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Kathleen McGrory, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Kathleen McGrory

Kathleen McGrory is a state government reporter in the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau. She has been with the Miami Herald since 2006. Her previous beats include breaking news, the Miami-Dade school district and Miami City Hall. She holds degrees from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Phone: (850) 222-3095

Email: kmcgrory@miamiherald.com

Twitter: @kmcgrory

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  1. Gov. Scott proposes $77 billion budget with $673 million in tax cuts

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida Gov. Rick Scott unveiled a proposed $77 billion budget Wednesday that spends nearly all of a $1 billion surplus on tax cuts and an increase in education spending, but it also cuts the state workforce further while shifting education costs to local taxpayers.

    "It's a strong budget because our economy is strong," Scott told a day-long gathering of state reporters and editorial writers in the Capitol. "The way to make it stronger is return more money to the people."...

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks to the media during a pre-legislative news conference, Wednesday in Tallahassee. (AP Photo)
  2. Montford to draft bill addressing testing concerns

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott did more than just unveil his budget recommendations on Wednesday.

    He met with nine superintendents and Education Commissioner Pam Stewart.

    The meeting gave the superintendents a chance to express their concerns about the state's new tests.

    The issues aren't new: The superintendents want to see a temporary freeze on school grades, elimination of end-of-course exams for each subject and grade, and a change in how the state ties teacher evaluations to test scores. Superintendents also expressed ongoing concerns about having the technology and training for computer-based testing....

  3. Rick Scott hears superintendents' testing concerns

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott did more than just unveil his budget recommendations on Wednesday.

    He met with nine superintendents and Education Commissioner Pam Stewart.

    The meeting gave the superintendents a chance to express their concerns about the state's new tests.

    The issues aren't new: The superintendents want to see a temporary freeze on school grades, elimination of end-of-course exams for each subject and grade, and a change in how the state ties teacher evaluations to test scores. Superintendents also expressed ongoing concerns about having the technology and training for computer-based testing....

  4. Gardiner, Crisafulli unveil priorities for 2015 session

    Blog

    Following a tradition established by their predecessors, Senate President Andy Gardiner and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli on Wednesday outlined their list of joint priorities for the upcoming legislative session.

    Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, was quick to note that he and Gardiner, R-Orlando, are "good friends" who represent the same region.

    "We're going to be working very closely on the issues that are not only important to those around the state, but to those [who] elected us," he said....

  5. Husband of top Florida House aide lands six-figure gig at Department of Education

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The husband of Florida House chief of staff Kathy Mears was handed the top legal job at the state Department of Education last week.

    Matthew Mears filled a vacancy created five months ago when his wife, the top aide to House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, hired Department of Education lawyer Matt Carson to be the House general counsel.

    It's a unique situation that apparently isn't covered by state law. Agencies are prohibited from allowing relatives to hire each other, but Kathy Mears doesn't work for the DOE. Nor did she hire her husband....

  6. Husband of top Florida House aide lands plum Department of Education job

    Blog

    The husband of Florida House speaker Steve Crisafulli's chief aide was handed the top legal job at the state education department last week.

    He filled a vacancy created five months ago by the same aide -- House Chief of Staff Kathy Mears --  when she hired away the education department’s lawyer.

    DOE officials won’t say if the $120,000 general counsel job that went to Matthew Mears on Jan. 20 was advertised or if there were other candidates. Mears and House officials said they didn't advertise the general counsel position that was awarded to Matt Carson from the DOE, leaving the vacancy filled by Mears’ husband. But they did say it was a formal process in which one other attorney, Stuart Williams, was interviewed....

  7. Coincidence? Husband of top House aide lands six-figure gig at DOE

    Blog

    The husband of Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli's chief aide was handed the top legal job at the state education department last week.

    He filled a vacancy created five months ago by the same aide -- House Chief of Staff Kathy Mears -- when she hired away the education department’s lawyer.

    DOE officials won’t say if the $120,000 general counsel job that went to Matthew Mears on Jan. 20 was advertised or if there were other candidates. Mears and House officials said they didn't advertise the general counsel position that was awarded to Matt Carson from the DOE, leaving the vacancy filled by Mears’ husband. But they did say it was a formal process in which one other attorney, Stuart Williams, was interviewed. Two other attorneys were asked if they were interested in interviewing, according to the House, but they declined. ...

  8. Scott appoints new Board of Education member

    Blog

    Michael-OlenickGov. Rick Scott has appointed Michael Olenick to the state Board of Education....

  9. Olenick named to state Board of Education

    Blog

    Michael-OlenickGov. Rick Scott has appointed Michael Olenick to the state Board of Education....

  10. Scott prioritizes PLSA program in proposed budget

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott has released several key details of his proposed education budget, including his desire to boost the overall K-12 education budget to $19.75 billion.

    His latest education-related recommendation: $5 million for the Personal Learning Scholarship Account program....

  11. Scott recommends money for individuals with disabilities

    Blog

    Another day, another budget recommendation.

    Gov. Rick Scott on Friday unveiled new additional of his budget proposal, including $8 million to enroll all individuals "with critical needs" from the waiting list to the Developmental Disabilities Medicaid Waiver Program.

    "I am pleased to announce that for the second year in a row, Floridians will be removed from the critical needs waiting list with our proposed funding," he said in a statement....

  12. The latest example of dysfunction in Florida's prisons: "Daddy"

    Blog

    @jknipebrown

    Each day, the female inmates at Lowell Correctional Institution would line up at the back gate waiting to talk to "Daddy."

    In the afternoons, the prisoners would take turns visiting his office, passing him slips of paper and asking for favors like special bunk assignments, chocolates or time to liaison with their female partners.Finish

    Assistant Warden Marty Martinez had so many women who wanted to spend time with him that it not only interfered with the daily operation of the facility, it caused jealous fights for his attention among inmates, according to an investigation by the Department of Corrections released Thursday....

  13. Gov. Rick Scott makes pitch to expand Bright Futures scholarships

    Blog

    ScottGov. Rick Scott on Thursday proposed spending $23.5 million to expand Bright Futures scholarships, but did not address recent criticism of the program — namely, that new eligibility standards put in place to control costs have kept thousands of low-income and minority students from receiving the awards....

  14. Gov. Scott proposes Bright Futures expansion but doesn't address criticisms

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday proposed spending $23.5 million to expand Bright Futures scholarships but did not address recent criticism of the program — namely, that new eligibility standards put in place to control costs have kept thousands of low-income and minority students from receiving the awards.

    Scott's plan would direct new money to help students with Bright Futures scholarships pay for summer courses....

    Critics say minority and low-income students are disproportionately left out of the Bright Futures scholarship program.
  15. Braynon to lead Senate Democrats in 2016-18

    Blog

    BraynonState Sen. Oscar Braynon II, D-Miami Gardens, will be the next Senate Democratic Leader....