Thursday, February 19, 2009

FLORIDA DIGEST - February 19, 2009

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Equality Florida
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-Historic Domestic Partnership Legislation Introduced
Sen. Eleanor Sobel (Hallandale Beach) has introduced a statewide Domestic Partnership bill (SB 1642). Equality Florida has been working closely with Sen. Sobel in preparing this historic legislation. The companion bill will be sponsored in the house by Rep. Richard Steinberg (Miami Beach). As a Miami Beach City Commissioner, Rep. Steinberg played a key role in passing Florida's strongest Domestic Partnership policy. The introduction of these domestic partnership bills comes at a time when public support is at an all time high for this legislation. The latest polls show 77% of Floridians in favor of extending benefits to unmarried couples.

-LGBT Press Teleconference on Gainesville's Fight to Protect LGBT Floridians What: Equality is Gainesville's Business and Equality Florida will co-host a teleconference with LGBT Press to discuss the local effort to stop the far right's attempt to repeal existing nondiscrimination protections. The nation is watching to see if the far right will succeed in repealing Gainesville's Human Rights protections for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. This is a must win battle in one of the most progressive cities in the state. The far right picked Gainesville to send a message that they will target LGBT legal rights anywhere. Join us for a Statewide Conference call and get the inside story from the local team.
When: Friday, February 20th at 3PM (EST)
Who: Leaders from the local campaign, Equality is Gainesville's Business, as well as leaders form Equality Florida - Florida's statewide LGBT advocacy organization - will provide an update on the campaign and the important work being done to protect LGBT Floridians. Participants will be available to answer questions from the press at the conclusion of the presentation.
Where: Dial-in: 1-218-486-8700 - Access Code: 33411


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-Broward County School Board sets homework limits
By Kathy Bushouse
The Broward County School Board is giving a new assignment to teachers for the upcoming school year: Take care when you're handing out homework. The School Board on Wednesday unanimously approved homework guidelines that urge teachers to assign academically challenging work while also being considerate about not assigning too much homework.,0,5805379.story

-Obama mortgage plan won't help South Florida much, analysts say
By Paul Owers
President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled a $75 billion plan aimed at keeping as many as 9 million American homeowners from falling into foreclosure. Obama's far-reaching program would provide incentives to lenders to persuade them to cut monthly mortgage payments. It also would help homeowners who owe more than their properties are worth, meaning they are "underwater.'',0,781697.story

-Crist killing plans for deepwater port off Fort Lauderdale
He makes surprise announcement during a visit to Galt Ocean Mile
By Anthony Man and David Fleshler
By scheduling a town hall meeting along the Galt Ocean Mile, Gov. Charlie Crist gave a big hint that he might have a message that coastal residents would like to hear.,0,6053732.story

Fort Report
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-Rail plans begins moving in state House
With supporters saying the project will boost the economy and reduce traffic congestion, a plan to create a Central Florida commuter-rail system began moving through the state House today. "This is a great step," said Rep. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange. "It's an economic-development issue. It's a jobs, jobs, jobs issue."


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