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Rick Scott: Early-Learning Funding Formula to Be Reviewed by Jan. 1

December 9, 2012 - 6:00pm

Responding to the unanimous request of Florida's 31 early learning coalitions, Gov. Rick Scott announced earlier this month that recent controversial changes to the funding formula for the state's subsidized school readiness programs would be frozen and reviewed.

In a letter to Roseann Fricks, chair of the Association of Early Learning Coalitions, Scott said he had asked the state Office of Early Learning to establish a work group of lawmakers, coalitions, child care providers and local governments to "gather input and refine a funding formula" by Jan. 1, 2014.

News Service Has Five Questions for Allison DeFoor

December 2, 2012 - 6:00pm

Allison DeFoor is in the news this week, leading the launch of the Project on Accountable Justice at Florida State University. The bipartisan think tank was created to develop information for making criminal justice decisions.

"The data will be its own advocacy," DeFoor said. "There are plenty of advocates in this mix. We don't need more advocates. We need more data."

Five Questions for Don Gaetz

November 11, 2012 - 6:00pm

Two days after the election, incoming Senate President Don Gaetz is ensconced in his new office. On the House side of the Capitol, outgoing Speaker Dean Cannon's name is still on the door, and incoming Speaker Will Weatherford's staff is moving in. Gaetz's operation looks as if it's been there for months.

Bill Montford: Add Slots in Early Learning Programs

October 31, 2012 - 7:00pm

Sen. Bill Montford said Wednesday he's considering trying to get the Legislature to earmark money for more slots in school readiness programs statewide.

The state's 31 early learning coalitions were stunned this summer by a change in the formula for how the money for the programs gets allocated causing some programs to see their money diverted unexpectedly.

Steve Southerland vs. Al Lawson Becoming a Marquee Race

October 10, 2012 - 6:00pm

As the race for the White House tightens, Republicans and Democrats are battling for every congressional seat they have a chance of winning. And in a North Florida district, Democrats are targeting first-term U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland in an increasingly competitive clash with former state Senate Democratic leader Al Lawson.

The race had not been widely considered up for grabs. Southerland, a tea party favorite from Panama City, has a money advantage over Lawson and upset seven-term Congressman Allen Boyd, D-Monticello, to take the seat in 2010.

Rick Scott and RPOF: Governor Not Involved in Merit-Retention Decision

September 24, 2012 - 6:00pm

Lenny Curry, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, said Monday that GOP Gov. Rick Scott had nothing to do with the party's drive to oust three justices from the state Supreme Court.

On Friday, the RPOF's executive board called for voters to fight against keeping Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince on the high court, calling them "liberals" and accusing them of "judicial activism."

If voters remove the justices during the November election, Scott will appoint their replacements.

Five Questions for Jim McDonough

July 22, 2012 - 6:00pm

James R. McDonough was the secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections from 2006 to 2008. He was tapped by Gov. Jeb Bush, for whom he'd worked as Florida's drug czar since 1999. McDonough moved to DOC after Bush fired Secretary James Crosby, who later went to prison for taking kickbacks.

His no-nonsense style proved the antidote to scandal at DOC. He fired or demoted dozens of prison officials and instituted random drug tests and mandatory fitness programs for employees. He angered many, but is widely credited for cleaning up the place.

Florida Takes Lead in Congressional Hearing on Crimes Against Homeless

July 9, 2012 - 6:00pm

Florida is both a model and a cautionary tale for other states grappling with violent crimes against homeless people, and on Tuesday it will play a lead role at a congressional hearing on the subject.

A model: Florida passed a law in 2010 making violence against the homeless a hate crime, including a corresponding increase in penalties. It was the second state to do so.

A cautionary tale: Florida led the nation in violence against homeless people last year and drew national headlines in late May because of the bizarre "face-eating" attack on a homeless man in Miami.

Five Questions for Jeff Atwater

July 8, 2012 - 6:00pm

Jeff Atwater was elected Floridas chief financial officer in 2010, after serving as Senate president the previous two years. He'd been elected to the state House of Representatives in 2000 and to the Senate in 2002. His district included Palm Beach and Broward counties. A self-described community banker for 25 years, Atwater was elected to the North Palm Beach Village Council in 1993.

Rick Scott Defends Obamacare Stance on Radio Shows

July 4, 2012 - 6:00pm

Continuing a national media blitz Tuesday against last week's U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, Gov. Rick Scott fielded some penetrating questions from radio hosts about statements he's made since the high court ruled.

Those included queries based on a PolitiFact review the fact-checking website by the Tampa Bay Times which awarded Scott a "pants on fire" and two "falses" for remarks he's made since the ruling.

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