advertisement

SSN on Facebook SSN on Twitter SSN on YouTube RSS Feed

Politics

What's Going on the Week of July 14

July 15, 2019 - 9:00am
Judge Mark E. Walker
Judge Mark E. Walker

An omnibus elections package passed by the Legislature in May includes a slew of issues proposed by county elections supervisors seeking fixes to voting problems that cropped up over the past few years. But those parts of the legislation have been overshadowed by a controversial last-minute addition aimed at carrying out a constitutional amendment that would restore voting rights to felons. 

Shortly after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the package into law late last month, voting-rights and civil-rights groups filed federal lawsuits challenging the portion of the bill dealing with the constitutional amendment, which passed in November. Known as Amendment 4, the ballot measure restored the right to vote to felons who've completed the terms of their sentences; people convicted of murder or felony sexual offenses were excluded.

Under the new legislation, Floridians who've been convicted of felonies must pay all financial obligations related to their cases --- including fees, fines and restitution --- before they can register to vote. Plaintiffs in the lawsuits argue the financial requirements are unconstitutional and discriminate against minority, low-income and disabled individuals. 

Chief U.S. District Judge Mark E. Walker will hold a telephone hearing at noon Friday to discuss deadlines in the case, which the plaintiffs want fast-tracked. They're hoping the legal challenge will be resolved before November, when several municipalities and counties will hold elections.

Earlier in the week, however, Walker's blocked off four days for a trial in a separate elections lawsuit about where candidates appear on the ballot. Under Florida law, candidates who are of the governor's party appear first on the ballot. The plaintiffs argue that gives an unfair advantage to those candidates.

MONDAY, JULY 15, 2019

WHO GOES FIRST?: Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker will preside over what is expected to be a four-day trial in a federal lawsuit, filed by national Democrats and others last year, challenging a state law that requires candidates who are of the same party as the governor to appear first on the ballot. (Monday, 8:15 a.m., United States Courthouse, 111 North Adams St., Tallahassee.)

FRIED VISITS AIRPORT, FOOD PROGRAM: Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried will take part in an airport baggage-scale inspection and help pack disaster-relief emergency food boxes. (Monday, 9:30 a.m., Palm Beach International Airport, ticketing area, 1000 James L. Turnage Blvd., West Palm Beach. Also, 1 p.m., Feeding Palm Beach County, 4925 Park Ridge Blvd., Boynton Beach.)

DEMOCRATS DISCUSS HOMESTEAD SHELTER: A group of Democratic lawmakers from across the country, including U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., will hold a media availability after an oversight visit to a Homestead facility used to house unaccompanied migrant children. (Monday, 11 a.m., Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, 960 Bougainville Blvd., Homestead.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Citrus, Palm Beach and Duval counties. (Monday, 1 p.m., Citrus County Chamber of Commerce, 106 West Main St., Inverness. Also, 1:30 p.m., Palm Beach County Library, Acreage Branch, 15801 Orange Blvd., Loxahatchee. Also, 2:30 p.m., Duval County Library, South Mandarin Branch, 12125 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville.)

BUCHANAN, DEUTCH TOUT ANIMAL PROTECTION: U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., will host a news conference about a bill aimed at preventing animal cruelty and torture. (Monday, 6 p.m., U.S. Capitol, House Triangle, Washington, D.C.)

TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2019

AUTOMATED VEHICLES AT ISSUE: Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, will speak as part of a multi-day Automated Vehicles Symposium in Central Florida. (Tuesday, symposium plenary session starts at 8 a.m., with Brandes scheduled to speak at 8:15 a.m., Orlando World Center Marriott, 8701 World Center Dr., Orlando.)

LAKE-SUMTER TRUSTEES MEET: The Lake-Sumter State College Board of Trustees will meet. (Tuesday, 8 a.m., Lake-Sumter State College, Leesburg Campus, Student Services Building, 9501 U.S. 441, Leesburg.)

HOUSE ROLE IN POT CASE HEARD:  A panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal will hear arguments about the Florida House’s attempt to intervene in a high-stakes case about medical marijuana. The House is seeking to intervene in a lawsuit filed by the Tampa-based firm Florigrown, which argues that a 2017 law violates a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana. Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson last year rejected the House’s intervention request. Dodson also issued a temporary injunction in the underlying lawsuit and ordered the state Department of Health to register Florigrown and other medical-marijuana firms to do business in the state. A panel of the appeals court upheld key parts of Dodson’s injunction ruling. The Legislature passed the 2017 law to carry out the constitutional amendment, which was approved by voters in November 2016. But the law has faced a series of legal challenges because it includes restrictions on issues such as the number of medical-marijuana firms that can be approved to operate. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 1st District Court of Appeal, 2000 Drayton Dr., Tallahassee.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Brevard, Sarasota, Clay, Manatee and Putnam counties. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Brevard Veterans Memorial Center, 400 South Sykes Creek Parkway, Merritt Island. Also, 10 a.m., Shannon Staub Library, 4675 Career Lane, North Port. Also, 12:30 p.m., Keystone Heights City Hall, 555 South Lawrence Blvd., Keystone Heights. Also, 2 p.m., Manatee Chamber of Commerce, McClure Center, 4215 Concept Court, Lakewood Ranch. Also, 2:30 p.m., Putnam County Commission conference room, 2509 Crill Ave., Palatka.)

