"Democrat Davis calls GOP tax break a gimmick":
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis on Tuesday blasted a new Republican sales tax break proposal as a gimmick that ignores Florida's unmet needs in education and other areas."The gubernatorial candidate also dislikes his party's alternative of a $100 check to every homeowner."
The target of the Tampa congressman's criticism is the biggest one-time tax break in state history. It would eliminate the statewide 6 percent sales tax on the first $5,000 on most items in the first week of August.
Republicans, counting on an expected windfall of more than $3-billion in unexpected tax receipts for next year, are pushing the election-year tax break as a way to spur the state economy and show their willingness to limit state spending.
"State Sen. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton, said Tuesday he will push a measure that will make Florida's insurance commissioner -- who oversees the insurance industry and approves rates -- an elected rather than appointed position." "State senator wants state insurance chief to be elected, not appointed".
"Lawyers for state employees urged Attorney General Charlie Crist's office Tuesday to make Convergys warn tens of thousands of state workers that their confidential personnel data - including Social Security and bank-routing numbers - may have been illegally sent to computer companies in India, China and Barbados." "Crist urged to warn workers".
"More gas pipelines and a renewed look at nuclear plants are needed to shield Florida residents from hurricane fuel shortages and to meet burgeoning energy demands, state officials said Tuesday." "State agency unveils plan to meet energy needs through pipelines, nuclear plants". See also "Easier power plant OK's urged".
It Never Ends ...
for the wingnuts.
Fine, Now Pay For It
"If the Florida Board of Education has its way, high school will be a very different place in the future. Retention and promotion would disappear, replaced by the idea that the key goal is graduation, not getting through four separate years. Students would choose four-credit "majors" in high school, rather than take a disjointed series of single-credit classes." "State board's plan would make high school more like college".
"The Florida Nurses Association, the largest statewide organization of registered nurses representing more than 11,000 nurses across Florida, endorsed Charlie Crist today. ... The announcement follows the endorsements of 36 of Florida’s Legislators, the Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida, the Florida Police Benevolent Association, the Florida Fraternal Order of Police and the Pasco and Pinellas Republican Executive Committees." "Nurses Back Crist".
Four Year Degrees from CCs?
"Board of Governors Chairman Carolyn Roberts has protested for months that community colleges should have limited access to granting bachelor's degrees, but her concerns went unheeded by a task force voting today on recommendations that include giving more power to colleges seeking four-year degrees. Roberts, who co-chaired the task force, wrote a stinging rebuttal to the recommendations meant to guide higher education in Florida saying they don't follow the group's actual discussions and include proposals that were never brought up during the task force's six meetings." "Education panel's direction irks Board of Governors' chair".
"Despite millions of dollars and pedigreed political backers, groups trying to ban gay marriage, increase anti-tobacco spending and strip redistricting power from state lawmakers are facing a new legislative roadblock" "Petition drives facing deadline".
"Gov. Bush met with representatives of Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Deerfield Beach, as The Post reported Sunday, because he got a call from Republican patron Ned Siegel, a Boca Raton developer. Before Mr. Bush was governor, his company was involved in the sale of the former IBM campus in Boca Raton to a group that included Mr. Siegel and Mark Guzzetta, at whose wedding Gov. Bush was best man. While Mr. Siegel and Mr. Guzzetta no longer own the property, they are using their connections with the governor to put Scripps there." "Avoid Scripps favoritism".
"Real estate, insurance, law and agriculture industries all donate heavily to the candidates for governor." "Money from industries fuel gubernatorial runs".
Supply and Demand
"Florida should spend $30 million on new teacher-recruitment efforts as it tries to meet the challenge of hiring nearly 32,000 new teachers for the coming school year, the State Board of Education decided Tuesday." "Money to lure teachers sought". See also "State Board Unveils $57.3 Million Plan To Lure Teachers".
"Florida's Agency for Healthcare Administration does not see a crisis. Those who can't get their medicines would disagree. The problem is urgent. A national remedy is needed -- now. Gov. Jeb Bush should ensure beneficiaries get drug coverage now, and bill the federal government later." "Medicare's botched drug benefit roll-out".
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
"Twice during the 1990s, Tallahassee debated whether to allow the breakup of large school districts. The state constitution provides only for countywide systems, and growth has created some of the largest districts in the country. Miami-Dade County has 364,000 students, and Palm Beach County is at 180,000. As happened in 1995 and 1997, there is a move to break up those districts. Since many of those behind this push weren't around the last two times, we'll explain once more why it wouldn't work." "School-district breakup? Go to back of the class" See also Mark Lane's "Breaking up is hard to do. Want three school districts?"