Tampa Bay Informer - Politics
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Florida State Seal State Senator Mike Fasano will testify at the Office Insurance Regulation’s rate hearing today in opposition to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s application for a premium increase. Senator Fasano, long a vocal critic of Citizens and its repeated attempts to increase rates while reducing coverage and related services, will be in Miami for the hearing this afternoon. The application, as filed, seeks an 11.1 % statewide average increase on residential coverage and a 50% increase for sinkhole coverage in Pasco and Hernando Counties.
 
Friday, 24 August 2012 19:38

RNC 2012 - The Convention Without Walls Featured

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Don’t miss history in the making in Tampa at the Republican National Convention 2012.

On August 27-30, 2,286 delegates and 2,125 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories will gather together to nominate the next president of the United States at the 40th Republican National Convention.

The RNC has made it easy for everyone to stay informed and get involved through Facebook and a host of other social media platforms:

“For the first time ever, the Republican National Convention is unveiling the Convention Without Walls, a Facebook app designed to make it easy for you to participate, follow and attend the Republican National Convention from anywhere. It’s as simple as installing our Facebook app and getting immediate access to exclusive content. Take part and sign up for the “Convention Without Walls” today!”

 republican_nation_convention.jpgVisit: http://www.gopconvention2012.com for a full list and links to the Republican National Convention Social Networks.

Friday, 24 August 2012 13:09

RNC 2012 - The Convention Without Walls Featured

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Don’t miss history in the making in Tampa at the  2012.

On August 27-30, 2,286 delegates and 2,125 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories will gather together to nominate the next president of the United States at the 40th Republican National Convention.

The RNC has made it easy for everyone to stay informed and get involved through Facebook and a host of other social media platforms:

Friday, 17 August 2012 00:00

Senator Fasano Applauds Citizens Insurance

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Florida State Seal Citizens Property Insurance Corporation announced it has decided to restructure its home re-inspection program that has cost policyholders over $137 million dollars in lost mitigation discounts.  Senator Mike Fasano was one of the most vocal critics of the re-inspection program because it routinely denied homeowners discounts they had previously been granted.   The mitigation program was originally designed to encourage homeowners to make expensive investments to harden their homes against wind damage and then receive discounts on their insurance premiums.

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The Tampa Bay Times Forum is gearing up for the 2012 Republican National Convention from August 27-30, 2012. It will host 2,286 delegates and 2,123 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories.  The Tampa RNC is predicted to draw an estimated 50,000 visitors and 15,000 accredited media — nearly the largest press coverage bested only by this summer's London Olympic Games.
 
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Florida State SealWeek eight was not without a fair amount of action in the Capitol as the second to last week of the session wound to a close. Good bills went to the governor, advances were made in the construction of the state budget, and other bills were moved into the posture of possibly being voted out and sent to the governor.

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Florida State SealTallahassee has been a blur of activity as the legislative committees head towards the finish line.  Unless called together by the Senate president, Senate committees finish business on day 50.  The Senate floor was very busy as good bills were either sent to the House for consideration or to the governor for his signature. Additionally, the veto of a high-profile education bill grabbed the headlines as the week wound to a close.  To wrap things up the long-awaited budget conference will begin April 19at 12:15 PM. 

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Florida State SealBudget, controversy and a gubernatorial veto highlighted week six in the Capitol.  As the session hit the 2/3rd  point,  the House spent more hours than expected debating education reform, the budget conference is poised to begin, the governor vetoed a high profile bill and good public issues made steps closer to the governor’s desk.

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Florida State SealBudget, budget, budget.  That was the one and only theme that permeated the Capitol as the two chambers met to debate their respective versions of the Fiscal Year 2010-11 state budget.  The budget as it currently stands is a lean $68.6 billion dollar plan to run the state of Florida for the next year.  It may change if Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage dollars become available to the state.

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Florida State SealEducation was a major theme of this fourth week of session.  In the first week details of Senate Bill 6 by Senator John Thrasher of Jacksonville were written in this space.  This week the Florida Senate passed this bill, which will change the way in which public school teachers are evaluated and compensated.  The legislation is based on the premise that the evaluation of a teacher’s effectiveness should be measured by the success of their students.  Additionally, another education-related bill by Senator Thrasher, Senate Bill 4, passed the Senate.  This legislation will raise the standards for math and science credits for high school students (phased in over the next few years).  Also, Senator Don Gaetz of Niceville’s SJR 2 passed the Senate.  If adopted by the House it will put on the next general ballot the option to amend the class size amendment and give school districts more flexibility in meeting the requirements of the amendment while maintaining its spirit.
 

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Florida State SealFlorida's House of Representatives and the Senate concluded Week Three with an extraordinary concurrent resolution to the United States Congress, a proposal to save lives with defibrillators, and a resolution to move the 2010 session up by two months to meet a redistricting deadline.

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Florida State SealThe second week of the sixty-day legislative session began and concluded without the pomp and circumstance that surrounds the opening of the annual meeting of the Florida House and Senate.  Instead, this week dealt with the nuts and  bolts of lawmaking and the slow but organized building of the state budget.  The legislature’s only duty enumerated in the Florida Constitution is to pass the  budget that runs the state’s government.  The process, which is hosted this year by the House of Representatives (each year the hosting alternates between the two chambers) was underway at one of the fastest passes in recent memory.  Although it is far too soon to project how the budget making process will end, it is the top priority of the two bodies to deal with an estimated $2.6 billion dollar shortfall as compared to the previous fiscal year.  It will be a challenge to plug this enormous budget hole because, unlike the federal government, Florida is constitutionally required to produce a balanced budget each year.  No red ink is allowed when the final product is sent to the governor for his signature.

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Florida State SealThe annual meeting of the Florida Legislature began on March 2.  By law the legislature meets on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March.  This year’s session kicked off  with a bang.  The first bill out of the gate, Senate Bill 1666 by Senator Rudy Garcia of Miami, passed the House and Senate and went straight to the governor’s desk, all on the first day.  Governor Charlie Crist signed the bill as soon as it was delivered to him and he mentioned that fact during his annual State of the State address that evening.

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Graffiti - Photo by Joshua T. GillionCleaning up graffiti and cleaning up their records. This is the aim of a new community service program for youth launched by the Sheriff’s Office. The new “Graffiti Response Program” uses the volunteer hours of kids who have committed minor crimes in an effort to stop the flood of graffiti that is plaguing areas of Pinellas County.

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Florida State SealThe media gives extensive coverage to the Florida Legislature during the annual legislative session (which takes place starting the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March and proceeding for the next 60 calendar days).  However, many people are not aware that the Legislature does meet in its official capacity for many months leading up to the start of the regular legislative session.

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Congressman Ron PaulPolitical philosopher Richard Weaver famously and correctly stated that ideas have consequences. Take for example ideas about rights versus goods. Natural law states that people have rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

A good is something you work for and earn. It might be a need, like food, but more “goods” seem to be becoming “rights” in our culture, and this has troubling consequences. It might seem harmless enough to decide that people have a right to things like education, employment, housing or healthcare.