"Lawmakers might have to return to Tallahassee for a special session this year if they want final say on a plan to overhaul Medicaid coverage of long-term care." "State Medicaid Overhaul Could Require Special Session".
"Teachers unions have gone on the offensive to criticize the Republicans' approach to education and the party's attempts to increase class-size limits." "Teachers protest bills to increase class size".Session News
- "Today in Tallahassee".
- "Legislature 2006: Developments from day 50, April 25". See also "Legislative news briefs", "Capitol Digest" and "Capitol Roundup".
- "A proposed state constitutional amendment that would prohibit courts from relying on a legal doctrine used to overturn a school voucher program passed Tuesday in the Florida House." "House OKs amendment to strike voucher case legal doctrine".
- "House, Senate at odds over cable TV competition".
- "Portable Property Tax Plan On Hold". See also "Tax cap 'portability' headed for study" and "Legislators may delay property tax changes".
- "House OKs guns in Florida's forests".
- "Under the legislation, county governments couldn't object to development on ['agricultural enclaves that are at least 75 percent surrounded by development'] on the grounds that it represents urban sprawl." "Agricultural enclave bill clears House".
- "Parents could pay for state insurance for under-4-year-olds".
- "House and Senate budget negotiators wrapped up their work Tuesday night, agreeing to increase public school funding by $1.8 billion but leaving a handful of other issues for leaders of their budget committees and chambers to decide." "School Dollars Almost Done". See also "House, Senate agree on most education budget issues" and "Fla. schools set to gain $1.8 billion".
- "House passes bill to study obstacles facing black men".
- "Backers hope budget saves Lake Okeechobee study".
- "Transit Planners Told 'Take The Blinders Off'".
- "Florida lawmakers would find it harder, though not impossible, to raise huge sums of cash for shadowy political accounts they control or use, under a new campaign-finance measured approved Tuesday by a state Senate panel." "Bill limits groups run by lawmakers".
- "State agency says some probation laws need changing".
- "Legislators consider loan plan for insurers".
- "Senate President Tom Lee's push to limit shadowy fund-raising committees connected to state lawmakers was first watered down Tuesday then roughed up by the Senate Judiciary Committee." "Cracking down on Cash". See also "Campaign reform advances in Senate", "Committee cracks down on soft money" and "Senate plan restricts lavish political donations".
- "Gay students added to anti-bully bill".
- "Big out-of-state wineries may face mail-order ban". See also "Big-money lobbying campaign prompts legislators to limit mail-order wine sales".
- "Bill requires seat belts on worker vans".
- "Two bills designed with sports fans in mind sailed through the state House on Tuesday while bills that address recruitment and steroid use among high school athletes face slower going." "House Takes On A Sporting State Of Mind". See also "Spring training bill passes in state House".
- "House bill gives prosecutors final say in closings".
- "Their bill to require more driver vision tests makes it out of a Senate committee." "Senators quiz high school students".
- "Attorney General Charlie Crist has pushed the bill -- which he has dubbed the 'anti-murder' bill -- for more than a year." "House OKs 'anti-murder' law".
- "Lawmakers to take up housing aid for critical workers".
- "Bill would allow Palm Beach County to have elected School Board chairman". See also "Black caucus objects to school-board measure".
- "Several top Senate Republicans joined Democrats in voting Tuesday for a measure to provide state money for embryonic stem cell research, opening the door for continued debate on the controversial but potentially promising type of medical research." "Stem cell research cash approved by committee". See also "Senate panel approves paying for embryonic stem cell research" and "Stem-cell supporters see hope for '07".
- "Boot camp funding redirected". See also "Legislature set to dismantle juvenile boot camps" and "Boot camps to be shut down".
Another Republican flip-flop:
Now that immigration is a hot issue, the state Senate is backpedaling on legislation to grant in-state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants. ... Now that immigration is a hot issue, Senate President Tom Lee of Valrico and other senators are more concerned about short-term politics than the long-term welfare of these children and the state's economy."Immigration flip-flop".
Holy Land Exemption
"The Holy Land Experience, Orlando’s self-proclaimed 'most inspiring destination,' moved a step farther from the property appraiser’s grasp Tuesday when the Florida House of Representatives gave preliminary approval to a property tax exemption for its biblical displays." "A Hole for The Holy Land".
Schiavo Backs Davis
"Michael Schiavo backs Davis in governor's race", "Schiavo backs Davis for Florida governor" and "Schiavo endorses Davis for governor".
