Sunday, April 05, 2009

FLORIDA DIGEST - April 05, 2009

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Miami Herald
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-Florida lawmakers feel pain over no-tax-hike pledge
The idea of increasing fees and imposing new taxes is creating high anxiety in Tallahassee. Many Republican lawmakers signed Grover Norquist's pledge opposing tax increases. It's the read-my-lips moment that some Florida lawmakers dread: having to break a pledge not to raise taxes. A state budget $3 billion in the hole has the Legislature considering raising the cigarette tax, the biggest single levy to gain serious momentum in the Capitol in nearly 20 years.

-Broward Mayor Stacy Ritter may have violated state ethics laws, attorney says
Broward Mayor Stacy Ritter may have been required to disclose a potential conflict of interest after a vote that benefited her husband. Broward Mayor Stacy Ritter wasn't on the dais last May when her colleagues voted to shift $150 million in insurance risk to the public from the owners of a company employing her husband.

-Broward Mayor Stacy Ritter walks an ethical tightrope
Broward Mayor Stacy Ritter has encountered voting conflicts since the day she took office involving her lobbyist husband's clients. She said she takes steps to avoid problems. Broward Mayor Stacy Ritter and lobbyist Russ Klenet are Broward's power couple on an ethical tightrope.

Fort Report
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-Rep. Connie Mack backs Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, whatever he runs for Rep. Connie Mack IV, R-Fort Myers, won't try to follow in his father's footsteps - at least not yet. In a letter to Gov. Charlie Crist, Mack said he will not run for the Senate in 2010. Instead, he'll seek re-election to the U.S. House and support Crist if he decides to run for Senate. Or anything.

-Stacy Ritter to discuss Chinese dry wall problem Monday
Broward Mayor Stacy Ritter has planned a press conference Monday to discuss the Chinese dry wall problem. Here is the statement put out by the county about it.
Chinese Drywall Targeted in Broward County Broward County Mayor Stacy Ritter and Parkland Mayor Michael Udine will hold a news conference beginning at noon Monday, April 6, in the lobby of the Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. The purpose of the news conference is to discuss an issue of increasing alarm in Broward County - the use of Chinese drywall in home construction. Items of concern include deteriorating buildings, health and safety issues, detection scams, pending legislation and other related issues. "I've toured buildings and homes throughout my district and the use of Chinese drywall has caused terrible hardships for numerous people," said Mayor Ritter. "People are being exposed to serious health risks and forced from their homes and to make matters worse scam artists are capitalizing on
this crisis."
WHO: Broward County Mayor Stacy Ritter and Parkland Mayor Michael Udine
WHAT: Press Conference to discuss Chinese drywall use in Broward County
WHEN: Monday, April 6, at noon
WHERE: Broward County Governmental Center Lobby, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale


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