Round-up of Sunday editorials from Florida's leading newspapers

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Tampa Bay Times: For a better Florida Senate

“Two experienced Republican House members are vying for District 17, which covers northwest Hillsborough and east and centralPasco. John Legg and Rob Wallace both spent eight years in the House and were term-limited out. Legg of New Port Richey is completing his final two-year term. Wallace of Carrollwood represented a northwest Hillsborough district from 1994-2002.”

Bradenton Herald: More Manatee County funding for indigent mental health care

“A mental health care crisis confrontsManateeCounty. Indigent patients, substance abusers and emergency or involuntary commitments are flooding intoManateeGlensHospitalandAddictionCenterat staggering rates.Manatee County commissioners are now tasked with coming to grips with a financial dilemma over the costs of mental health care. One way or another, taxpayers will pay the price. Commissioners have to decide whether to grant a request by Manatee Glens for some $545,000 in funding in the coming fiscal year, or allow patients to remain in jail and emergency rooms at greater expense to county coffers.”

The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Transparency needed in land-review process

“Officials with the St. Johns River Water Management District made a mistake when they decided to privately survey board members about the district’s controversial process for reviewing publicly held lands. They also may have violated the state’s open meetings law, which is pretty clear in forbidding individual meetings between the staff of a public agency and the agency’s board members — if the discussion concerns the board members’ positions on an issue that is likely to be considered at a public meeting.”

The Florida Times-Union, Minimal TB outreach was a bad policy

“State and local health officials are scrambling inJacksonvilleto deal with what may be the largest outbreak of tuberculosis in 20 years. Unfortunately, the new effort comes long after a strain of TB was identified eight years ago and was allowed to flourish… the Legislature should inquire into how this outbreak has been handled and then insist on more transparency and public disclosure about communicable diseases.”

The Lakeland Ledger: Rick Scott’s Strange Health Math

“In his endless and too-often-fruitless effort to categorize every aspect of state government and assign it a numerical ranking, Gov. Rick Scott ordered the Florida Department of Health to create a system to score and rank the county health department in each of the state’s 67 counties. TheTallahasseebureau of theTampaBay Times and The Miami Herald pushed the state Health Department, through a public-record request, for nearly five weeks before it divulged the spreadsheet containing the scores and ranks. The Health Department said the report was completed in December but remains a work in progress, the Times and Herald reported Friday. Scrambled eggs are more like it.” 

The Miami Herald: Not so fast, Gov. Scott 

“Gov. Rick Scott’s oh-so-quick dismissal of the opportunity to provide healthcare to more Floridians under Medicaid, which came just one day after the Supreme Court decision upholding most of the Affordable Care Act, should not be the last word on the subject. His decision was politically inspired, and his facts have been called into question. For Floridians desperate to get basic healthcare the consequences could be dire. Train wreck, perfect storm, falling off the cliff — all of these phrases have been used to describe the impact of Mr. Scott’s decision unless the Legislature takes a more thoughtful approach.”

The Orlando Sentinel: Our Weekly Champ & Chump: John Collingwood & Tom Rooney

“Tom Rooney: What an embarrassment toFlorida. This GOP congressman from Tequesta has aligned himself with Rep. Michele Bachmann’s tin-hat coalition…”

Tampa Tribune, A more united front against mental illness

“Seldom is a change in the local organizational structure of well-run independent agencies worth much public notice. But something remarkable is happening with four local mental health agencies. The planned friendly merger of these groups, which together serve seven counties, promises to bring administrative efficiency and better patient care. Squeezing more service out of each available dollar has become urgent because of the shortage of dollars and the increasing need for care. One in four Americans suffers some form of mental illness, yet an estimated two out of three people needing mental health care aren’t getting it.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.