Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Disability Rights group asks to join lawsuit against rulemaking freeze

Group asks to join lawsuit on rule freeze

Another group has asked the Supreme Court to let it participate in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Gov. Rick Scott's rulemaking freeze. Disability Rights Florida filed a motion Monday asking for permission to file a brief in support of Rosalie Whiley, a Miami woman who filed suit against the governor last week. In court papers, Disability Rights says the rulemaking freeze, among other things, suspends consideration of extending Medicare waiver benefits to some people with autism, is delaying discussion of treatment for at-risk juveniles with emotional disturbances, and slows implementation of rules for the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. The rule freeze was one of Scott's first acts as governor, included in an executive order. More than 900 rules on their way to approval were affected. The Audubon Society asked last week for permission to file a brief in support of Whiley, and the court granted that permission Monday. The court also ordered Scott to respond by April 25. Whiley, a blind woman seeking to reapply for food stamps, alleges one of the rules would make it easier for her to handle that task online.

Charter school bill cuts pilot program

One of the Senate's top voices on education issues managed to strip a fast-moving charter school bill of its provision creating a boarding academy for at-risk students. Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, said she was uneasy about spending money on the pilot program that would benefit a relatively small number of students, 400 at most. Eligible students would be fifth- or sixth-graders from low-income homes and with records of struggling in school. Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, the bill's sponsor, agreed to Lynn's proposal. "Obviously, I'm okay taking it out at this point," he said. "It's a good program and one whose time will come, eventually." Thrasher's bill, SB 1546, would let "high-performing" charter companies more easily expand into new counties. Colleges or universities could approve charters, which use public money but operate independently from local school districts. The bill, with Lynn's amendment, unanimously passed the Senate's Higher Education Committee.

Animal fight law may get teeth

Animal fighting is illegal in Florida. But it is almost impossible to prosecute, some state law enforcement officials say, because to pursue a case, they have to catch the actual fight in action. Sen. Oscar Braynon II, a Miami Gardens Democrat, wants to change that. A Braynon-sponsored bill that cleared its first Senate panel Monday would allow other signs of fighting to be used in a case, including fresh wounds or scars on an animal or possession of apparatus, paraphernalia or drugs to train animals to fight. Braynon told the Senate Agriculture Committee that cockfighting happens in parts of his district. "It's a terrible thing," he said. "It's not something we should continue doing." It sailed unanimously through after this facetious question from Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs: "Do you think that possibly this could apply to the Legislature?"

Times/Herald staff writers Janet Zink, Jodie Tillman and Patricia Mazzei contributed to this report.

Disability Rights group asks to join lawsuit against rulemaking freeze 04/04/11 [Last modified: Monday, April 4, 2011 8:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. New job for Pinellas mentor to first-year teachers

    Blogs

    Remember Kali Davis, a Pinellas school district teacher whose job last year was to mentor and coach 26 first-year teachers in six of the district's lowest-performing …

    Kali Davis (left), training director for Springboard to Success, helps to coach Justin Black (center), who will be starting his third year of teaching PE at Melrose Elementary, as he works to instruct students in a math lesson during the Spring Board program of Summer Bridge at Woodlawn Elementary School in St. Petersburg. Davis' year-round job has shifted from coaching first-year teachers at six struggling schools to an instructional coach at Ridgecrest Elementary in Largo.
  2. Good news: Tampa Bay no longer a major foreclosure capital of the country

    Real Estate

    Once in the top five nationally for foreclosure filings, the Tampa Bay area no longer ranks even in the top 25.

    A few short years ago, Tampa Bay was a national hub for foreclosures. Not any more. [Getty Images/iStockphoto]
  3. Largo promotes Joseph Pennino to deputy fire chief

    Public Safety

    LARGO — The city has a new deputy fire chief after Dave Mixson left the post to take a job as chief and director of public safety of the South Pasadena Fire Department.

    Largo Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Pennino
  4. State Attorney announces expansion of Hillsborough juvenile civil citation program

    Courts

    TAMPA — Kids who, for the first time, commit certain minor crimes in Hillsborough County may now avoid a criminal conviction by completing a civil citation program.

    Thursday's announcement of civil citations for first-time juvenile offenders in Hillsborough County marked the fulfillment of a campaign promise by State Attorney Andrew Warren.
  5. Pinellas County approves settlement with Suncoast fire district

    Public Safety

    SEMINOLE — County commissioners on Tuesday approved a settlement with the Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue District, closing out a lawsuit filed last year by the district over millions of dollars of emergency medical services funding.