In The News: February 23, 2014 to March 1, 2014

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Florida Public Employees


March 1, 2014

LegislatureSarasota Herald Tribune: Legislature 2014: The session

“Information on the Florida House of Representatives, including contact information on representatives, committee schedules and bills is available at … Information on the Florida Senate, including contact information on senators, committee schedules and bills is available at …

CLICK HERE to read

News_JournalNews Journal: Officials take part in school safety training exercise

“Flagler County Emergency Services personnel, firefighters, law enforcement and school administrators spent a day together recently working on plans they hope will never have to use, according to a news release from the county.”

CLICK HERE to read

Sun_SentinelSun Sentinel: Contrasting visions compete in Boca mayoral race

“My opponent has an inherent conflict of interest when it comes to public safety issues,’ Haynie said, pointing out that Majhess is a firefighter in Palm Beach County and his brother is a city firefighter.”

CLICK HERE to read

Joseph_AbruzzoPalm Beach Post:  Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington, District 25

“Motorist Safety (SB 262SB 350): Would authorize county commissions to create a critical medical information program to alert first responders…  Parks (SB 378): Would require counties and municipalities to provide discounts on park entrance to veterans…  Military Affairs (SB 1120): Would prohibit public employers from compelling spouses of military service members to work extended hours during deployment… Divers (SB 1176): Would require divers to prominently display a divers-down flag or buoy…

CLICK HERE to read

Rick_ScottThe St. Augustine RECORD: For Rick Scott, it’s about tax cuts and budget in 2014

“Gov. Rick Scott, weighed down by lackluster poll numbers and a Republican Legislature intent on pursuing its own contentious reforms, appears content to keep it simple as he heads into the 2014 session.”

CLICK HERE to read

Tampa_Bay_TimesTBO:  Detroit’s reckoning

“Detroit’s bankruptcy is so catastrophic, and its causes so local, that it is tempting to say that the Motor City’s downfall has few lessons for state and other local governments. It’s hard to imagine a combination of deindustrialization and population loss more powerful than what afflicted Detroit.”

CLICK HERE to read Lock and Load: NRA-Willing, Florida Legislature Takes On Slew of New Gun Legislation

.. “Bills dealing with toaster pastries and insurance policies are just two of more than a dozen gun-related measures lined up for the 2014 legislative session that starts Tuesday. As in previous years, many of them will go nowhere, especially if Marion Hammer, the National Rifle Association’s powerful Florida lobbyist, doesn’t like them. ”

CLICK HERE to read 9 Investigates: Florida legislators expected to avoid some high-profile issues

“The governor’s comments echo the tone set by Speaker of the House Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, who has indicated the legislature is not interested in paying for new projects. ”

CLICK HERE to read


February 28, 2014

Tampa_Bay_TimesTampa Bau Times: How the Florida Legislature really works

“The Legislature speaks in a language that’s foreign to many Floridians. A bill can be a joint resolution, the daily order of business is a special order calendar, and there really is a committee on joint administrative procedures. It is layer upon layer of parliamentary rules that dictate how a bill is introduced, amended, passed or defeated.”

CLICK HERE to read

LedgerThe Ledger: Florida University Tuition: Politics Vs. Performance

“The legislation (SB 7036) would, as The Ledger’s Lloyd Dunkelberger detailed in his Sunday op-ed column, eliminate an automatic, inflation-based tuition increase and limit the option of individual universities to apply a tuition ‘differential.”

CLICK HERE to read

CONTEXT_Florida_Public_EmployeesCONTEXT FLORIDA: Daniel Tilson: Middle-class Floridians, pay attention to the 2014 legislative session

“Apathy and disengagement make it much easier for national organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to aggressively advance an anti-middle class agenda in Florida.”

CLICK HERE to read

Common_CoreSunshine State News: Twin Bills in Florida Legislature Attempt to Halt Common Core

“If passed, SB 1316 would prohibit the Florida Department of Education from implementing the standards until the state board holds at least one public hearing in each congressional district of the state.”

