Tuesday, April 22, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST April 22, 2008

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-Thousands of ailing Florida smokers to split $600 million tobacco fund
Thousands of sick smokers in Florida could be eligible for money from a $600million fund in a landmark Miami-Dade County case against the country's fivelargest tobacco companies.

-Nuts to this idea
Talk about a nutty idea
This has to be a joke, right?
This idea that state Sen. Carey Baker, R-Eustis, wants to ban dangling truckornaments that are replicas of male genitalia - he can't be serious. He sayshe's offended by the ornaments, but really, this must be some kind ofhumorous diversion from stressful, serious talk about budgets and insuranceand things like that.

Miami Herald
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-McCain outpaces rivals in Florida donations
Wearing the mantle of the presumptive nominee, Republican John McCain postedhis best fundraising month in Florida, collecting about $1.5 million inMarch and outraising the Democrats who are still slugging it out.

Grades for Florida schools under review
A House panel approved a bill that would change Florida's school grading;the bill sparked a 16-hour fight among lawmakers.

Forecast of rising waters paints bleak future for S. Fla. coasts
A Miami-Dade research group said that codes, land-use, transportation andother policies must change to combat the threat of rising seas.

Fort Report
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-Business groups sue to block new Florida guns-at-work law
Business interests filed suit in federal court on Monday seeking to blockthe guns-at-work law Gov. Charlie Crist signed into law less than a weekbefore.

-Ultrasound bill is blow to women
Florida legislators have found some solid ground on which to buildgrandstanding bills this session.

-Lawmakers burn the midnight oil on CSX deal
A House budget panel worked into late Monday evening on Central Florida'scommuter rail agreement with CSX Corp., questioning the complex legalliability deal and ridership expectations for the commuter line.

-Program keeps the mentally ill out of state jails
There are 10 mental health courts in Florida, one in Duval County. Themission of Nassau's mental health court - one of 10 statewide - is to keepmentally ill people out of Florida's jails, said Judi Evans of Florida'sNational Alliance on Mental Illness. It was the first such court inNortheast Florida

-Health Care Compromise Seen
TALLAHASSEE - House Speaker Marco Rubio may agree to drilling into statetrust funds to blunt the devastating budget cuts lawmakers are poised tomake to health care for dying Medicaid patients, organ transplant recipientsand other fragile Florida residents.


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