Sunshine State News Blogs
The Florida Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved Monday a bill requiring doctors to provide medical care to infants born alive during botched abortion procedures.
SB 1636 (“Infants Born Alive”), sponsored by Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, now makes its way to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The House counterpart, Rep. Cary Pigman's HB 1129, is on its second reading before that chamber.
Flamboyant Democrat Alan Grayson took to the airwaves in 2010 to knock Grover Norquist all over the neighborhood for his Taxpayer Protection Pledge, but now look: Grayson is teaming with a left-wing compadre in California, Mark Takano, to sign up members of Congress on an Norquist-imitation pledge of their own.
Signers of the letter pledge to vote against any substantive changes to America’s entitlement programs, including President Barack Obama’s proposal to use a different formula for Social Security cost-of-living increases.
“We will vote against any and every cut to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits — including raising the retirement age or cutting the cost of living adjustments that our constituents earned and need,” the letter reads.
As you might imagine, it's Grayson who is leading the charge.
Presumably, the letter's backers -- liberal groups such as the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America and MoveOn, among others -- helped Grayson draft the letter in February.
Thirty Members of Congress have signed onto it as of April 9, according to Grayson’s website.
The Daily Caller reported David Walker, U.S. Comptroller General under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush as saying, “This is a left-wing pledge just like ATR is a right-wing pledge. They should be rejected.”
Gov. Rick Scott signed into law 19 bills on Wednesday. The governor's office provided the following list:
HB 15 - Prohibits engaging in protest activities within specified distance of property line of location of funeral or burial.
CS/HB 7003 - Relates to the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for
HB 155 - Relates to the Prohibition of Electronic Gaming Devices.
SB 200 - Relates to Transportation Revenue Bond Trust Fund/ Department of Transportation.
SB 202 - Relates to the Transportation Governmental Bond Trust Fund/ Department of Transportation.
SB 204 - Relates to the Termination of Trust Funds within the Department of Transportation.
SB 206 - Recreates the Federal Grants Trust Fund within the Department of State.
SB 208 - Recreates the Federal Grants Trust Fund within the Department of Economic
SB 210 - Recreates the Clearing Funds Trust Fund within the Department of State.
CS/SB 214 - Relates to the Florida Forever Program Trust Fund/Department of
SB 216 - Relates to Federal Grants Trust Fund/Department of Management
SB 218 - Recreates the Mortgage Guaranty Trust Fund within the Office of Financial
SB 220 - Recreates the Capital Collateral Regional Counsel Trust Fund within the
Justice Administrative Commission.
SB 686 - Adopts the 2013 Florida Statutes as the official law of the state.
SB 688 - Substitutes the term "Florida Administrative Register" for the term "Florida
Administrative Weekly" throughout the Florida Statutes, etc. to conform to the directive
in ch 2012-63, Laws of Florida.
CS/SB 690 - Deletes provisions in the Florida Statutes that have expired, have become
obsolete, are redundant, repetitive incorrect or are otherwise unnecessary.
SB 692 - Deletes provisions in the Florida Statutes that have become inoperative by
non-current repeal or expiration.
SB 694 - Deletes provisions in the Florida Statutes that provide for apportionment of the
districts for the State Senate and House of Representatives that have been superseded,
SB 994 - Amends and repeals provisions to prepare a reviser’s bill to omit all
statutes and laws, or parts thereof, which grant duplicative, redundant, or unused
Tallahassee civil litigator Brian Hayden has been appointed to the Leon County Development Support and Environmental Management Citizens User Group, which makes recommendations to county commissioners about growth management measures and issues concerning planning, development review and environmental compliance.
Hayden, of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, has represented clients before the Florida Commission on Ethics and the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings. He will now join the 14-member county committee.
Among his federal and state experience is general commercial litigation and labor disputes. He also handles land use issues.
Hayden previously held the position of Florida assistant attorney general, and his experience includes the defense of a class action lawsuit that sought Florida’s Medicaid reform.
Florida Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, Thursday explained the $74.3 billion state budget that was unanimously passed out of the chamber on Wednesday.
“The Senate budget reflects Florida’s improving economy with investments in critical areas such as K-20 education funding, economic development, and our hard working public employees including teachers, law enforcement and our state employees," Gaetz said. "The language accompanying our budget underscores our commitment to improving pay for teachers and other instructional personnel based on local performance pay plans and fulfills the commitment we made months ago to find funding to increase pay for state employees who have not seen a pay raise in six years."
