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Category archives for: Florida

Attorney General Pam Bondi Downplays Speculation of Job in Trump Administration

| January 10, 2017

Bondi has been rumored as a possible candidate to head the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, a position informally known as the drug czar.

Teacher May Be Disciplined But Not Fired Over Disparaging Transgender Student

| January 9, 2017

An administrative law judge reversed the decision of the Lee County School Board, which had moved to terminate Angel Villanueva, a Junior ROTC instructor at East Lee County High School.

Only 20 Percent Of Americans Support Health Law Repeal Without Replacement Plan

| January 7, 2017

More than a third of those said they would not want the law repealed after being told that some people with preexisting health problems would no longer be able to get insurance.

Another Emblem of Disarray for Florida Democrats: 12 Counties Have No Organizational Structure

| January 7, 2017

In a state where presidential votes have decided by 1 percent margins, Democrats’ absence even in small counties point to a fatal weakness for the party.

In Bizarre Move, Court Stops Prosecutors From Seeking Death Penalty, Then Rescinds Order

| January 5, 2017

The release of the Florida Supreme Court order, a mistake, according to a court spokesman, further muddled Florida’s embattled death penalty, on hold for nearly a year following a U.S. Supreme Court decision last January.

School Board’s Trevor Tucker Mulls Run for Tax Collector, Nate McLaughlin Eyes House Seat

| January 4, 2017

School Board member Trevor Tucker confirmed he was considering a run for tax collector in four years, and if so would not run for school board again in 2018, while Commissioner Nate McLaughlin has his eyes on Paul Renner’s House seat in 2022.

Pot Amendment Goes Into Effect Amid Mass Confusion and “Dangerous Legal Area”

| January 4, 2017

Proponents of Amendment 2 as well as some marijuana operators are demanding that the state health department provide adequate guidance to the industry about the proposal approved by more than 70 percent of Floridians in November.

Florida Ethics Commission Chairman Decries Vote to Eliminate Office of Congressional Ethics

| January 3, 2017

If the Florida Commission on Ethics did not exist, its chairman argues, thousands of ethical violations and trespasses of good government would occur, continuing to diminish what little trust the people have left in government.

Eroding Florida’s Checks and Balances, One Bill at a Time

| December 31, 2016

A Florida Republican lawmaker’s proposal to give the Legislature the power to invalidate any court’s decision would upend centuries of precedent and make a mockery of a balance of powers, argues Ben Hogarth.

Controversial “Best and Brightest” Teacher Bonus Pay Program Heading for Revisions

| December 30, 2016

Under Best and Brightest, first approved by lawmakers in 2015, teachers who are highly rated and scored in the top fifth of the test results on the SAT or ACT, are eligible for bonuses of up to $10,000.

Striking at Balance of Powers, Florida Lawmaker Files Measures to Nullify Court Decisions

| December 28, 2016

Gonzalez’s bills are a reflection of the Legislature’s latest assault on judicial power. But taking aim at separation of powers considered fundamental, if not sacred, to American government may be more of a partisan than a realistic exercise.

Knowing When To Shut Up: What Florida Gov. LeRoy Collins Could Teach Politicians

| December 27, 2016

Had LeRoy Collins spoken of some things in public as he did privately, he’d be remembered not as Florida’s greatest governor but as a failure who was voted out after serving only the last two years of a deceased predecessor’s term.

Justice James E.C. Perry’s Last Dissent Denounces Florida’s Death Penalty

| December 23, 2016

Justice Justice James E.C. Perry in a blistering condemnation of the death penalty in general rendered a blistering analysis of the manner in which capital punishment is carried out in Florida.

3 Flagler Death Sentences Among More Than 200 Invalidated By Florida Supreme Court

| December 22, 2016

The invalidation of 55% of death sentences affect those of two Flagler double-murderers–William Gregory, of Flagler Beach, David Snelgrove of Palm Coast–and Cornelius Baker, who killed a woman in Flagler.

With Florida leading the Way, Obamacare Enrollment Jumps Despite Trump Threats

| December 22, 2016

Despite the Affordable Care Act’s rising prices, decreased insurer participation and a vigorous political threat to its survival, consumer enrollment for 2017 is outpacing last year’s.

