At the end of every week, we praise a political playmaker, “swipe left” on the week’s biggest political loser, and explain what it all means for Florida’s political arena.
CHAMP: Jose Oliva
The first two-time champ and outgoing House Speaker had a week to remember, passing key legislation aimed at providing Floridians greater access to healthcare and taking aim at the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The bill will remove unnecessary barriers, expanding the roles of registered nurse practitioners to be able to practice medicine to a greater extent without supervision.
The measure, which passed after it was amended by the Senate on Tuesday, allows Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) more autonomy to deliver health care for patients during a time where the state is facing problems meeting the demand for health care providers due to an influx in population.
Expanding the scope of practice has been a top priority for Oliva who has devoted much of his tenure instituting responsible health care reform and making it more affordable for Floridians.
Oliva then placed a bow on his already successful week, putting COVID-19, the virus that has now been labeled as a pandemic, in perspective — something needed with mass hysteria dominating the 24/7 news cycle.
No, we aren’t #COVID19 deniers. It’s a serious health risk for the elderly and immunocompromised. And prudent mitigation, isolation, and treatment plans should go on. But fear feeds on misinformation. These data points (cited) keep things in perspective https://t.co/qHtPFIuUqh
— Jose Oliva (@RepJoseOliva) March 13, 2020
Though Oliva will surrender his gavel at the end of the 2020 Legislative Session, his leadership, admiration, and conservative principles will catapult him to his next destination — should he continue to serve the state of Florida.
CHUMP: Andrew Gillum
This one might actually propel Gillum into the lead for Chump of the Year. Last night in Miami, Gillum was found in a highly intoxicated state by Miami Beach Police at a South Beach hotel. He was so impaired he couldn’t communicate with the responding officers, who were primarily focused on trying to help another man present at the scene who allegedly overdosed on crystal methamphetamine.
Gillum released a statement very shortly after the story first broke online, claiming that he did not partake of the contents of three baggies filled with what the police believed to contain crystal meth, but instead said he had “too much to drink.”
In the statement, Gillum referred to Dyson as his “friend,” and in a subsequent interview with the Miami New Times, Dyson confirmed the claim, saying he met Gillum about a year ago, but then seemingly contradicted Gillum’s claim that he was in Miami to “attend a wedding celebration.”
“I personally was not celebrating a wedding,” Dyson told the Miami New Times. “I don’t know if [Gillum] was in town for a wedding. He did not mention that.”
A third man, Aldo Mejias, was also involved in the incident. He is alleged to have provided Dyson with a credit card to rent the room where the drug-fueled party took place and told police he arrived after Gillum and Dyson and called the police after he observed Dyson collapse.
In the public statement Gillum released, he stated he planned to spend the next few weeks with his family and asked for privacy during this time.
No matter how much time Gillum remains out of the public spotlight, if he chooses to return to the public spotlight, he’s got some tough questions to answer.