The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Ms. Sink, to her credit, acknowledged last year that the current system of leaving just three Cabinet members as trustees of the SBA is inadequate. She proposed expanding the agency's board to incorporate investment and financial experts. Such a change would require legislation and a constitutional amendment. But so far the CFO hasn't persuaded the "what, me worry?" crowd in the Legislature to go along." "A keener eye on money". See also "SBA withdraws budget request after Sink makes displeasure clear".
"You're motorin' ..."
"For years state lawmakers have been finding clever ways to shift the costs of state services to local governments, then boasting about how they have kept state taxes low." "State drives up cost of motoring".
"After years of failing to properly finance KidCare and making it as hard as possible for parents to enroll their children in the state's subsidized health insurance program, state legislators finally did something right. They passed a bill, which Gov. Crist signed last week, that streamlines the application process for KidCare and expands the program so another 50,000 children can join. KidCare provides coverage to children whose parents work but can't afford coverage. There are nearly 800,000 uninsured children in Florida." "Late move, but smart move on KidCare".
Orange County blues
"Tourist-tax revenues will plummet 18 percent in 2009 and not fully recover for several years, Orange County budget officials said Tuesday, adding the drop will affect everything from tourism promotion to the $1.1 billion plan for downtown arts and sports venues." "Tourist-tax revenue headed for a record drop".
Another fine Jebacy
"Report: South Florida graduation rates are low". See also "Florida's HS grad rate among worst in nation".
C'mon Charlie ... enough with the chains
"People accused of murder have the presumed right to walk into a courtroom unshackled -- a right that goes back to the roots of English and American law. But in many Florida counties, including Volusia, a 13-year-old facing shoplifting charges will be brought into court with chains on her feet and hands. " "Children in chains".
"Sink with a narrow but statistically significant lead"
"The Quinnipiac University poll, released Tuesday, shows Alex Sink with a narrow but statistically significant lead, 38 percent to Bill McCollum's 34 percent, with 28 percent undecided or no answer - and a 2.8-point error margin." "Sink has slim lead in latest voter poll". More: "Florida CFO Sink slightly ahead in 2010 race".
"It's a specious argument"
The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Ignoring home rule again and again, Florida's legislators have limited local governments' abilities to raise money for services, loaded unfunded mandates onto those same governments, then bragged about how they have cut costs. They might even come back with more limits when local governments attempt to recoup their losses."
The latest example is Senate Bill 2282, which prohibits counties and municipalities from imposing a fee or seeking reimbursement for costs for certain first-responder services. The bill landed on Gov. Charlie Crist's desk last Wednesday."Let voters decide".
The Democrat's editorial board back in February endorsed the user fee approved by the Tallahassee City Commission, pointing out that it would help the fire department continue to provide critical services, that it was a fee already used in several other counties, and that it would be imposed only in certain cases and then only on the driver at fault.
The editorial on the topic also debunked the claim that such a fee is an example of double-taxation.
That argument was revived this week by Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, a sponsor of the bill. He said services such as the police and fire departments are usually covered by property taxes and added, "It just didn't make any sense that you should have to pay twice for that."
It's a specious argument.
"Radically reduc[ing] no-drilling zones"
"The amendment, tacked onto a massive energy bill in Congress, would renege on a compromise won by Florida lawmakers just three years ago and radically reduce no-drilling zones in the eastern Gulf of Mexico -- from 125 miles down to 10 miles off the Panhandle and from 235 miles down to 45 miles off Tampa and coastal communities to the south." "Senate looks to shrink no-drilling zones".
"Sen. Bill Nelson said that oil and gas development in the eastern Gulf would interfere with military training in the area. And the Florida Democrat vowed to filibuster the energy legislation and block its approval if the provision is not removed." "Senate panel approves drilling off Florida".
"President Barack Obama called on lawmakers Tuesday to turn "pay-as-you-go" budget rules into law, an effort long championed by U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd." "Boyd praises Obama's support of PAYGO".
"Winter Park City Commissioner Karen Diebel filed with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday to challenge freshman Democratic Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas in Florida's 24th Congressional District." "Winter Park politico to challenge Kosmas".
"Differential" (?) tuition increases
"A Florida Board of Governors' committee supported a 'differential' tuition increase of 7 percent. That's on top of the already-approved 8 percent boost at UCF and four other schools: the universities of North Florida, West Florida, South Florida and Florida A&M. Trustees at the six other state universities will consider similar tuition increases in the next few days." "State's students can expect 'differential' tuition hike". Related: "All Florida universities seek maximum tuition hikes".
Floridians love their Charlie
"Since Crist entered office in January 2007, Florida's unemployment rate has nearly tripled. The measure of Floridians who say they are better off than they were a year ago has fallen by half. And the median sales price of an existing home has dropped $100,000." "Crist's popularity survives economic downturn".
Related: "Early survey shows Crist with big lead in GOP race". See also "Poll shows Crist leading Rubio in Senate race".
"Bronson endorses McCollum for governor".
"Nearly 1,400 acres in Santa Rosa County is now protected from further development and encroachment on Whiting Field Naval Air Station while providing recreation for off-road vehicles, hikers, canoeists and bicyclists." "Florida's Cabinet OKs $5.1M land acquisition".
No jokes about Northerners, please
"Crist on Tuesday signed into law a measure to help Florida strike more quickly against invasive plants and insects, a boon to the state's agriculture business." "Crist signs bill to help state strike quickly against invasive plants, insects".
Lame duck laffer
"Martinez said he was “very, very impressed” after meeting with Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday morning, but the Florida Republican would not disclose whether he would support her ascension to the high court." "Martinez wowed by Sotomayor -- but will he vote for her?". See also "'I am very, very impressed with her'".
"A consumer watchdog group wants Gov. Charlie Crist to veto legislation that would allow property insurers to not renew sinkhole coverage in Pasco and Hernando counties, unless the consumer requests it." "Group asks Crist to veto bill".
"North Miami's newly elected officials were sworn in Tuesday -- except for Jean Rodrigue Marcellus. Shortly before the ceremony, sitting City Council members failed to certify Marcellus' win pending a lawsuit challenging how long he has lived in North Miami." "Case holds up council victory".
Labels: me worry?' crowd", Sink "hasn't persuaded the 'what