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Michael Bileca

Officials push deadline for disclosing finances

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Seven state lawmakers were among more than 600 state and local officials and employees testing a two-month grace period to file personal financial disclosure forms. Fines of $25 a day start to be imposed Saturday for those who don’t file or get their annual reports in the mail and postmarked Friday. Officials faced an initial July 3 deadline but were given until Sept. 1 to comply.

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Capitol Reax: Rick Scott signs HB 7069

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Gov. Rick Scott signed a sweeping education bill (HB 7069) that, among other things, sends more public money to privately-run charter schools. The legislation, a top priority for House Speaker Richard Corcoran, also requires recess in elementary schools, makes changes to the state’s standardized testing system, and includes millions of dollars for teacher bonuses. The governor’s decision to sign the bill sparked a reaction from both sides of the issue. — House Speaker Richard Corcoran “Today is a great day…

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Michael Bileca, Manny Diaz: Florida’s educational industrial complex earned need to be reformed

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“It is easier to build strong children, than to repair broken men (and women)” — Frederick Douglass It is incredible how many societal ills arise out of a failure to educate, in the fullest sense of the word, the children of our great state. We utter platitudes like, “we must do better,” as we watch a generation of children be stripped of their hope, their dignity, and their chance to be all that God intended them to be. Sadly, this…

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Florida may shift students away from failing schools

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Calling it an “emergency,” Florida may agree to spend up to $200 million to shift students from chronically failing schools to charter schools run by private organizations. The idea crafted by House Speaker Richard Corcoran and other top Republicans in the Florida House is this: Offer up money to help build “Schools of Hope” in neighborhoods, many of them in urban and poor areas. The schools would be within 5 miles of or in the zones of existing traditional public…

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House panel approves scaled back version of school recess bill

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The House PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee passed its version of the public school recess bill, setting lawmakers on two very different paths when it comes to free play. The committee approved a committee substitute for the bill (HB 67) that would allow school boards to include free-play recess for students in kindergarten through third grade as part of 150 minutes per week of physical education requirement. The proposal, sponsored by Reps. Rene Plasencia and Bob Cortes, also requires school districts to…

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Report: Rick Scott committee releases robocall targeting Republicans who support killing Enterprise Florida

in 2017 by

Voters across the state will be getting robo-calls blasting their representative for voting for a bill to kill Enterprise Florida. POLITICO Florida reported that Let’s Get to Work, the political committee backing Gov. Rick Scott, has funded another round of robocalls hitting Republicans who voted for a bill (HB 7005) that would eliminate Enterprise Florida and a slew of other economic incentive programs. “Unfortunately, your state representative … is playing politics with Florida’s jobs,” the ad says, according to POLITICO…

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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

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With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round. On and off: Tiffany Harrington has replaced Heather Williamson as House staff director of the Joint Select Committee on Collective Bargaining. On: Teri Cariota, formerly an aide to former Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, is now a legislative assistant to Miami Democratic Rep. Roy Hardemon. On: Venusmia Lovely, formerly an aide to Sen. Dwight Bullard, is also a district…

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