The budget increases K-12 public-school funding by $1.2 billion, including $480 million for teachers' salary increases. It also returns universities to prior funding levels with $300 million set aside and an additional $30 million for university research.
"Under the leadership of Chairman Negron and our subcommittee chairs, we were able to make these investments in Florida’s future in a fiscally responsible manner with no new taxes, fees or tuition increases," continued Gaetz. “I am proud that [Wednesday] all 40 Senators joined together to uphold our constitutional obligation to Floridians to live within our means and craft a balanced budget. Each Senator served on at least two budget committees, and I’m grateful that this level of involvement as well as the attention to detail afforded by our intensive budget review led to a product that each Senator can proudly support.
“I know that under the leadership of Speaker Weatherford, the Florida House shares many of our budget priorities, and I look forward to the work ahead as we work join with our House colleagues to merge our respective budget proposals.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Friday will confirm what all of Gator Nation already knows: Tim Tebow is a Great Floridian.
The governor will present the Heisman-winning, national-championship winning, former University of Florida quarterback with the "Great Floridian" award in Ponte Vedra Beach, where Tebow took his high school team to a state championship.
The “Great Floridian” designation is given in recognition of the outstanding achievements of men and women who have made significant contributions to the progress and welfare of Florida.
Tebow will join 66 other people who have received the award since 1981.
The Secretary of State selects no fewer than two “Great Floridians” from nominees made by a committee representing the Governor (1), each member of the Florida Cabinet (3), the President of the Senate (1), the Speaker of the House (1), and the Florida Secretary of State (1).
Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation banning Internet cafes in Florida Wednesday.
“The Legislature did the right thing to crack down on illegal gaming operators," Scott said. "We look forward to turning our focus back on jobs and education in this session.
"We have two key priorities – a $2,500 teacher pay raise and the elimination of the sales tax on manufacturing equipment. These two priorities are a part of our agenda to keep our economy growing and creating jobs and a highly trained workforce. We have heard lots of talk in support of these priorities. Now is the time for action.”
The Florida Chamber of Commerce, which has opposed gaming in Florida, supported the governor's actions.
“Florida’s quality of life is a competitive advantage, and today, Florida took another step in the right direction toward protecting this important pillar of Florida’s economy when the Internet cafe bill was signed into law," said David Hart, executive vice president of the Chamber. “Expanded gambling and Internet cafes is not an economic strategy; it’s a bad bet for Florida.
"The Florida Chamber thanks Florida’s elected leaders, including Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, and Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Doral, for their leadership in banning strip-mall casinos. Banning Internet cafes will improve Florida’s quality of life and build on Florida’s competitiveness.”
The move could also sweep away some senior arcades.
Full story ...
Does Gov. Rick Scott think "the Legislature did the right thing"?
Oh, I think he does.
Six is enough, Governor. You said it SIX TIMES ... in the course of a two-minute press gaggle! Check it out.
In case no one else is telling you, you really do need to elevate your off-the-cuff schtick before you travel much further down the campaign trail.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing for NASA to revisit the Moon and establish a presence on it.
U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, who represents Florida’s CD 8, has joined with eight colleagues to introduce the “RE-asserting American Leadership in Space Act” (REAL Space Act), which directs the space agency to engage in human space flights to the Moon and establish a presence there by 2022.
“The Moon is our nearest celestial body, taking only a matter of days to reach,” said Posey, a Republican. “In order to explore deeper into space -- to Mars and beyond -- a Moon presence offers us the ability to develop and test technologies to cope with the realities of operating on an extraterrestrial surface.”
Posey is no stranger to NASA. He worked on the Apollo program at the Kennedy Space Center.
Full story ...
Senators have reached a compromise to close the gun-show loophole and expand background checks for gun buyers, a move that could breath life into Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's gun-control legislation.
U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin, D-West Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Penn., are expected to announce the deal Wednesday, reports Politico. It would essentially expand background checks for commercial gun sales and is expected to garner enough Republican support to take the gun bill to the Senate floor Thursday.
Documents obtained by Politico reveal the bipartisan agreement calls for sellers and buyers to meet at a representative licensed to conduct a background check and who would keep the record of the transaction not the federal government.
The senators' press conference is set for 11 am.