CLICK HERE to read


nbc_6_florida_public_employeesNBC 6: Florida Highway Patrol Sergeant Demoted to Trooper and Given Pay Cut After Sexual Relationship With Subordinate: Authorities

“A woman who had sex with a Florida Highway Patrol subordinate has been demoted from sergeant to trooper and had her pay slashed, the agency said.”

CLICK HERE to read

DCFThe Palm Beach Post: Scott touts plan to add DCF investigators during West Palm Beach headquarters tour

“Gov. Rick Scott stopped by a Florida Department of Children and Families office on Thursday to promote his proposal to increase dramatically the number of child protective investigators at the troubled agency.”

CLICK HERE to read

CSUSATampa Bay Times: ‘Gov. Scott recommended ally’s company in MacDill charter school bid

“Jonathan Hage sat on Gov. Rick Scott’s education transition team. He and his company, Charter Schools USA, have given more than $100,000 to Scott’s Let’s Get To Work fund and the state Republican Party. ”

CLICK HERE to read

State_Farm_Florida_Public_EmployeesThe Florida Current: State Farm seeking new homeowners’ policies in Florida again

“Four years after State Farm stopped writing new homeowners’ policies in Florida – after first threatening to quit the state altogether – the insurance giant has quietly begun to seek new business in the Sunshine State.”

CLICK HERE to read

Bill_MontfordThe Florida Current: Montford files a time out bill for school grades 

“Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee,  has been calling for a “time out” in the school grading program for about a year and a half. In July of 2012 he expressed concerns about students and teachers being “impacted” by an inaccurate assessment.  You can read more about that here.”

CLICK HERE to read Lawmakers Now Ready To Push ‘No Fault’ Off Florida Roads

“Senate Banking and Insurance Chairman David Simmons maintains that the four-decade-old Personal Injury Protection, or no-fault, system can’t be fixed and needs to be abandoned before courts possibly could strike down the 2012 law.”

CLICK HERE to read

Oil_florida_public_employeesNewsweek: Oil Prospectors Seek Their Next Big Strike in South Florida’s Everglades

“The looming conflict over south Florida’s oil potential also underscores several mining controversies in Florida and across the U.S. – the often uneasy relationship between mineral rights owners, homeowners and preservationists – and local politicians’ efforts to protect constituents above business interests. ”

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February 27, 2014

nbc_6_florida_public_employeesNBC 6 News: Fort Lauderdale Police Sing Happy Birthday to Young Leukemia Patient

“A young Rhode Island boy who is battling leukemia is receiving a special birthday surprise from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.Tyler Seddon, of Pascoag, Rhode Island, is celebrating his seventh birthday and is a big fan of police and firefighters. So as a gift from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, officers came together to sing happy birthday to Tyler in a video. ”

CLICK HERE to watch Video

Lee_CountyDaily Commercial: Firefighters honored for sinkhole rescues

“Two Lake County firefighters and a lieutenant recently were honored for their service in rescuing dozens of people from a resort building that collapsed into a Clermont-area sinkhole last year.”


CLICK HERE to read

Spend_or_give_BackWCTV: Florida Lawmakers Have Money To Spend Or Give Back

“Florida legislators this year aren’t worrying about budget cuts or how to balance the state budget.

Instead the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature will spend the next nine weeks trying to figure out how to spend an expected budget surplus of more than $1 billion.”

CLICK HERE to read

cbs_florida_public_employeesCBS Miami: Florida Lawmakers Look To Pass Far-Flung Gun Bills

“Bills dealing with toaster pastries and insurance policies are just two of more than a dozen gun-related measures lined up for the 2014 legislative session that starts Tuesday. As in previous years, many of them will go nowhere, especially if Marion Hammer, the National Rifle Association’s powerful Florida lobbyist, doesn’t like them.”

CLICK HERE to read New standardized test needed as FCAT ends

“Students in Florida have started taking the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT, for the final time, but what will replace it is uncertain. The ongoing process of picking another test has led to lawmakers and teachers asking for a reprieve from the A through F school grading system.”

