Democracy [dih-mok-ruh-see] noun. 1. government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
In November, around three-quarters of Florida voters approved Amendment 1, asking the state to set aside millions of dollars to protect Florida land and waterways. More than six months later, state lawmakers have yet to put a plan into motion that would accomplish that. They have yet to even pass a state budget, of course, and are going up to Tallahassee next week for a 20-day special session to do so.
With just days before the state legislature has another go at being functional during the three-week special session that starts next week, advocates for expanded health coverage are pitching the idea across the state.
On Wednesday morning, Congresswoman Kathy Castor, two Democratic State House members and a handful of health care industry spokespeople urged members of the public to call their legislators and demand that they consider a plan to accept billions in federal money to expand Medicaid.
As he and others wiggle their way along the presidential campaign trail, Republican U.S. Senator from Florida Marco Rubio will say a lot of things. If you're interested in equality, you're probably not going to vote for him anyway, regardless of what he says. But in case you're curious as to how anti-gay he is, you may want to remember some of what he uttered in an interview that aired today on the Christian Broadcasting Network.
Kansas has just passed a law limiting ATM withdrawals from public assistance benefits accounts to $25 a day.
Since most ATMS only stock $20 bills, that's really a limit of $20 a day, and out of that $20 customers will likely have to pay ATM fees, too. Kansas lawmakers are, in effect, making it more expensive for poor residents who can't afford to keep a minimum balance in a regular checking account to do things like pay rent and utility bills. Paying a $100 electric bill, for example, would require five trips to an ATM, and, depending on the ATM fees charged, could cost the benefit recipient $15 or more. Oh, by the way, those ATM fees benefit the banks.
Despicable? Yes. But it could never happen here, right? That'd be too low a blow even for Florida legislators to inflict, wouldn't it?
The purple states are the most draconian, which means we're actually worse in Kansas. Go us.
Tougher penalties for scumbags who deal in human trafficking, and efforts to spread awareness that it's still a problem, could be on Florida's books within weeks, assuming Governor Rick Scott agrees with lawmakers, who overwhelmingly support the policies.
A collection of nonprofits heralded the passage of the bills Thursday, thanked their sponsors and called on Scott to sign the bills once they reach his desk.
State Sen. Jack Latvala talks about why he supports the cause of ending human trafficking: it's kind of a no-brainer.
Eleven days ahead of the state's special legislative session in which lawmakers are supposed to perform their most basic function — passing a friggin' budget, which they weren't able to do during the regular session — Governor Rick Scott sent a decree outlining what he hopes the session will accomplish.
Well, with a 2016 Senate run off the table for months and 2018 way too far out for none but the kookiest of candidates to announce a run, we weren't really sure what Attorney General Pam Bondi was going to announce when we made jokes about it earlier this week.
What? Me? Run?
She was the guest of honor last night at a $250-minimum fundraiser at the Columbia Restaurant's museum in Ybor, the guest list was a who's-who of prominent local Republicans, and supposedly a "major announcement" was afoot.
It may seem incongruous that a Republican is delivering a commencement speech at St. Pete's Eckerd College, a private liberal arts college that seems to us embody both liberalism and arts — in a good way.
But former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean, who served in that capacity from 1982 to 1990 and is considered the state's most popular governor to date, is a Republican from another time.
He won his first gubernatorial election by the narrowest margin in the state's history and worked hard with a Democratic State Senate on issues like the environment and affordable housing. Four years later, he ran for reelection and won, this time by the largest margin in New Jersey's history, and even captured 60 percent of the African-American vote.