The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Census figures released this week are a reminder of the harsh reality for Florida children. Nearly 1 in 5 lives in poverty, stacking the odds against success."
Lawmakers — even before the national partisan debate over health care reform — have balked at taking full advantage of the state-federal child health insurance program, leaving Florida with the second highest percentage of uninsured children in the country. Nor have they been willing to increase standards for voluntary pre-K."Investing in Florida's young".
That's shortsighted. Florida's uninsured children — at least 548,000 — can still show up in emergency rooms or elsewhere and receive expensive care that often ends up paid for by taxpayers.
No one left to defraud
"Florida Gov.-elect Rick Scott faces deepening statewide budget gap".
The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Best for him, best for city". See also "Foley concerned about potential diminishing of West Palm mayoral power".
Howard Troxler: "Health suits raise legitimate questions". More: "McCollum's challenge of Obama's health care plan is central to national debate".
Who appointed TaxWatch?
"Today, a group of experts will present the incoming chief executives with some real voices of experience. For the third time, Florida TaxWatch has assembled a group of government experts to give insights on issues and events Scott can expect to encounter, once he's sworn in on Jan. 4." "Governor-elect Scott to receive transition insight today".
Big of him
"Scott visits Port of Miami, promises to study dredging proposal".
Bill didn't get the memo
"Apparently, Bill Nelson didn't get the memo. Or maybe he just forgot. From President Barack Obama to the lowest ranking Republican on Capitol Hill, budget earmarks have become a Washington whipping boy. But Florida's senior senator is sparing the rod and liberally piling on the pork as he and fellow Democrats in the state's House delegation shoved millions of dollars in special projects into the lame-duck Congress' omnibus budget bill this week." "Bill Nelson Tone Deaf on Earmarks".
Bla, blah, blah
"President Barack Obama may be an excellent communicator but he faces a serious challenge in that department from incoming U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, argued a prominent communications expert on Wednesday." "Communications Guru Gives Marco Rubio High Marks".
Straw poll laff riot
"Look out Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire."
Republicans in the nation's biggest swing state are preparing to weigh in on their party's presidential nominee as early as fall 2011."Florida's GOP may replace troublesome early presidential primary with straw poll".
The concept: a non-binding Florida straw poll at a massive event billed as "Presidency V,'' which would also feature a nationally televised presidential debate. The plan, still in its infancy, enjoyed wide support from Republican Party of Florida leaders at its quarterly meeting last weekend.
It will be entertaining to see the extremes to which GOP candidates will go for the support of that peculiar sort of Floridian that attends RPOF straw polls.
Is Huckabee peaking too soon with this?: "Huckabee signs letter supporting groups designated as ‘hate groups’" ("Florida resident and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has signed a letter supporting a Family Research Council effort to push back against the Southern Poverty Law Center for designating several anti-gay organizations as 'hate groups.'")
The Palm Beach Post editors: "Along the urbanized east coast, many Floridians never see the state's second-biggest industry except at the grocery store. Unfortunately, we soon will see less of it. The cold weather of Sunday and Monday nights didn't hurt crops severely, but Tuesday night was colder and, unfortunately, calmer with no clouds." "Their losses are state's losses".
"Florida Chamber Study Shows Trade and Logistics Could Lead to 143,000 Jobs".
Not so fast, Mr. Scott
"Governor-elect Rick Scott's ambitious plans to overhaul Florida government are already drawing scrutiny from local legislative leaders. While saying they generally support Scott, senior members of the Sarasota-Manatee legislative delegation predicted the new governor will not have a complete green light next year in Tallahassee, even from a Legislature in which Republicans hold a 2-to-1 advantage." "Governor may face fight from local lawmakers".
Never mind the constitution
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Give schools a [class size] break".
"Murderous reality created by Second Amendment absolutists"
Fred Grimm: "Once again, innocents in communities like Liberty City suffered the murderous reality created by Second Amendment absolutists -- those who talk of the right to own military assault weapons as if these guns should be regarded no differently than handguns or hunting rifles." "No excuse for this kind of firepower".
Better than nothing
"But the sharp declines were not a signal that Florida's foreclosure crisis is suddenly over. The change more likely reflected the delayed effects of a short-lived foreclosure moratorium imposed in October by several big, national home lenders after reports of sloppy documentation and rushed processing." "Orlando-area foreclosures fall 50%, but drop may be brief".
The Saint Petersburg Times editors: "Pinellas County political candidates and voters already complain that local election seasons are too long, thanks to Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark's penchant for sending out mail ballots six weeks before Election Day. Now Clark wants the season to be even longer. She's asking St. Petersburg to make its city primary election two weeks earlier. It's an idea that deserves the skeptical response it is getting from some City Council members." "Longer isn't better for election season".
"In a show of unity after their party's successful election last month, Miami-Dade Republicans are expected to rally around a new, consensus leader Thursday. State Rep. Erik Fresen is the only candidate seeking to replace U.S. Rep.-elect David Rivera, the county party's outgoing chairman." "Dade GOP to select new leader".