Tampa Bay Times columnist Daniel Ruth's column today focuses on Gov. Rick Scott. An excerpt:
J.D. Salinger was more of a chatty social butterfly than the hermit governor.
It might have been understandable in 2011 to suggest Scott was a stranger to Tallahassee and unfamiliar with the tribal customs of the denizens of the Capitol. Even in 2012 one might conclude the governor kept getting lost trying to make his way from his office to the mosh pit of moolah changers upstairs....
Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano spent the last week of session in Tallahassee and today's column is a report card on Florida lawmakers. An excerpt:
Education — Pay raises for teachers! Per-pupil funding bump! Oversight for charter schools! At first glance, you might think education was a priority for this Legislature. But then you remember the political sham known as parent trigger was one vote away fromEducation — Pay raises for teachers! Per-pupil funding bump! Oversight for charter schools! At first glance, you might think education was a priority for this Legislature. But then you remember the political sham known as parent trigger was one vote away from being passed, and you realize our post office is still in Hooterville. Final evaluation: Effective....
The Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau has compiled a comprehensive list of some of the bills that passed during the 2013 Florida legislative session and some of the bills that didn't.
Dig in to see what your lawmakers accomplished. Click here....
Tampa Bay Times Tallahassee bureau chief Steve Bousquet has a must-read column in the final week of the 2013 session. An excerpt:
The time has arrived for Scott to take a bold step — the boldest since he decided to run for governor three years ago.
What he should do is congratulate his fellow Republicans who wrote the budget on a good first try, then veto the entire education budget and tell lawmakers that he's dead serious about an across-the-board raise for teachers....
Tampa Bay Times columnist Dan DeWitt calls out Rep. Rob Schenck for his record on campaign finance reform. To sum up from DeWitt: It's a joke. Read the column here. This is an excerpt:
Let's start with the sheer volumes of cash.
Schenck's regular campaign account for last year's election stockpiled $276,000 in cash, almost none of it from grateful folks in his home district, almost all of it from political and corporate interests....
From our friends at the Associated Press:
Former Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll is getting a new job.
Global Digital Solutions announced it was hiring Carroll as a senior adviser. A spokesman for Carroll confirmed Wednesday that she accepted the job.
A company press release added that Carroll is expected to become president and company chief operating officer once a planned merger with Airtronic USA Inc. has been completed. ...
From our friends at the Associated Press. Complete story here.
Florida developer Jay Odom was sentenced to six months in federal prison Tuesday for lying about illegal contributions he made in the 2008 presidential primary. ...
Tampa Bay Times environmental reporter Craig Pittman continues his stellar reporting on the threat to Florida's springs. Now this news that the Legislature won't act this session:
Although thousands of Florida voters signed a petition demanding action, the Legislature will not pass any bills aimed at restoring and protecting the state's iconic springs this year, according to the chairman of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee....
Times Tallahassee bureau chief Steve Bousquet focuses his weekly column on efforts by lawmakers to repeal an insurance tax credit to save money for motorists. An excerpt:
Tom Feeney of Associated Industries of Florida said repeal of the tax would send a "chilling message" to job creators in the industry....
Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano imagines what Gov. Rick Scott was really thinking when we wrote to President Barack Obama this week. An excerpt of his column:
In my imagination, Scott sneaks in the kind of personal notations two colleagues might share....
Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano praises Pinellas Superintendent Mike Grego in his latest column, by comparing his actions to those of Tallahassee lawmakers. An excerpt:
Legislators see failing schools and look for someone to blame.
They see struggling students and come up with one-size-fits-all solutions. They see funding for education and devise schemes to funnel it to their corporate friends....
Miami Herald political writer Marc Caputo takes a hard look at Florida House Republicans' plan for Medicaid in his weekly column. An excerpt:
The federal money, as much as $55 billion over a decade, would go a long way in a state where about one in four non-elderly residents is uninsured — the third-highest rate in the nation....
Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano calls out House Speaker Will Weatherford in his latest column. An excerpt:
If low-income Floridians are without health coverage at this time next year, they will have Will Weatherford to thank.
The House speaker has occupied a lower-profile role on health care in recent weeks, but it is fair to say no individual has done more to torpedo Medicaid expansion in Florida....
Former state Sen. Nan Rich is the only official Democratic candidate for governor in 2014 and she's visiting the Democratic Women's Club of Upper Pinellas next month.
Rich, D-Weston, will address the group May 20 at the Safety Harbor Library, 102 2nd St., from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For a $5 donation, you'll get lunch.
Call 727-581-4630 for information.