Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Better serving the homeless

HomeLessNESS doesn't follow county or city lines, and neither should state funding. Months after Gov. Rick Scott vetoed badly needed money for building a homeless shelter for families in Pasco County, two Pinellas County legislators are proposing a necessary overhaul of the haphazard system the state uses to pay for emergency homeless services.

Currently, organizations that provide emergency shelter to the homeless, such as Pinellas Safe Harbor, can't count on state money from one budget year to the next. The total amount of money available depends on political whim and competition from other priorities. And who gets whatever money there is often depends on the influence of particular legislators rather than on whether a program is well-run and serves its purpose.

After Scott vetoed $1.3 million to build housing for homeless families in Pasco County, Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena, and Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, agreed they will push for a better system. They want to establish a specific source of money for emergency shelters, perhaps from documentary stamps paid on real estate transactions. They also want the Legislature to establish a formal process for determining how to distribute the money statewide so the money follows need (such as the dearth of available beds for families), and well-run shelters can have some certainty about how much money they can expect from year to year.

Such a system should improve services and allow for recognition when one county's responsible efforts, such as Pinellas' Safe Harbor, end up serving residents from neighboring counties — such as the 161 Pasco residents who stayed at Safe Harbor last year. Homelessness isn't confined to geographic lines, and the state's response shouldn't be either. A statewide look at creating a reliable source of money for emergency homeless services makes sense.

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Editorial: They value guns, not kids

Editorial: They value guns, not kids

They value guns over kidsSix days after 17 were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High by a teen-ager firing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the Florida House refused to even debate a bill banning the sale of assault weapons. The vote, 71 to 36, wasn...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are traveling to the state capital today and declaring "never again.íí A prominent Florida Republican fundraiser vows he wonít raise another nickel until his party approves new gun controls. Across F...
Published: 02/19/18

Editorial: No more doubt about Russian meddling in election

The latest indictment by the Justice Department special counsel, Robert Mueller, refutes President Donald Trumpís claims that Russian interference in the 2016 election was a Democratic hoax. The indictment details the lengths Russian conspirators too...
Published: 02/19/18

Another voice: Tips should belong to workers, not their bosses

The Trump administration is under fire for proposing a Labor Department regulation that could result in hotel and restaurant employers dipping into the tips customers leave for their employees, depriving the nationís 14 million hard-working restauran...
Published: 02/18/18
Updated: 02/20/18
Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Itís not popular in Washington or virtually anywhere else these days to express concern about the rising federal deficit. Congressional Republicans who used to be deficit hawks first voted to cut taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, then rais...
Published: 02/17/18
Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

The city of Tampa should have taken Tanja Vidovic seriously from the start when the Tampa firefighter complained about her treatment in the workplace. Now that a jury and judge have spoken, itís time for City Hall to cut its losses, learn from its mi...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

The dark cloud enveloping Tampa Bayís job placement centers keeps growing. There are accusations of forged documents, evidence of nepotism and concerns about grossly inflated performance numbers that could be tied to receiving more public money and b...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Even before the victims of another mass shooting at another public school were identified, Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, state legislators and members of Congress rushed to South Florida or to social media to offer their thoughts and p...
Published: 02/15/18
Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

The Florida Department of Children and Families is right to call for a timely and "comprehensive" review of Hillsborough Countyís foster care system. Though the probe is a reaction to a recent case involving a child who was left unattended, the revie...
Published: 02/14/18

A Washington Post editorial: Modernize 911 calling before it becomes an emergency

This Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the first 911 emergency call placed in the United States. Since then, uncounted lives have been saved and people helped. It has been a great accomplishment of government.But even as an estimated 240 million 9...
Published: 02/13/18
Updated: 02/14/18