CLICK HERE to read

Rehwinkel_Vasilinda_florida_public_employeeswtxltv: Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda discusses legislation to abolish the death penalty

“On the night that the state of Florida carried out its third execution of 2014, State Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda remained staunch in her desire to abolish the death penalty.”


CLICK HERE to read

GMO_florida_Public_Employees90.7 News: GMO Labeling Potentially Headed to Florida Legislature

“February 26, 2014 | WMFE Orlando- GMO’s, Genetically Modified Organisms, are coming before the Florida House and Senate for a second time when the legislative session opens this spring. At issue is whether Florida should require GMO’s to be labeled. It’s an argument over whether consumers deserve to know vs. whether they need to know that GMO’s are in their food.”

CLICK HERE to read

Orlando_SentinelOrlando Sentinel: Exiting Precourt steered campaign cash to own non-profit

“Last fall, in the midst of his final term in the Florida House of Representatives, former state Rep.Steve Precourt was forced to shut down an obscure fundraising committee that he’d used over the years to raise more than $130,000 from donors such as Walt Disney World, casino giantGenting and Florida Power & Light.”

CLICK HERE to read

Florida Public Employees:  Is Carlos Gimenez recruiting a new property appraiser?

“Spotted at a Coral Gables eatery the other day: Carlos “CJ” Gimenez, the county mayor’s son, and Hialeah Council Vice President Luis Gonzalez, who is considering a run at the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser’s Office.

CLICK HERE to read

Hampton  Hampton, notorious Florida speed trap, faces abolishment

“Crucial city records purportedly were “lost in a swamp.” The speed trap raked in thousands of dollars to grease the wheels of a city government that auditors found was rife with nepotism.”

CLICK HERE to read

David_RiveraMiami Herald: David Rivera named by Justin Lamar Sternad in illegal money scandal

“For the first time, a convicted congressional candidate has stated in federal records that former U.S. Rep. David Rivera was a part of the conspiracy to funnel illegal contributions to his campaign.”

CLICK HERE to read

Brevard_Sheriff_florida_public_EmployeesSpace Coast Daily: Sheriff, Brevard Schools Launch Security Initiative

..”collaborative effort creates an effective solution for safe school strategies and most importantly, safe learning environments for our students, educators, volunteers and staff.”

CLICK HERE to read



February 26, 2014

paul_howellChicago Tribune  News: Florida man executed for trooper’s 1992 pipe-bomb death

“A South Florida drug dealer, who was convicted in the pipe-bomb killing of a state highway patrolman during a traffic stop 22 years ago, was executed on Wednesday, state prison officials said.”

CLICK HERE to read

Stadium_florida_public_employeesTBO: Bill would create process to award tax money for sports stadiums

“House Speaker Will Weatherford has said the only way public money should go to sports stadiums is through a competition, with teams fighting it out among themselves over who has the most worthy project.”

CLICK HERE to read

fire_union_contractPalm Beach Daily News: Firefighters union, town to resume negotiations

“Professional Firefighters/Paramedics of Palm Beach County, Local 2928 of the International Association of Fire Fighters asked the town for revisions to its contract related to wage and merit increases, performance bonuses, sick leave, town 401(a) contributions, video/audio monitoring devices in the fire station, policies for buying groceries while on duty, and reducing the mandatory employee contribution to the defined-benefit pension plan.”

CLICK HERE to read

Scott_florida_public_employeesTampa Bay Times:  For Scott, it’s about tax cuts and budget in 2014

“Months before he will ask voters to re-elect him for another term, Scott is choosing to push ahead with a limited agenda that sidesteps ongoing debates on hot-button issues such as expanding Medicaid or opening the door to Las Vegas casinos.”

CLICK HERE to read

CBS_12_florida_public_employeesCBS 12 NEWS: State-Run Agency Accused Of Abusing Tax Payer Dollars

“A CBS 12 News investigation last November found hundreds of millions of dollars spent by Enterprise Florida since its inception created less than half of the 200,000 jobs initially promised.”

