Job Czar
4:22 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

New Florida Jobs Czar Appointed

Credit Fammy /Flickr

From The News Service of Florida

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Tallying It Up: Election Problems, Citizens Insurance And Miami-Dade Prayer

Secretary of State Ken Detzner is touring around the 5
Credit Dan Grech

On the Florida Roundup :  Local leaders and scientists gather in Palm Beach county to discuss how sea-level rise is “sinking in” in South Florida.  Citizens Insurance is awash with complaints about its "incentive plan" to have private insurers take over some of its policies. Will you be paying for it, hurricane or not? 

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Casino Gambling
10:26 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Knowing When To Fold 'Em, Genting Abandons Casino Law Petition Drive

LETTING IT RIDE: Genting is betting millions it can persuade Florida lawmakers to authorize resort casinos
Credit Leong Sze Hian

With new leadership running the Florida Legislature and gambling regulation prominently on the table, the Genting Group has abandoned its plan to seek voter approval of a casino gambling amendment.

Genting, the Malaysian gambling behemoth which bought the Miami Herald headquarters with a plan to create a fantastical seaside casino, now says it will slow down and work with -- instead of around -- the Legislature.

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The Florida Vote
9:30 am
Fri December 7, 2012

How Boxer's Bill Could Shrink Voting Lines

DIFFERING BY DEGREE: Gov. Scott thinks four hours is an acceptable wait in a voting line, Sen. Boxer says one.

A prominent Senate Democrat is trying to federalize election rules in a way that would make it illegal to force voters to wait more than an hour to vote.

U. S. Sen. Barbara Boxer filed her bill -- called the LINE Act -- on Thursday. If it passes, states would have to come into compliance before the next federal election. That would involve applying formulas that determine how many voting machines and poll workers have to be available for the expected number of voters.

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Public Insight Network
6:30 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Dade Commission's Polarizing Call To Prayer

The Miami-Dade Commission has brought back the spoken prayer to hold before their official hearings.
Credit wilson.cheong

The Miami-Dade County Commission’s 8-3 decision to reinstate spoken prayer before its official meetings is sparking passionate responses on both sides of the issue. 

A sponsor of the bill to bring back spoken prayer, Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz, called it a matter of "freedom of speech," while Commissioner Sally Heyman, part of the trio opposed to the measure, said it was "unfair to members of the community to be subjected to a religious point of view."  Since 2004, the commission has opened its meetings with a moment of silence during which commissioners and the public could do as they pleased. 

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Political Ethics
7:55 am
Thu December 6, 2012

What The Ethics Commission Thinks It Has On Miami State Representative Erik Fresen

ERIK FRESEN: Miami Republican legislator says he's the victim of a 'textbook political attack.'

Questions are arising after a critical examination of State Rep. Erik Fresen's finances by the Florida Ethics Commission.

The panel says the Miami Republican misstated his debts and income for three years beginning in 2008 and it must now decide whether the discrepancies amount to campaign law violations.

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The Florida Vote
10:30 am
Wed December 5, 2012

South Florida Elections Officials Blamed For Election's Long Lines, Delayed Count

KEN DETZNER: Florida's secretary of state says South Florida elections officials
Credit Florida Channel

State elections chief Ken Detzner told the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee on Tuesday that it was five "underperforming" counties that caused the delays in reporting the Florida vote count after the Nov. 6 election.

Chairman Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) said he'll call for the elections supervisors from Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Lee counties to testify before his committee next month. "There's enough blame to go around," Latvala said.

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Miami-Dade Commission
10:00 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Prayer Is Back At Miami-Dade Commission Meetings

Miami Dade Commissioners approved prayer before meetings on Tuesday.
Credit Wyoming_Jackrabbit /Flickr

Prayer is coming back to Miami-Dade County Commission meetings starting Dec. 18.

In a 8-3 vote on Tuesday, commissioners signed off on a change to a current rule that only allowed for a moment of silence before meetings.

