The Dean’s List: A Look at Who Made the Honor Roll in Florida Politics–and Who Didn’t

Those Who Made The Grade

State Sen. Lauren Book. Term limits for school board members are gaining traction across Florida. State Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, filed a proposal that would put a two-term, eight-year limit on school board members in all 67 counties across the state. The proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution would go on November’s ballot and, if 60 percent of voters support it, will be added to the state Constitution.

Arguments coming from both supporters and opponents of the proposal have merit. The idea of limiting the number of years an elected official can serve remains very popular. Some school districts already impose term limits on its board members. On the other side of the issue, the argument that only local voters should determine if they want term limits in their community is also compelling.

With a handful of exceptions, usually from members of the Legislature, Republicans have always cheered term limits and Floridians like the issue based on the polls. Democrats have generally been more quiet on the topic. Still, it’s good to see a popular Democrat like Book taking the lead on this issue.


Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis. The proposed “Consumer Protection Act” is being heavily supported by state CFO Jimmy Patronis. Florida’s CFO says this bill will give some relief to homeowners impacted by hurricanes. The bill would let consumers have more time to get out of a public adjusters contract in times of a disaster. The proposal would mandate that all insurance companies need to settle consumer claims within 90 days.

Patronis has said he wants the legislation to send a message to insurance companies so they know when it comes to handling claims, there should not be long delays for storm victims trying to rebuild their homes and their lives.


The Florida League Of Cities. A large topic in the current legislative session is who should have the ultimate authority: Tallahassee or local governments. The Florida League of Cities has been at the forefront of several issues where there is a debate over what should be handled at the state level and what should be left to local governments. The League has insisted local restrictions including land use, environmental regulations and planning and zoning restrictions are best left to local communities instead of Tallahassee.

Of course, there are Floridians who dispute that and think local municipalities are over-regulating and state lawmakers need to jump in and help out. Over-regulation at the local level has been a concern for some business groups. But the question is should over-regulation be left to local governments or to the state.

The League admits that some issues that overlap from county to county may have to be decided by the state. The bottom line is the Florida League of Cities makes the grade by at least focusing on issues that are often overlooked.


Those Who Didn’t Make the Grade

Congresswoman Val Demings. As one of the U.S. House impeachment managers, U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., along with some of her other colleagues, have said if the U.S. Senate acquits President Donald Trump, House Democrats will continue with more investigations throughout 2020. While that probably won’t hurt Demings in her dark blue district in Central Florida, it’s certainly not where most Floridians are, as both sides look ahead to November.


The Florida Lottery. Lotto tickets and the Lottery’s marketing efforts might soon have a “warning label.” House Bill 991 passed through the House Gaming Control Subcommittee by a vote of 14-1. The bill would add the words “Play Responsibly” on all lotto tickets.

Supporters of the measure insist the added words will help Lotto customers who are compulsive and are addicted to gambling. But, last year, Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t buy into it and vetoed similar legislation. Opponents of the language say that a warning label won’t stop people from gambling. They also insist restrictions on Lotto tickets will hurt education funding and lead to Florida schools losing millions.


The Jacksonville NAACP. Duval County could soon be looking at a proposal for a local referendum which could allow voters to decide if they want their local school superintendent to be elected or appointed. Currently, it is an appointed position. The local NAACP says they are “adamantly opposed” to the idea of making the post an elected one. The group insists going with an elected superintendent will allow the school district to become “controlled and managed by charter school advocates and local political power brokers.”


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