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Florida & Beyond, and All Opinions
Category archives for: Florida & Beyond, and All Opinions

Florida’s Obamacare Enrollment Projected To Rise to 1.1 Million by Next Year

| September 2, 2014

The number of Floridians enrolled in individual health plans under the Affordable Care Act in June was 866,485, with a 23 percent increase projected by 2015.

Labor Day Realities: When Employers Have a Hiring Bias Against the Unemployed

| August 31, 2014

About 3.2 million people have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer, and employers are punishing such job-seekers who have big gaps in their resumes, raising calls for anti-discrimination laws.

Tag Fees Drop Monday and Gov. Scott
Pledges More Tax Cuts on Campaign Trail

| August 30, 2014

Over the next two weeks Gov. Rick Scott will campaign across the state on a pledge to cut $1 billion in taxes over the next two years.

Lawsuit Challenges Florida’s School Voucher Program, Calling It a “Dereliction” of Free Education

| August 29, 2014

The Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which could raise as much as $357.8 million this year, provides tax credits to companies that donate money to nonprofit entities that pay for children to go to private schools.

Supreme Court Rebuffs Consumer Advocate Challenge of FPL’s $350 Million Rate Hike

| August 28, 2014

The state Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers in utility issues, fought the rate increases that stemmed from a deal reached by FPL and some major power users. The Florida Public Service Commission approved a $350 million base-rate increase, along with plans for additional increases tied to three new power plants.

Appeals Court Orders City Government to Release “Shade” Meeting Transcript

| August 28, 2014

In a highly critical opinion, an appeals court Wednesday ordered the city of St. Pete Beach to release a transcript of a closed-door discussion about the settlement of a lawsuit.

Do the Math: You Couldn’t Live On Minimum Wage

| August 27, 2014

Imagine living on $290 a week before taxes. It’s not a wage you can live on, Mark O’Brien, a minimum wage earner for a time recently, argues, challenging opponents of raising the minimum wage to try it for themselves.

Formalities Over, It’s Brass Knuckles Until November Between Scott and Crist

| August 27, 2014

The race between Scott and his predecessor Crist is already one of the nation’s most-watched, and expensive, campaign throw-downs after Crist spent much of 2014 reinventing himself as a Democrat.

Time To Get Off Your Duff and Vote

| August 26, 2014

Even though it’s a primary with a few races closed to most voters, all registered voters get to vote on key races including school board, Palm Coast and three judicial races.

In Florida and Elsewhere, Obamacare Still GOP’s Favored Bait Even as Repeal Talk Fades

| August 25, 2014

Rather than just calling for repeal, Republican candidates focus on arguments about how the law is hurting consumers, government budgets or the economy even as millions of Americans have gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Lynnette Callender, Flagler County School Board Candidate: The Live Interview

| August 25, 2014

Lynnette Callender is one of eight candidates in three races for Flagler County School Board in the Aug. 26 primary election: all Flagler voters, regardless of party affiliation and address, may cast a ballot in these races.

Janet McDonald, Flagler County School Board Candidate: The Live Interview

| August 25, 2014

Janet McDonald is one of eight candidates in three races for Flagler County School Board in the Aug. 26 primary election: all Flagler voters, regardless of party affiliation and address, may cast a ballot in these races.

Toni Baker, Flagler County School Board Candidate: The Live Interview

| August 25, 2014

Toni Baker is one of eight candidates in three races for Flagler County School Board in the Aug. 26 primary election: all Flagler voters, regardless of party affiliation and address, may cast a ballot in these races.

Michael McElroy, Flagler County School Board Candidate: The Live Interview

| August 25, 2014

Michael McElroy is one of eight candidates in three races for Flagler County School Board in the Aug. 26 primary election: all Flagler voters, regardless of party affiliation and address, may cast a ballot in these races.

Frank Meeker, Flagler County Commission Candidate: The Live Interview

| August 24, 2014

Frank Meeker is a candidate for the Flagler County Commission in the Aug. 26 Republican primary, in which only registered Republicans may cast a ballot.

Nate McLaughlin, Flagler County Commission Candidate: The Live Interview

| August 24, 2014

Nate McLaughlin is a District 4 candidate for the Flagler County Commission in the Aug. 26 Republican primary, in which only registered Republicans may cast a ballot.