EARLY LEARNING AT ISSUE: The state Early Learning Advisory Council will meet in Hillsborough County. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Hilton Tampa Downtown, 211 North Tampa St., Tampa.)

CONSERVATION FUNDING DEBATED: A panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal will hear arguments in a long-running battle about whether state lawmakers properly carried out a 2014 constitutional amendment that required spending on land and water conservation. Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson last year ruled that lawmakers had failed to properly comply with the voter-approved constitutional amendment, which required using money from a real-estate tax to bolster land and water conservation. Environmental groups contended that lawmakers improperly diverted portions of the money to other expenses. Attorneys for the House and Senate appealed, arguing, in part, that Dodson’s ruling would infringe on the Legislature’s authority to set spending priorities. (Tuesday, 2 p.m., 1st District Court of Appeal, 2000 Drayton Dr., Tallahassee.)

SANTA FE COLLEGE TRUSTEES MEET: The Santa Fe College Board of Trustees will meet. (Tuesday, 4 p.m., Santa Fe College, Davis Center, 17500 S.W. Archer Road, Archer.)

PASCO-HERNANDO COLLEGE TRUSTEES MEET: The Pasco-Hernando State College Board of Trustees will meet. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., Pasco-Hernando State College, West Campus, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey.)

CHIPOLA COLLEGE TRUSTEES MEET: The Chipola College Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet. (Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Chipola College, Public Service Building, Marianna.)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 17, 2019

EDUCATION BOARD EYES ‘TURNAROUND’ PLANS: The State Board of Education will take up a series of issues, including “turnaround option” plans for schools in Duval, Escambia, Hillsborough, Marion, Polk and Volusia counties. (Wednesday, 8 a.m., Polk State College, Lakeland Campus, Technology Building, 3425 Winter Lake Road, Lakeland.)

ENVIRONMENTAL PERMITTING DETAILED: The Florida Chamber Foundation will hold an “Environmental Permitting Summer School,” which will provide an overview of state environmental, energy and growth-management laws, rules and programs. (Wednesday, 8 a.m., JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, 400 South Collier Blvd., Marco Island.)

FISH AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION MEETS: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will start a two-day meeting in Martin County, with issues expected to include fishing regulations for blackfin tuna and regulations for shrimp fishing in inland waters in Northeast Florida. (Wednesday, 8:30 a.m., Marriott Resort Hutchinson Island, 555 N.E. Ocean Blvd., Stuart.)

INTEREST RATES ANALYZED: The Economic Estimating Conference will analyze interest rates used for state appropriations, including bond rates in the Public Education Capital Outlay, or PECO, program. (Wednesday, 8:30 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

CABINET AIDES MEET: Aides to Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis will meet to discuss issues in advance of a July 25 Cabinet meeting. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Cabinet meeting room, the Capitol.)

CITRUS ISSUES ON TABLE: The Florida Department of Citrus will host a workshop to discuss issues such as citrus market data, consumer data and marketing practices. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Florida Department of Citrus, 605 East Main St., Bartow.)

PAROLE CASES CONSIDERED: The Florida Commission on Offender Review will start two days of meetings in Brevard County. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Home Builders and Contractors Association of Brevard, 1500 West Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne.)

OPTOMETRY BOARD MEETS: The Florida Board of Optometry will meet in Orange County. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Hilton Garden Inn Orlando and SeaWorld, 6850 West Blvd., Orlando.)

STATE ECONOMY EYED: The Economic Estimating Conference will discuss issues related to the Florida economy. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

UNEMPLOYMENT CASES CONSIDERED: The state Reemployment Assistance Appeals Commission will meet. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., Reemployment Assistance Appeals Commission, 101 Rhyne Building, 2740 Centerview Dr., Tallahassee.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Sumter, Broward, Marion and Pinellas counties. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Rohan Recreation Center, 850 Kristin Way, The Villages. Also, 1 p.m., Boulevard Heights Community Center, 6770 Garfield St., Hollywood. Also, 2 p.m., Marion County Library Freedom Branch, 5870 S.W. 95th St., Ocala. Also, 1 p.m., Clearwater Countryside Library, 2642 Sabal Springs Dr., Clearwater.)

INDEPENDENT LIVING AT ISSUE: The Independent Living Services Advisory Council will hold a conference call and discuss issues such as extended foster care and postsecondary education services and support. (Wednesday, 10 a.m. Call-in number: 1-888-585-9008. Code: 680104491.)

EAST CENTRAL PLANNING COUNCIL MEETS: The East Central Florida Regional Planning Council is scheduled to meet in Orange County. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., LYNX, 455 North Garland Ave., Orlando.)

SOUTH FLORIDA COLLEGE TRUSTEES MEET: The South Florida State College Board of Trustees will meet. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., South Florida State College, Highlands Campus, 600 West College Dr., Avon Park.)

