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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.

Sen. Sobel Calls for All Child Deaths, Not Just Those From Abuse, To Be Reported

| July 31, 2014

Florida just passed a law requiring the reporting of all child abuse deaths in an annual report. That’s not enough, Sen. Sobel says, proposing that all criminally-related child deaths, even in car wrecks, should be part of the report.

Backing Down From Stricter Rules, State Regulators Would Allow Mobile Pot Delivery

| July 30, 2014

Florida pot dispensers could truck their product to patients, under a revised rule proposed by health regulators in advance of a workshop Friday about the state’s move to a limited type of medical marijuana.

Following Flagler Beach’s Lead, Palm Coast Is Drafting Restrictions on Medical Pot Shops

| July 30, 2014

Floridians’ vote on Amendment 2, the proposal to legalize medical marijuana, is still four months away, but the Palm Coast City Council wants to prepare with an ordinance that would restrict dispensaries to commercial areas, though how that would differ from regular drug stores is unclear.

Briefing : Amendment 2, Medical Marijuana Legalization

| July 30, 2014

The Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, known as Amendment 2, is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Florida. The measure would legalize medical marijuana through an amendment to the state Constitution. Here’s a briefing, including the ballot summary and the full text of the amendment.

Consumer Confidence in Florida Hits Another Post-Recession High as US Economy Grows 4%

| July 30, 2014

The consumer-confidence report coincides with the Department of Commerce’s report Wednesday morning that the national economy grew at a brisk annual 4 percent rate in the second quarter, compared to a shrinking of 2.1 percent in the first quarter.

The Revealing Arrogance Behind Rick Scott Re-Election Campaign’s Leaked Memo

| July 29, 2014

As usual with Scott and Company, argues Daniel Tilson, you learn at least as much about their mindset and strategy from what they don’t say, as from what they do.

Florida’s Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday Is This Weekend: Here’s A Guide

| July 29, 2014

Florida’s 2014 sales tax holiday on school supplies, clothing, shoes and personal computers and other select accessories is this weekend–starting at a minute after midnight Friday, Aug. 1, through midnight Sunday, Aug. 3.

Judge Upholds Blind Trust Law, Allowing Gov. Scott to Shield Assets From Public

| July 28, 2014

Critics say the device contradicts constitutional safeguards requiring Florida voters to be made aware of what a public official owns and how it might affect his or her decisions. Scott, who reported a net worth of $132.7 million as of the end of last year, is believed to be the only official using a blind trust.

Floridians Support Legalization of Medical Marijuana By 9-1 Margin, Sustaining High

| July 28, 2014

The latest Quinnipiac University poll–the most authoritative poll on the matter–finds 88 percent of Floridians favoring medical marijuana, with 10 percent opposed, including 83 percent support from voters 65 and older and 95 percent support from voters 18 to 29 years old.

Florida’s “Docs vs. Glocks” Bill Wins Federal Appeals Court Approval in 2-1 Ruling

| July 25, 2014

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the state Legislature had the right to pass the NRA-backed law, which includes provisions restricting doctors and other medical providers from asking questions about gun ownership during medical visits.

Florida Ban on Gay Marriage Is Declared Unconstitutional, But Miami-Dade Judge Stays Decision Until Appeals

| July 25, 2014

Eight days after a Monroe County judge declared a ban on same-sex marriage illegal, a Miami-Dade circuit court judge late today struck down the ban in Florida on behalf of six gay couples, but stayed her decision until the results of an appeal.

Judge Wary of Redrawing Area’s
Congressional Map Before November Election

| July 24, 2014

So far, the Legislature has declined to appeal Lewis’ ruling, and the state’s attorneys say lawmakers will redraw the map in time for the 2016 elections. But lawyers for the voting-rights groups and voters who sued to overturn the map under the Constitution’s anti-gerrymandering standards say that’s too late.

Florida Insurers Owe $41.7 Million in Rebates to Individuals and Companies, Topping Nation

| July 24, 2014

The latest round of paybacks brings Florida’s three-year total from the Affordable Care Act’s rebate program to almost $220 million. This year’s rebate will average $65 per family in Florida, according to the report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Court Authorizes Higher Ambulance Fee For Out-of-State Visitors, Opening Revenue Door

| July 23, 2014

Rejecting arguments that the policy is unconstitutional, a state appeals court said Wednesday that the city of Miami can charge an extra $100 when its rescue crews transport non-residents to hospitals for emergency care.

As Crist’s Lead Over Scott Erodes, Libertarian Adrian Wyllie Throws X-Factor Into Race

| July 23, 2014

The latest Quinnipiac poll has Scott still trails Crist, but by only five points, 45 to 40 percent. That’s in a two-way race. When Libertarian Adrian Wyllie is thrown in the mix, its 39-37 for Crist, which is within the margin of error, with Wyllie taking a substantial 9 percent.

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