"Since 2002, state Republican leaders have argued that complying with an amendment to shrink public-school classes would cost too much money. Four years later, flush with extra billions of dollars in tax revenue, leaders have turned to a new reason: There is now not enough time to build the necessary schools by the required deadlines." "GOP finds new reason to target class-size amendment". See also "His term running out, Bush ditches class size crusade".
Raiding Trust Funds
"The measure seeks to overturn a decision the Legislature made last year, when it placed a $243 million cap, effective next year, on the state and local housing trust funds established by the Sadowski Act of 1992. Sponsors also want all $945 million in the trust funds this year to be used for housing programs. You'd think that would be automatic, but the state has previously raided the funds for other purposes." "Legislation would increase and protect funds for affordable housing".
From The Values Crowd
"Cuts proposed in KidCare health program".
A nice bio piece on Io Sancho in the Tallahassee Democrat today: "Sancho spends his time at the office preparing for the upcoming elections, dealing with the HAVA situation and doing interviews with media. He said he recently was interviewed by 'Rolling Stone' magazine and has been contacted about a possible appearance on Jon Stewart's 'The Daily Show.' The magazine article has not been published yet. He's also speaking out about Florida's failure to require election paper trails and what he describes as greedy voting-machine companies that put profit above all else." "Elections chief motivated by a sense of purpose".
Recharging Her Batteries
"On this overcast morning, Harris traded the campaign circuit for a quiet stroll among the placid orchids, fresh vegetables and playful dogs that crowd Sarasota’s downtown for the Farmer’s Market. For years, Harris has made the Farmers Market part of her Saturday morning ritual. She said she was determined to start her day off that way again, despite the pressure of running a statewide campaign. There were no press releases, cameras or campaign events. Not even Katherine Harris for Senate signs. Just Harris." "Harris Recharges".
"Rep. Mitch Needelman is on a mission. He wants to eliminate the Parole Commission, with its $9.34 million budget (currently) and its 148 job positions." "End may be in sight for parole panel".
"Counties clash over last cheap Fla. water".
"A matter of law and death"
Has it come to this? The GOoPers that run this state want to force "attorneys to violate their professional responsibilities toward their clients."
As much as Gov. Jeb Bush and the Legislature would like to provide death row inmates with representation on the cheap, Florida courts are nobly standing in the way. The latest ruling by a circuit court in Leon County rejects an attempt by lawmakers to punish lawyers who provide their clients with legal assistance beyond a set number of compensated hours. It is a victory for due process and the proper administration of justice."A matter of law and death".
If this state has learned anything through the multiple exonerations of prisoners through DNA evidence, it is that the criminal justice system is fallible. Providing additional due process before taking a prisoner's life helps ensure that the right person was convicted and the procedure was fair.
But for years the governor has tried to find ways to handicap the attorneys who do post-conviction death penalty appeals. He and Republican lawmakers have been frustrated by the success rate of the state offices of Capital Collateral Regional Counsel in suspending executions and getting death sentences set aside due to faulty process.
Pay Raises Stalled
"Plan to give raises to state legislators stalls in election year".
"Crumbs for higher ed?"
Why do GOoPers hate higher education?
The state university system is languishing in the budget, which allocates only about half of the $80 million the 11 universities need just to pay the routine bills for the thousands of new students that are expected to enroll this fall. This is shameful and inexcusable in a budget year that is almost shockingly hearty, with more money expected to be available following this week's revenue estimating conference report."Slowly starving".
Democratic state Reps. Irving Slosberg and Richard Machek,
accused of partisan apostasy for voting for a school voucher bill, say their recent "Yea" votes weren't what they seemed."Commentary: Candidates spin their yes-no votes on vouchers".
Slosberg, whose voucher vote could be damaging in his Democratic state Senate primary against attorney Ted Deutch, says there was a mix-up and he didn't actually vote in the March 23 roll call. ...
Machek, who may also end up facing a primary opponent, says his vote for vouchers was a tactical maneuver that doesn't reflect his views.
Both lawmakers had the House clerk change their "Yea" votes to "Nay" in the House Journal after the roll call. The 95-to-25 tally for the voucher bill during the roll call is still considered the official vote.
"If hypocrisy were a crime, Mr. Bush would be a felon"
Off topic, but I couldn't resist:
Caught authorizing classified intelligence leaks for political purposes, the White House makes this circular excuse: President Bush can't break the rules because President Bush makes the rules."From imperial president to imperial hyprocrite".
That dodge might hold up in court. But if hypocrisy were a crime, Mr. Bush would be a felon
More Bushco Hypocrisy
Our green governor: "Gov. Bush seeks end to oversight of Everglades, jeopardizing funds". The PBP editorial board puts it this way:
The federal government is sticking up for the Everglades more than Florida's governor is."Glades waffle isn't selling".
In February, Post reporter Robert King revealed that Gov. Bush was lobbying his brother's administration for help in getting the state out from under a federal court order to clean up the Everglades. Ten days ago, Mr. King reported that the governor is finding little support in Washington. It's no wonder.
This is the governor who in 2003 signed a bill that delays for 10 years the deadline to achieve final, tough standards for water entering the Everglades. Why would anyone believe that the state now could be trusted to meet those standards on its own?
A good review of the offshore drilling situation in the New York Yimes yesterday: "Offshore Drilling Plan Widens Rifts Over Energy Policy" (Via SJ)..
"Despite the Florida House's unanimous passage last week of House Bill 1567, which would limit use of eminent domain, there's hope that legislators won't indiscriminately trample current, responsible redevelopment while attempting to stomp out the possibility for eminent-domain abuse in Florida." "Protect redevelopment plans".
"Bush and many legislative leaders unwisely resisted an obvious need -- allocating funds from a windfall in sales taxes to ease the financial crunch on insured property owners. After opposing this sensible use of dollars, Bush changed his mind last week." "State Budget".
Feds Slash HIV Funding
"HIV funding slashed 13 percent in Palm Beach County".
Road Construction Delays
"The cost of building roads has gotten so high, even dirt isn't cheap. And that spike is causing Florida and other states to delay the construction of highways, increasing traffic congestion." "Rising material costs, labor shortages delaying road construction".