Saturday, April 12, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST April 12, 2008

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Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs
To Testify at Congressional Hearing

-"Water" Commissioner Speaks on Clean Water Restoration Act of 2007
One of South Florida's principal environmental advocates, Broward CountyCommissioner Kristin Jacobs, has been honored with an invitation to testifybefore Congress. On April 16, Commissioner Jacobs will be testifying beforethe U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Transportation andInfrastructure regarding the critical importance of the passage of HR 2421,the Clean Water Restoration Act. The Clean Water Restoration Act issponsored by Congressman James Oberstar (D-Minn). Commissioner Jacobs wasinvited to address the committee by Congressman Oberstar, who serves asChair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The needfor the new legislation was brought about by a 2006 Supreme Court decisionthat called into question the language used and the intent of Congress inthe creation of the original Clean Water Act of 1972. It is the goal of theresolution sponsors to provide clarification for both the language and theintent of Congress, while restoring environmental protections that have beenin place for more than 20 years. Co-sponsors of the resolution includeCongressman Ron Klein (D-Fla), Congressman Robert Wexler (D-Fla) andCongresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla). "Restoring the Clean WaterAct protections to all water bodies has taken on even greater significancesince the inception of the Clean Water Act over 20 years ago," saidCommissioner Jacobs. "Restoring these critical protections will preserve ourchildren's water and resources for decades to come."

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-Commissioner Hutchinson's reputation damaged
ISSUE: Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson lies about ethics breach.
Let's be clear. The cloud of distrust that has hung over Fort LauderdaleCity Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson has little to do with money. It's moreabout character, and a deliberate attempt to deceive the public when caughtin an ethical blunder.,0,2811646.story?track=rss

-NRA in driver's seat
Florida will have Take Your Gun To Work Day because Republicans want JohnMcCain to be president.
Twice before, the National Rifle Association demanded that the Legislatureprevent private businesses from making their property firearms-free. Bothtimes, the NRA failed. But this election year, with most NRA members likelyMcCain voters, the bill whizzed through. Gov. Crist, who for weeks has paidmore attention to Sen. McCain than to Florida, will sign it because "peoplebeing protected is most important to me."

-Sheriff Lamberti raises a mountain of campaign cash
Sheriff Al Lamberti, a career officer little known outside law enforcement ayear ago, has raised an eye-popping campaign war chest in the first threemonths of the year.
Lamberti took in $310,590 from Jan. 1 through March 31 from 960contributors, campaign reports show.,0,6230830.story

Miami Herald
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Butterworth slams cuts in social services
DCF Chief Bob Butterworth said state lawmakers are writing 'the meanest'budget in years -- one that will hurt Florida's children.
TALLAHASSEE -- In his long public career, Bob Butterworth has taken on BigTobacco, Major League Baseball and a television psychic. As Broward Countysheriff, he arrested crooks. As a judge, he sent them to jail. And asFlorida attorney general for 16 years, he worked the Legislature to get themoney to prosecute them.

-Miami-Dade jails reform ahead of U.S. probe
As federal authorities examine Miami-Dade's six jails, officials sayconditions are improving. Experts say the reforms are long overdue.WhenNikki Poitier picked up her son on the Miami courthouse steps in March 2007,his face was so bloated that she didn't recognize him. Red, itchy scabscovered his back, arms and neck.

Fort Report
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-'Beau of the Ball'; Foley Shrugs Off Sex Scandal
Foley Re-Emerges in Palm Beach Society at a Charity Event
Called the "Beau of the Ball," former Congressman Mark Foley has re-emergedin Palm Beach society at a charity gala, his transgressions with formerteenage pages and sexually explicit messages apparently forgotten andforgiven.

-Abortion bills target women's wallets
TALLAHASSEE - The abortion issue has electrified the state House and Senatethis month with bills that would require ultrasounds before first-trimesterabortions.
But there's more to the debate than privacy and morality. At issue isanother topic near and dear to all Floridians: cash.

-Crist signs bill, awards Crotzer $1.25 million for wrongful imprisonmentFor the nearly quarter century he was in prison for crimes he didn't commit.
For the two years he struggled to persuade the Legislature to compensatehim.
On Thursday, that struggle ended and Crotzer said he is free of hate.

-Comprehensive sex education needed
Some years ago at a party, I was talking to this man who passionatelybelieved that talking contraception to teens was to encourage temptation,not prevention.
He pointed to his teenage daughter as an example. He claimed she was avirgin, all because he had stressed to her the importance of remaining thatway until marriage.

To All MedicaidAdvocates.Com members, Friends and Allies
From Bill Rettinger, Co-Founder

-As you are all aware by now, both the Florida House and Senate have votedon their respective versions of the PROPOSED State Budget for the nextfiscal year beginning July 1, and NEITHER version is good for thoseFloridians that rely on the Medicaid Medically Needy Share of Cost Programto help them stay alive.
The Senate Version of the Budget COMPLETELY eliminates the Medically Needy
Program EXCEPT for Pregnant Women and Children (Which they are MANDATED tocover by Federal Law) and the House Version JUST eliminates Hospital Care(Both In-patient AND Outpatient, which would INCLUDE lab-work) for those onthe Medically Needy Program. At the same time, many "Pet Projects" whichbenefit large corporations ARE being funded in both versions of the proposedbudget. Cuts to Health and Social Services, according to stories in the Sun-Sentinel, would include:
Senate: $1.1 billion cut, including:
Medically Needy: Save $350 million by only covering pregnant women andchildren
Child Abuse Investigators: 71 state positions eliminated
Medicaid: Hospitals lose $330 million
Services cut to 24,000 aged and disabled who now get institutional care,hospice services or home and community based services (This WOULD include"Community Based Waivers Programs!)
House: 800 million cut, including:
Medically Needy: Save $170 million by eliminating hospital careChild Abuse Investigators: 71 state positions eliminatedMedicaid: Hospitals lose $200 million
HOWEVER, there IS a "glimmer" of hope to PRESERVE and SAVE the MedicallyNeedy Share of Cost Program, both this year and into the future, and thathope is contained within SB 2790, the Senate Bill to increase the taxes paidon a pack of cigarettes by $1.00 per pack, referred to as a Cigarette UserFee. This Senate Bill INCLUDES a provision that a portion of the revenueraised by this increased "User fee" is to be earmarked to FULLY FUND theMedically Needy Share of Cost Program.
There is a Coalition of Organizations, which includesMedicaidAdvocates.Com, that have banded together to lobby support for thisproposal, and NOW we need all of your help! This proposal is to be heard onTuesday by the Senate Health Policy Committee and it is IMPERATIVE that ALLof the members of this Senate Committee hear from as many people aspossible, urging them to pass this PROPOSED legislation out of Committee andonto the Senate Floor for Passage. The information needed to contact theCommittee Members is below.
Feel Free to contact me if you need further information.


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