FPL has entered into power purchase agreements with U.S. EcoGen LLC to purchase renewable power from three biomass facilities the company plans to construct in Okeechobee, Clay, and Martin counties. Service from the eucalyptus-fueled plants is not expected to begin until 2019.
“These biomass contracts will create jobs for Floridians, help FPL diversify its fuel supply, and save customers money,” said PSC Chairman Ronald Brisé. “System reliability will also be enhanced, and the contracts help defer the need to construct additional plants generated by fossil fuels.”
The three biomass power plants are projected to generate a combined 180 megawatts, PSC staff concluded. That's the equivalent to power 30,000 to 50,000 homes. The project is also estimated to create more than 140 direct and indirect jobs during the 30-year contract.
In her honor, today we announce that we will create a ‘Baroness Margaret Thatcher CPAC Scholarship Fund,’ given annually to an outstanding young female conservative who will receive complimentary three-day VIP registration at CPAC, starting in 2014,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas in a press release."
Honoring the life of Britain’s “Iron Lady,” the American Conservative Union has created a scholarship for female conservatives.
Al Cardenas, chairman of ACU, said, “We at the American Conservative Union mourn the death of Baroness Margaret Thatcher. Against all odds, Baroness Thatcher stood for the courage of her convictions and set her nation on a path to economic prosperity and, with her friend President Ronald Reagan, lit the torch of freedom that shone through even the darkest days of communism -- tearing down the Iron Curtain and declaring victory in the Cold War.
“Let her life be an inspiration to our current and future leaders so that they may pick up this torch ensuring that future generations may live in prosperity, peace and freedom.”
ACU, the host organization of the Conservative Political Action Conference, will remember the prime minister with the “Baroness Margaret Thatcher CPAC Scholarship Fund,” which will be bestowed each year on a young, female conservative who will receive complimentary three-day VIP registration at CPAC, starting next year.
Florida Realtors head to Tallahassee to push for initiatives to re-energize the state’s housing market, which is vital to its economic recovery.
Great American Realtor Days (GARD) will host hundreds of Realtors from around the state Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Realtors continue to advocate for priorities that will help the real estate market and the entire economy of Florida rebound,” said 2013 Florida Realtors President Dean Asher of Orlando. “Eight of the last 10 recessions ended because of robust housing markets. We have such a positive story to tell – every home purchase pumps $60,000 into the economy and every additional 1,000 home sales means nearly 500 new jobs.”
The annual event sponsored by Florida Realtors will include legislator visits and a “Taste of Florida” block party Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Adams Street Commons.
“The collective voice of Florida Realtors will be heard loud and clear throughout the Capitol building this week,” said John Sebree, Florida Realtors' senior vice president of public policy. “We want to make it clear to legislators that Realtors have the best interests of their communities in mind as we advocate for property insurance reforms, affordable housing opportunities and fairer taxation of commercial property leases.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., issued the following statement in response to the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher:
"I join Margaret Thatcher’s family and the British people in mourning the loss of one of the 20th century’s most consequential leaders.
"From a young age, Margaret Thatcher understood what limited government and free enterprise could do for people and helped modernize Great Britain’s economy. Her passion for freedom and in advocating for the dignity of people trapped behind communism’s Iron Curtain helped bring about the Soviet Union’s end.
"As someone who grew up in the Ronald Reagan era, I admired the special bond he had with Margaret Thatcher. Through her work with Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher helped deepen and solidify the special relationship between our two countries, which continues to benefit both nations to this day.
"We have lost a great leader, but Margaret Thatcher’s memory and legacy will always live on through the leadership lessons that defined her career. May God bless Margaret Thatcher and provide comfort to her family and those who admired her in Britain and around the world."
Gov. Rick Scott has tapped Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa, to be his designee on the Florida Defense Support Task Force.
The task force is an entity Scott and the Legislature formed to preserve, protect and enhance Florida's military missions and installations.
In a written announcement Monday morning, Scott said, “Rep. Young has a passion for protecting the military and has been a strong advocate for MacDill Air Force Base and the Tampa Bay community throughout her time in the Florida House. She is committed to making sure Florida families succeed and I know she will help ensure that Florida remains the most military friendly state in the nation.”
Young replied in kind, saying, “I am honored to receive this appointment ... and thank (Scott) for the opportunity to serve Florida and our military families in this capacity. With so many major military installations in our great state, including MacDill ... the importance of the military to both our economy and our citizens cannot be overstated.
