"Gov. Rick Scott is getting a bill that would prohibit Floridians from being required to purchase health insurance."
The Republican-controlled Senate on Monday voted 30-7 for the measure (HB 1193) previously approved by the House."Legal experts say federal laws trump state legislation."
It would put Florida in direct conflict with the federal health care overhaul that will require most people eventually to have insurance coverage.
Scott, a former hospital chain CEO, has been a vociferous opponent of the health care law."Gov. Scott gets bill to block federal health-care overhaul".
Today in Tally
"Today in Tallahassee: Immigration, election reform". See also "Florida lawmakers face a busy final week" and "Final week of Florida legislative session gets underway".
"Budget Negotiators Strike Deals on Privatization, PIP, Water Management Districts". See also "Democrat: State budget negotiations continue", "Florida Legislature tackles tough issues as deadline approaches" and "Property tax cuts, lobbyists and state employee health insurance part of final budget talks". More: "One of the Roughest, Toughest Sessions Ever, Say Lawmakers".
"Does Gov. Scott have a legal right to kill SunRail?"
University and college administrator salaries
"In tough economic times, the latest casualty has become six-figure salaries. Florida lawmakers are taking aim at the salaries of university and college administrators, with a provision in a proposed higher education budget that caps their state-funded salaries at $200,000." "Lawmakers Target University, College Salaries".
Where are the non-Cuban Hispanic officials?
"The 2010 U.S. Census showed that Hispanic growth in the Puerto Rican-heavy central Florida counties along Interstate 4 was almost as large as the Latino gains in Cuban-dominated South Florida during the past decade. Despite that, Puerto Ricans and other non-Cuban Hispanics continue to lag Cubans in political influence." "Central Fla. Hispanic population gaining".
Rubio says "no"
"Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday that he would not be on any Republican ticket in 2012." "Rubio won't be VP candidate in 2012".
Dues deduction kerfuffle
"The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee assured legislators today that House and Senate budget negotiators are not trying to sneak a 'paycheck protection' bill into the pending compromises on state spending."
Negotiators Sunday night resolved a series of impasses between the state and unions representing state employees, and “dues checkoff” was at the top of the list. Since the state is trying to end the deduction of union dues by public employers, some union leaders warned that the budget language would revive a seemingly dormant bill by Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, that would ban use of dues money for political purposes. ..."Budget chairman: Negotiators not trying to sneak in 'paycheck protection' ".
There have been some other major bills finessed in the conference committee reports, which are not subject to amendment by the full House or Senate. But Alexander said the House negotiators, who offered the impasse language, were not trying to slip “paycheck protection” past the senators.
Thrasher’s bill (SB 830) would forbid unions to make political use of dues deducted by payroll deduction from government agencies. It has been stymied in the Senate by all Democrats and a bloc of Republicans who feel the dues come from an employee’s own money, and that the state should not tell workers how they can use the money.
West: The President a "low-level socialist agitator"
"[T]he most compelling part of Representative Allen B. West of Florida is his own biography, there for all to see: an African-American Tea Party activist Republican congressman and ally of hard-right Israelis who, after his beloved career in the Army ended under a cloud, defeated the sitting Democrat in a largely white, politically polarized district here and quickly became one of the right’s most visible spokesmen."
Mr. West’s popularity among conservatives goes far beyond South Florida. He was chosen to give the keynote speech in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference, and is frequently featured on the Fox News Channel and in other conservative settings where he enjoys explaining, reiterating or unleashing any number of incendiary remarks concerning what he often calls “the other side.”"Conservative Congressman’s Star Power Extends Beyond Florida District".
There was his recent observation that liberal women “have been neutering American men,” and that the president of the United States is a “low-level socialist agitator.”
"Bondi sounds as if she wants an invitation to a tea party"
"As a candidate, Pam Bondi said the Florida attorney general's office was her political goal and promised not to run for anything else. As attorney general, Ms. Bondi is grabbing headlines even when she doesn't deserve them. That sounds like a politician seeking higher office." "Bondi deserves no credit".
Corporate income tax cut declared dead Sunday
"Scott's proposed cut to Florida's corporate income tax was declared dead Sunday by the Senate president, who said cutting spending is more important. The decision is a significant setback for the Republican governor, who has aggressively promoted the corporate tax cut, including as a candidate last year." "Gov. Rick Scott's proposed corporate tax cut dead, Senate president says".
He surely would have voted for Eisnaugle
"Republicans pushing major changes to state election laws say the legislation is needed to better protect the state against voter fraud."
Need some proof? asked state Rep. Eric Eisnaugle of Orlando during a recent debate on the House floor. "Election pranks are not equal to fraud".
Mickey Mouse was registered to vote.
Yes, that Mickey Mouse.
"One of my colleagues suggested that we spent hours of time on a problem that doesn't exist, also suggesting that nothing in this bill helps people vote," Eisnaugle said April 21 while discussing HB 1355, a bill that would put new restrictions on third-party voter registration groups.
"We have seen … falsifying of hundreds of registrations, including the registration of an actor who was already deceased at the time. In another case, Mickey Mouse was registered to vote.
Thanks, President Obama
"Despite dire warnings from environmentalists that Everglades restoration is doomed if drastic cuts to the state budget are approved, federal agencies say they have the money to keep the programs going and are ready to step up and fulfill their commitment to share the costs." "Federal official says Everglades restoration will continue despite state budget slashes".
Enough with the Teabaggerish behavior
The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "Intentionally disruptive behavior need not be tolerated at town hall protest". Stephen Goldstein: "Free speech: We're becoming a nation of real loudmouths ".
While the rest of us were napping
"Firefighters battle blaze near homes".
Bill Maxwell: "As Republicans in the Florida Legislature move to implement Arizona-style immigration laws, they need to listen to one of their own: Adam Putnam." "Arizona's law doesn't fit Florida".
"He's blown his first year"
Nancy Smith: "The White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner is a fashionable fly-in for Hollywood types looking for a red carpet and a chance to impress the president. But it’s no place for a governor with ratings on the swoon and less than a week to salvage his priorities."
Rick Scott's place this weekend was here, not there. It was hunkering down with leaders in the Legislature, not making jolly ha-ha at the Washington Hilton."Tempus Fugit, Governor: Stay Home, Fight for Your Priorities".
The problem is, I don't think he's been listening to the right people. There's a real sense among even the folks who helped put the governor in office, that after only 120 days, he's blown his first year.
His priorities are largely missing from the House or Senate budget and they want to know why.
"Back door deal"
"Despite a similar piece of legislation actually getting voted down in a House committee, the provision is added to an unrelated budget conforming bill that deals with criminal justice funding issues. Trial attorney representative says legislators should reject 'back door deal' and 'restore integrity to the legislative process.'" "House and Senate agree to nix attorneys' fees in PIP cases as part of budget deal".
"A Florida panther was killed by a vehicle near the Big Cypress National Preserve in Collier County over the weekend." "Florida panther struck, killed on US 41".
"Question lifted from pension rewrite: Scott likes".