Blogs from around the state

Naked Politics Omnibus health care bills headed to House floor

@tbtia

A House committee approved two health care bills today that now include various member priorities whose sponsors worry don't have the traction to gain passage in the Senate on their own.

Naked Politics Florida eye doctor emerges as top-paid doc in nation, data shows

A South Florida doctor under criminal investigation for alleged excessive billing of Medicare emerged as the federal health program’s top-paid physician in the nation Wednesday, according to the most detailed data on physician payments ever released in Medicare’s nearly 50-year history.

Naked Politics Candidate: If Miami-Dade has to raise tax rate, commission should decide without referendum

@PatriciaMazzei

Daniella Levine Cava, who is running for Miami-Dade County Commission, wouldn't say Thursday if the board should raise the property-tax rate to fund public libraries.

Naked Politics Florida heavy truck owners won't see $25 fee cut

Another group that won't get the full $25 tag fee reduction: owners of heavy trucks, defined in state law as trucks that weigh more than 5,000 pounds, many of which are used commercially. The state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles says 1,017,756 trucks of that size were registered in the state in March.

Naked Politics Lawmakers clash over school choice bills

Democrats and Republicans clashed Wednesday over a proposal that would expand the state’s school voucher program and create another voucher-like program for children with special needs.

Democrats made their concerns known by proposing a series of "unfriendly" amendments, one of which would have required students in the voucher program to take the state tests. But each was rejected by the Republican-led chamber, and the bill advanced toward a final vote.

Naked Politics Lawmakers demand apology from MDC's president Eduardo Padrón

A day after Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón ignited a war of words by blasting four local lawmakers, the other side fired back.

Naked Politics Today in Tallahassee: Five Things to Know

TALLAHASSEE -- The controversial issue of pension reform will again take center stage at the Legislature Thursday. Here are five things to watch: 

Naked Politics House may bundle health care proposals in hopes of gaining Senate support

@tbtia

In hopes of improving the chances of final passage for several House initiatives that have either been languishing or watered down in the Senate, a committee will consider bundling several health care proposals into two omnibus bills Thursday.

Naked Politics Can Florida match what Georgia has been passing in gun laws?

@mikevansickler

Look out Georgia.

Under a bill backed by the National Rifle Association and other gun groups, riots could be the newest safe haven for those carrying firearms without a permit.

Post on Politics Private school voucher bill scaled back again to woo Senate

The push to beef-up the state’s private school voucher program launched under former Gov. Jeb Bush was reworked again Wednesday by the House in a bid to reach accord with a resistent Senate.

The legislation (HB 7167) was amended by House sponsor Rep. Manny Diaz, R-Miami, to eliminate a proposed expansion of the dollar caps that limit the growth of the program.

Florida Politics House cuts the 'expansion' out of voucher expansion

TALLAHASSEE – A plan to further expand Florida’s school-voucher program on Wednesday was stripped of the actual “expansion” in the cap on how much tax money could be used to support low-income students in private schools.

Naked Politics Rick Scott stands by two misleading ads that bash Obamacare

@MarcACaputo

Naked Politics RPOF's Mostly True claim about Charlie Crist and taxes

Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill that will cut auto tag fees and pointed the finger at his predecessor for raising them in the first place.

"We are going to right the wrong of the 2009 tax increase that Charlie Crist enacted," Scott said as he signed the fee rollback on April 2.

Scott, a Republican, is expected to face Democratic frontrunner Crist in November.

Naked Politics Truth-O-Meter tackles Medicare Advantage attacks

Gov. Rick Scott, like many other Republicans, has pinned part of his re-election strategy on criticizing the Affordable Care Act. He’s attacked President Barack Obama’s signature legislation time and again in campaign ads, especially the law’s effects on Medicare. The ads claim that rate cuts will drastically alter seniors’ access to the doctors and care they want.

Naked Politics My Lawmaker website helps find who represents you

Looking for an easy way to learn who represents you and how to contact them? We have re-launched My Lawmaker, a website where Floridians can plug in their street address and find out their federal and state representatives.

The site is updated with new district maps and we have phone numbers, websites and email addresses for your lawmakers.

Naked Politics Old marijuana conviction snuffs out proposal to rename Miami-Dade baseball complex

@PatriciaMazzei

Miami-Dade County commissioners were not so high about naming a portion of a West Kendall park Tuesday after a youth baseball coordinator who was once convicted of a pot-related charge.

