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Category archives for: Florida

I Am A Throw-Away Piece Of Trash In This Country of Freedom and Liberty and Respect

| March 5, 2015

Cindy Robert Sullivan, a transgender man transitioning to a woman, addressed Rep. Frank Artiles and a House committee before a 9-4 vote approving a bill forbidding certain protections for transgender people.

Bill Would Allow Gun-Carrying Without Concealed-Weapons Permit During Evacuations

| March 4, 2015

An NRA-supported measure that failed last year now has sheriffs’ backing, and would allow legal gun owners to carry their guns without licenses in the first 48 hours after emergency evacuation orders are given.

Citing “Florida Exceptionalism,” Gov. Scott Calls for Tax Cuts and Education Spending in State of the State

| March 3, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott used the annual State of the State address Tuesday to try to reinvigorate his legislative agenda after a difficult opening to his second term.

Correctly Anticipating State Problems, Flagler Delayed School Testing Until Thursday

| March 3, 2015

Rarely in the spotlight, Shawn Schmidli, the Flagler school district’s assessment director, anticipated that state-issued computer tests would have problems, and delayed Flagler’s testing until Thursday.

Shackling Juveniles: Despite 2009 Court Decision, Practice Continues Away From Courtroom

| March 1, 2015

Florida’s Supreme Court found shackling juveniles “repugnant, degrading, humiliating, and contrary to the stated primary purposes of the juvenile justice system” in a 2009 decision barring the practice in courtrooms, but shackling carries on elsewhere.

The State of the State Floridians Should Hear

| March 1, 2015

With 3.2 million Florida households struggling every month to stretch paychecks to cover basic necessities, former Florida Sen. Dan Gelber outlines a State of the State Floridians swill not hear when the governor opens the Legislative session this week.

Why Almost 1 in 4 Floridian Driver Has No Car Insurance: Poverty

| February 28, 2015

Florida’s poverty rate is 17 percent and 23.8 of its motorists are uninsured. Uninsured drivers face stiff fines in many states, but some that have such penalties on the books often fail to enforce them.

Bi-Partisan Lawmakers Looking to Expunge Criminal Records of Non-Violent Juveniles

| February 27, 2015

An Orlando Senator is sponsoring a bill that would allow the expunging of records for minors who commit nonviolent misdemeanors and go on to complete diversion programs.

Pot. Beer Wars. Gambling. Even Pension Reform. Sen. Rob Bradley Says Bring ‘Em On

| February 26, 2015

Many of this Florida legislative session’s thorniest issues — and more — rest in the hands of Sen. Rob Bradley, a laid-back junior legislator and chairman of a committee dubbed by Senate President Andy Gardiner as the “Thunderdome.”

1.6 Million Floridians, 6,000 in Flagler, May Lose Health Subsidies: Supreme Court Decides

| February 26, 2015

Subsidies may be lost for 90 percent of ACA participants if the U.S. Supreme Court rules that residents of states like Florida, which have no health marketplace of their own, may not qualify for federal subsidies. The Supreme Court hears arguments in the case next week.

Gov. Rick Scott Heading Back to Paris Air Show in Hopes of Attracting Aerospace Jobs

| February 25, 2015

In 2013, the every-other-year air show drew more than 315,000 visitors, 2,215 international exhibitors and delegations from 102 different countries. The effectiveness of Scott’s trips, however, remains suspect to some.

Days Before 11th Grade Language Test, Gov. Scott Issues Executive Order Suspending It

| February 24, 2015

Union officials had pushed for suspending the entire school-accountability testing system for a year. The education commissioner wants a few more tests curtailed, but the bulk of the system would remain in place.

Dustin Sims of Flagler Palm Coast High School Named Florida’s Assistant Principal Of the Year

| February 23, 2015

For the first time in recent memory–and possibly in the district’s history–a Flagler County educator has won his category’s top honor in Florida.

2015 Legislative Session: 10 Issues To Watch

| February 23, 2015

Starting March 3, and for 60 days, the House and Senate will grapple with hot-button issues ranging from standardized testing in public schools to reforming the troubled prison system, plus the one must-pass bill of the session: a roughly $77 billion state budget.