Help With Beach Recovery and an Additional County Judge Dominate Requests to Flagler’s Lawmakers

| December 21, 2016

Post-Hurricane Matthew recovery occupied almost half the requests at the annual legislative delegation meeting Wednesday, when Flagler’s governments, non-profits, private associations and citizens submit wish lists to state lawmakers.

Florida Second Only to Texas in Gaining New Residents in 2015

| December 20, 2016

Florida’s gain of 367,525 new residents topped California’s growth of 256,077 new residents; Texas led the nation with a gain of 432,957 people. Florida led the 10 largest states with a 1.82 percent annual growth rate.

Effort to Get Electoral College Away From Trump Fizzles as Florida’s 29 Votes Go All In

| December 19, 2016

In Florida, the votes for Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, were never really in doubt. The slate of electors was made up of GOP stalwarts, from fundraisers to activists to elected officials.

In Tilt to Right Gov. Scott Appoints Appeal Court Judge C. Alan Lawson to Supreme Court

| December 16, 2016

Lawson’s appointment to the Supreme Court reduces the influence of the liberal-leaning court majority, which has been made up of Perry, Chief Justice Jorge Labarga and justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince.

Hurricanes Matthew and Hermine Damages Reach $1.59 Billion, A1A a Big Bite

| December 16, 2016

By comparison the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research has placed damages from the 2004 hurricane season, in which four hurricanes hit the state, at $45 billion.

Flagler Unemployment Rate Ticks Up for 4th Month in a Row, to 5.7%, Florida’s Up to 4.9%

| December 16, 2016

The streak in increasing unemployment is echoed by an equally suggestive streak: five straight declines in the number of house sales closing in Flagler County, going back to May’s post-recession peak of 259 sales.

Florida Chamber of Commerce and Business Groups File Suit Against Plan to Raise Minimum Wage

| December 15, 2016

The chamber of commerce joined a retail and a restaurant association to fight a groundbreaking living wage plan adopted in Miami Beach, which could serve as a model for other local governments.

Palm Coast Council Talks As If It Wants To Be Pioneer in Medical Pot, But Post-Moratorium

| December 14, 2016

In a radical departure from its previous incarnations, the Palm Coast City Council discussed medical marijuana in terms of economic development potential for the city as well as in line with its purported humane benefits.

Unlikely Alliance of Clergy and Pro-Choice Advocates Sue to Block Florida’s Abortion Law

| December 14, 2016

Plaintiffs including rabbis, ministers and non-profits contend they don’t have medical training and aren’t qualified to offer information not spelled out in the abortion law.

Twelve Counties Get Money to Reduce Conflicts With Bears, But Flagler Is Not On the List

| December 13, 2016

Volusia and Putnam counties will receive a combined $98,000. Flagler County will receive no grant. The announcement came six months after the Fish and Wildlife commission voted against holding a bear hunt this year.

Seizing on Orlando Murder Case, Justice Breyer Asks Court to “Reconsider Constitutionality of Death Penalty”

| December 13, 2016

Justice Stephen Breyer characterized the death penalty as cruel and unusual in light of the case of Henry Sireci, 68, who’s been on Florida’s Death Row for 40 years and has yet again been cleared for execution.

Enrollment in Florida’s 28 State Colleges Plummets 13.5% as Economy Rebounds

| December 12, 2016

The actual head count of state college students is about 780,000 this year, down from a peak of nearly 900,000 in 2010. More than 60 percent attend part-time.

Thrasher, at FSU, Pledges to Kill “Campus Carry” Gun Bill Again As He Did in 2011

| December 8, 2016

The so-called “campus carry” bill, which in the past has been approved by the House, has already re-emerged as an issue for the 2017 legislative session.

Jacksonville Air National Guard Base a Finalist to Receive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in 2022

| December 7, 2016

The F-35 is the most expensive fighter jet–and weapon system–ever built. The program, now seven years behind schedule, has been mired in cost overruns, delays and performance failures.

Crime in Flagler and Palm Coast Continued Decline in 2016, But Violence Is Up Again

| December 6, 2016

Overall crime declined in the first six months of the year but violent crime was on the rise again, with increases in murders (there were two in 2015), rapes, and aggravated assault.

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