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Confidence_florida_public_EmployeesNews-Journal: “State consumer confidence level holds steady”

“A statewide survey of Florida residents has found their overall confidence in the economy remained unchanged in February from the previous month.

The University of Florida’s latest state consumer confidence index reading was 78, a so-so score, said Chris McCarty, director of the university’s survey research center.”

CLICK HERE to read

Film_florida_public_employeesOrlando Sentinel:  Filmmakers could get big tax breaks

“Less than a week after a measure (HB 983) was introduced in the House to provide $1 billion in tax credits to film and television production efforts in Florida, the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee released a proposal (SPB 7056) on Monday that offers $300 million in tax incentives, too.”

CLICK HERE to read

FRSMiami Herald: Pension tension: House lawmakers call out Gov. Rick Scott’s administration for study delay

A few days old, but worth sharing. Looks like there may be an attempt to avoid the battle by Scott.

“The delay has fueled speculation from Republicans that Scott’s administration wanted to kill the controversial pension-reform plan to spare the governor an election-year headache”…

Orlando_sentinel_florida_public_employeesOrlando Sentinel: Pew Report: Florida economic recovery isn’t so rosy

With Florida’s gubernatorial candidates jostling over the state of the economy, a new report suggests the Great Recession rebound isn’t so stunning or complete.

The non-partisan Pew Charitable Trusts’ new analysis ranks the 50 states on where they fall on tax, spending, debt and economic issues.

CLCIK HERE to read

Journa_florida_public_employeesNew-Journal: Facial recognition helpful tool in Volusia crime fighting effort

“While law enforcement officials know what the facial recognition system is capable of, officials say the public’s perception of its capabilities can be distorted.”

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February 25, 2014


Vouchers_florida_Public_employeesNews 13: Florida lawmakers working to expand school voucher program

“FEA vice president Joanne McCall said the state has no business funding both public and private schools.”

CLICK HERE to read

No_Loyalty_Florida_Public_EmployeesFlorida Public Employees: “Interesting What Happens When One Contacts Their State Rep.!!

“Without putting my signature to anything, I received in the mail today a letter stating my “opt out” of the Predatory Insurance Company call ‘First Community”

CLICK HERE to read

Myth_florida_Public_employeesYes!: The Myth Behind Public School Failure

“In the rush to privatize the country’s schools, corporations and politicians have decimated school budgets, replaced teaching with standardized testing, and placed the blame on teachers and students.”

CLICK HERE to read

Detroit_Chief_florida_public_employeesLAWOFFICER: Detroit’s Young “Chief for a Day” Passes Away

“Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Jayvon’s trip to police headquarters ‘reminds us … how important every precious moment is.”

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Jolly__florida_public_EmployeesThe Buzz:  David Jolly took tax break by claiming both Pinellas and DC as primary residences

.. “tax records in Washington D.C. show that in 2007 Jolly applied for and received a homestead exemption on his Washington D.C. home. Declaring that as his principal residence would have saved Jolly $528 in taxes in Washington – while he was simultaneously receiving a homestead exemption in Pinellas County.”

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FCN: Grading Florida’s teachers and schools

“After a lengthy legal battle, First Coast News’ partner The Florida Times-Union obtained two years’ worth of teacher evaluation data Monday. About 58 percent of Florida school districts received aggregated scores below statewide norms last year, according to the paper’s analysis, but in Northeast Florida school districts the majority of teachers were scored above the average.”

CLICK HERE to read

cbs_Miami_florida_public_employeesCBS Miami: Police: Region Superintendent Of Schools Arrested Over Incident With Gun

Miami-Dade Schools Region Superintendent arrested.

CLICK HERE to read

Gambling_florida_public_employeesOrlando Business Journal; Florida legislators roll out 3 gambling bills

“It’s official: Florida’s Senate Committee on Gaming has filed proposed legislation — SPB 7050, SPB 7052 and SPB 7054 — that could open Florida to the expansion of gaming this year.”

