Saturday, January 23, 2016

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

Assault on Choice

The Tampa Bay Times editors: "The Florida Legislature has no business attempting to restrict women's access to abortion."

A bill that would put regulations for operating abortion centers on par with hospitals and other surgical centers is a solution in search of a problem. Lawmakers' real motivation is to make it more difficult for women to exercise their right to seek an abortion.
"Another assault on abortion rights."

Weekly Roundup

"The biggest or most significant stories of the week --- including the decision of Senate leaders not to push forward with a redistricting appeal and the move by state economists to slash almost $400 million from revenue projections --- involve legislative reactions. Senate leaders were reacting to court rulings, while lawmakers will have to react in the coming weeks to the economists' forecast." "Weekly Roundup: Fallout Zone."

"What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State"

Marc Caputo: "#RubioCrimeSpree restarts on Twitter – Economists dis Gov. Scott’s job-creation math – DeSantis scores big-money donors – Campus-carry gun bill looks dead (again)." "Florida Playbook."

"There are ominous signals"

Steve Otto: "We’re not Detroit."

At least for the most part, rats and bullet holes in the walls aren’t prevalent on our public school grounds. Teachers so far haven’t stormed out of classrooms, briefly shutting down schools across the city. But what happened in Detroit this week isn’t just something we should shake our heads at, confident we never could plunge so far down the ladder. Around here there is real anger among the teachers, especially the veterans. There are too many issues in our public schools, too many indicators that we might not want to get overly comfortable with ourselves. . . . [T]here are ominous signals that stretch from Tallahassee to the school board building downtown, and none of them are pointing in the right direction.
"Schools are showing warning signs." See also "Teachers should roar until Tallahassee cowers."

Jolly's Campaign Finance Proposal

Kevin Derby: "Two Congressmen Climb Aboard David Jolly's Campaign Finance Proposal."

"Low-bid contractors"

"Orange garbage collectors still working out woes."

"Scott’s incentive plan not best way"

"Scott’s push to secure $250 million in economic incentive money this year was doused with cold water Thursday, as one of the state’s top economists said alternative plans would create more jobs and come with a higher return on investment." "Economist: Scott’s incentive plan not best way to spur job creation."

Republican Liberty Caucus

"The Florida chapter of the Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC) came to Tallahassee this week to highlight its legislative priorities and encourage legislators to get behind it." "Campaign Reform, Congressional Term Limits on Florida Republican Liberty Caucus Agenda."

Editors Like Lyft

Tampa Trib editors think Uber is fine and argue that "lawmakers shouldn’t let a business model developed decades ago determine today’s rules. The public has chosen the newcomers, and the government should respond by enabling their success." "Tread lightly on Uber, Lyft."

"Incentives pay off slowly if at all"

"Raymond James Financial Inc. has asked Florida officials for a two-year delay in its deal with the state to create 750 new jobs for $6.25 million in state taxpayer money, raising questions about the company’s commitment to build a new headquarters in Pasco County." "Pasco project shows state incentives pay off slowly if at all."

Leave it to the judge

"With the backing of local governments, a Florida House panel Wednesday approved a bill that would give judges discretion in deciding whether to award attorney fees in public-records lawsuits." "Florida bill would leave open-records legal fees up to judge."

Scott Pushes Hard

"In Southwest Florida, at an event at Hertz’s new corporate headquarters, Gov. Rick Scott announced the state unemployment rate remained at 5 percent in December even as there were 21,000 jobs created." "Rick Scott Pushes Tax Cuts, Enterprise Florida Funds as Unemployment Rate Remains 5 Percent."

Judicial Term Limits?

"A key House committee Thursday approved a measure that would limit Florida Supreme Court justices and appellate-court judges to two full terms in office, putting a proposed constitutional amendment one step shy of the House floor." "Judicial Term Limits Moving Through House."

Nursing homes want more Medicaid

"Florida’s nursing homes want higher payments from Medicaid, a request for more state money that comes as lawmakers consider big tax cuts for businesses, a bigger economic development fund and other state expenses." "Nursing homes seek Medicaid pay hike"