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Mitch Perry Report for 4.10.15 — A lollapalooza of tax cuts for everyone in Florida

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Today kicks off the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, Calif., about 20 minutes west of Palm Springs near the Coachella Valley, one of the worst, hard-hit drought-stricken regions of the Golden State.

I’ve attended five such spectacles (2009-2013), and if you’re into music, it’s an amazing amount of fun — and also a bit of work, unless you’re used to standing for at least 10 hours straight in stifling hot weather for three consecutive days.

Here in Tallahassee, the first-ever Word of South Festival takes place this weekend — a combination literary/music event, with five different stages, over a hundred bands and nearly three dozen authors present.

A “Lollapalooza” of tax cuts were passed by the Florida House yesterday afternoon — $690 million in cuts that may or may not actually happen,  depending on if the Senate signs off on it, which looks doubtful at this moment with the vast gap existing between the two bodies.

The final vote was 112-3, which means most of your most liberal Democrats went along with Republicans in the Legislature, because hey, everybody loves a tax cut, right?

Democratic minority leader Mark Pafford of West Palm Beach was one of the three “nays.” You’ve got to admire him for sticking to his convictions, while also considering he a) lives in a very safe district, b) has no thoughts of running for higher office, or c) thought it was the wrong thing to do, which is what he said afterwards.

In other news reported about the state Legislature yesterday….

Do we have an Indiana-style controversy on our hands in the Sunshine State? Democrats seemed spent yesterday in the House, tired of arguing against the Jason Brodeur-sponsored “conscience protection” bill that would “protect” Florida private child adoption agencies from being compelled by the government to allow foster children and other kids that need parents to put them in the hands of a gay couple. However, there is no Senate companion.

If you spend a few days covering the Florida Legislature, chances are good you’re going to probably come across a legislator discussing guns. Better than that, the Florida House voted overwhelmingly yesterday to allow anybody in the state to pack heat when evacuating his or her home because of a hurricane or similar disaster.

Activists from Miami have been in Tally all week trying to cajole recalcitrant Republicans in the House to get behind Medicaid expansion. I’m sure you can guess how that’s going.

I’m not sure President Obama gives a fig, but just in case, add a Florida Senate Committee to the list of those who want to crank up sanctions against Iran if the nuclear negotiations don’t pan out by the end of June.

And a bill moving through the Senate would include pregnant women in the state’s Civil Rights laws. It would seem a no-brainer, but while a similar bill breezed through the Senate last year, it stalled in the House.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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