CLICK HERE to read


FCN_florida_public_employeesFCN:  Task force: Half-penny tax to fund police, fire pensions

“A task force studying the $1.7 billion pension deficit for police and firefighters is poised to recommend that a half-penny sales tax is the way to go.”

CLICK HERE to read

Prison Contraband ConspiracyPolitico:  The Private Prison Racket

.. “Over the last five years, CCA’s stock price has increased by more than 200 percent and earlier this month Jim Cramer’s investment website The Street praised the company’s “strengths” on Wall Street, enthusiastically rating its stock a ‘buy.”

CLICK HERE to read

Oklahoma_Florida_Public_EmployeesOklahoma’s Own: OK Public Workers’ Group To Fight Pension Bills

“A group that represents public workers in Oklahoma is issuing a call to action to its members and urging them to oppose measures to change the retirement system for newly hired state employees.”

CLICK HERE to read



February 24, 2014


WJCTWJCT News: Legislators Moving To Fix Flaws In Florida’s Sexual Predator Laws

“A tragic case from last summer has lawmakers moving quickly to make changes.

Last June, eight-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle was sexually assaulted and murdered after being kidnapped from a Jacksonville WalMart.”

CLICK HERE to read

GimenezMiami-Herald:Budget battles scar Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez’s past year in office

Mayor Carlos “Gimenez will have an opportunity to reflect on the tumultuous year — and look forward to future challenges — on Wednesday in Hialeah, when he delivers his annual state of the county speech.”

CLICK HERE to read

Don_Gaetz_Florida_Public_EmployeesSunSentinel: Make testing a part of school vouchers

“It’s an educational fix long overdue. So give Florida Senate President Don Gaetz credit for insisting that private schools that receive state-supported vouchers administer the same accountability tests as their public-school counterparts.”

CLICK HERE to read Florida Lottery Jackpot Rises To $14 million

“The jackpot in the Florida Lotto game has grown to $14 million after no one matched the six winning numbers in the latest drawing, lottery officials said Sunday.”

CLICK HERE to read

WPLGWPLG 10 News:  3 kidnapped Florida boys reunite with dad
The Miami-Dade Schools Police Nationwide search leads to father being united with children taken by mother. Lee County’s Florida Department of Health leader to retire
“Dr. Judith Hartner, who has overseen Lee County’s office of the Florida Department of Health for more than two decades, plans to retire in about two months.” Editorials: Social-media privacy ought to be the law
“Last week the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee approved a proposal that would prevent employers from making workers or job applicants disclose their usernames and passwords to private social-media accounts.”
Attorney_General_Florida_Public_EmployeesMiami Herald: U.S. Attorney’s office fighting crime, forging partners in inner-city Miami

“The U.S. attorney tells them that he works for President Barack Obama and asks them what they want to be when they grow up.”

ruth perkins1Scallywag and Vagabond: Mother beats up daughter’s chemistry teacher over bad grades.
“Ruth Nathalie Perkins, 42  has been accused of beating and threatening to kill her daughter’s chemistry teacher over bad grades.

The attack came as the chemistry teacher, Elvira Tomlin was teaching a class of 20 students at Dr Philips High School, Orlando, Florida on Thursday.”

CLICK HERE to read

Jeff_Clemens_Florida_Public_EmployeesNews-Journal: Out of touch’ Legislature fosters legal tug of war

“For the next two years, Clemens filed bills, including a comprehensive package in 2013 that also had a House sponsor. Clemens said the best he got was a discussion from Senate committee chairmen about holding a workshop on the bill.”

CLICK HERE to read

Richard_Trumka_Florida_Public_EmployeesWisconsin Reporter: Big Labor, ‘looking for revenge,’ expects to dump $300 million into 2014 elections

Michael Podhorzer, political director of the AFL-CIO, in a New York Times piece last week said the nation’s labor unions look to spend at least $300 million going after Republicans in this fall’s elections.”

CLICK HERE to read



February 23, 2014

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