Blogs from around the state

Post on Politics Senate panel wants 4-year degrees put on hold at state colleges

Florida Senate budget-writers agreed Thursday to end a decade-long trend of expanding bachelor’s degree options at state colleges, saying the programs have proliferated and the current system no longer works.

Florida Politics Clout Street: Senate's 53 budget amendments spread the love

TALLAHASSEE -- Even with term-limits and greater budget constraints, the Florida Legislature is still clout street when it comes to doling out tax dollars.

St. Petersburg Don’t forget: Fundraiser for Eric Eisnaugle tonight in Tally

Former Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, looking to return to the House representing District 44, is hosting a fundraising reception in Tallahassee tonight.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Capital Room of The Governors Club.

The Buzz Scott raising money in Tampa

Gov. Rick Scott will raise money in Tampa on April 3 at the home of Gary and Margo Harrod, along with a cast of Tampa Bay's top Republican donors.

Naked Politics Galvano bill takes aim at regional planning

If Pasco County approves a subdivision of 2,000 homes on its border, should it review and discuss the project with the state and adjacent counties, like Hernando?

The Buzz Secret Service incident in Netherlands was on heels of car wreck during Obama’s Miami trip

Washington Post: As the U.S. Secret Service arrived in the Netherlands last weekend for a presidential trip, managers were already on high alert to avoid any further em­barrassing incidents involving agents.

Naked Politics State may suspend non-citizen voter purge efforts

Facing overwhelming resistance from county election supervisors in a busy election year, Gov. Rick Scott's administration is expected to suspend all efforts in 2014 to comb the Florida voter rolls of suspected non-citizens.

Post on Politics Digital duel: Crist and Scott release new online ads while Scott has TV to himself

Charlie Crist’s new digital ad (above) and Rick Scott’s latest online offering (below).

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Naked Politics Crist launches digital media buy attacking Scott and defending Obamacare

 

The Charlie Crist campaign on Thursday launched a digital media ad that will run exclusively online and in social media that attacks the governor for his "misleading" ad attacking Crist and offers up a defense of the Affordable Care Act without ever mentioning Obamacare. 

Naked Politics Higher speed-limit bill headed to Senate floor

@tbtia

A proposal to increase speed limits to 75 mph on Florida's interstates is ready for the full Senate's consideration.

The Appropriations Committee approved Senate Bill 392 with four dissenting: Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, and Chairman Joe Negron, R-Stuart.

Florida Politics Legislature ready to keep rolling back Florida growth-management rules

TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Legislature is poised to press ahead with its four-year push to dismantle state growth-management rules.

Naked Politics Florida Dems want stations to pull Scott's 'misleading' Obamacare ad

The Florida Democratic Party sent a letter Thursday morning to 67 television stations in all 10 media markets asking them to refrain from airing the "patently false" attack ad from the Rick Scott campaign featuring Democrat Charlie Crist's support of Obamacare. 

Naked Politics Today in Tallahassee: Five Things to Know

Pack a lunch; the Senate's budget committee has scheduled a 9-hour meeting. Here's more details about that and what else to watch today:

You read it correctly. The Senate Appropriations Committee meets from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to begin working on the budget, including wading through 50 amendments (and counting) that have been proposed.

Naked Politics Red light cameras get reprieve as Brandes bill stalls

@mikevansicker

Red light cameras needed something to stop a losing streak.

They may have gotten it in a Wednesday Senate Transportation committee.

Florida Politics Lawmakers may ease short-term rental law

A man's home may be his castle, but neighbors complain it often turns into a revolving-door party palace when owners rent them out for short-term vacation stays.

Naked Politics Lawmakers play starring role in film industry tax incentive plan

Lights... camera... incentives.

Actors, producers and film crew members descended on Tallahassee Wednesday to support the proposed expansion of the entertainment industry incentive program, which provides tax credits to film and television projects based in Florida.