KIDCARE CONSIDERED: The Social Services Estimating Conference will consider caseloads in the KidCare subsidized health-insurance program. (Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

THURSDAY, JULY 18, 2019

FLORIDA BAY, PYTHONS AT ISSUE: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will continue a two-day meeting, with issues expected to include ecological conditions in Florida Bay and efforts to control Burmese pythons. (Thursday, 8:30 a.m., Marriott Resort Hutchinson Island, 555 N.E. Ocean Blvd., Stuart.)

UCF TRUSTEES MEET: The University of Central Florida Board of Trustees will meet after holding a series of committee meetings. (Thursday, committee meetings start at 8:30 a.m., with full board at 1 p.m., University of Central Florida, Fairwinds Alumni Center, Orlando.)

ENVIRONMENTAL PERMITTING DETAILED: The Florida Chamber Foundation will continue its “Environmental Permitting Summer School,” which will provide an overview of state environmental, energy and growth-management laws, rules and programs. (Thursday, 8:30 a.m., JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, 400 South Collier Blvd., Marco Island.)

PAROLE CASES CONSIDERED: The Florida Commission on Offender Review will continue two days of meetings in Brevard County. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Home Builders and Contractors Association of Brevard, 1500 West Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne.)

DEFENSE TASK FORCE GATHERS: The Florida Defense Support Task Force will meet in Northwest Florida. (Thursday, 9 a.m. Central time, Santa Rosa County Administration Building, 6495 Caroline St., Milton.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Polk and Miami-Dade counties. (Thursday, 9:30 a.m., Lakeland Public Library, 100 Lake Morton Dr., Lakeland. Also, noon, West Flagler Library, 5050 West Flagler St., Miami.)

APALACHEE PLANNING COUNCIL MEETS: The Apalachee Regional Planning Council will meet in Gadsden County. (Thursday, 10 a.m., UF IFAS North Florida Research & Education Center, 155 Research Road, Quincy.)

REFUGEE ISSUES DISCUSSED: The Broward Refugee Task Force will meet. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Children’s Services Council of Broward County, 6600 West Commercial Blvd., Lauderhill.)

COURT REVENUES ON THE TABLE: The Revenue Estimating Conference will analyze what are known as Article V revenues, which help fund the court system. (Thursday, 1:30 p.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

FRIDAY, JULY 19, 2019

RESPIRATORY CARE PANEL MEETS: The Florida Board of Respiratory Care will meet in Lee County. (Friday, 8:30 a.m., Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport at Town Center, 9931 Interstate Commerce Dr., Fort Myers.)

ENVIRONMENTAL PERMITTING DETAILED: The Florida Chamber Foundation will continue its “Environmental Permitting Summer School,” which will provide an overview of state environmental, energy and growth-management laws, rules and programs. (Friday, 8:30 a.m., JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, 400 South Collier Blvd., Marco Island.)

PODIATRIC MEDICINE BOARD GATHERS: The Florida Board of Podiatric Medicine will meet in Hillsborough County. (Friday, 9 a.m., Four Points Sheraton Suites, 4400 West Cypress St., Tampa.)

UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS RELEASED: The state Department of Economic Opportunity will release June unemployment figures. (Friday, 10 a.m.)

REFUGEE ISSUES DISCUSSED: The Palm Beach Area Refugee Task Force will meet. (Friday, 10 a.m., West Palm Beach City Hall, 401 Clematis St., West Palm Beach.)

TRIUMPH GULF COAST HOLDS CALL: The board Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., which helps administer BP settlement money from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, will hold a conference call. (Friday, 11 a.m. Central time. Call-in number: 1-850-203-2100. Code: 584768.)

FELONS, FINANCES AND VOTING: Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker will hold a conference call to hear motions about scheduling deadlines in a lawsuit challenging provisions of a new elections law aimed at carrying out what was known as Amendment 4. The constitutional amendment, approved in November, was designed to restore the voting rights of felons who have fulfilled terms of their sentences. But civil-rights and voting-rights groups argue the provisions in the new elections law would prevent too many felons from voting and are unconstitutional. (Friday, noon. Call-in number: 1-888-684-8852. Access code: 3853136. Security code: 4565.)

FAMU TRUSTEES DISCUSS BUDGET REQUEST: The Florida A&M University Board of Trustees will hold a conference call to discuss issues such as a 2020-2021 legislative budget request. (Friday, noon, access at Florida A&M University, Lee Hall, Tallahassee.)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM EYED: The Tampa Tiger Bay Club will host a discussion about criminal justice reform, with speakers expected to include Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Chairman Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg. (Friday, noon, Chester H. Ferguson Law Center, 1610 North Tampa St., Tampa.)

SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2019

CRIST, FRIED AT LGBTA EVENT: U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried will be keynote speakers during the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus summer conference. (Saturday, events start at 8 a.m., with Crist and Fried scheduled to speak at a dinner starting at 7:30 p.m., Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, 2900 Bayport Dr., Tampa.)

Comments are now closed.

politics
advertisement
advertisement

Chatterbox

advertisement
Live streaming of WBOB Talk Radio, a Sunshine State News Radio Partner.

advertisement
advertisement