Saturday, May 30, 2015

Please consider becoming a site fan on Facebook and following us on Twitter. Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry follows.

"Hospitals shudder at Scott's proposed deep cuts"

"A proposal by Gov. Rick Scott to retain a pool of money for hospitals that serve the poor includes dramatic cuts to many local medical centers, with Tampa General, the area’s largest safety net hospital, targeted for a $31 million hit."

Several major state hospitals would see funding from the Low Income Pool slashed, including Jackson Memorial in Miami, with a proposed $85 million reduction; Shands Jacksonville Medical Center at $37 million; Shands Teaching Hospital in Gainesville at $35 million; and Broward General Hospital at $22 million.

In the Tampa Bay area, All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine in St. Petersburg would lose $13 million, and St. Joseph’s in Tampa, $9 million.

“While we appreciated Gov. Scott’s recent unsuccessful efforts to retain current levels of LIP funding, we are disappointed to see that his proposal targets safety net hospitals and could literally put some out of business,” said Tony Carvalho, president of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, in a statement reacting to the plan. “We are urging the governor and his team to re-evaluate the harmful impacts of this proposed redistribution.”

"Hospitals shudder at deep cuts Scott seeks in Medicaid debate."

"In Florida's health-care fight that has brought budget gridlock and threatens a government shutdown, Gov. Rick Scott wielded a new weapon in recent weeks in the form of a commission to investigate hospital finances and operations, including political contributions and lobbying." "Hefty hospital donations, lobbying prominent in health-care fight."

"Lobbyists Prepare to Beat the Clock"

Kevin Derby: "Legislators and lobbyists are ready again to descend on Tallahassee, as the Florida Senate and House try to put together a budget, grapple with Medicaid expansion and tie up myriad loose ends during a special session that kicks off Monday." "Legislators, Lobbyists Prepare to Beat the Clock in Budget Special Session."

Weekly Roundup

"Weekly Roundup: FHIXating on the Special Session."

Rubio once "a fierce union supporter"

"The Cuban-American son of South Florida spent part of his childhood in Las Vegas, from 1979 to 1985, where he joined the Mormon church, became a fierce union supporter at a tender age and grew alienated from his Cuban-American peers before returning to Miami for high school." "Marco Rubio returns to childhood home: Las Vegas, not Miami."

"Florida’s glitch-ridden Florida Standards Assessment test"

"A Utah-based testing group is now responsible for reviewing the validity of Florida’s glitch-ridden Florida Standards Assessment test, chosen on Friday by a panel of three men appointed by Gov. Rick Scott, Senate President Andy Gardiner and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli." "Panel Picks Utah Contractor to Validate Florida Standards Assessment."

They were really Bush "chastity programs"

"In 2001, then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush asked the Legislature to set aside $1 million for chastity programs out of the state’s almost $5.8 million for family planning. That’s a bit different from threatening existing programs with a gag order, says PolitiFact Florida in saying Emily’s List claim is Mostly False." "Jeb Bush held $1 million ‘hostage’ for abstinence-only education, Emily’s List says."


"[P]olitical and business leaders Friday largely welcomed the removal of Cuba from the U.S. terrorism blacklist, a symbolic step but one that paves the way for normalizing relations with the communist island." "Cuba’s removal from U.S. terror list opens door in Tampa."

Hill in the State

"Hillary Clinton wrapped up a South Florida fundraising trip on Friday, staying out of sight — except to contributors." "Hillary Clinton raises campaign cash in Broward." See also "Obama drops by Our Lady of Charity, becoming first U.S. president to visit Miami shrine to Cuban saint."