Politics

The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Miami Dolphins Fishing For A Stadium Renovation

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says Miami is unlikely to get the 2016 Super Bowl unless the Sun Life stadium is updated.
Credit Photography MC

On the Florida Roundup: The Miami Dolphins ask the public to go halfsies with them in a $400 million proposition to improve the Sun Life Stadium. But is hosting a Super Bowl really worth it? A skeptical public might be tougher to persuade after the Marlins ballpark deal.  

We take your calls on whether public money fund the stadium facelift.  

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Session 2013
9:00 am
Fri January 18, 2013

'Transparency' Losing Ground In Tallahassee

SKITTISH: Sen. Alan Hayes doesn't want his 'itty bitty' staff memos disclosed. The Transparency 2.0 web site is in trouble.
Credit Florida Senate

TALLAHASSEE -- Senators looking into the state's efforts to make budget information available online are expressing skepticism about Transparency 2.0, a site developed under a $5.5 million no-bid contract that is nonetheless endorsed by some ethics advocates.

The hesitance by members of the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee, which surfaced at a Thursday meeting, raises questions about whether the project has any prospects for revival.

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Public Employee Pensions
8:30 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Florida Public Empoyees Lose Pension Fight

BECOMING LAW: Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill requiring employee contributions to the pension plan on June 23, 2011. The Florida Supreme Court upheld it Thursday.
Credit Corinne Hanna/WDBO

Florida teachers and other public employees are shocked and angry today, now that the state Supreme Court has upheld a two-year-old state law that requires them for the first time to contribute to their own retirement plans.

Under the law, passed by the 2011 Legislature, three percent of most pension-eligible paychecks are deducted for the state pension system, which the state alone has funded since 1974. Most state employees have received no pay raises since 2006.

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Voting Problems
7:30 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Completing His 180, Gov. Scott Calls For Restoring Original 14 Days Of Early Voting

RETHINKING: Gov. Scott signed the bill that reduced the early voting period and caused problems for voters such as these in Pembroke Pines. Now he says he favors returning to the original 14 days.
Credit Joe Rimkus

The state's election bureaucracy and local elections officials have already agreed that more early voting days would shorten the lines that kept voters waiting for hours on Nov. 6.

Now, Gov. Rick Scott -- who promoted and then signed the 2011 bill that reduced the early voting period -- has joined the chorus. He said Thursday county elections supervisors should have the option to conduct early voting on as many as 14 days, the number there was before the Legislature reduced it to eight.

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Town Hall on Session 2013
2:17 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Online Chat On Jan. 22, 4pm: Who Runs Tallahassee?

In our first online discussion for the Town Hall project, we take a behind-the-scenes look at how laws are made in Tallahassee.
Credit Auntie P

To kickstart our Town Hall project, we start with the question: Who runs Tallahassee?  

Our guests are: The Miami Herald's Tallahassee bureau chief Mary Ellen Klas and Dan Krassner, executive director of Integrity Florida, an ethics watchdog group, which proposes the unconventional idea we can make the government more accountable if we get rid of limits on state campaign donations

Join us on this site on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 4pm or tweet us at #FL2013.  To read more about the Town Hall project, click here.

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Gun Control
2:00 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

The Takeaway: Florida's Role In Gun Control

Credit Phaitoon / freedigitalphotos.net

Our partners at The Takeaway have been following responses across the country to last year's string of mass shootings.

Their last stop, Texas, focused on the story and activism of Suzanna Gratia Hupp, who said that a mass shooting she witnessed in Texas would have turned out differently had she been allowed to carry a gun.   

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Gun Control
8:42 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Hialeah Gun Maker Says Economics Will Thwart Any Ban On Assault Weapons

ECONOMICS: Manufacturer says the value of assault weapons such as these will rise if they're banned and a black market wsill thrive.
Credit ThinkProgress

South Florida gun dealers are warning that a ban on assault weapons, as President Obama is asking from Congress, will result only in a new flood of higher-priced weapons on American streets.

Hialeah gun factory owner Antonio "Tony" Vega says fundamental economic principles kick in every time gun owners feel their rights are under threat.

