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Category archives for: Florida

As Expected, GOP’s Renner and Hutson Reel In Big Dollars, Opponents Don’t

| April 4, 2015

In all, Paul Renner raised $294,340 and had spent $261,748 for the election Tuesday in a district that includes Flagler County and parts of St. Johns and Volusia counties.

Indiana and Arkansas Retreat From Hate Laws. Florida Plows Ahead.

| April 3, 2015

Between Sen. Frank Artiles’ war on transgender people and a House bill protecting discrimination against gay parents, Florida verges on making bigotry state policy again, harkening back to Jim Crow days, but against the LGBT community.

Florida Lawmakers OK Discriminating Against Gay Adoptions on “Religious” Grounds

| April 3, 2015

Despite warnings that Florida would follow Indiana into a controversy with statewide economic implications, the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would allow private adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples.

Florida Prison Guards and KKK Members Arrested in Plot to Murder Black Ex-Inmate

| April 2, 2015

Arrest documents in the case expose chilling details of the Klan’s organization in North Florida and offer a reminder of the region’s ugly history of racism.

Daytona State College May Have To Drop “State” From Name and Limit 4-Year Degrees

| April 1, 2015

A Florida Senate proposal would forbid community colleges from using the word “state” in their name and cap at 5 percent the share of a college’s enrollment that could be made up of students pursuing baccalaureate, or four-year, degrees.

Guns and Ammo Included In Sales Tax Holiday Florida Lawmakers Are Set To Approve

| March 31, 2015

Guns and ammunition remain in a proposed Independence Day sales-tax holiday on hunting gear that is part of a wide-ranging tax cut package that advanced Tuesday in the House.

My Surprise Visit From FDLE

| March 31, 2015

FDLE interprets Beatles lyrics as a threat on Gov. Rick Scott, and Daniel Tilson, the columnist, gets a call investigating his intentions. He wonders if this is the way FDLE operates under Rick Swearingen, Scott’s hand-picked replacement of Gerald Bailey.

Three Weeks After ATF Approves Powdered Alcohol, Florida Senate Votes To Ban It

| March 30, 2015

Though federally approved, under Florida’s bill a person selling powdered alcohol would face a first-degree misdemeanor. A second violation within five years would carry a third-degree felony.

An Arrest for Child Neglect and Battery; Shots on Old Dixie; $250,000 Yacht Burns on Cimarron Drive

| March 30, 2015

A 1-year-old child left unattended was rescued from choking on a cigarette butt; a suspected backyard gun range of the sort the Legislature just refused to let local governments regulate may have been the source of a “stray” bullet that found its way into a 67-year-old man’s residence off Old Dixie Highway.

Deadliest State: Florida Roads Have Highest Bicyclist Fatality Rate in The Nation

| March 30, 2015

Florida spent decades building roads designed to move commuters from homes in sprawling suburbs as fast as possible. Conventional wisdom says these roads were built for speed, not bicycles.

House Ties Money to School Dress Codes, More Dollars for Charters, Fewer Class-Size Penalties

| March 29, 2015

Most of the school-related bills were passed in lopsided votes, though Democrats united to oppose a measure that could funnel local tax dollars to charter-school construction.

Florida House Votes To Require Flags Flown By Governments To Be Exclusively U.S.-Made

| March 27, 2015

If the Senate follows suit, Florida flags purchased by governments in Florida after Jan. 1, 2016 would have to be made from materials grown, produced and manufactured in the United States.

Scott’s Magical ‘Tax Cut Calculator’ Obscures Nation’s 2nd Most Unfair Tax System

| March 26, 2015

As Gov. Scott touts minor tax cuts for consumers, you could ask why that $43 a year saved on the cable bill compares so unfavorably with the $3-4 billion in corporate tax evasion he and his legislative allies let Florida’s biggest, most profitable businesses get away with each and every year, writes Daniel Tilson.

Proposal Would Suspend 3rd Grade Test Required For Promotion to 4th Grade This Year

| March 26, 2015

The proposal calls for suspending the language-arts test for 3rd graders until the state’s new Florida Standards Assessments are found to be valid by an independent examination.

Against Voter Wishes, Proposal Would Devote Just 1% of Available Cash to Land Preservation

| March 25, 2015

Sen. Alan Hays, a Umatilla Republican in charge of budget talks with the House–which is already resisting more money for land-buying–says Florida already has enough land in public hands.

