Sunday, June 21, 2015

After reading the hard copy of your hometown newspaper, 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.

"Secretive midnight spending orgy"

Joe Henderson: "At crunch time, it’s status quo for Florida Legislature." The Tampa Tribune editors: "Fits, frustration mark 2015 legislative session."

"After 60 days of regular legislative session, tensions ran high in Tallahassee." "Issues remain unresolved after Legislature’s special session." See also "State funding comes down to this: who’s got clout," "2015 Florida Legislature Finally Gets It Done, Adjourns With $79 Billion Budget" and "State budget passed, awaits Scott’s approval — or veto pen."

Scott Maxwell: "Last week, the Legislature staged a late-night, closed-door meeting to spend $300 million of your tax dollars."

No outside input. No public witnesses. Yet all of it your money.

Some of the money went to wildly inappropriate places — such as $2 million to a private, for-profit sports-training academy that charges families $50,000 a year. (One of the school's lobbyists happens to be a powerful legislator's brother.)

"Secretive midnight spending orgy caps off Florida's legislative session."

Weekly Roundup

"Weekly Roundup: All's Well That Ends ...."

Of claimed exiles and carpetbaggers

"The local Republican Party welcomed native son Marco Rubio — and steered clear of mentioning rival Jeb Bush." "At Miami-Dade GOP, a homecoming for Marco Rubio." See also "Jeb Bush makes his case at Tampa’s Lincoln Day fundraiser" and "Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush focus on home-state Republicans."

"Protecting Floridians from King v. Burwell shock"

The Palm Beach Post editors: "Given the gravity of the possible consequences, we had hoped and expected that elected officials would have protected Florida’s citizens in case of a plaintiff’s victory in the King v. Burwell lawsuit. This case is widely believed to pose the most credible threat yet to millions of people newly insured by the Affordable Care Act."

Sadly, with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling expected any day now, they have no plan.
"4 ways to protect Floridians from King v. Burwell shock." See also "As King v. Burwell Looms, Florida GOP Congressmen Push Alternatives to Obamacare."

More profit . . .

The Sun Sentinel editors: "More profit for FPL, more risk for customers."

Paid to campaign

"Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera plans July 15 Senate race announcement."

Never mind

Randy Schultz: "What did Jeb Bush, self-proclaimed policy guy, not include in Monday's presidential announcement speech?" "Experience alone won't win presidency for Jeb."

Scott to Take Victory Lap

"Rick Scott Will Take Victory Lap Across Florida for Tax Cuts."

Runnin Education like a bidness

"Fraud allegations have been dismissed against a for-profit college regulator with close ties to a South Florida school."

"The investigation did not reveal any wrongdoing,” wrote the Commission for Independent Education in a recent close-out memo, provided to the Miami Herald. The internal CIE probe focused on employee Marybell Serrano, who was accused of being part-owner of a for-profit college herself, and living as a roommate with the school’s majority owner, Karyn Vidal. Serrano was also accused of conspiring with Vidal to create fraudulent documents so that Vidal’s Institute of Healthcare Professions could get accredited."

A recent Miami Herald investigation, Higher-Ed Hustle, highlighted the close ties between Florida’s for-profit oversight agency and the industry it regulates. The CIE has received more than 2,200 student complaints, but it could not identify a single instance where a complaint led to discipline against a school.
"Florida for-profit college watchdog agency clears one of its own."

Hypocrites hide under their desks

"Florida gets nearly $7 million from feds to help laid-off workers."

About Jeb! and Separation of Church and State

The Florida Legislature once "refused his request to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot repealing a provision in the state constitution separating church and state."

Fewer Wawas and Waffle Houses open last month

Florida's Wawa-Waffle-House economy slows down last month as "State Unemployment Rate Inches Up to 5.7 Percent."

Jeb!'s Florida education record

"Here’s what Jeb Bush really did to public education in Florida."