(By Marc Caputo VIA MIAMI HERALD) The state of Gov. Rick Scott’s poll numbers is . . . sorry. On Tuesday, as Scott kicked off the Legislature’s 60-day lawmaking session, he gave the annual state of the state speech, a campaign-like preview filled with job-creation statistics.
But many of Scott’s fellow Republicans were paying attention to a different set of numbers: a raft of poll data-points that make the GOP queasy because it shows Democrat Charlie Crist has broad support across Florida right now.Read more
(By Stephen Nohlgren VIA Tampa Bay Times) Medical marijuana enjoys broad backing in Florida, with polls in the past year indicating that 65 to 70 percent of voters support the idea.
But passing a constitutional amendment to legalize medical pot may not be the cakewalk that such numbers suggest.
Florida requires a 60 percent majority to amend the state Constitution. Older voters — who usually dominate turnout — favor medical marijuana, but not as strongly as younger voters do.Read more
(By Anthony Man VIA Sun Sentinel) President Barack Obama headlined a high school pep rally on Friday – not for the big game, but to push education as the best way for individuals, and the nation, to invest in the future.
His visit to Coral Reef High School lasted a little more than 90 minutes. He visited a classroom with first lady Michelle Obama, delivered a 21-minute speech, shook hands, and met privately with VIPs. Then it was off in Marine One, the presidential helicopter, to Key Largo, where the Obamas and their daughters are spending the weekend.Read more
(By Aaron Deslatte and Tonya Alanez VIA Sun Sentinal) With bipartisan backing, a Florida House panel voted to legalize a non-euphoric brand of marijuana which supporters say could help thousands of children suffering from epileptic seizures.
It is the first time the Florida Legislature has advanced any type of medical marijuana legalization effort – and comes as other states and Florida voters themselves are prompting wholesale changes to drug laws.
The House Criminal Justice Committee spent two hours listening to doctors, parents and advocates for medical marijuana testify that children whose brains are ravaged by painful and eventually lethal seizures have seen dramatic turnarounds in places like Colorado, where the particular no-high brand of weed known as “Charlotte’s Web” was created.Read more
(By Scott Travis VIA Sun Sentinel) Palm Beach County could dramatically change the concept of neighborhood schools and give parents far more choices for their children's education.
A proposal discussed at a School Board workshop Wednesday would divide the county into four or five regional zones. Students would still get assigned to specific schools through the boundary process, but their parents could more easily opt out and choose from six to eight other schools in their area. Transportation would be provided within their region.
"We would have 100 percent school choice," School Board member Mike Murgio said.Read more
The state wants BP and other companies involved in the spill held liable for damages to Florida's environment and natural resources.Read more
(By Karen Cyphers VIA SAINTPETESBLOG) Two Florida cities are slated to be in the 10 “best” American cities in the future, according to an analysis by CreditDonkey, a financial education website. The Huffington Post
Looking at data for 420 cities, CreditDonkey compared data on five criteria: (1) percentage of housing built in 1990 or later, (2) population change since 2010, (3) construction jobs as percentage of population, (4) space travel companies and proposed spaceports, and (5) available DeLorean cars, like those from “Back to the Future”.Read more
(Gray Rohrer VIA THEFLORIDACURRENT.COM) The Senate Gaming Committee discussed a trio of bills Monday that would allow two large casino hotels in south Florida, set up a gaming control board and place a constitutional amendment before voters to allow for new gambling operations in the future.
The usual split between Florida’s traditional amusement park and hospitality sector in central Florida and the large casino companies looking to build in Miami-Dade and Broward counties flared again, but the status of negotiations with the Seminole Tribe over provisions in the Seminole Gaming Compact is the biggest question mark facing lawmakers considering a wholesale rewrite of the state’s gambling laws.Read more
(By Scott Powers VIA Orlando Sentinel) Whenever Irv Rosenfeld needs relief from the pain and swelling of hundreds of bone tumors, he lights up a joint — almost anywhere he wants.
Rosenfeld, a financial planner from South Florida, calls it medicine. So do his doctors. So does the federal government, which not only supplies Rosenfeld with the equivalent of a get-out-of-jail-free card, it also supplies him with his weed.Read more
(By By Aaron Deslatte VIA Orlandosentinel.com) Central Florida’s professional soccer and Daytona Speedway backers could have to get in line next year with other sports franchises to get sales-tax rebates for new and improved stadiums.
The House’s Economic Affairs Committee on Monday unveiled a proposal to create a new ranking process for professional sports teams seeking taxpayer subsidies.Read more