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Category archives for: Florida

As Scott Signs Bill Stifling Abortion Clinics, Planned Parenthood Sees Danger and Cruelty

| March 28, 2016

The restriction means low-income Floridians could lose access to the organization’s health-care and family-planning services. Planned Parenthood said it has more than 67,000 patients in Florida annually.

Scott Signs Medical Marijuana Bill for Terminally Ill, Enabling Experimental Drugs

| March 25, 2016

That law allows terminally ill patients to have access to experimental drugs that have not been approved for general use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Florida’s 4.9% Unemployment Rate Matches Nation’s, Flagler’s Nearly There, at 5.4%

| March 25, 2016

The number of Flagler County residents holding jobs surged by 472, one of the best single-month increases since the recession, lowering the county’s unemployment rate to its lowest level since 2007.

Florida Supreme Court Deals Another Blow to Tobacco Industry, Rejecting Disease Defense

| March 24, 2016

Justices, in a 5-2 ruling Thursday, rejected R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s arguments in a Broward County case stemming from the 2002 death of George Ciccone, who started smoking as a child.

Palm Coast’s Karl Westgate, 19, Dies in Prison 7 Weeks After Sentence for Child Rape

| March 24, 2016

Karl Westgate, sentenced last summer to 25 years for raping an 11-year-old girl, died in prison 48 days after his incarceration, and five weeks after writing a Flagler County judge to say that his plea had been coerced, and that he wanted his case re-opened.

Court Upholds Prohibition on Married Couple Claiming 2 Separate Homestead Exemptions

| March 23, 2016

Whether in state or out of state, the Florida appeals court found that the plain language of the law meant that only one homestead exemption was allowed, regardless of location.

No, Florida, You May Not Count Prisoners Who Can’t Vote in Redistricting Tallies

| March 22, 2016

A federal judge has struck down county commission districts in a rural North Florida county — a potentially precedent-setting decision that could play into a challenge of the state’s congressional lines.

Obama in Cuba:
The Limits of “Engagement”

| March 21, 2016

Indeed, if engagement is supposed to result in political change, US engagement with Cuba is most likely doomed to fail, writes Jorge G. Castañeda. After all, trade and investment have done nothing to bring about a democratic opening in Vietnam over the last 20 years.

Court Backs New Death Penalty Law But Asks Florida Supremes to Rule on Constitutionality

| March 18, 2016

The 5th District Court of Appeal today sided with the state in two death penalty cases, saying that blocking the executions “impermissibly invades” the discretion of the state to seek the sentence.

Sheriff Applauds New Law Regulating Police Authority to Seize Cash and Property

| March 17, 2016

“Civil asset forfeiture” is a controversial practice that gives police authority to seize cash, cars, homes or pother property suspected of use in a crime even absent an arrest. Florida just reformed the law to make forfeiture more difficult and accountable.

Senator, Governor, President, Nothing: For Marco Rubio, a Fuzzy Florida Future

| March 17, 2016

For essentially the first time since he won a city commission seat in 1998, Rubio will soon be without a government office and without a campaign. What office Rubio seeks next, if any, isn’t clear.

Full Funding Restored to Flagler’s Adults With Disabilities Program, a Big Victory for District

| March 16, 2016

Intense lobbying by local school officials and their legislators helped restore the full $545,000 appropriation they’d lost last year, enabling the district to again double enrollment in the Adults with Disabilities’ Step Up program starting July 1.

Gov. Scott’s $256 Million in Vetoes Include Palm Coast’s $200,000 Wellfield Project

| March 16, 2016

The veto of Palm Coast’s funding and county government’s failure to secure various appropriations is a reflection of a somewhat weaker legislative delegation.

Bill Baxley and Elbert Tucker Win Big in Bunnell, Trump and Clinton Win Flagler and Florida

| March 15, 2016

There were ballot problems in one precinct in Palm Coast, where voters were handed the Bunnell ballot, but not in large enough numbers to alter the results.

Where Florida’s Veto-Ready Pork Went: County Fairs, Gun Ranges, Oyster Farms, Space Tourism

| March 14, 2016

Throughout the record spending plan are hundreds of local and agency projects that some lawmakers argued will help the economy or Florida residents. Now, Gov. Rick Scott will use his veto pen to decide which projects survive in the budget that takes effect July 1.