"I look forward to working with this task force to ensure that Florida continues to support and protect the military installations, missions, families and veterans that call our great state home.”
Young, an attorney, was first elected to Florida House District 60 in 2010. She is currently deputy majority leader and majority whip.
President Barack Obama used his weekly address Saturday to explain to Americans his budget compromise plan.
Obama's budget was delayed because of fiscal cliff negotiations and is expected to be released on Wednesday, the same night he dines with GOP senators.
In his address, the president says that under his actions, the deficits are reducing.
"I’ve already signed more than $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction into law, and my budget will reduce our deficits by nearly $2 trillion more, without harming the recovery. That surpasses the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that many economists believe will stabilize our finances," Obama asserts.
The president also discusses what he believe is a compromise. "While it’s not my ideal plan to further reduce the deficit, it’s a compromise I’m willing to accept in order to move beyond a cycle of short-term, crisis-driven decision-making, and focus on growing our economy and our middle class for the long run. It includes ideas many Republicans have said they could accept as well. It’s a way we can make progress together."
Read more about the budget ...
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has signed on to Sen. Rand Paul's move to filibuster an upcoming gun-control bill that is expected to land on the Senate floor this week.
In a second letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, obtained by Politico, the Kentucky Republican was backed by a dozen other GOP senators, including Rubio. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran of Kansas are among other signatories.
The gun bill would expand background checks and attempt to rein in gun trafficking across state lines. But, the GOP senators' letter states they “intend to oppose any legislation that would infringe on the American people’s constitutional right to bear arms, or their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance,” reports Politico.
Paul's 13-hour March filibuster that held up the nomination of CIA Director John Brennan shows he has what it takes to mount a successful stand on the Senate floor.
Due to injuries to the Gator's offensive line, the University of Florida's annual Orange and Blue spring game is getting a little tweak.
With the challenges facing his quarterback's wall of protection, Head Coach Will Muschamp had to get creative with the fan-favorite early look at what Gator football has to offer in 2013.
Gator Boosters received an email Friday assuring them that even with the changes, there would be "some special additions to enhance the experience for fans."
"Before, during and after the practice, Coach Muschamp will address the crowd to give them an inside look and an explanation of some of the drills and scrimmage situations the team will be running. The team will still have several 11-on-11 scrimmage periods, but there will also be periods of special teams and individual work mixed in that will closely resemble a normal Gator football practice," the emails stated.
No matter what's on the plate, Gator fans will be lining up at the gates. Verizon presents the GatorFan Fest outside the North endzone from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson on Friday told of plans for a NASA mission to retrieve an asteroid from space and bring it back for research.
While visiting Orlando, the Florida Democrat, who has been in public office since the early 1970s, told of the futuristic plan that the agency hopes to hatch in eight years. Nelson said a spaceship would grab an asteroid and bring it to orbit around the moon, reports Florida Today. Didn’t Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck star in that film?
NASA, the newspaper reports, would then study mining on the asteroid and come up with ways to avert a collision with Earth.
President Barack Obama’s budget has $100 million tucked away for the NASA asteroid mission, according to Nelson, who is perhaps most famous for being the second sitting member of Congress to head to space. Nelson was a payload specialist on a space shuttle Columbia mission from Jan. 12-18, 1986.
Anyone else worried about intentionally bringing an asteroid closer to Earth?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Friday that it will delay the closure of 149 federal air traffic control towers, including 11 in Florida, until June 15.
On March 22, the FAA said it would be eliminating funding for the towers as part of its $637 million budget cuts under sequestration.
The FAA said that during the delay it will try to resolve the legal challenges against it, of which Florida is involved. It also said the extra time will allow the agency and airports to move forward with changes to the National Airspace System.
“This has been a complex process and we need to get this right,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, in the release. “Safety is our top priority. We will use this additional time to make sure communities and pilots understand the changes at their local airports.”
According to the FAA, roughly 50 airport authorities and other stakeholders have said they may join the FAA’s non-Federal Contract Tower program and fund the tower operations themselves.
“We will continue our outreach to the user community to answer any questions and address their concerns about these tower closures,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.
