The big news locally this morning is Mike Salinero’s exclusive in the Tampa Tribune that Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill is prepared to recommend to the Board of County Commissioners and Mayor Bob Buckhorn tomorrow that a half-cent sales transit tax be put on the ballot in 2016, with 60 percent of those funds collected going to roads and bridges, and only 30 percent for mass transit.
We’ll undoubtedly follow up, and we’ll all get the official details tomorrow. But I can tell you that a lot of folks are going to be disappointed by this — namely the ones who have been yelling the loudest that the area needs to improve its desultory transportation options.
Meanwhile, it looks like the “game-changer” that Buckhorn talked about last year — USF moving a medical center to downtown Tampa to be part of Jeff Vinik’s major new development, is in trouble in terms of getting needed state funding. As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, there are a host of Tampa Bay area projects that are in danger of not being funded, as the Legislature moves through the special session in Tallahassee — $17 million to relocate the school and a separate $16 million for a related heart institute still have to be funded.
If the Legislature fails to provide the funding this month, the timing of the project coming together could certainly be delayed. It’s too early to say, but it’s not good news for so many people in Tampa who are banking on this happening.
And in Berlin, yesterday Jeb Bush said that NATO should be stronger in pushing back on Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Eastern Europe. Any problem with that? Well, according to a new story in today’s New York Times, a lot of folks in NATO don’t want to do anything resembling that.
“At least half of Germans, French and Italians say their country should not use military force to defend a NATO ally if attacked by Russia,” the Pew Research Center said it found in its survey, which is based on interviews in 10 nations.
Things may be looking up for Jeb Bush –– if anybody who has raised $100 million needs any encouragement — but a new Gravis Poll in New Hampshire has him up by 8 points, one of his best poll results there all year.
The New York Times just laid out the facts on Marco Rubio’s financial past, which is a bit troubled to say the least. Team Rubio is crying “elitism.”
According to a Public Policy Polling survey, 62 percent of Americans want Congress to fix the ACA if the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the subsidies in states like Florida should no longer exist.
And Uber enthusiasts (like Jeff Brandes) tried to sneak in legislation that would make their life easier in Florida over the next year, but it was again nixed by Senate Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner.