Friday, July 26, 2013

Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry.

Fixed school grades released today

"Florida is releasing A to F grades for many of the state's public schools."

But the grades being released Friday underwent a last-minute change that will limit the number of schools that get F grades.
"Florida releasing grades today after limiting F schools". See also "School grades come out today" and "State to release school grades today".

No love lost

"Gov. Rick Scott's administration is battling with the federal government over its handling of social safety net programs, voting rights and budget cuts." "No love lost between Florida, federal officialdom".

Privatization follies

"As Florida prepares to move forward next month with shifting thousands of seniors into Medicaid managed-care plans, Humana Inc. announced that it will buy a major player in the program." "Humana to Buy Key Player in Medicaid Program".


"Orlando Makes No. 2 on 'Most Sinful Cities in America' List".

Rubio to ride anti-choice horse

"After weeks of speculation, earlier this week Marco Rubio announced that he would like to champion a bill shifting the ban on abortions from 24 weeks after conception to 20 weeks." "Marco Rubio Has A Chance to Boost 2016 Stock Through 20-Week Abortion Ban". See also "" and "".

"Customers overcharged by billions"

"The proposed reorganization of Florida’s largest health insurer will transfer $1.6 billion of the nonprofit company’s $2.8 billion surplus to a for-profit stock company and should be 'rejected by regulators and protested by policyholders and the public,' one group opposing the plan says." "Opponents urge state to reject Florida Blue plan, say it shows customers overcharged by billions".

And these people expect pensions?

"Firefighters were called to the house at 5:14 a.m. and were met with heavy smoke and flames." "House fire injures firefighter".

Capital Scoop

"In this weeks Capital Scoop State Attorney Willie Meggs talks with Democrat Politics and Policy Editor Paul Flemming about Florida's controversial Stand your Ground law and options for former Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch." "Capital Scoop with State Attorney Willie Meggs".

Capitol sit-in heats up

"Thursday, three groups joined the Dream Defenders protest of Florida's 'stand your ground' law."

The Alliance for Educational Justice chartered two buses from New England and Mid-Atlantic states to bring reinforcements to Tallahassee, and PICO sent six ministers to sleep at the Capitol. A group from New Haven, Conn., is expected in town Friday.
"Capitol sit-in grows as busloads of supporters arrive".

"Imagined conversations"

Paul Flemming: "Imagined conversations on the Capitol sit-in".

The 2014 gubernatorial campaign has begun

"Fifteen months before Election Day, the 2014 gubernatorial campaign has begun. Never mind that Republican incumbent Gov. Rick Scott hasn't yet filed to run for re-election, or that the Democrats haven't settled on a candidate. That hasn't stopped both sides from ratcheting up attacks on each other." "Attacks begin before gubernatorial candidates declare". See also "Democrats target Gov. Scott with online ad".

Dems ask Scott to call off plans to restart a voter purge

"Two Democratic members of Congress are asking Florida Gov. Rick Scott to call off plans to restart a voter purge."

U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch and Alcee Hastings on Thursday wrote the Republican governor. They said that last year's effort to identify and remove non-U.S. citizens from the state's voter rolls was flawed.

A federal judge this week lifted an order that had halted state efforts.

"Florida Democrats ask Gov. Scott to block voter purge".

Florida's economy gets boost from recovering national markets

"Florida's economy is getting a boost from recovering national housing and financial markets, which are allowing more people to move to the state and also sparking new housing, according to a forecast from a University of Central Florida economist." "Economist's forecast for Florida: clearing skies".

Yee Haw!

"Americans For Prosperity sets national conference in Orlando".

OMG! Casino employees might "negotiate better wages, benefits and work conditions"

"Led by Walt Disney World, the Orlando tourism industry is lobbying hard to prevent the construction of Las Vegas-style casinos in Florida, arguing that the multibillion-dollar resorts would undermine the state's family-friendly reputation."

But the industry is wary of something else, too: unions.

Orlando tourism businesses fear the arrival of casinos, which are heavily unionized in markets such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City, could spur efforts to organize in more Florida hotels, according to a report prepared by Spectrum Gaming Group, a firm hired for nearly $400,000 by the Florida Legislature to study the impact of expanding gaming. Hoteliers would face higher costs if new unions successfully negotiated better wages, benefits and work conditions for employees.

"In casino fight, Orlando tourism leaders raise the specter of unions".

Raw political courage

"Back-to-school tax holiday to start Aug. 2, retailers touting electornics".