The list of tower closures in Florida includes:
APF - NAPLES MUNI, NAPLES
BCT - BOCA RATON, BOCA RATON
EVB - NEW SMYRNA BEACH MUNI, NEW SMYRNA BEACH
FMY - PAGE FIELD, FORT MYERS
HWO - NORTH PERRY, HOLLYWOOD
LAL - LAKELAND LINDER RGNL, LAKELAND
LEE - LEESBURG INTL, LEESBURG
OCF - OCALA INTL-JIM TAYLOR FIELD, OCALA
OMN - ORMOND BEACH MUNI, ORMOND BEACH
PGD - PUNTA GORDA, PUNTA GORDA
SGJ - NORTHEAST FLORIDA RGNL, ST AUGUSTINE
Heads still in the clouds, the high-flying Florida Gold Coast University Eagles basketball team will stop in for a look at the Florida Legislature sometime before the current session ends.
If they can work out scheduling arrangements and accept the invitation.
"The Southwest Florida legislative delegation has drafted a proclamation," said Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers. "We're so proud of this team and what they've done for Florida and for Southwest Florida in particular. We just want to introduce them and honor them."
Edward Metzger, Fitzenhagen's aide, said Friday the proclamation is getting a final polish before it goes public.
The Eagles dazzled the state and the nation with their acrobatics and attitude, the first 15-seed ever in the NCAA tournament to become one of the top 16 basketball teams in America.
To do it, they first beat No. 2 seed Georgetown -- picked by many to make it to the Final Four -- and then San Diego State, winning both games by 10 points.
On Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott announced a new economic daily update via Twitter.
Friday's message was on Florida's jobless rate. @ItsWorkingFL had this to say: "Since @FLGovScott took office, the state’s unemployment rate has dropped 3.4 percentage points, the second largest drop in the nation."
The governor clearly hopes his economic success will resonate with voters to send him back to the state's chief executive spot in the next election.
“The Republican Executive Committee of Miami-Dade County express their staunch disapproval of siphoning $120 million from Miami-Dade taxpayers, and $47 million from Florida taxpayers, for multibillionaire Stephen Ross,” reads the resolution, which passed by a vote of 37 to 34 committee members. “Taxpayers should never be the source of corporate welfare for billionaires, and should not be responsible for the funds to renovate Sun Life Stadium for the Miami Dolphins.”
Catch the full scoop at Sunshine State News!
What a shame to see the Internet sweepstakes cafe bill go to the governor with harmless senior arcades attached.
And why? Because the pari-mutuels want it all. Because at the eleventh hour, their lobbyists convinced gaming committee members that senior arcades were no different from Internet cafes. Presumably now, they believe, seniors will hobble into track casinos and play slot machines instead -- given that their arcades are standing empty.
This is crazy.
Seven years ago Gale Fontaine, now president of the Florida Arcade Association, tested FS 849.161, Florida's constitutional law on gambling -- and senior arcades were found legal.
On Aug. 15, 2006 -- in less than four hours of deliberation -- a Broward County jury acquitted Fontaine, owner of a Pompano Beach adult game room, of illegal gambling charges. The case might not have been finite, but it had immediate ramifications for the adult arcade industry, not only in Broward County, but across Florida. The case marked the first time in the county -- and one of the first times statewide -- that an adult game room owner had a jury decide the legality of the businesses' video machines.
Fontaine proved her point, period. Arcade machines follow the law.
Here's what jury foreman Christopher Peters said after the trial: "I think we felt she acted in good faith in opening up her establishment and we also felt the machines were a game of skill."
A game of skill. Not a game of chance.
I don't hold out much hope, knowing his feelings on Internet cafes, but I very much wish, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands of law-abiding senior citizens this legislation affects, that Gov. Rick Scott would insist senior arcades are stripped from the Internet cafe bill.
The Florida Senate followed the Florida House’s lead Thursday, voting in favor of a ban on Internet cafes.
The bill will now go to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott, since the House approved it last week. While some senators argued that the ban would overreach and take out senior arcades with it, the bill received a vote of 36-4.
The Florida Chamber, which has been a leader in opposition of gambling expansion in Florida, commended lawmakers for what they called “a bad bet for Florida.”
"For far too long, strip mall casinos have deteriorated Florida’s quality of life,” said David Hart, executive vice president of the Florida Chamber. “Today, the Florida Senate joined the Florida House in banning Internet cafes, and took a major step toward improving the state where we live, work, and play. The Florida Chamber thanks Sen. John Thrasher, President Don Gaetz, Rep. Carlos Trujillo and Speaker Will Weatherford for moving quickly to prohibit Internet cafes in Florida.”