Their collective lobbying helped persuade a Senate panel to approve a plan adding another $300 million in tax credits over the next six years — a first step toward the bill becoming law.

Naked Politics House Dems strongly urged to support budget -- or else

@mikevansickler

Just two days ago, Rep. Dennis Baxley said he was fighting for Democracy in sponsoring a bill that would give the Cabinet, not state parks administrators, the final say in making any changes to historic sites in state parks.

Naked Politics Orlando businesswoman named to state Board of Education

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday named Orlando businesswoman Marva Johnson to the state Board of Education.

Johnson, 44, is a corporate vice president for Bright House Networks LLC.

Her term begins March 26 and ends Dec. 31, 2017.

Naked Politics House revives controversial voucher bill

Remember that school voucher bill everyone thought was dead?

The proposal was given new life on Wednesday, thanks to a procedural maneuver by a state representative.

Naked Politics Senate passes bill banning local officials from moonlight as legislative lobbyists

Former Senate President Ken Pruitt is among an elite group of people.

He is not only one of a handful of legislators who have held the coveted job of Senate president, he is also one of a handful of people being targeted by a high-priority ethics bill passed unanimously Wednesday by the Florida Senate.

Florida Politics House advances super-sized sales-tax holidays, shuts down Democratic amendments

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida shoppers could get sales-tax "holidays" on computers, hurricane supplies, dryers, toilets, gym memberships and a raft of other goods under a plan advanced in the state House Wednesday.

Naked Politics Senate: Require state parks to have lifeguard during peak swim season

Florida has among the highest number of child deaths because of drownings in the nation. It also doesn't require lifeguards to be on duty during peak swimming hours at state parks.

That would change under SB 1484 which was passed Wednesday by the Senate Environmental Preservation Committee.

Post on Politics Sanctions backer Frankel tells broker to unload $4,276 in Russian holdings in her IRA

Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach

Naked Politics St. Leo poll: Scott is narrowing the gap on Crist but remains behind

@LearyReports

Gov. Rick Scott has closed the gap on Charlie Crist, a new poll shows.

Crist narrowly leads Scott 43-39 – a result within the margin of error – but Scott has made up 8 points since December, according to the Saint Leo University poll.

Florida Politics Lawmakers stuffing more dollars into charter school construction

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida lawmakers are beefing up school construction dollars – both for charters and traditional public schools -- despite a steep drop-off in the funding source the state has historically relied on to pay for them.

Naked Politics In new email, Fernandez criticizes Scott's TV ad

Coral Gables health care executive Mike Fernandez is a man with no shortage of opinions.

Naked Politics Senate passes bill to give Florida flood insurance option

Homeowners could have more flood insurance options than the federally-subsidized national program under a measure unanimously passed by the Florida Senate Wednesday designed to encourage private insurance companies into the market.

The bill, SB 542 by Sen. Jeff Brandes, creates an alternative to the federal National Flood Insurance Program by authorizing private companies to write the insurance that had previously only been available through the federally-subsidized program.

Post on Politics Valeche questions delay in IG funding lawsuit

Palm Beach County and 14 of its cities and towns will have to wait until August before a judge decides who should pay for Inspector General Sheryl Steckler’s oversight.

The delay has raised concerns from County Commissioner Hal Valeche, who questioned Tuesday why it is taking the court system so long to hear the matter.

Naked Politics Florida Senate blesses biometrics ban

A proposal seeking to prevent school systems from collecting students' biometric data won the support of the Florida Senate Wednesday.

Biometric data includes the characteristics of fingerprints, hands, eyes and the voice. 

The proposal was a priority for Gov. Rick Scott, who was hoping to quell concerns about student data security during the transition to new national education standards.

Post on Politics Senate approves toughening state hit-and-run law

Senate would toughen hit-and-run laws

The Florida Senate agreed Wednesday to toughen penalties for hit-and-run drivers by ending what officials say is a gap in state law that gives drunk drivers an incentive to flee accident scenes.