Friday, December 10, 2010

Pay attention, we must...

As you may have noticed, I’ve not done much blogging since the election on November 2nd. I am still depressed about the loss of Democratic seats in Congress and the election of Rick Scott as governor here in Florida. I’ve been trying to focus only on the positive – or at least not to dwell on the negative – but it’s been hard.

Nevertheless, it’s important that we continue to pay attention to what’s happening politically and that we not tune out. We’ve got an election to win in 2012!!

So in the interest of sharing with you some of the developments I have on my radar screen, here are some quick sound-bites courtesy of today’s ProgressFlorida Daily Clips, a fabulous daily email that aggregates news from around the state. To read more about any of the items, simply click the hyperlink.

At St. Petersburg rally, Gov.-elect Rick Scott hints at school vouchers for all
By Ron Matus, St. Petersburg Times
Florida Gov.-elect Rick Scott told a cheering crowd of 900 voucher students today that he wants to continue expanding the program that allows them to attend private school at public expense and suggested the option should be available to all students.

Merit pay: 2 plans on state lawmakers' radar
By Leslie Postal, Orlando Sentinel
Florida is expected to adopt a merit-pay law next year that would tie teacher compensation to student performance on tests.

Lawmakers ready to cut public employee retirement, health care
By John Kennedy, News Service of Florida
With a $3 billion budget shortfall looming, Florida’s pension fund and employee health benefits are shaping up as piñatas that state lawmakers will whack next spring – hoping they will yield millions of dollars in cost savings.

Florida State Senate Unleashes Dog Of War
By Daniel Tilson, The Examiner
Senator Mike Bennett (R-Bradenton) is a leading figure in the new self-proclaimed “hard right-wing conservative” Florida State Legislature.

State frets over pension debts of St. Petersburg and other cities
By Mary Ellen Klas, St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau
With a $1.1 billion deficit looming in the state's employee health and pension accounts, lawmakers are poised to blow up the benefit programs and impose tough new limits on local governments, the chairman of the Senate committee said on Thursday.

The other path to an exemption from health care reform
By Travis Pillow, Florida Independent
A proposed constitutional amendment seeking to exempt Floridians from federal health insurance mandates became the first measure to pass a Senate committee Wednesday, and will likely be among the first bills to pass during this spring’s session.

Texas anti-abortion group targets Planned Parenthood, African-Americans in North Florida ad campaign
By Virginia Chamlee, Florida Independent
Heroic Media, the Austin, Texas-based anti-abortion group that counts Sarah Palin among its endorsers, has been branching out from its Texas roots to create a presence in Florida.

Departure of Crist leaves uncertain future for clemency board
By Gary Fineout, Florida Tribune
Gov. Charlie Crist and members of the Florida Cabinet held their last-ever clemency board meeting on Thursday, holding a marathon session that lasted seven hours.

Redistricting timeline stretches final deadline to June 2012
By Mary Ellen Klas, St. Petersburg Times
The Senate's redistricting guru, John Guthrie, told the Senate Reapportionment Committee on Thursday that the timeline for finishing its work will be compressed and difficult, based on the tentative schedule before them.

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