Good Monday morning.
Louise St. Laurent is leaving her position as General Counsel at the Florida Department of Health to become a partner at Tallahassee-based law firm Panza Maurer.
St. Laurent has spent the past 10 years at DOH, becoming General Counsel in 2018. In that role, she practiced administrative law and gained extensive experience in litigation and rule-making support for the Department’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use, which oversees the third-largest marijuana market in the country.
Previously, she served as the Deputy General Counsel for DOH’s Prosecution Services Unit and as Chief Legal Counsel, supervising the Emergency Action Unit and Unlicensed Activity Unit. Before joining DOH, St. Laurent was an assistant state attorney in Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit.
Panza Maurer has become a fixture in governmental relations and administrative law in the more than 40 years since its founding. While the firm has been involved in highly publicized disputes, including one centered on the state’s contract to run the Florida Lottery’s online system, founding partner Tom Panza prefers to represent clients under the radar whenever possible.
Though not widely known, the firm also has a strategic relationship with Ballard Partners, one of the top lobbying firms at both the state and federal levels. Currently, 10 Ballard Partners attorneys serve as “Of Counsel” at Panza Maurer.
St. Laurent joins former Hopping Green & Sams attorney Virginia Dailey in the Tallahassee office, located on the second floor of the Ballard Building.
The firm said her addition, combined with the firm’s strategic relationship with Ballard Partners, allows Panza Maurer to serve as a one-stop-shop for corporations and institutions navigating the complexities of regulatory and administrative law at the state and federal levels.
The Florida Beer Wholesalers Association announced Sunday that its longtime CEO, Mitch Rubin, died over the weekend after an extended battle with cancer. He was 62.
“The FBWA mourns the passing of its President, Mitch Rubin. Over his 20-plus year career, he applied his skill, intellect and foresight to the needs of the beer industry, and by direct extension, of the alcoholic beverage industry as a whole,” FWBA Chair Ken Daley said in a statement provided to Florida Politics.
“The entire alcoholic beverage industry in Florida owes a debt of gratitude to Mitch. Mitch’s dedication to our members and our mission will be impossible to match. He will be missed deeply by all who knew him.”
Rubin was known for his steel-trap memory, incredible attention to detail (especially on beverage law and related issues), frank honesty, and unflinching kindness to everyone he encountered.
“A 30-minute coffee could turn into hours of conversation on politics and policy. No one knew his issue, argued the law, and served his members with greater gusto than Mitch Rubin. The Process lost one of the greats. We must raise a cold one in his honor,” said Justin Hollis, a lobbyist at The Southern Group.
FBWA said it is working with Florida State University, where Rubin earned his law degree, to establish the Mitchell J. Rubin scholarship with a $250,000 initial gift. The organization said it would provide details on how others may donate to the scholarship fund in the coming days.
Rubin, a Miami native, is survived by four siblings: Debbie Jordan, Janice Glowacki, David Rubin and Andrea Skinner.
AARP Florida today is launching a statewide campaign to dispel confusion on voting rules among older adults.
“Americans 50-plus are our nation’s most powerful voters — and they will be the deciders in the 2022 elections. Voter education and access have never been more important,” AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson said.
“AARP Florida is fighting to make sure voters know the latest guidelines and requirements to make their vote count. Recent changes in Florida’s voting law have made it imperative for AARP to launch this new effort to educate and empower Floridians, so they know when, where and how to vote in their communities.”
The campaign includes voter-education videos, a voter guide, and other voter resources. AARP has also rolled out a voter education messaging service users can enroll by texting “FLvotes” — or “FLvota” for Spanish-speaking voters — to 22777.
The materials include information on how to register to vote, key deadlines for the 2022 elections, how voters can request a mail ballot, and their options for returning a mail ballot, among other things.
“The AARP Florida voter-education videos are available on YouTube in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole. We invite Floridians to watch these videos and stay informed about upcoming elections. In addition to these videos, AARP is providing election information via text and online,” Johnson said. “It’s a critical year, and there’s a lot at stake for older Floridians. We encourage every voter to check out these helpful resources to learn more as they prepare to vote.”
— SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —
—@ARappeport: At one point during his emotional presentation, (Volodymyr) Zelenskyy paused to ask one of the American lawmakers to mute themselves. “Senator Rick Scott, please mute your mic,” he said.
The labor force grew by 300k+ in February, and the participation rate ticked up — a sign that falling Covid caseloads and improving opportunities are drawing people back to work. pic.twitter.com/LbIgyqMa3D
— Ben Casselman (@bencasselman) March 4, 2022
—@LtGovNunez: Rather than making America energy independent, (Joe) Biden wants to buy oil from (Nicolás) Maduro — yet another murderous thug. Troubling pattern from this administration as they continue to embolden our enemies.
No better way to come back from National Guard duty! pic.twitter.com/puIfQD0Urw
— Rep. Mike Waltz (@michaelgwaltz) March 6, 2022
—@JoeSaunders4FL: @ chief spokesperson just called us all pedophiles. We’ve always known the # was about anti-LGBTQ animus. She just said the quiet part out loud. DSG is on the Senate floor Mon and students are organizing. Bring your outrage to Tallahassee
The FL Senate will take up the Parental Rights (Don’t Say Gay) bill tomorrow on the floor. As the 1st LGBTQ person elected to the Senate in FL’s history, I want to remind my colleagues that I am not a hypothetical, I sit in the same room w/ you, and your actions and words matter. pic.twitter.com/aalHzCjPoD
— Shevrin “Shev” Jones (@ShevrinJones) March 6, 2022
How Dad interacted with students while Governor. pic.twitter.com/YmNe9yIYzL
— Gwen Graham (@GwenGraham) March 5, 2022
—@StephHayes: Accidentally opening my work email on a Sunday and closing it fast like a vampire in the sun