Thursday, May 01, 2008


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-Florida Senate rejects bill requiring ultrasounds before abortions
20-20 tie defeats abortion prerequisite
After 90 minutes of emotional debate, a splintered Florida Senate onWednesday killed a bill that would have forced women to undergo ultrasoundexams before getting an abortion - a requirement critics condemned asunconstitutional.,0,1547827.story

-Study says South Florida's air among cleanest in U.S.
South Florida received its usual high marks for air quality this week, in astudy released by the American Lung Association.,0,4359030.story

-Florida governor to get bill phasing out discharge of sewage into Atlantic Ocean
Discharges in S. Florida to end by 2025,0,1476555.story

-Fort Lauderdale's transit 'Wave' looks like a wipeout
As boondoggles go, I love this proposed light-rail transit system fordowntown Fort Lauderdale being pushed by the Downtown Development Authority.,0,1775526.column

-Interest-rate rate cut unlikely to help hard-hit Floridians
Today, the Federal Reserve is expected to deliver the seventh interest-ratecut since September in an effort to bolster the sagging economy, but thatmay not be enough to boost the spirits of beleaguered consumers.,0,3234618.story

-Florida Democrats protest in Washington, call for primary to be counted
Group demands party count Florida primary,0,3094315.story

-Floridians feel heat as homes facing foreclosure nationwide more than double
The number of U.S. homes heading toward foreclosure more than doubled in thefirst quarter from a year earlier, as weakening property values and tighterlending left many homeowners powerless to prevent homes from being auctionedto the highest bidder, a research firm said Monday.,0,1902181.story

-Florida legislators reach compromise on property insurance bill
Tallahassee - Florida House and Senate leaders struck a compromise lateWednesday night on a property insurance bill touted as a "homeowners' billof rights.",0,2686210.story?track=rss

-Florida Sen. Steve Geller, D-Cooper City, leaving office after 20 years
Steve Geller walked into the Legislature 20 years ago as a member of the"Broward Mafia," one of the Democrats from South Florida who controlled thestate House and, in many ways, the future of Florida.,0,7365608.story

Miami Herald
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-SCHOOL SAFETY: Anti-bullying bill passes Senate; signing expected
A bill to combat bullying in schools was unanimously approved by the Senateand is now headed to the governor.

-LAKE OKEECHOBEE: Engineers to aim for low, 'safe' level of Lake Okeechobee
Faced with conflicting threats of drought or dike burst, federal engineershave decided that, to the extent they can control Lake Okeechobee, they'llkeep its level lower than normal -- even if that risks water shortages forSouth Florida, The Palm Beach Post reported.

-LEGISLATURES: Fla. stuck with $3 billion sewage bill
The state Legislature passed a measure that requires South Florida countiesto halt the discharge of sewage into the sea, but the bill comes with ahefty price tag.

-Fence won't make good neighbors
In the poem, Mending Wall, Robert Frost questions whether ''Good fences makegood neighbors.'' In the Department of Homeland Security's push to completea 670-mile fence along the Mexican border, it's bullying and intrusivenessthat are making us a bad neighbor. By disregarding more than 30 U.S. laws,not to mention common sense, DHS will damage the environment and violateproperty rights in the region. Already the fence has raised hackles amongU.S. residents and Mexicans along the border. And it has drawn deservedconstitutional challenges.

A Message From GLAAD in Support of the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
As a community co-sponsor of the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival's 10th anniversary, GLAAD has partnered with the amazing film "Affinity," a SarahWaters book adapted for the big screen. We encourage you to attend thescreening and support the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.
Saturday May 3 - 7:30 pm - The Colony - 1040 Lincoln Road Miami Beach, FL33139
For further information, including ticket prices, please click here

Palm Beach Post
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-Crist to host climate change conference
Gov. Charlie Crist will hold his second climate change conference in Miamiin June.

-FCAT importance could be halved
The anxiety-producing FCAT would make up only half of high schoolA-through-F grades in the future and would be taken later in the school yearin a measure the Senate is expected to approve today.

-Major budget cut to reduce nursing home care
Have a loved one in a nursing home?
They are going to receive less nursing care next year thanks to a major cutin state nursing home funding in Florida's budget that is expected to bepassed on Friday, lawmakers said today.

Fort Report
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-Our position: Florida's standards for concealed-weapons permit are dangerous
Would you go sky diving without extensive parachute training? Would you goscuba diving if you didn't know what to do if your tank runs out of air?
Would anyone try jumping on a black-diamond run in Colorado without firsthitting the bunny slopes?,0,6044141.story

-House approves August sales-tax holiday
The House unanimously approved a back-to-school sales tax holiday betweenAug. 2 and Aug. 8. Clothing, wallets, shoes and bags costing $50 or less andschool supplies priced at $10 or less could be exempt from state and localsales tax. Two-thirds of the Senate is needed to send the bill to Gov.Charlie Crist. It has not yet held a vote on the tax break. The holiday isestimated to reduce state and local tax dollars by $23.4 million and $5.2million, respectively, this year.

