"Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle has removed one of her top prosecution teams from the investigation of U.S. Rep. David Rivera and asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to take over as the lead agency in the politically sensitive probe."
This week, aides to Fernández Rundle asked detectives in the Miami-Dade Police Department's public corruption squad to begin working with the FDLE's Tallahassee office, which will now lead the Rivera probe. Miami-Dade detectives had previously been working primarily with a team of investigators and prosecutors within Rundle's office."FDLE takes lead in David Rivera probe".
Scott "boldly predicts" to cut taxes
"Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday he will rally public support and convince lawmakers to dig out of a $3.5-billion revenue hole and cut taxes at the same time." "Gov. Scott plans tax cuts".
"As Gov. Rick Scott boldly predicted he would keep a campaign promise to cut taxes, both top legislative leaders Wednesday expressed doubt because of the size of the state's budget shortfall."
Scott called the current state budget "bloated'' and said he'll be more careful with tax dollars, an indirect slap at his fellow Republicans who crafted it."Cutting taxes? Scott still says yes". More: "Scott is confident tax cuts will pass".
"I believe our existing budget is bloated,'' Scott said, declining to cite one example of wasteful spending. "I believe that we're not cautious enough about how we spend money.''
Pleading the fifth in 140 characters or less
"Gov. Scott to hold Twitter town hall". See also "Update: Join Gov. Scott's Twitter town hall today".
They can almost see Russia from the Cabinet Room ...
"For the first time in more than a century, all members of the state Cabinet are new to their jobs."
"Cabinet has first meeting". See also "All-new Cabinet, including first woman AG, meets". More: "Scott, Cabinet Look at Agency Mergers to Cut Costs".
Haridopolos a one trick pony
"Florida's new Senate president says he'd like to cut taxes in addition to slashing more than $3 billion from the state budget. ... [and] said much of the savings will come by cutting state employee pay and pension benefits." "Haridopolos says billions in cuts are priority". But see "Lawmakers casting doubt on Scott's promises of tax cuts".
Rich brat attacks defined pension
"Jeb Bush: Eliminate 'defined-benefit pension system'".
"Bigotry at the highest level of state government"
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board:
The same day that Gov. Rick Scott reopened the door to Florida banning gays and lesbians from adopting, the North Miami man whose case helped overturn the ban was formally declared the father of two brothers he’s raised since 2004. Martin Gill’s sons now have a brighter and more secure future. Bigotry at the highest level of state government should not block that chance for Florida’s other abandoned or orphaned children. "Don't return to bigotry". See also "Governor is opposed but won't challenge court ruling".
Be afraid ...
"Speaking in Tallahassee Wednesday, two key leaders of the Florida House offered glimpses into the 2011 session which starts in March." "House Leaders Lay Out Issues for the 2011 Session".
Raw political courage
"Bondi to press Feinberg on oil spill payments".
Nelson to run again
"U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Wednesday he'll seek a third term, and that he's confident he and President Barack Obama will fare well with the state's voters in 2012 when Florida will have 29 electoral votes in the presidential election." "Sen. Nelson announces plans to seek re-election". See also "Bill Nelson to seek 3 r d US Senate term" and "Sen. Nelson announces plans to seek re-election".
Marc Caputo: "Sen. Bill Nelson has been here before -- the lone statewide Democrat in a red sea of Republicanism. After telling reporters Wednesday that he'll definitely run again for reelection in 2012, Nelson said he's not too concerned with the results of November's elections, which swept Republicans into office throughout Florida and the rest of the country." "For last Democrat standing, a road of resistance". Related: "Bill Nelson Talks Politics and Policy in Tallahassee".
Dem likes sales tax increase, property tax cut
"Florida House Democratic Leader Ron Saunders said he could support a sales tax increase to help pay for a property tax cut that Republican Gov. Rick Scott is pushing." "Open to raise sales tax for property tax cut".
"FCAT creates more harm than good"
"Saying the FCAT creates more harm than good, a freshman state legislator said Tuesday she is championing a bill in the House that would do away with the annual state exams." "Florida lawmaker pushes bill to end FCAT".
Scott stands tall for sewage
"Septic tank measure becomes law without Scott's signature".
"You have the economy to thank"
"Traffic congestion is getting worse again, and by some measures you have the economy to thank if you're sitting in traffic. A recent study doesn't paint a pretty picture of mobility in South Florida." "South Florida traffic congestion rising as job market recovers".
That silly constitution thingy
"School Districts Face Class-Size Fines of $31 Million".
"Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein's luxury properties, including his waterfront multimillion-dollar mansion in the exclusive Harbor Beach enclave of Fort Lauderdale, will soon likely be up for sale." "Rothstein's home, properties likely coming to market soon".
Running gubment like a bidness.
"Florida's politicians are staying mum, but interest on the state's $2 billion unemployment-insurance loans continues to mount. The interest on the federal advances, which the state is using to fund jobless benefits, starts coming due in September. By then, the state will have racked up $61 million in interest charges." "Florida Businesses Hammered by Jobless Loan".
Breaking the Scott casino code
Tom Lyons: "Political reporters statewide have been trying to decipher our new governor's recent messages expressing -- or not? -- an unexpected new willingness to expanding casino gambling." "Breaking Scott's code on expanded gambling".
"Scott: We "clearly need" better growth management".
Greer's tell-all book on hold
"An Orlando judge ... temporarily sealed the manuscript of a tell-all book ousted Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer was trying to sell to a publisher." "Judge: I'm temporarily sealing Jim Greer's tell-all book".
Parental Comprehensive Assessment Test follies
Mike Thomas: "How far can we go with this parent-grading idea?".
Good luck, Bill
"U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson leaned hard on new Gov. Rick Scott Wednesday to punch the state’s ticket for a high-speed rail connecting Tampa and Orlando, particularly since the federal government has offered to pay 90 percent of the cost." "Nelson Leans on Scott to Get on Board With High-Speed Rail".
Florida already the cheapest place for business
"Gov. Rick Scott and top legislative leaders spent much of last year talking about the need to make Florida more pro-business, but the state dominates a new report listing the 20 cities with the lowest operating costs and best business climate."
In a ranking of the 20 cheapest cities to set up shop, Florida appears five times, with Orlando claiming the top spot. Jacksonville finished third, and Broward County ranked 20th. Tampa Bay was seventh, and Palm Beach County came in at 16th."Orlando is cheapest place to open business, report says".
No other state placed more than one city on the list of top 20.
Florida GOPers join publicity stunt
"Florida Republicans joined the celebration when the House voted 245 to 189 for repeal. Florida Democrats accused Republicans of engaging in a political stunt, knowing that repeal has virtually no chance of passing the Senate." "Florida Republicans join celebration as House votes for repeal of health care law".
Scott presser a laffer
Among Scott's press conference laffers is this: "Scott believes his government is very open". See also "Rick Scott Focused on Job Creation" and "Scott denies he's shutting out media, public".
Putnam opposes Department of Citrus merger
"Florida's new agriculture commissioner says merging the Department of Citrus into his agency would not save money." "Putnam: No savings for state in citrus merger".