Winners & Losers 3/15/18
The Florida Commission on Ethics found no probable cause that the District 2 commissioner had violated Section 112.313(6) of Florida Statutes. Former Commissioner Wilson Robertson had filed a complaint as a “consideration of probable cause” of an ethics violation related to Underhill seeking reimbursement of legal fees to defend a lawsuit and setting up a legal defense fund. The Escambia County Commission discussed paying for Underhill’s legal expenses during a meeting last September and voted not to approve and sought an opinion from the Florida Attorney General.
UWF Dance Marathon
The Sixth Annual University of West Florida Dance Marathon raised $60,890.59 this year, exceeding its goal of $55,000 and surpassing last year’s record of more than $43,000. All proceeds from the 12-hour event will be donated to the Studer Family Children’s Hospital, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital at Sacred Heart Hospital. UWF fraternities and sororities, along with other student organizations, raised funds as teams.
The Naval Aviation Museum Foundation (NAMF) named McCalip its new vice president. She previously served as the Chief Operation Officer and Executive Vice President for the United States Navy Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C. As vice president of NAMF, McCalip will be responsible for supporting the Foundation’s mission to ‘Honor the Past, Inspire the Future and Promote Patriotism.’
Preventable ER Visits
The latest Quarterly Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Report showed Region 1, which covers the panhandle from Panama City to Pensacola, led the state in the highest number of potentially preventable emergency department visits (PPV). PPVs are emergency department visits that may result from a failure to access primary care or a lack of ambulatory care coordination. Upper respiratory infections and abdominal pain were among the top three conditions contributing to a PPV.
Garcon Point Bridge
State Rep. Jayer Williamson convinced the Florida House to allow the state to negotiate for control of the toll bridge in hopes of the reducing the span’s debt. Unfortunately, Sen. Doug Broxson (R-Gulf Breeze) didn’t have the juice to get a companion bill passed in the Florida Senate. With the legislature focused on budgeting $400 million for school safety, the bridge bill never made it out of the Appropriations Committee.
Tar and Feathers Protest
In the days leading up to a vote on sweeping gun reforms, about a dozen Florida state senators received small jars of tar and feathers with poop emojis on them from unknown senders. The NRA’s lobbyist, Marion Hammer, told the media her organization wasn’t behind the protest. Sen. Lauren Book (D-Plantation) told Politico that a jar was dropped off by a man with tattoos who said it was an award for violating the Second Amendment.