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Today on Context Florida: Solar power, Jeb Bush & education and teacher bonuses

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Today on Context Florida: Peter Schorsch loves solar power, nearly everyone does. It is like ice cream with sprinkles, he says. So why are voters not supporting the initiative being pushed by the group known as Floridians for Solar Choice? A recent Mason-Dixon poll showed it failing miserably and to the many people Schorsch spoke with, they are genuinely confused. Only 30 percent said they would vote for it while 45 percent opposed it. How can this be? Who would vote…

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Today on Context Florida: Stephanie Collins, Rep. Erik Fresen and the Confederate flag

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Today on Context Florida: Catherine Durkin Robinson talks about Stephanie Collins, a high school friend who was abducted and murdered by a serial killer and his wife, who both thrived off the attention. It is difficult to get a guilty verdict and death sentence once, she writes, never mind three times, in Florida. Therefore it’s worth noting how pathetic it is that the man continues to sit on death row and appeal these convictions over and over again. Robinson demands Gov.…

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Florida Democrats unveil text of mailers, robocalls targeting vulnerable House Republicans

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As lobbyists and pols alike collect their collective jaws from the floor in the wake of Speaker Steve Crisafulli’s Sine Die adjournment spectacle, the Florida Democratic Party is wasting no time in making political hay out of it. The FDP told SaintPetersBlog that it is hitting vulnerable members of the majority in the GOP-dominated Florida House of Representatives with a targeted campaign of mailers and robocalls, including one aimed at state Rep. Kathleen Peters, who represents the deeply purple District 69 in…

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Internet piracy bill passes Legislature, goes to governor

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A bill to combat Internet piracy of music and movies is heading to Gov. Rick Scott for consideration despite opposition from some of the nation’s biggest Internet companies. Senate Bill 604 passed 78-38 in the Florida House on Friday and had previously passed the Senate 36-3. It requires websites that sell commercial music and movies to post identification and contact information on their sites. Backers say it’s a consumer protection measure, to help prevent piracy and save consumers from viruses,…

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Gov. Scott signs bill to cut school testing

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Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 7069 Tuesday, reducing the number of tests Florida public school students take as well as making changes to teacher evaluations and school year start dates. “This legislation reduces the number of tests our students take, including the 11th grade English Language Arts test that we eliminated this year through an Executive Order in February,” Scott said in a news release. “I agree with many teachers and parents who say we have too many tests, and…

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4th Floor Files talks with Steve Wise about shoes, spaghetti and Ronald Reagan

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Stephen R. Wise served 25 years as a lawmaker; first elected to the state House of Representatives in 1989 and term-limited out of the Senate in 2014. Wise was a skillful lawmaker in the area of education. As chair of both education appropriation and policy committees he would hold up bills until he believed they were ready for debate. He often spiced his floor speeches with stories of his time as a classroom teacher in the mid-1960s. “I thought I was…

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Five state legislators endorse Pam Bondi for attorney general

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Today, the Pam Bondi Campaign announced that five state legislators from all areas of the state have endorsed Bondi in her bid to become Florida’s next attorney general. They will be the first announced members of a statewide steering committee to help with providing leadership and policy insight to the campaign team. “As the next Attorney General, Bondi is going to play a key role in fighting gang activity, mortgage fraud, Medicaid fraud, and in keeping our children and seniors…

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