis is also asking the Legislature to pass a new law banning vaccination passports. So much for the government not imposing mandates on the private sector.

— The Florida Legislature has a new whipping boy … or girl. Conservatives in the Legislature are targeting transgender children, and not in a good way.

— Captain Will Benson, a lifelong fishing guide in the Florida Keys, talks about trying to keep the Legislature from overruling the citizens of Key West who voted to limit the size of cruise ships at their harbor.

— And finally, a Florida Man hid a camera in the girls’ locker room at Clay High School. He’ll be staying at “club fed” for the next 20 years.

To listen, click on the image below:

— ALOE —

"Universal: Taking in fresh views of VelociCoaster” via Dewayne Bevil of the Orlando Sentinel — The Jurassic World VelociCoaster continues to roll toward its grand opening at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park. Visitors who have been circling the site to watch the testing of ride vehicles and get new glimpses of the attraction recently have had the chance to see it from a fresh angle: the bridge behind Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The structure first appeared when the original Wizarding World was under construction on a portion of the park’s Lost Continent land. Since then, it has been used sporadically to alleviate Hogsmeade foot traffic jams. The bridge connects from near the Fire Eaters Grill to the lower levels of Jurassic Park. Now it runs beneath the under-construction coaster track multiple times.

Universal visitors get a closer look at the Jurassic Park VelociCoaster.

"‘Justice League’ leads HBO Max to top gain in streaming sessions” via John J. Edwards III of Bloomberg — AT&T Inc.’s HBO Max had the biggest increase in video streaming last week, as viewers flocked to its recut version of the superhero epic “Justice League.” The WarnerMedia streaming platform recorded an 8.9% jump in users launching its mobile app. Sports streaming service DAZN had the biggest decline in streaming among top U.S. providers. Réalisateur Zack Snyder crafted a re-imagined, four-hour version of “Justice League,” whose original 2017 cut, completed by a different director, disappointed some fans. The Snyder cut premiered March 18 on HBO Max.

"Lego announces its biggest and most detailed Space Shuttle set yet” via Kait Sanchez of The Verge — In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the first Space Shuttle launch, Lego is releasing a new Space Shuttle Discovery set in collaboration with NASA. Discovery was not the first shuttle to take flight; that would be Columbia, which likely stirs up too many sad feelings for a Lego set; but it was the shuttle that launched the Hubble Space Telescope, also included in the set. Available April 1 for $200, the set has 2,354 pieces, including three newly designed pieces for the windscreen and payload bay. It also includes 108 drum-lacquered silver pieces, the most of any Lego set yet.

"Major League Baseball relaxing COVID-19 protocols for fully vaccinated players, staff” via Bob Nightengale of USA Today — Major League Baseball is getting back to normal. Players can now travel with their families. They can go to restaurants. They can play cards and move around on planes and buses. They can use whirlpools and saunas in the clubhouse. And they no longer are required to wear a mask on the bench or in the bullpen. However, teams are first required to have at least 85% of their tier 1 players and staff fully vaccinated, with a two-week delay after the final vaccination, according to a memo obtained by USA TODAY Sports sent to teams Monday.

— HAPPY BIRTHDAY —

Happy birthday to Democratic activist Susan McGrath, Tony Perfetti, et Trent Phillips.

___

Sunburn is authored and assembled by Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, A.G. Gancarski, Renzo Downey et Drew Wilson.


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