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Rick Scott's Dog
7:48 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Scott's Missing Campaign Dog Is Safe And Living On A Ranch With A New Name

HAPPIER DAYS: Gov. Rick Scott and Reagan during their brief partnership.
Credit Scott campaign

Gov. Rick Scott's 2010 campaign dog, Reagan, has been located -- safe, but probably a little bitter -- on a horse ranch somewhere in southwest Florida. Tampa's WTSP Ch. 10 reports he's now known as Pluto.

This should close out a week of speculation about whatever happened to the rescued Labrador that Scott acquired, named through a Facebook contest and campaigned with...

...before the dog mysteriously disappeared!

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Stand Your Ground
7:30 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Trayvon Martin's Mom Calls For A Repeal Of Stand Your Ground Law

Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, is calling for the repeal of Stand Your Ground.
Credit News Service of Florida

With lawmakers taking a new look at Florida's "stand your ground" law, the mother of the young man whose death brought the law back into focus urged lawmakers Wednesday to repeal it.

"How many lives do we have to lose?" Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, asked outside the legislative chambers. "How many children have to be killed? How many times are we going to bury our loved ones and not do anything about it?" 

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Politics
4:00 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Florida One Step Closer To Providing Seniors With Long-Term Healthcare

After months-long bidding process, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration said Tuesday it has chosen five health plans to provide coverage to seniors who need long-term care. AHCA expects to start using the new system in August in the Orlando area.
Credit vitasamb2001 / freedigitalphotos.net

In another step toward transforming Medicaid into a statewide managed-care system, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration said Tuesday it has chosen five health plans to provide coverage to seniors who need long-term care.

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Democrats
2:00 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

The Rise Of The Cuban-American Democrat

Former Hialeah mayor and Democratic Congressional candidate Raul Martinez
Credit Facebook

    

The Cuban-American Democrat. It is an unusual breed in Florida.

Since the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 made the Democratic administration of John F. Kennedy look bad, and caused many Cubans to flee their homeland forever,  El Exilio community in South Florida especially has been strongly Republican.

But that's beginning to change. Some exit polling indicated Cubans nearly split their vote between President Obama and Mitt Romney this past election, something that has never happened.

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Session 2013
1:08 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Bill May Aid Job Search For Floridians With Rocky Credit History

Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, said a new measure may ease the job search process for Floridians.
Credit James Barker / freedigitalphotos.net

Rocky credit history? A bill that would prevent potential employers from weighing a job applicant's credit history unanimously passed the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee Tuesday.

Some say the bill (SB 100), sponsored by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, is an effort to ease the job search process for Floridians.

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Session 2013
10:01 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Gov. Rick Scott, Black Caucus Find Little Common Ground As 2013 Session Nears

PERRY THURSTON: House minority leader says Gov. Scott 'doesn't relate well to others.'
Credit myfloridahouse.gov

Gov. Rick Scott's hour-long sit-down with the Legislative Black Caucus on Tuesday was frostily correct and almost completely nonproductive for the black lawmakers, according to two accounts of Tuesday's session in Tallahassee.

The Tampa Bay Times and the Palm Beach Post described the governor as almost completely unyielding on voting rules, ex-felon rights and appointments to the judiciary and other state positions.

As to the 2011 voting law that many say turned the 2012 election into a Florida disaster, the governor said he should not be blamed for that.

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Waterfront Property
9:03 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Supreme Court: Floating Home Still A Man's Castle

Fane Lozman's floating home is docked at a marina in Riviera Beach, Fla., in this undated photo from court documents.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 7:54 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Florida man's floating home was a house, not a boat, and that therefore, the city marina where he kept it docked could not seize the structure under federal maritime law. The case could affect thousands of houseboat owners nationwide.

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Nursing Home Policy
8:30 am
Wed January 16, 2013

How To Find Out If Your Nursing Home Is On A State Watch List

Some advocates want to make nursing home violations easier to research.
Credit anankkml / freedigitalphotos.net

Deciding to put a loved on in a nursing home is hard enough, but as our partners at WUSF and Health News Florida in Tampa report, researching nursing home quality isn't easy in Florida.

And in a state where a fifth of all nursing homes are on a state watch list, some advocates are asking the Agency for Health Care Administration to take a more active role in distributing lists of facility violations.

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