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Category archives for: Florida

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.

Andy Dance Wins, McLaughlin, Meeker and Tucker Survive, Fischer and Both Palm Coast Races Headed for November Run-Offs

| August 26, 2014

Full results for the 2014 primary election in Flagler County and in statewide races relevant to the county, with the latest updates.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Florida Draws 50 Million Visitors in First 6 Months of the Year, Boosting Tax Revenue

| August 19, 2014

Visitors spent $35.7 billion from January to May this year, up 7.4 percent from the same period in 2013, according to Visit Florida. That translates into increased sales-tax revenue for the state.

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.

Manatees No Longer Endangered? Not So Fast.

| August 15, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering downlisting manatees from endangered to threatened, reducing their protective status. Save the Manatee Club’s Katie Tripp argues the proposal rests on too scanty data.

Fearing for Ybor City, Pam Bondi Calls Proposal to Regulate Cigars Like Cigarettes “Overbroad”

| August 13, 2014

Bondi wrote in a letter that she wants the Food and Drug Administration to consider the potential impact of the announced rule changes on Ybor City cigar manufacturer J.C. Newman Cigar, urging the federal agency to “more narrowly tailor these overbroad regulations.”

Rick Scott Wants to Believe He’s Born-Again Green. The Record Is Dirtier.

| August 12, 2014

Rick Scott wants Floridians to believe that he had a Road to Damascus moment, suddenly realizing that allegiance to Mammon makes for a dirty Florida and an unhappy electorate, but his 11th hour eco-enlightenment is as hard to swallow as a cup of algae from the Indian River Lagoon, argues Diane Roberts.

Flagler and St. Johns Untouched But District 6 Loses Much of Putnam in Redistricting

| August 12, 2014

Flagler County was unaffected, but District 6 had previously included most of Putnam County. It now includes only the southeastern quadrant of Putnam. The changes are not likely to change the ideological make-up of the district, which tilts Republican.

Average Cost of Silver-Range Insurance Plans Will Decline in Florida Marketplace

| August 11, 2014

About 75 percent of Floridians live in areas where the second-cheapest silver premium will actually decline, said Tasha Bradley, a spokeswoman for the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

Warts and All, Obamacare Saved Me From Bankruptcy

| August 10, 2014

FlaglerLive Editor Pierre Tristam exposes his health care bills before and after Obamacare, and before and after cancer, to show how without the Affordable Care Act, he and his family would have face ruin.

Those Double-Digit Health Insurance Rate Hikes in Florida? Blame State GOP.

| August 7, 2014

Sen. Bill Nelson, once Florida’s insurance commissioner, reminds residents that it was the Republican state Legislature that stripped the office of insurance regulation of the authority to approve, modify or reject rate hikes by health insurance companies, thus leading to current, unacceptable rate hikes.

4th Judge in 3 Weeks Strikes Down Florida’s Gay-Marriage Ban

| August 6, 2014

A Palm Beach County circuit judge ruled Tuesday that Florida’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional in a probate case involving a gay couple who married in Delaware.

Crist Pitches Tuition Loan-Forgiveness Plan as Part of Middle Class Boosting Program

| August 6, 2014

The plan, announced during a news conference in Fort Lauderdale, featured a number of education-related proposals as well as several previously discussed ideas, such as increasing the minimum wage and expanding access to health care.

Florida Blue Raising Premiums 17.6% for Exchange Policies as Obamacare Ire Spikes

| August 4, 2014

A dearth of younger and healthy enrollees and a greater-than-expected surge of people seeking expensive health services are factors driving up premiums. A new polls shows disapproval of Obamacare spiking in July.

Judge Gives Legislature 2-Week Deadline to Redraw Districts, Upending Primary

| August 2, 2014

Circuit Judge Terry Lewis also the state and local elections supervisors to come up with a new voting schedule for any districts–likely to include Flagler’s–that lawmakers would have to redraw in the wake of his ruling last month that the current congressional map violates the Florida Constitution.

Gambling Is For Losers: We Should Ban It in Florida

| July 31, 2014

We need a state constitutional amendment to ban all wagering in Florida, argues Stephen Goldtsein. Oddly, raising taxes is considered a cardinal sin, but gambling is supposedly a blessing — especially since the state began pimping it through the Florida Lottery.

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