Florida Ports Want Government Help Luring Shipping From New York, Georgia and Texas

| February 21, 2015

The Florida Ports Council calls for lawmakers to create an advertising effort to attract shipping, import-distribution centers as well as export-oriented manufacturing companies to Florida.

Lawmakers Punt to Full Legislature on Millions in Tax Subsidies for Speedway and Jaguars

| February 20, 2015

A process intended to reducing lobbying may do the opposite now that the Joint Legislative Budget Commission moved any funding decisions regarding the stadiums to the full Legislature.

Education Commissioner Stewart Joins Calls For Eliminating Some High-Stakes Testing

| February 19, 2015

Stewart recommended that the state get rid of a language-arts test students take in 11th grade, eliminating some final exams and making optional a college readiness test.

Publix Doesn’t Want You To Buy Liquor In Grocery Stores. Wal-Mart and Target Do.

| February 18, 2015

A proposed law to end Florida’s 80-year-old prohibition on liquor in any but stand-alone stores cleared a House committee over the objections of Publix, some sheriffs and liquor store owners.

Appeal Court Upholds Florida’s Ban on Open-Carry, But Case Appears Headed For Supremes

| February 18, 2015

Dale Norman, a resident of St. Lucie County, was arrested at gunpoint for carrying an openly visible handgun in a holster, on his hip. Florida Carry Inc. took his case and has been fighting his conviction since.

Florida Justices Halt Execution Until U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Lethal Injection

| February 17, 2015

Saying it must “err on the side of extreme caution” or risk threatening the “viability of Florida’s entire death penalty scheme,” the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday halted the Feb. 26 execution of a convicted killer until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a lethal injection drug.

District Adopts School Calendar It Did Not Want, Starting Late and Shortening Thanksgiving Break

| February 17, 2015

The Flagler School Board wanted to start school in early August to give students more time to prepare for exams, but state law forbids it, forcing a calendar of its own on local districts.

Senate Panel Easily Clears Bill Granting Secrecy to Top College and University Job Applicants

| February 17, 2015

The Senate Higher Education Committee voted 7-2 to approve the measure (SB 182), which would exempt information about applicants for the jobs of president, provost or dean from the state’s open-records laws.

On Flagler Roads, Cyclists Share Some Blame For Wrecks; Legislator Files Protective Bill

| February 16, 2015

A proposed bill to strengthen protections for cyclists drew mixed reviews from a Flagler County commissioner and a Florida Highway Patrol homicide investigator, who both pointed at cyclists’ responsibilities on the road.

Guns on Florida Campuses: University System Says No, Citing Values and Protection

| February 14, 2015

Florida’s university system wants state lawmakers to holster the idea of allowing guns on campus, saying it would jeopardize providing a safe and secure learning environment.

Counties Withhold Payments to State as Dispute Over Juvenile Costs Flares Again

| February 13, 2015

After the failure of a legislative compromise last year, some counties are withholding their share of the costs from the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Gov. Scott Is Balancing State’s Budget With Money That May Not Exist

| February 13, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed budget for the new fiscal year includes $1.3 billion for Florida hospitals providing care to uninsured people. However, that pool of money might stop existing this summer.

Is Your Facebook Account Private After You Die? Senate Bill Says Not So Fast.

| February 12, 2015

Florida Sen. Dorothy Hukill wants to permit online account access after an account holder has died. The Act seeks to open the book on our digital lives, even after we have uploaded to the great cloud in the sky, writes Peter Schorsch.

Early Learning and Child Care Advocates Target Florida Legislature For More Money

| February 12, 2015

Advocates are looking for higher health and safety standards for providers, better training for teachers and new money to cut the waiting list of 63,000 children for slots in the school-readiness program, which provides subsidized child care to low-income working families.

Back In Tallahasee, Jeb Bush Gets a Taste of Push-Back Against His Education Legacy

| February 11, 2015

Appearing at an education Summit, Jeb Bush, who is preparing a run for the presidency, saw his common core, school voucher and high-stakes testing ideas challenged, as they would likely be on the campaign trail.

Prospects Dim For Medical Pot in Florida As Senate Committee Signals Rejection

| February 10, 2015

Proposals by two Republican lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana have a slim chance of passing this legislative session, based on the comments of a Senate committee chairman who helps control the fate of that chamber’s measure.

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