Tallahassee reporter/videographer Dave Heller reports this:
The Florida Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a bill that would require insurance companies to charge the same price for IV and oral cancer drugs.
Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, made an emotional appeal to her colleagues to pass the legislation.
Benacquisto choked up as she recalled her mother’s fight with cancer and how she sat in the doctor’s office with an IV in her arm, watching the slow drip of the chemotherapy drugs.
Benacquisto said IV medications typically cost about $30 for the insurance co-pay. But the same medication in oral form can cost thousands of dollars a month.
So some people face a terrible decision: Will they go deep in debt or take a cheaper, but less effective, IV drug?
Benacquisto said not enough cancer patients are getting access to oral cancer medications.
“For every patient that gets access to this medication, 324 new people every day" ... the senator fell quiet for a moment ... "that sound is the silence of people who won’t get that access.”
The Florida House Thursday continued the perfect voting streak for a bill that would add cyberbullying to the state's antibullying measures.
HB 609 passed the full House in the same manner it had passed its previous three committees, unanimously.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Reggie Fullwood, D-Jacksonville, changes the statutory definition of bullying to include cyberbullying as "bullying through the use of specified technology or electronic communications; the creation of a webpage or weblog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages; or the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that is accessible to others."
The cyberbullying bill does not limit the action to the use of computers but also extends it to cell phones and other related technology.
The law also makes actionable cyberbullying that occurs off school grounds if it "interferes with or limits the victim’s ability to participate or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school or substantially disrupts the education process or orderly operation of a school."
While 49 states have laws against bullying, only 16 other states specifically include cyberbullying.
Educational leaders and elected officials will come together in Florida to discuss the future of public universities amid technological advances and virtual learning.
The “Bricks and Mortar in a Digital Age: The Uncertain Future of Higher Education” symposium is being hosted by the University of Florida on April 11, marking the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act that established the land-grant university system.
According to organizers, "Relentless financial pressures and rapid technological changes are challenging bedrock principles and raising basic questions about public higher education in America. Is a college education worth the cost of tuition? Can students learn all they need to know online? A century and a half ago, the nation embraced a new notion of higher education when it created the land-grant universities. This symposium concludes UF’s yearlong celebration of the sesquicentennial of the Morrill Act with a forward-looking conversation on the next chapter in the public higher education story."
Participants in the event, which will be moderated by Mike Foley, master lecturer, UF department of journalism and Hugh Cunningham Professor in Journalism Excellence, include:
• Adam Putnam, Florida commissioner of agriculture
• Bernie Machen, president, University of Florida
• Jeff Selingo, editor at large of The Chronicle of Higher Education and author of the forthcoming book, “College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students.”
• Daphne Koller, MacArthur Fellow, Stanford University professor of computer science, and co-founder of the online education platform Coursera. (Participating via video from California.)
• Mori Housseni, vice chair, Florida Board of Governors
• Jackson Sasser, president, Santa Fe College
No, fishing isn’t always free in Florida’s 3 million acres of lakes, ponds and reservoirs and 12,000 miles of fishable rivers, streams and canals, but on April 6, Floridians can cast their lines without penalty.
Saturday will be the first of four license-free recreational fishing days provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
“The FWC scheduled the first of four license-free recreational fishing days on this weekend, because it coincides with a productive freshwater fishing period, when the weather is usually pleasant. Many of Florida’s recreational sport fishes, such as black bass, bluegill and redear sunfish, move into the shallows to spawn during spring, making them more available for anglers to catch,” the agency said in a release.
Fishing on a non-exempt day requires a permit from the state that comes with a $17 fee. June 8 will be the second free day for freshwater fishing. June 1 and Sept. 1 have been designated license-free saltwater fishing days.
HB 333, sponsored by Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, would ease some restrictions on fishing, like nonresidents’ timeframe to get licenses, and would create exemptions for veterans.
Bag limits, season and size restrictions apply on license-free days for recreational fishing.
Gov. Rick Scott's office Thursday launched a new Twitter feed to get out information about Florida's economic recovery.
@ItsWorkingFL will be a daily news feed with stats.
Its first message: "Florida has experienced positive annual job growth now for 31 consecutive months."
The governor's best re-election message for Florida voters is the state's economy, which has gained more than 300,000 private-sector jobs since Scott took office. That number, he says, compares to the more than 800,000 jobs lost under former Gov. Charlie Crist.