Monday, April 21, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST April 19, 2008

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-Legislature poised to reform dreaded FCAT
In hopes of damping "FCAT frenzy," as well as easing teacher and studentangst, the Legislature is expected this spring to approve a major revamp ofFlorida's public school testing program.,0,772954.story

-Florida'sjobless rate rises to 4.9 percentFlorida's jobless rate hit 4.9 percent inMarch, the highest level in morethan four years, the state Agency forWorkforce Innovation said Friday. Thestate lost 56,600 jobs since lastMarch. In South Florida, the unemploymentranks kept growing compared with a year ago because of job cuts in thebuilding industry and related specialty trades."This is going to last forquite some time," said Bruce Nissen, an economist at Florida InternationalUniversity's Center for Labor Research, of construction and related joblosses. "It could be a year or two before the housing market rights itself.",0,6715967.story

Gay Men's Chorus - Ft. Lauderdale
TODAY! Yard Sale, Fine Art and Bake Sale - Saturday 8am-4pm
At Sunshine Cathedral - 1480 SW 9th Ave.

From GLCC S. Florida
Join Team GLCC on April 20 and help us raise money for theGLCC!
Logon now to sign up to walk, run or blade for the

From Equality Florida
It's been an historic day in the Florida Capitol. Just moments ago, the Florida House of Representatives unanimously passed a Safe Schools anti-bully bill (HB 669). Equality Floridaworked with legislative leadership to bring an amendment that would've strengthened the bill by expanding to the list of types of bullying that are prohibited, including harassment based on disability, physical appearance,sexual orientation, gender identity and ethnicity. During the debate on theamendment, our legislative allies stood strong and demanded that allstudents be coveredunder the bill. The bipartisan amendment was eventually rejected,but only after the bill sponsors concretely stated that the bill would protect all students- including LGBT youth. The usually raucous chamber was silent as Rep Gelber gave closing arguments or the amendment.Hearing Democrats and Republicans alike affirm the need to protect GBTstudentsalong with everyone else was something I'll never forget. Now on tothe Senate.

From Florida Red & Blue
She"didn't know"-- but spoke at the press conferenceanyway
Yesterdaythesponsors of Amendment 2 tried to gather Floridians together to challengeacentral truth about Amendment 2 - that it couldactually take wayexistingrights and benefits from Floridians. Theirefforts were rewarded with resscoverage. But maybe not the coverage theywanted. Some of thepeople they put orward admitted they "weren't familiar"with Amendment 2 or"didn't know" what mendment 2 would do. Please join us and SayNo2 taking away benefits.

From Care Resources
AIDS Walk Miami
The big day is arriving fast!! This Sunday, thousands of people willconverge at the Miami Beach Convention Center to Walk, Run or Blade for thecure!! Dont stop collecting donations though! The AIDS Walk Miami websitedoes not go down - keep bringing in those donations and tell everyone to logon to your personal page and donate to you - even while you are walking!! Weare anticipating a huge attendance this year, so we have moved up theregistration time which will now begin at 7:30 in Hall D of the Miami BeachConvention Center. The entrance is located on Convention Center Drive,directly across from the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens.

Miami Herald
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-House grinds to halt over Democratic protest
TALLAHASSEE -- A toxic combination of partisan rancor and muscle-flexing by an empowered Democratic caucus erupted into an all-day and all-night feud of parliamentary one-upsmanship in the Florida House of Representatives that kept lawmakers in their seats well into the morning hours Saturday.

-FLORIDA BUDGETUse state reserves, Crist saysGov. Charlie Crist wants state lawmakers to dip into rainy-day funds to plug holes in the budget and reduce the impact on healthcare and other services.
Gov. Charlie Crist said Friday that he is urging state lawmakers to reconsider their opposition to skimming state reserves to supplement the state's tapering revenues.

Fort Report
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-Key question unanswered in debate on evolution bill
Critics want to know if intelligent design is considered scientific or religious theory
TALLAHASSEE - The sponsor of a bill that would prohibit school officials from punishing teachers for presenting "scientific information" that challenges evolution dodged opponents' questions Thursday in Senate debate over her measure.


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