Politics

Session 2013
9:00 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Two Years Later, State Voting Law Fixes Take Root Where The Problem Was Caused

In Tallahassee, a series of proposals to repair the state election system is finding broad support in the Legislature that many say broke the voting process two years ago.

A Senate bill instituting one of the reforms proposed by Secretary of State  Ken Detzner has already been filed and there are clear signals from a House elections subcommittee that it will prepare a bill to launch the rest of them.

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Medicaid
7:07 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Federal Approval Launches Florida's Transition To Medicaid By Managed Care

SENIORS FIRST: Florida's new managed care system for Medicaid could allow some seniors to 'age in place,' rather than move too soon to nursing homes.
Credit Kaiser Health News

TALLAHASSEE -- Federal health officials have approved a key part of Florida's effort to transform its Medicaid program, clearing the way for tens of thousands of seniors across the state to move into managed-care plans.

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Florida Legislature
8:00 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Youth Is No Barrier To Power In Tallahassee

MR. CHAIRMAN: Very young guys run very powerful committees in the Florida House. How did that happen?

Number crunching by a Florida university professor has led to an odd conspiracy theory about the Florida House of Representatives.

Not that Prof. Mark Soskin actually subscribes to the theory himself. As you hear on TV a lot, he's just sayin'.

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Why An FBI Investigation Probably Won't Stop Immigration Reform

GOP opposition to immigration reform has been tempered by their loss of the Latino vote in the 2012 election.
Credit Anuska Sampedro

On the Florida Roundup: New immigration reform proposals are put on the table in Washington. How could a path to citizenship be traveled in immigrant-rich South Florida?   Plus we get the latest update on the FBI raid of a West Palm Beach eye doctor with connections with U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, a sponsor of a bipartisan immigration reform plan.

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Session 2013
9:00 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Scott's $74.2 Billion Budget Sets The Record

RECORD BREAKER: Gov. Rick Scott's proposed budget would put more than a billion new dollars into education.
Credit St. Petersblog

TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Rick Scott unveiled a record-breaking $74.2 billion budget Thursday, pouring hundreds of millions of additional dollars into public schools, colleges and universities in a proposal that Democrats knocked as a public-relations gimmick.

Scott's plan would boost spending by almost $4 billion in the coming budget year, which begins July 1, with much of the increase heading to education. He said the bump reflected more incoming tax revenue brought on by an economic recovery after the fallout from the Great Recession clouded the budgets of his first two years.

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Immigration Reform
7:16 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Rubio's Tea Party Ties Starting To Fray

AMONG FRIENDS: Tea Party support catapulted candidate Marco Rubio to the U. S. Senate in 2010.
Credit Daron Dean/Tampa Bay Times

U. S. Sen. Marco Rubio's leadership in the movement to reform American immigration policy has complicated his once-cozy relationship with the conservative organization formerly known as the Tea Party.

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Public Insight Network
10:00 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Do You Know Who Your State Legislators Are?

Redistricting last year may have had a role in making it more difficult for PIN members to name their state legislators. Above, a map showing pre-redistricting Senate district boundaries (in red) and current Senate district boundaries (in black).

The state Legislature, perhaps more than Congress, passes laws that have a direct impact on the day-to-day life of a Floridian: how much you pay in sales tax, how much time you have to vote, how you obtain a gun.

Tallahassee is in our lives every day. It's only 480 miles away. And yet, for many in South Florida, it might as well be on another continent. 

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Public Insight Network
11:00 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Texting While Driving And Other Sins Of Florida's Drivers

39 states - including libertarian-leaning New Hampshire - ban texting while driving. Florida isn't one of them.
Credit taestell

Florida is one of only 11 states that does not prohibit texting while driving.  Though state legislators have already introduced 3 texting ban bills for the upcoming session, similar bills have failed in the past several years. 

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Session 2013
9:00 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Legislators Want To Deny Licenses To U. S. Graduates Of Free Cuban Medical School

HEADED FOR THE BLACK LIST: The Latin American School of Medicine is the world's largest medical school. Republicans in the Florida Legislature want to make sure that American graduates of the Cuban school cannot get Florida medical licenses.
Credit Toronto Star

American medical students who get their diplomas in Cuba could forget about practicing in Florida if legislative bills filed by two Hialeah Republicans are passed this session.

State Rep. Manny Diaz Jr. said Americans who overlook human and civil rights abuses just to get a cheap medical degree lack the "moral clarity to serve patients in Florida."

The Senate bill, SB 456, was filed by State Sen. Rene Garcia.

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Session 2013
12:01 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Hager's Bill Could Ban Smoking At The Beach

NOT AT THE BEACH: State. Rep. Bill Hager of Boca Raton wants to let cities and counties ban smoking at beaches and parks.
Credit billhager.com

A determined Palm Beach County teenager is gaining ground on a big goal -- stopping people from smoking at Florida's beaches and public parks.

Caitlyn Johnston's campaign caught the eye of State. Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, who filed a bill (HB 439) giving cities and counties the power to ban smoking on their own public lands.

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The Art Of Politics
11:00 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Limericks Inspired By Florida's Muddy Politics

Can you explain a state policy in a limerick?
Credit Public Domain Pictures

Politics can be quite the poetic muse - especially statehouse politics, it turns out.

We recently challenged members of the Public Insight Network to write about politics in the Sunshine State - in a limerick.* 

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Medicaid Policy
9:00 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Why Florida Lawmakers Are Now Considering Medicaid Expansion

State Sen. René García is less opposed to Medicaid expansion than he used to be.
Credit Sammy Mack / WLRN

When Florida sued to overturn the Affordable Care Act, lawmakers targeted a piece of the law that would have forced Florida to make Medicaid available to more than a million uninsured Floridians.

The U. S. Supreme Court upheld most of the act but it made Medicaid expansion optional.

Now some Florida lawmakers who originally opposed Medicaid expansion are seriously considering that option.

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Immigration Reform
11:34 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Rubio Says We 'Can't Round Up And Deport Millions'

Rubio has become a leading voice for the group’s plan.
Credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Florida’s Marco Rubio is among a group of eight Democratic and Republican Senators unveiling a bipartisan immigration plan today.

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Embargo On Cuba
10:00 am
Mon January 28, 2013

DNC Chair: 'Unbelievable Oppression' In Cuba Makes Continuing Embargo Necessary

South Florida Congresswoman and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz addresses the audience at a Forum Club of the Palm Beaches event.
Credit C. DiMattei

The leader of the Democratic National Committee says the U.S. embargo of Cuba should remain in place, in spite of recent reforms in the Communist island nation.

Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz spoke before a crowd of over 500 people Friday at an event sponsored by the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches. 

The DNC chair says it doesn't make sense to lift the embargo, in light of what she calls the "unbelievable oppression" in Cuba.

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Mortgage Settlement
7:00 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Floridians Get More Money For Mortgage Assistance

Attorney General Pam Bondi announces $60 million from a national mortgage settlement is now available for additional assistance to Floridians.
Credit Jordan Michael/WLRN

An additional $60 million in assistance from a national mortgage settlement is now available to Floridians who lost their homes due to unfair foreclosure practices.

Attorney General Pam Bondi announced how the money will be used.

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