Gutted Bill Restricting Red-Light Cameras Advances as Turn-On-Red Penalty Is Restored  

| March 24, 2015

While the restrictive proposal cleared its latest committee, 7-3, the bill’s only surviving measures would require cities to send our red-light camera notices by certified mail, and to use revenue for public safety programs.

Florida House Pushes $690 Million Tax-Cut Package, Exceeding Gov. Scott’s Request

| March 24, 2015

The proposed cuts include sales-tax holidays and eliminating taxes on gun-club memberships, college textbooks, materials purchased at book fairs and vehicles purchased overseas and brought to Florida by military members.

Florida Legislature to Voters For Amendment 1’s Water Protection: Drop Dead

| March 23, 2015

Even when expressed via an overwhelming majority “Yes” vote on a constitutional amendment, the Florida Legislature can and does subvert it, argues Daniel Tilson.

Democrat Patrick Murphy, Conqueror of Allen West, Will Run For Rubio’s Senate Seat in 2016

| March 23, 2015

The announcement sets the stage for a big-money, high-profile Senate race next year — whether Rubio seeks re-election or decides instead to run for president.

Obama Proposals Would End Tax-Subsidized Loans For Sports Stadiums

| March 22, 2015

The proposal comes as many team owners, including Florida, are pressing cities and states for new facilities, with some threatening to move elsewhere if they don’t get them.

Reacting to Gov. Scott’s Alleged Climate Change Denial Directive, Group Demands Investigation

| March 20, 2015

Members of Forecast the Facts dropped off about 43,000 electronically signed petitions at the governor’s office, asking for an investigation. Scott, when pressed last year on the issue of climate change, evaded the question by saying he is “not a scientist.”

Another Pot Grow House Busted in Palm Coast As Critics and Lawmakers Press Legalization

| March 20, 2015

Some 28 marijuana plants were seized at a house at 17 Rocking Lane in Palm Coast. As the Sheriff’s Office announced the seizure and arrest of the resident at the house, Ray Strack, a former federal narcotics interdiction agent, was speaking on WNZF about the inanity of the war on marijuana.

Yes, It’s Retroactive: Florida Supreme Court Rules All Lifers Sentenced as Juveniles Must Be Resentenced

| March 19, 2015

The justices ordered lower Florida courts to apply a 2014 law to inmates who, as juveniles, were sentenced in the past either to life in prison or to terms that would have effectively kept them behind bars until they die. Two of the inmates were convicted of murder.

School Choice Bill That Vastly Increases Parental Control–And Undermines Educators’–Advances

| March 18, 2015

The measure gives parents the right to have their children attend any school in the state that hasn’t reached capacity and remove their child from one class to another under certain circumstances.

$772 Million Amendment 1 Spending Focuses More On Management and Water Projects Than Land Acquisition

| March 17, 2015

The plan drew mixed reviews from conservationists concerned that lawmakers disregarded the intent of voters who supported a constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 1, in November.

Bill Targeting Transgenders in Public Bathrooms Clears 2nd House Committee, 7-4

| March 17, 2015

The 7-4 vote of the Florida House Government Operations Subcommittee included one dissent from a Republican, though as the bill advances, its chances of becoming law increase.

Senate Panel Approves Communications Tax Cut That Could Net Floridians a $43-a-Year Saving

| March 16, 2015

The cut would lower the communications-services tax on cell-phone and cable TV from 6.65 percent to 3.05 percent and the tax rate on direct-to home satellite services from 10.8 percent to 7.2 percent. State economists estimate the cuts would eventually reduce state revenue by $470.9 million a year.

Plan to Extend Health Insurance to 800,000 Poor Floridians Crawls Against Steep Hurdles

| March 16, 2015

The new Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange Program, or FHIX, would assist Floridians not eligible for Medicaid in purchasing health benefits coverage and gaining access to health services.

Favoring Flagler and Other Districts, Lawmakers May Move Up School Start Time to Aug. 10

| March 13, 2015

In the shadow of the state’s recent standardized-testing problems and proposals to curb the amount of time students spend on exams, lawmakers are considering moving up the start date of the school year.

24-Hour Waiting Period for Abortion Clears Florida House Panel in Partisan 9-4 Vote

| March 12, 2015

Under the bill, a woman seeking an abortion would be required to meet with a physician to get information and then wait at least 24 hours before the procedure could be performed.

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