RSA Report May 8th, 2015

Governor Scott Files Injunction Over Health Care Funding

Less than a day after Governor Scott met with U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Sylvia Burwell to discuss continued health care funding in Florida, Governor Scott filed a motion for preliminary injunction yesterday to immediately prohibit the Feds from using “the same coercive threats that the Supreme Court has already held unconstitutional.” In the 2012 case National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the federal government may not threaten to withhold preexisting Medicaid funding to coerce states to expand their Medicaid programs. Governor Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi believe what the government is doing this time is worse than in 2012.

Stadium Funding Still in Play for Special Session

Lobbying efforts are underway again to include discussion of stadium funding in a special session scheduled from June 1st to June 20th. Senate Rules Chair David Simmons, who is a supporter of MLS in Orlando, said he intends to discuss including stadium funding for the special session with Senate President Andy Gardiner.

Senator Jack Latvala attached $7 million a year to sales-tax dollars to an economic development bill for improvements at four professional sports stadiums across the state. The bill never made it to the floor when the House abruptly ended session three days early.

While there has been considerable support in the Senate, House leaders have been opposed to giving sales-tax dollars to stadium construction and renovation projects.

Legislator Highlight

The race for the 2016 to 2018 Florida Senate President is beginning to heat up. The two competitors are Senator Jack Latvala and Senator Joe Negron. Recently Senator Latvala hired a top GOP fundraiser to help him build his committee.

Senator Latvala had previously served eight years in the Florida Senate from 1994 to 2002. After feeling that he had been called back to serve he returned to the Senate in 2010, and has been reelected subsequently. He currently serves as chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation Tourism and Economic Development, as well as sitting on the Appropriations Committee, Commerce and Tourism Committee, Government Oversight and Accountability Committee, Regulated Industries Committee, and the Rules Committee.

When he’s not in Tallahassee, Senator Latvala is the CEO of Gulf Coast Imprinting in Largo. He is the father of Representative Chris Latvala, and enjoys fishing and spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Click here to read more about the race for the 2016 to 2018 Senate Presidency.