Now, commissioners will be able to invite a religious leader of their choosing or a fellow commissioner  to lead everyone in a prayer before each meeting. 

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Python Bill
9:30 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Congressmen Fail To Get A Tight Grasp On Python Bill

A bill aimed at curbing Florida's python problem has hit a snag.
Credit Michael Ransburg /Flickr

A bill that should help fix Florida's python problem is slipping out of the hands of lawmakers in Washington.

U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, has been trying to get legislation passed that would broaden a ban on invasive species in the U.S. In effect, the bill would slow down a recent influx of invasive snakes taking over the Everglades in Florida.

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Privatizing Government
2:43 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Private Prison Plan Is Flawed, Judge Rules

FAIL: A judge rules Legislature must pass a law, not use a committee, to privatize prisons.
Credit Kate Ter Haar/Fickr

The Florida Legislature has struck out again with an attempt to privatize some or all of the state prison system.

A Tallahassee judge ruled today that lawmakers chose an unconstitutional method to turn prison health care services over to private contractors. As Mary Ellen Klas reported for The Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times:

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Florida Legislature
1:40 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Progressives Warn State Lawmakers About ALEC's Influence

The American Legislative Exchange Council has had years of influence in Florida politics.
Credit ALEC.org

Progress Florida and Florida Watch Action-- two influential progressive groups in the state-- have launched a preemptive attack on the influence of ALEC in the Florida Legislature. 

ALEC, or the American Legislative Exchange Council, is a pro-business political outfit that hands out model conservative legislation to state lawmakers who follow a conservative agenda.

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Sea Level Rise
12:30 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Is Climate Change "Sinking In" For Leaders?

Credit http://southeastfloridaclimatecompact.org/the-summit/

Leaders from throughout the region meet in Jupiter later this week for the fourth annual Regional Climate Leadership Summit, and the timing couldn't be better. Or worse, depending on your perspective. 

Pounding surf and high tides from Hurricane Sandy's passage have put the issue front and center, especially in Fort Lauderdale.

There, the sea wall along the coastal State Road A1A in Fort Lauderdale has been overrun by the ocean. It has reduced the road from four to two lanes, perhaps permanently.

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The Florida Vote
9:00 am
Tue December 4, 2012

What Went Wrong, How To Fix It: Florida Lawmakers Schedule Election Law Hearings

NOW WHAT? Florida House and Senate elections committees begin hearings today on fixing the election law that made voting difficult last month.

The agendas probably say nothing about amends-making or damage control, but the mission is already clear as House and Senate elections committees begin hearings today in Tallahassee on overhauling Florida's elections system.

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Governor's Office
6:53 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Scott, Crist Already Taking Mutual Potshots

OPPONENTS: Gov. Scott, left, has already raised $5 million to seek reelection, possibly against former Gov. Charlie Crist, right.

Just when it looked like it would be a good two years before the next major election campaign , Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist are at it already.

Though he rarely mentions his name, Scott was pretty clearly campaigning against his predecessor this weekend on the CBS4 show, "Facing South Florida With Jim DeFede." And Crist is losing no opportunities to tell potential voters how he objected and even blocked Republiucan voter law changes, signed into law by Scott,  that ultimately turned ordinary ballot-casting into an endurance challenge on election day.

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City of Miami Commission
4:35 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

City Of Miami Commissioner Sues Mayor And State Attorney

Michelle Spence-Jones is suing Katherine Rundle and Tomas Regalado, for what she says is a plot to destroy her political career as a City of Miami Commissioner.
Credit Knight Foundation /Flickr

City of Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones is suing Mayor Tomas Regalado and state attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle for what she says is a plot to destroy her political career by accusing Spence-Jones of political corruption.

On Monday, Spence-Jones filed a lawsuit claiming that Fernandez Rundle and Richard Scruggs, the lead prosecutor in a case accusing Spence-Jones of corruption more than a year ago, misled key witnesses.

These criminal cases surrounding Spence-Jones turned out to be unsuccessful.

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