"President Obama will be in Orlando on Thursday to talk about tourism. And like Democratic senators who skipped Obama appearances in other states, Bill Nelson will be nowhere in sight."
Calling Obama "the single worst president in history," Hasner said Nelson "has voted for every single one of President Obama's hallmark policies, which have been a disaster for Florida and the nation."GOP Taunts Bill Nelson for 'Running' From Obama".
Bill would allow lawmakers to secretly privatize state agency functions
"A Senate committee will consider a bill that would allow lawmakers to secretly privatize or outsource state agency functions. That includes privatizing the state's prisons."
The Senate rules committee will take up the bill (PCB 7170) at its Wednesday afternoon meeting. The bill essentially means that an agency would not have to report its privatization of a program or service until after the contract is signed. "Florida Senate bill would allow privatization to be secret".
"5 things to watch today"
"Capitol Buzz: 5 things to watch today in Tallahassee".
"A map to realign the state’s political boundaries according to new redistricting standards draws overwhelming support but opponents blast the effort as incumbency protection." "Senate earns bi-partisan support for its redistricting maps as critics complain". See also "Florida Senate moves quickly in redrawing district lines, but challenges loom", "State Senate approves redistricting plan; Fair Districts supporters cry foul" and "Senate approves its redistricting plans".
LeMieux hits the First Coast
"George LeMieux Builds His Team on the First Coast".
To replace Browning
"Nancy Detert in running for Secretary of State".
Ayn Rand convention in Manatee County
"UPDATE: Man hit by car, then run over by 3 hit-run drivers".
Hawkes ethics case moot
"The Florida Supreme Court has approved the state judicial ethics panel's dismissal of its case against a Tallahassee-based judge for his involvement in an expensive new courthouse. The court ruled Tuesday that an ethics case was moot since Judge Paul M. Hawkes of the 1st District Court of Appeal resigned as of Jan. 4. But the Supreme Court's order said that it would have 'continuing jurisdiction' if Hawkes ever retakes judicial office." "High court drops case against "Taj Mahal" judge".
"Chicken wranglers, hire yourselves a lobbyist."
Fred Grimm: "Of course, cock fighting, a disgusting, cruel, utterly uncivilized pursuit, will require some artful public relations work. But in Florida, a lousy rep can be easily fixed with the mere promise of millions of rooster revenue for our desperate schools. And so many new jobs along with all that the blood, gore, mayhem and flying feathers. Construction jobs to rebuild gamecock arenas. Fry-cook jobs to recycle the losers." "Cockfighting just needs a good lobbyist".
Obama goes to Disney
"President Obama will visit Disney on Thursday to talk about tourism".
Florida GOPers "loathe President Obama"
"No doubt about it -- Florida Republicans loathe President Barack Obama and are looking forward to defeating him in November." "Florida Republicans Ready to Toss Obama Out in November".
"In bid to reduce greyhound racing in Florida, strange allies emerge".
"Casino bill morphs"
"Backers of a controversial plan to bring high-end destination-casino resorts to Florida initially billed it as a way to limit gambling in the state. But the measure has since morphed into a behemoth of a bill that could spread slot machines — if not casinos — to every corner of the Sunshine State."
Changes approved by a Senate committee this past week would allow any parimutuel facility in the state — from Pensacola to Jacksonville to Daytona Beach and Tampa — to open slot machines if local voters approve. Internet cafes — which many argue are illegal — would be legitimized and regulated. Taxes paid by South Florida "racinos" would plummet, and racetracks in counties that allow destination casinos would be permitted to open casinos of their own, complete with blackjack and craps."Casino bill morphs into all-Florida gambling proposal".
"I've given up saying it's not an expansion because I've lost that battle,'' said state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, during the committee meeting. "Call it what you will."
To opponents of the measure — anti-gambling legislators, the Central Florida tourism industry and social and religious conservatives — the changes have opened a potentially powerful argument: It's not just about South Florida anymore.
They'll probably use big words
"More state university presidents are set to appear before the Florida House Education Committee. The panel is continuing its talks Wednesday with the presidents as part of efforts to improve the coordination of Florida's higher education system." "More university leaders visiting Fla. House panel".
"Florida lost out on millions in federal dollars"
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Florida children bore the brunt in recent years as state lawmakers, claiming to be proactive, reined in spending by slashing education and juvenile safety-net programs. Now, thousands of uninsured kids lose again. Why? Florida lost out on millions in federal dollars simply because the state wasn't proactive enough."
Last month, Washington awarded nearly $300 million in performance bonuses. For streamlining access and boosting kids' enrollment in Medicaid and stateChildren's Health Insurance programs, 23 states pocketed hefty bonuses. Among them: Alabama ($19 million), Georgia ($5 million), and Louisiana (nearly $2 million)."Kids hurt when state loses KidCare money".
And the Sunshine State? Not one red cent. Even though more than 1.6 million of Florida's poorest kids receive Medicaid. Even though another 250,000 rely on KidCare — which covers uninsured kids whose parents' earnings outstrip Medicaid caps. Even though better than 380,000 more kids likely qualify for coverage.
Numbers weren't the hang-up. Blame a lack of will to adopt and pass policies that align with federal standards governing the allocation of funds.
Rooney stands tall
"Rooney: Obama Administration Fails to Address Everglades Snake Threat".
Romney already forgetting GOP base
"Personhood USA to host presidential forum; Romney not participating".
"During this morning’s inaugural meeting of the Everglades Legislative Caucus, former Sen. Bob Graham spoke out against a bill that would privatize the reclaimed water used by utilities." "Graham urges opposition to lawmaker’s reclaimed water bill". See also "Graham urges legislators to oppose efforts to allow private ownership of water".
And so it begins
"Five counties in Florida have already begun in-person early voting for the GOP presidential primary." "Early voting begins in counties where new elections law has not been implemented".
Scott looks for 'Glades handout
"Scott downplayed the increase in funding he’s requested for Everglades maintenance, saying the key is to spend any money correctly, during a panel discussion that was part of the Everglades Water Supply Summit at the Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center in Tallahassee." "Scott, Salazar Express Optimism for Everglades". Related: "Everglades summit participants debate over-development, Big Sugar, Scott’s budget", "More Everglades Water Supply Summit participants weigh in: Scott, Putnam, Salazar", "Gov. Rick Scott, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar point to Everglades cooperation", "Environment dramas play out in Tallahassee" and "Everglades panel discusses water quality, environmental regulations".
"Tampa will go on lockdown"
"Already, courts and government offices are making plans to shift services or suspend them so that they can avoid the congestion of GOP delegates and expected protesters." "In August, Tampa will go on lockdown".