"U.S. Senate candidate Katherine Harris ended a week-long tour of Florida here on Monday, again shrugging off questions about a corrupt defense contractor and trying to blast Sen. Bill Nelson for being too liberal." "Harris Finishes Florida Tour On Longboat Key".
"A condemned Florida inmate renews the death penalty debate, as his argument against lethal injection will be heard today by the U.S. Supreme Court." "Top court looks at Fla. death row".
Exploring For Oil In Big Cypress
"With a political stake driven through a proposed $120 million land buyout ['a scathing report ... concluded the federal government basically had been bluffed into making an inflated offer'], a powerful Florida pioneer family is reviving efforts to hunt for new oil and gas reserves under the sprawling Big Cypress National Preserve." "Colliers hoping to renew the hunt for oil".
The Tampa Trib editorial board:
The last thing immigrants in Tampa and across the country should do next Monday is walk off the job to demonstrate the role that undocumented workers play in the United States."Demonstrations Will Not Win Friends For Immigrant Workers".
Charlie In The News
"Florida's attorney general has asked medical officials to investigate autopsies by Dr. Charles Siebert, the examiner who concluded that Martin Lee Anderson died of natural causes." "Crist urges search for autopsy 'flaws'".
Donna Embarasses Herself
""Former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards, Teamsters President James Hoffa and civil rights leaders marched with striking service workers and about 200 supporters Tuesday at the University of Miami." Shalala's hypocrisy knows no bounds:
University President Donna Shalala has said the school would not take a position on the unionization of striking janitors at the campus. But the university took out an ad Tuesday in The Miami Herald criticizing the union's organizing tactics, which it said are disrupting the school's academic programs.""Shalala And Edwards".
"'Trust us' doesn't cut it"
"State needs to be open on FCAT":
"Trust us" doesn't cut it."A failing grade".
It doesn't cut it when Florida refuses to allow a paper trail on electronic voting.
It doesn't cut it when private companies promise they'll be careful with state employee personnel records.
And it doesn't cut it in the latest dustup over the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.
Senate Minority Leader Les Miller, D-Tampa, and Sen. Walter "Skip" Campbell, D-Fort Lauderdale, sued Education Commissioner John Winn on Monday, requesting more information on a contractor's use of low-wage, temporary employees to grade the FCAT.
"Storms-Castor Cage Match Is Possibility".
"A project to restore water flows for marshes and prairies in Everglades National Park has mushroomed in cost and suffered delays because of government indecision and inability to communicate, a new federal audit has concluded." "Audit cites agency fights, indecision for Everglades delay".
Dem Security Initiatve ...
Once a container passes customs, it's free of any further inspections. State Sens. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton, and Walter "Skip" Campbell, D-Tamarac, and state Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Dania Beach, want to change that."Port Security".
"This is a time for creative, constructive ideas. Instead, Commissioner Newell made the snarky suggestion that environmental groups that blocked construction at the county's first choice, Mecca Farms, put up money to help Scripps stay. 'If it (Scripps) doesn't happen,' he said, 'you've got to point a finger someplace.' Not only is he wrong on the blame, he's acting like the kid who missed out on the cookie line after recess." "All hands on Scripps deck".
State Moves To Seize Company
"The state Department of Financial Services on Tuesday filed papers in a Leon County Circuit Court to put Poe's Southern Family Insurance Co. under state management, meaning the state would take control of the insurer's operations because it failed to meet minimum financial requirements." "Florida moves to seize control of Poe's 3 home insurance companies". See also "Insurer Poe set to go under".
"Just read between the lines"
Rather than tell the plain truth - that this bill is a dodge to continue an illegal voucher program - the measure claims that its goal is to "enable children in this state to achieve a greater level of excellence in their education." These tactics are more of the same from a governor and Legislature who have refused to pay for "a greater level of excellence" in education. That's why Florida is near the bottom in every credible ranking of per-pupil school spending. Just read, Florida. Just read between the lines."Reject stealth voucher bill".
In the meantime, the Orlando Sentinel urges the Legislature to "End the shell game" on class size.
"If ever a court case showed the need for state legislative action to straighten out a mess in the making, it's the one in Hollywood involving the city's attempts to use eminent domain to take private property and turn it over to another private entity." "Eminent Domain".
Bushco turns blind eye to the presence of right-wing Cuban terrorists living in the United States, including notorious Cuban terrorists Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles.
For three decades, both Bosch and Posada have been under the Bush family’s wing, starting with former President George H.W. Bush (who was CIA director when the airline bombing occurred in 1976) and including Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and President George W. Bush."Bush's Hypocrisy: Cuban Terrorists".