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Black Caucus airs concerns

The Florida Legislature's Black Caucus on Tuesday raised a chorus of concern with Gov. Jeb Bush over his proposed budget cuts and mandatory tests that may keep some children from graduating from high school.

Fifteen of the 23 black lawmakers joined the governor for a cordial but tense lunch that included the suggestion that he is trying to balance the budget on the backs of the state's most vulnerable people.

"We can't meet the needs of the state without additional revenue," said Sen. Les Miller, a Tampa Democrat and chairman of the caucus. "We're not saying raise taxes, but we've got to look at tax exemptions and other proposals."

Rep. Frank Peterman, D-St. Petersburg, questioned proposed cuts in juvenile justice programs that help prevent youthful offenders from becoming hardened criminals.

Bush said a remedial program is in the works to help high school students graduate if they fail the FCAT.

Lois Frankel wins mayoral election

WEST PALM BEACH _ Former House Democratic leader Lois Frankel ousted the incumbent in Tuesday's mayoral election.

Frankel beat Mayor Joel Daves, a former county prosecutor and state representative. With all precincts reporting, Frankel had 6,803 votes, or 55.7 percent, against Daves' 4,625 votes, or 37.8 percent, the Palm Beach Post reported in today's editions.

_ Staff, wire reports.

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