-Powerful Florida House member sidesteps fundraising ban
Like his colleagues, Rep. Stan Mayfield is not allowed to raise campaignmoney when the Florida Legislature is in session, because of the perceptionthat lawmakers would be trading votes for donations.

-Dear Howard Dean: Sit down and shut up
Now don't get me wrong: I love Howard Dean. I voted for him. Back in theday, I thought he would be the kind of progressive-thinking president thiscountry needed -- a compassionate man with a great track record. But nowthat he's chairman of the Democratic National Committee, I've got to say tohim:,0,6091724.story

-Energy Bill Is Approved, Now In Crist's Hands
The way electric utilities generate power and retailers sell gasoline inFlorida would change under a comprehensive energy bill the Florida Senateapproved Wednesday in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

-Georgia water restrictions threaten Florida ecosystem, officials say
Florida environmental officials Wednesday blasted a federal proposal toreduce the water flowing from Georgia into the Apalachicola River, callingit deadly for rare species and the seafood industry.,0,6182367.story

Fairness for All Families
Please join us for a leadership reception To benefit Fairness for AllFamilies
At the magnificent estate of Brett Tannenbaum and Roby Casey
14 Isla Bahia Drive Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305
Thursday, May 15th, 2008 6:30pm-8:30pm
Fairness for All Families is a broad-based statewide coalition workingto defeat the 2008 so-called "marriage protection amendment" which threatensto strip away benefits and protections currently offered to a wide varietyof Floridians. Together with your generous support we can safeguard legalprotections, health care, and employment benefits for all Floridians.
YOUR 2008 BROWARD HOST COMMITTEE: Mark Adler & Michael Hannah · MichaelAlbetta · Hon. Elaine Bloom · Sarah Brown . Rabbi Harold Caminker · KathleenCarr · Mitch Ceasar Robert DeCamillo and Kenneth Sasser · Pastor Peg DohertyHoward Forman and Susan Foreman Ken Gottlieb and School Board MemberJennifer Gottlieb Marc Hansen · Gary Keating and Richard B. Schultz Broward County Commissioner Ken Keechl and Ted Adcock Mark LaFontaine · Ron Mills · De Palazzo · Paul Palmer and Tony Sandonato Dan Pye · Tom Runyan · Bill Schoolman Brett Tannenbaum and Roby Casey
Can't attend? Click here to donate!
Please RSVP to 888-496-4255 Or **Pleasenote the city for which you are responding** Paid for and Approved by
Fairness for All Families, Inc.
P.O. Box 13184, St. Petersburg, Florida 33733

From Jacobs, Kristin
I am forwarding two articles which describe what's going on in Tallahasseeand the Legislature's efforts to deal with the State's budget. Today's MiamiHerald article clearly explains how local municipal and county governmentsare being squeezed. The second article, from yesterday's JacksonvilleTimes-Union may seem humorous - unless you consider education key to thefuture of our economy and state. Tell me what you think. Kristin

-Counties bear the costs of Legislature's 'mandates' [Miami Herald]
In the waning days of the session, legislators are poised to pass a budgetteeming with billions of dollars in cuts -- but also mandates that countyand municipal officials say will shift the burden to local taxpayers.
While the budget cuts spending on social service programs, education, andhealthcare, a series of other measures likely will cost counties throughoutFlorida up to $1 billion.
From funding local court programs, to figuring out how to finance recyclinginitiatives, local leaders say enacting these ''mandates'' will cause astrain on local governments that were already forced to slash their budgetslast year by the Legislature.

-Crist's extreme parsimony will take a big toll on state [The Times-Union]
A friend suggested a new state slogan: Florida - Welcome to the newMississippi.
That would be an insult to Mississippi.
Gov. Charlie Crist and the Legislature, following a path blazed by Jeb Bush,are positioning Florida in the bottom tier of states when it comes toproviding services to the poor, the elderly and children. Not satisfiedthat Florida is already a low-tax state, they want taxes to be even lower.
The net result is there isn't enough money to go around. A shining exampleof that is the budget deal House and Senate leaders agreed to on Sunday thatthe Legislature will vote on at the end of this week. The proposed budget,which will be rubber- stamped, cuts spending for public education by 1.8percent. That means the amount of money the state provides for each studentwill be less than this school year's funding at the same time fixed costssuch as health insurance and fuel are rising dramatically. And that meansschool districts will have little choice but to lay off teachers and cutprograms. Usually the first to go are math, art and physical education.


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