Mark Richter, Flagler County Commission Candidate: The Live Interview

| August 24, 2014

Mark Richter is a candidate for the Flagler County Commission in the Aug. 26 Republican primary, in which only registered Republicans may cast a ballot. He is challenging first-term incumbent Nate McLaughlin.

Unemployment Down, Food Stamps Use Up, Pointing to Recovery’s Bane: Underemployment

| August 23, 2014

The overall U.S. unemployment rate has steadily declined since the recession officially ended in June 2009. But many Americans still are finding it hard to get by, even if they do have jobs. A key indicator of economic hardship—enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps—is higher in every state than it was five years ago, even though unemployment has dropped in every state during the same period.

Heidi Shipley, Palm Coast City Council Candidate: The Live Interview

| August 23, 2014

Heidi Shipley is running for Palm Coast City Council, one of seven candidates in two races. All registered voters in Palm Coast may cast a ballot regardless of party registration or district.

Woody Douge, Palm Coast City Council Candidate: The Live Interview

| August 23, 2014

Woody Douge is running for Palm Coast City Council, one of seven candidates in two races. All registered voters in Palm Coast may cast a ballot regardless of party registration or district.

Norman Weiskopf, Palm Coast City Council Candidate: The Live Interview

| August 22, 2014

Norman Weiskopf is running for Palm Coast City Council, but has not taken his race, or his interview, very seriously. He faces three opponents, including incumbents. All registered voters in Palm Coast may cast a ballot regardless of party registration or district.

Law Be Damned: Some Insurers Still Refuse to Provide Coverage for Contraceptives

| August 22, 2014

There’s not much leeway for employers and insurers in deciding whether they’ll cover contraceptives without charge and in determining which methods make the cut, yet that hasn’t stopped some from trying.

Federal Judge Rules Florida’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional, But Stays Decision

| August 21, 2014

It is the fifth court decision in the state finding against Florida’s ban, but the first federal-court decision, and the first that applies state-wide. Nevertheless, as in previous cases, the judge stayed the decision, granting time for this and other decisions to be appealed.

Thomson Reuters Names 15 Florida Scientists Among the World’s Most Influential in 2014

| August 21, 2014

The Floridians are among 3,200 individuals on the list of The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds, which includes the top 1 percent of scientists named as references by others in scholarly papers in the years 2002 to 2012. The list covers 21 broad fields, from pure math or physics to applied sciences such as medicine or psychology.

For the Pot:
Five Questions For John Morgan

| August 21, 2014

Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan is spearheading a move to pass a constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana in the state, putting millions of dollars of his own money and his considerable public-speaking skills behind it.

Visit Florida: Ferguson’s Seethe Is a Matter of Time for the Sunshine State

| August 21, 2014

Rose-colored Florida is a cynical myth, the stuff of marketing brochures, a developers’ conspiracy of enticing fiction to make their cash registers ring. The real Florida is a bitter, brooding reality beyond sugarcoating, argues Stephen Goldstein.

Flagler Emergency Official Cautions of Heat Indices Reaching 108 Through Friday

| August 20, 2014

Today through Friday the heat index is hitting unusually high levels and will range from 102 to 108 in Flagler County, especially inland, prompting weather and emergency officials to caution residents and vacationers to stay out of the heat if possible, or take safety measures when in the heat.

Meeting With Scientists on Global Warming, Gov. Scott Shows No Interest in the Science

| August 20, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott, in a 30-minute meeting with scientists, asked whether the professors’ students were getting jobs in Florida, but showed no interest in the science under discussion or scientists’ urging him to prepare the state for the coming challenges posed by climate change.

Lessons for Florida from A California Pot Tourist

| August 18, 2014

If Florida’s voters approve Amendment 2, our state will have an opportunity to implement a marijuana law that avoids heading down California’s cynical path, argues Karen Cyphers. It will be a challenge, but the reward of fostering an honest, quality health-care system is well worth the effort.

1 in 6 Big Businesses Planning to Offer “Junk” Health Insurance Below ACA Standards

| August 18, 2014

Many thought such low-benefit “skinny plans” would be history once the health law was implemented. Instead, 16 percent of large employers will offer lower-benefit coverage along with at least one health plan that does qualify under ACA standards.

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