How the Florida Legislature Turned Police Radios Into $7 Million in Rotten Sausages

| March 14, 2016

In a case with echoes in Flagler, experience pokes a hole in the Florida House speaker’s argument that first responders on the state system “need” radios, even though they didn’t ask for them.

Flagler Unemployment Ticks Up To 5.8% in January, Florida’s at 5%

| March 14, 2016

The number of Flagler County residents with jobs has increased from 27,652 in March 2010 to 41,053 in January–an increase of 13,401, or 48 percent.

3-Day School “Tax Holiday” Part of $129 Million Tax-Cut Package Nearing Approval

| March 11, 2016

The package is far short of the $1 billion in tax cuts that Gov. Rick Scott requested. The trimmed-down package is the result, at least in part, of lawmakers responding to state economists reducing revenue forecasts for the next couple of years.

Worse Than Trump: Gov. Scott Refuses to Disavow Claim that “Islam Hates Us”

| March 10, 2016

In an appearance on Joe Scarborough’s MSNBC show Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott refused to denounce Donald Trump’s claim the day before that “Islam hates us.” The smear on Florida is the latest of many lows in a lurid election season.

“Little Marco” Borne Out in Latest Florida Poll as Trump Trounces Rubio With 2-1 Advantage

| March 9, 2016

Donald Trump is ahead of Rubio in Florida by a 45-22 margin, with Ted Cruz at 18 percent and Ohio’s John Kasich at 8 percent. The Quinnipiac University poll is considered the most accurate in Florida.

Florida Lawmakers Unveil $82.3 Billion Budget That Abandons Scott’s Top Priorities

| March 8, 2016

Because Scott’s tax-cut proposal was sharply reduced and a $250 million package of business incentives was dropped entirely, the governor is expected to lean heavily on his line-item veto pen.

Utilities’ Proposed “Smart Solar” Amendment Draws Smarter Questions From Justices

| March 7, 2016

A utility-backed measure intended to put existing solar-energy regulations into the state Constitution drew indications of skepticism and support Monday from Florida Supreme Court justices.

With $714 Million For School Construction, Lawmakers Close in on $80 Billion Deal

| March 6, 2016

Lawmakers have to agree on the roughly $80 billion overall spending plan by Tuesday for the legislative session to end on Friday, as scheduled.

Republicans On Crack

| March 5, 2016

The crack-up is upon us. The locks have popped. The insane asylums have emptied. The loons are casting ballots. And Mitt Romney’s string quartet is arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Troubled Florida Department of Corrections Asks for 734 More Positions for Security. Lawmakers Say No.

| March 5, 2016

The department has been reeling from a series of reports about issues such as contraband smuggling and abuse of inmates. The new jobs were part of an effort by the department to have corrections officers work eight-hour shifts instead of 12-hour shifts.

Flagler’s Athletic Directors Concerned By Proposed Law Facilitating Student-Athletes’ Transfers

| March 4, 2016

The bill, SB 684, which has drawn little attention, would ease the path for student-athletes looking to transfer, which would benefit big schools at the expense of smaller schools.

Florida House Overwhelmingly Approves Use of Full-Strength Pot for Terminally Ill, 99-16

| March 4, 2016

The measure approved Thursday, in part, would likely lead to more licenses for nurseries that would be able to grow, process and distribute the full-strength and non-euphoric types of pot.

Gov. Scott Sought $1 Billion in Tax Cuts. Senate Cuts It Down to $129 Million.

| March 3, 2016

The new tax-cut package will combine with about $290 million earmarked to hold down local property taxes that would otherwise go into the state’s school-funding formula.

Supreme Court Halts Double Murderer James Asay’s Execution, 2nd Stay in 4 Weeks

| March 2, 2016

Hours after hearing arguments in the case, the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday indefinitely postponed the execution of Mark James Asay, a convicted double murderer scheduled to die on March 17.

Fiercely Opposed by Environmentalists, Bill To Ease Fracking in Florida Dies In the Senate

| March 1, 2016

The bill was backed by the Florida Petroleum Council, Associated Industries of Florida and the Florida Chamber of Commerce. It is opposed by environmental groups and dozens of local governments that have approved fracking bans.

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