The late Al Engle was the former president of the Kendall Hammocks Optimist baseball program and, according to Commissioner Juan C. Zapata, who knew him, was beloved by the community.

Florida Politics Bill would allow concealed weapons during emergency evacuations

Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit would be allowed during hurricane evacuations and other states of emergency under a bill advanced by Florida state representatives Wednesday.

Naked Politics Miami-Dade commissioners: We might not support PortMiami soccer stadium site

@PatriciaMazzei

Here's a lesson for investors looking to play ball -- any type of ball -- with Miami-Dade County: It's not enough to make nice with Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Thirteen county commissioners need to be persuaded, too. And on Tuesday, it looked like international football star David Beckham and his group, who are seeking a Major League Soccer stadium at PortMiami, had not done enough to court them (at least, not yet).

Naked Politics So far, Senate favoring big beer over craft breweries

Under a bill that passed the Senate’s Community Affairs Committee on Tuesday, craft brewers will finally be able to sell their concoctions in 64 ounce containers that are legal in 47 other states and popular for home consumption.

Naked Politics A loophole costing Miami-Dade school system $60 million may get fixed by Legislature

It’s become commonplace in Miami-Dade County: Agents file property-tax appeals for homeowners — sometimes without their permission — in hopes of sharing in the refund.

For some agents and homeowners, the practice has yielded thousands of dollars.

But for the Miami-Dade school system, a $4 billion public agency funded partially by property taxes, it could cause a $60 million hole in the budget, superintendent Alberto Carvalho said.

Naked Politics Miami Dade College president slams local lawmakers over sales-tax bill

Branding them ‘bullies’’ and “idealogues,” Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón blasted a handful of powerful local lawmakers on Tuesday, charging that they are sabotaging his school’s best hope for a desperately needed infusion of money.

Naked Politics Jeb's 'pandering' on immigration, says Rep. Labrador

From the Shark Tank Blog

During the Heritage Foundation’s monthly “Conversation with Conservatives” meeting with right-of- center Republican congressmen on Capitol Hill, a reporter asked the panel to opine on Jeb Bush’s recent “act of love” comment regarding immigration reform.

Post on Politics Pressure, and a change of heart gives new life to Richardson bill in House

A former fruit picker convicted but later cleared of committing one of the most brutal mass murders in Florida history edged closer Tuesday to becoming eligible for more than $1 million in state compensation.

The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee voted 11-0 to approve a bill (HB 227) created to help James Richardson, accused of killing his seven children by poisoning them with insecticide in the DeSoto County town of Arcadia, just days before Halloween 1967.

Florida Politics Latvala throws down over distributor 'tariff' imposed on craft beer

TALLAHASSEE -- Sen.

Naked Politics Sachs puts the brakes on greyhound racing de-coupling as hearing 'melts down'

The effort to reduce greyhound racing in Florida hit the skids Tuesday as the sponsor of the amendment was forced to withdraw it when it appeared she didn't have the votes.
 
Sen.

Naked Politics Sachs puts the brakes on greyhound racing de-coupling as hearing 'melts down'

The effort to reduce greyhound racing in Florida hit the skids Tuesday as the sponsor of the amendment was forced to withdraw it when it appeared she didn't have the votes.
 
Sen.

Naked Politics Prison workers want equal pay from Legislature

The 2014 legislative session is at the point when people do whatever they can to call attention to what appear to be lost causes.

Florida Politics Another year, another stalled batch of Democratic-sponsored elections bills

TALLAHASSEE – With an eye toward the fall elections, Florida Democrats are hoping to build pressure on the Republican-controlled Legislature to adopt tougher voter-protections for minorities despite a sweeping elections reform enacted last year.

Naked Politics Greyhounds have a quiet, but powerful, advocate in Vicky Gaetz

 

Florida greyhounds have a powerful, unofficial, lobbyist.

Post on Politics Bill tightening oversight of summer camp employees advances in Senate

A measure aimed at tightening state oversight of summer camp employees, inspired by a 2012 Palm Beach Post series on abuses in the current system, cleared a Senate panel Tuesday.

The bill (SB 1424) by Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, was approved by the Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee. It would create a statewide identification badge to be worn by summer camp personnel, proving that the person has cleared a criminal background check.