politics

Politics
5:27 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Gov. Scott Still Wants Tax Cuts, School-Funding Increase

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 10:05 am

Florida Gov. Rick Scott resumed his push Wednesday for a massive tax-cut package and a “historic” increase in school funding, downplaying a call for agency heads to prepare for a bare-bones budget.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll have a good special session,” Scott said when asked about the state having to scale down to its critical needs if lawmakers fail to hammer out a budget before July 1.

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Audience Response
4:55 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Feedback: Cubans Do Listen Do Radio Martí

Radio and Tv Marti's staff, broadcast live messages to families in Cuba from their relatives visiting the 13th Cuba Nostalgia Fair 2011 taking place at the Fair-Expo Center at Tamiami Park in West Miami. Saturday May 21, 2011.
Credit Pedro Portal / El Nuevo Herald

  This is a reader-submitted piece in response to our May 20 story titled "Radio Martí Turns 30 -- But Is Anyone In Cuba Listening?"

I strongly disagree with the characterization in Wilson Sayre's May 20 radio report that "only sketchy data exists" on Radio Martí's audience. Independent research confirms that 20 percent of Cubans report listening to Radio Martí in the last seven days. Further, we have numerous testimonials from Cubans on the island about our programs.

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U.S.-Cuba Relations
5:55 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

Is U.S.-Cuba Texting The Next Telecom Barrier To Fall?

Cubans using cell phones, which their communist government allowed them to purchase for personal use in 2008.
Credit AP

If you’ve ever tried to send a text message to someone in Cuba, you know that… you can’t do it. But as the U.S. and Cuba normalize relations, a number of telecom barriers between the two countries are coming down. And it looks like the latest is texting.

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Opinion
4:36 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Reader Response: The Weight Of History On U.S.-Cuba Relations

Picture released by Cuban newspaper Granma of Cuban militiamen manning an anti-aircraft battery of Czechoslovakian-made M53 12.7 mm quad guns at Havana's Malecon during the 1962 missile crisis.
Credit AFP PHOTO / Granma

This is a reader-submitted piece in response to our April 12 story titled "Summit Summary: U.S.-Cuba Sitdown Drowns Out Venezuelan Meltdown."

In his report from the “Summit of the Americas,” WLRN’s Tim Padgett partly blames “anti-Castro hardliners who get just as much tiresome mileage out of reliving the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis day after day” for preventing the brave new world that a fawning Raul Castro and President Obama want for Cuba.

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Education
12:11 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

John Oliver Spends 18 Minutes Shredding Standardized Testing

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 12:33 pm

John Oliver spent 18 minutes taking on standardized testing, teacher evaluations and all things “accountability” related on his show, “Last Week Tonight.”

And, of course, Florida plays a starring role.

Warning: Salty language, off-color jokes and test monkeys ahead.

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Politics
12:05 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Retired Doc Ben Carson Running for President

Ben Carson speaking in Iowa in January.

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 1:25 pm

Retired surgeon West Palm Beach resident Ben Carson declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination Monday, resting his longshot bid on his vision of the nation as "a place of dreams" where people can thrive when freed from an overbearing government.

Carson, the only African-American in the race, spoke in front of hundreds of people at Detroit Music Hall, a few miles from a high school that bears his name. A choir singing the chorus from Eminem's "Lose Yourself" set the stage.

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Politics
6:58 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Matt Gaetz Comment About Black Senators Criticized

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach)
The Florida Channel

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 8:49 am

In-fighting in the Florida legislature is getting increasingly personal. But some observers are saying Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, may have crossed a line.
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Politics
6:56 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Prison Reform Bill May Be Dead, But Advocates Remain Hopeful Reform Will Occur

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 7:13 pm

Prison reform may be officially dead this session, but prison reform advocates remain hopeful there will be some meaningful reform for Florida’s troubled prison system.

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Politics
6:07 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Ten Big Issues Remain as Regular Session Ends

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 9:09 am

Ordinarily, the last week of the annual legislative session is a blur of deal-making, with bills bouncing back and forth across the Capitol's fourth floor. But with the House adjourning Tuesday amid a battle with the Senate about budget and health-care issues, the 2015 session will be remembered for its messy end --- and the piles of bills that died in the crossfire. Lawmakers will come back sometime in May or June for a special session to negotiate and pass a budget. But with the 60-day regular session formally ending Friday, here is where 10 major issues stand:

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Politics
4:16 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Seminole Tribe Of Florida Pleas For Renewal Of Card Game Agreement

The Seminole Tribe of Florida wants the state to extend a portion of its gambling compact that expires this summer. It allows banked card games like baccarat exclusively at five Seminole casinos and generates more than a $100 million a year for the state.
Credit Mr Spil/flickr

The Seminole Tribe of Florida wants to keep its exclusive rights to blackjack and other banked card games, but the Legislature's abrupt adjournment this year might have dealt the tribe a bad hand. 

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U.S.-Cuba Relations
9:49 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Zoo Miami Star Finds Out He's A Hit In Cuba – And Not A Villain Back In Miami

Ron Magill poses with restaurant employee fans in Cuba last month.
Credit Ron Magill

Zoo Miami's mediagenic spokesman, Ron Magill, is a celebrity in Latin America thanks to his appearances on Spanish-language TV. But Magill had no idea he was famous in Cuba – until he finally visited the island last month. 

Communist Cuba is still a controversial subject in Miami. And because he’s such a high-profile Miami-Dade County employee, Magill had been hesitant to go there. But like so many Cuban-Americans, Magill resolved to see where his late Cuban father was from when President Obama announced last December the U.S. and Cuba were normalizing relations.

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Politics
9:43 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Florida Supreme Court Sides With House In Session Departure

April 28, 2015 - House Speaker Steve Crisafulli strikes the gavel, abruptly adjourning the House's legislative session three days early.
Credit myfloridahouse.gov

The Florida Supreme Court has sided with the House of Representatives in a lawsuit filed by Florida Senate Democrats. The House left Tallahassee three days before the scheduled end of session because no agreement could be reached on a budget. 

Democrats in the Senate wanted the court to force House members back to Tallahassee for more session work, but the court denied the motion.

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Politics
3:14 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Children's Advocates Mourn Dead Bills

Credit John Liu / Flickr CC https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

  Children's issues had a rocky legislative session, thanks in part to its abrupt ending.

One proposal that would have boosted health and safety standards for early-education programs (SB 7006 and HB 7017) died for the second straight year. Supporters said the proposal's failure means leaving some kids in risky situations.

"It was a major disappointment," said Ted Granger, executive director of the United Way of Florida. "The failure to pass these bills ensures that those children are going to be staying in unsafe places for another year."

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Politics
2:23 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

#FLHouseMovieTitles Mock Legislature's Early Adjournment

In response to the Florida House abruptly adjourning its 2015 session three days early, the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times invited their audiences to modify movie titles and tweet them with the hashtag #FLHouseMovieTitles.

Here are some of the ones that stood out to us:

Panelists discussed the legislative session on the Florida Roundup Friday, May 1.

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Politics
11:23 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Florida Roundup: A Surprise To The 2015 Legislative Session

Credit Steven Martin / Flickr/Creative Commons

A twist to the end of the state legislative session means lawmakers need to reconvene again. 

Legislative Session

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