Wednesday, April 30, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST April 30, 2008

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-Florida again has most attacks against homeless in U.S.
For the third year in a row, Florida led the country in 2007 for reports ofviolence against the homeless, according to a national study releasedTuesday.,0,6906949.story

-Florida sets wrongful imprisonment compensation at $50,000 a year
But prior conviction voids deal
TALLAHASSEE - In what supporters described as an historic attempt to correctinjustice, the Florida Legislature on Tuesday approved automaticcompensation for people sentenced to prison for crimes they did not commit.,0,6169897.story

-Changes in Florida condominium law await governor's signature
Hundreds of Floridians who earlier this year told a statewide investigativecommittee about the horrors of their abusive condo and homeowner boards areabout to see a payoff.,0,3623178.column

-Florida farmers, foresters could profit from the global-warming fight, astudy finds
The fight against global warming could make the state a greener place andfatten the wallets of farmers and foresters, a University of Florida studyhas found.,0,7764415.story

Miami Herald
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-South Florida schools biggest losers in state budget
TALLAHASSEE -- Of the myriad losers in a state budget that cuts a record $4billion in spending, public education will lose the most -- with Miami-Dadeand Broward schools getting hit hardest of all.

-ECONOMY: Floridians close wallets as consumer confidence sinksNelson Rios isn't taking any chances.

-LEGISLATURE: Florida's economic growth in peril
With legislators cutting school budgets from kindergarten to college, the2008 Florida legislative session hasn't been easy for public education. Butonly the House can prevent a bad situation from becoming much worse. Thisweek, the House will decide whether to place on the November ballot aconstitutional amendment with grave implications for Florida's educationalsystem and future economic prospects.

-Florida abortion bill debate gets hypothetical
The Senate debate over a bill that would require women seeking abortions tofirst pay for a sonogram turned to hypothetical scenarios.

-McCain pushes credits, other healthcare reforms
John McCain spelled out a plan to provide healthcare coverage for peopledeemed to be uninsurable.

Dolphin Democrats!
MAY18TH, 2008 - 4PM-6PM
1430 NE 18th Ave. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304-1316
Tickets may be purchased at the next Dolphin General Membership Meeting May
14th @ GLCC 7:30pm
or at the door, the day of the event.
MEMBERS-$20.00 - NON-MEMBERS-$25.00

Steve Rothaus
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-SAVE'S 2008 Awards Reception & Silent Auction - Wednesday, May 7, 2008
ICON Brickell - 501 Brickell Avenue - (305) 371-1411
Please join us in celebration of SAVE's 15th Anniversary and to honor TheCity of North Miami Mayor and Commissioners who have been leaders indiversity and sensitivity in the workplace. The City of North Miami hasprovided domestic partner benefits to all city employees regardless ofgender and sexual orientation, unanimously adopted a procurement ordinancerequiring contractors wishing to do business with the City to provide equalhealth benefits to domestic partners in their companies. Their actionsexemplify outstanding leadership and have established the City of NorthMiami in the forefront as a champion of equality.

Come one , HELP ALL !!
The Dolphin Democrats will have a table and booth every first Saturday ofthe month at the GLCC in Ft Lauderdale, @ 1717 N. Andrews Ave from 8am to2pm for a Get Out The Vote Effort " Make your vote count early". We willsupply cold water and we need your help. Please. You will make thedifference

From Keith Cromley
Director of Development & Operations
Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
This Thursday evening at Parker Playhouse is the inauguration of the FortLauderdale Gay & Lesbian Film Festival! This is one more huge step for ourcommunity, and we hope to see everyone really turn out for the Opening NightFilm and Gala. The film screening is "Ask Not" a thought-provoking look atthe impact of the Don't Ask/Don't Tell policy of the U.S. Military and howit has impacted our country and so many GLBT service members. Our officialcommunity co-sponsor is HRC, and they will join us onstage to welcomeeveryone. For more information and ticket details, go to Our box office opens at each theater 1 hour before the film to buy tickets,if still available, and to pick up at Will Call.

From Judge Rand Hoch (retired)
Palm Beach County Human Rights Council
As the Florida Legislature draws to a close, there is progress to reportabout the gay rights bills introduced at the request of the Palm BeachCounty Human Rights Council. Knowing that it would take several years forFlorida to enact GLBT-inclusive civil rights laws, in 2007 Senator TedDeutch (D-Boca Raton) and Representative Kelly Skidmore (D-Boca Raton)initially introduced anti-discrimination legislation to amend Florida'scivil rights and fair housing laws to prohibit discrimination in employment,housing and public accommodations.
The lawmakers' initial goals were to enlist co-sponsors for the twobills and to educate their colleagues on the need for GLBT-inclusivestatewide anti-discrimination rights laws. A "two-bill strategy" wasimplemented for the 2008 legislative session. Deutch's bill (S. 572) coveredonly "sexual orientation." Skidmore's bill (HB 191) also included "genderidentity or expression." Although this controversial strategy virtuallyguaranteed the Senate bill would not have the support of organizationscommitted exclusively to transgender-inclusive legislation, many activistswere surprised by steps taken to undermine the Senate bill.
In a disturbing move, Equality Florida persuaded Senate Minority LeaderSteve Geller (D-Hallandale) not co-sponsor the bill. However, EqualityFlorida's efforts failed with Senator Charlie Justice (D-Tampa) failed, whosigned on as a co-sponsor. (B the end of the legislative session, EqualityFlorida ultimately ceased its active opposition to the bill and insteadencouraged senators to take transgender rights into consideration in thefuture).
Throughout the session Deutch's implementation of the strategy was nothingless than brilliant. After initially enlisting five Democrats to co-sponsorhis anti-discrimination bill, Deutch bided his time until early April, whentwo pieces of progressive legislation passed in their senate committees.
Understanding that the time was right, Deutch approached Senator JeffAtwater (R-North Palm Beach) -- who will be Senate President if theRepublicans retain control of the Senate after the November elections --about supporting the anti-discrimination bill. (The Palm Beach County HumanRights Council had already held preliminary conversations with Atwater aboutthe need for GLBT-inclusive legislation). Atwater promptly became aco-sponsor and arranged for a hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee.
In a historic bipartisan 7-1 vote, on April 8 the DeutchAnti-Discrimination bill was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee.
Unfortunately, legislative time constraints ended any further progress onthe Senate bill. For the full letter, contact

ArtsUnited will feature the mixed media art work of local artist AngeloLombardo in a solo exhibit at the Stonewall Library and Archives from May 5through 30, 2008. The gallery is located at 1717 N. Andrews Avenue in FortLauderdale, Florida. The exhibit opens with a reception to meet the artiston Monday, May 5th from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. Refreshments will be served.
Admission to the exhibit and reception are free and open tot he public. Formore information about ArtsUnited, go online to

From Mark's List

-On May 1st, Care Resource presents the 4th Annual Dining Out For Lifefundraiser. This one-day international event benefits local HIV/AIDScharities in over 47 cities nationwide with restaurants participating bydonating a percentage of their day's receipts. South Florida restaurants whoparticipate help to benefit Care Resource. When you patronize a Dining Outfor Life Restaurant on that day, you will not only enjoy great food andwonderful service, you will be helping Care Resource raise funds to supportthe services it provides to the over 8,000 clients in Broward and Miami-Dadecounties. They encourage their AIDS Walk Team leaders to take part in thisdelicious one-day fundraising event on May 1st by inviting their team to goout to breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner at one of the participatingrestaurants listed on


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