Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Supreme Court appointment tops busy day in Tallahassee

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Charlie Crist will fill the last of four open seats on the Florida Supreme Court at a morning news conference Wednesday while the debate in the Legislature turns to open records, property taxes and dismantling growth management laws.

Crist is expected to announce his selection of Circuit Judge James Perry of Sanford to replace retiring Justice Charlie Wells.

Perry, the first black judge in Central Florida's 18th Circuit, is the pick of civil rights leaders and trial lawyers who admire his rise out of the Jim Crow South. But he is not the favorite of the NRA and tort reform advocates and social conservatives who had hoped for a more conservative-leaning judge who has a record on the criminal bench.

It's the fourth pick for Crist on the seven-member court.

Also today, three Senate leaders will announce their Transparency Florida Initiative at the Capitol — a plan to force agency contracts into the open by posting them on the Internet. Sens. Alex de la Portilla, J.D. Alexander and Mike Haridopolos are behind the measure.

The House Finance and Military Affairs and Local Policy Council continues where a Senate committee left off and takes up a series of constitutional amendments to reduce property taxes. The proposals are expected to get watered down as the two-month session progresses, however, as legislators try to balance the needs of local government with the crushing state economy.

The same committee will take up a plan to merge the Department of Community Affairs with the Department of State in an attempt to reduce state oversight of growth management.

Finally, a Senate committee will take up a bill to put a constitutional amendment before voters to ease the requirement of the state's class size initiative.

Mary Ellen Klas can be reached at

Supreme Court appointment tops busy day in Tallahassee 03/11/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 6:38am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Straz Center parking squeeze infuriates patrons, motivates search for solutions


    TAMPA — When the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts opened 30 years ago, it welcomed just 30,000 patrons its first year.

    Fireworks shoot into the sky over the David A. Straz Jr. Center For The Performing Arts. [SCOTT MCINTYRE, Times]
  2. Video shows naked man who stole swan sculpture in Lakeland, deputies say


    The Polk County Sheriff's Office is searching for a naked man who stole a large black and white swan sculpture from a Lakeland storage facility last weekend.

    The Polk County Sheriff's Office says this naked man stole a large black and white swan sculpture, upper right, from a Lakeland storage facility last weekend. Surveillance video showed the man walking into Lakeland Cold Storage. [Polk County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Fennelly: Dirk Koetter's apology no way to keep this fidget spinning


    TAMPA — It all began with a fidget spinner.

    This tweet from the Bucs, mocking the Falcons' 28-3 lead they lost in the Super Bowl against the Falcons, prompted a public apology from head coach Dirk Koetter, who called it "unprofessional and not smart."
  4. Jeb money trickles into Putnam's bid for governor


    Money from a Jeb Bush super PAC has made its way into Florida’s 2018 governors race.
    A year ago, Bush’s Right to Rise PAC put $1,171 in money

  5. Men have body image issues too


    I have lost and gained weight several times in my adult life. It wasn't a problem when I was younger and working construction. An "ideal" office job 30 years ago started the yo-yo effect. I don't have any more weight to lose, but the potential of gaining it back is always there.

    Andrew Meacham, September 2005