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

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Tampa Bay Times: Florida takes low road on higher education

“The sorry spectacle of Florida’s Board of Governors haggling over tuition increases like used car salesmen was sobering. It showed just how much damage Gov. Rick Scott’s pinched view of higher education has inflicted in such a short time. For a governor who claims he wants higher education to serve as an economic engine for the state, he’s setting the wrong priorities and reducing what could be a world-class university system to a widget factory for bachelor’s degrees. That doesn’t serve students, Florida taxpayers or the state’s economy.”

Bradenton Herald: Governor’s position on tuition runs contrary to state investment in higher education

“This year, the governor — and the Legislature — expected universities to burn through budget reserves instead of raising tuition, another shortsighted Tallahassee policy. Boxed into a corner, the Board of Governors ignored Scott on Thursday and approved tuition hikes ranging from 9 percent to the full 15 percent allowed by law. The University of South Florida’s request of 11 percent was granted. Coincidentally, this week Florida earned a remarkable honor in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s annual report card on public institutions, in the Student Access & Success category. Florida ranked as the only state awarded “A’s” for both four- and two-year institutions.”

The Daytona Beach News-Journal: New strategies needed for struggling beachside

“Thirty years ago, Daytona Beach declared its core tourism zone blighted. City leaders hoped to bring in more federal aid and create options for redevelopment. Yet the blight remains, especially in residential sections, and the threat of crime discourages investors and tourists. Some business locations look rundown and seedy — not what most people would associate with a famous tourist town.”

The Florida Times-Union: Taxpayers face a pension bill mountain

“At the heart of the city’s morass of overly generous and underfunded pensions is an independent Police and Fire Pension Board that has operated irresponsibly and unchecked for years.”

The Lakeland Ledger: Environmental Regulation: Fla. Needs Pollution Protection

“Why are there so many rules?” asked Gov. Rick Scott in February 2011, one month after taking office. “Name one regulation that you couldn’t live without.” In a June 19 report, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility said its analysis shows that Scott accomplished his regulation-reduction goal. “Basic enforcement of anti-pollution laws in Florida has nose-dived during the first full year of Gov. Rick Scott’s tenure,” PEER reported.” 

The Miami Herald: Miami can lead the pack

“The federal government is not coming to the rescue. That’s the bracing message that Global Cities Initiative, a forward-looking partnership between Brookings and JPMorgan Chase brought to Miami last week as this region explores ways to grow the economy. GCI has examined the economic growth potential of several cities, looking for symbiotic — and lucrative — relationships. Advocates have globe-trotted from San Diego to Sao Paolo to Los Angeles, among other cities. Given Miami’s blessed position as gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean, it was only a matter of time before the GCI landed here — with another sobering warning: Miami can’t take its blessings for granted. That’s all too true, and both public- and private-sector leaders must confront the threats and seize the opportunities.”

 The Orlando Sentinel: Latinos could pick 2012 winner

“As host for the National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials, Orlando has been the epicenter of national politics this week. NALEO’s annual conference has featured appearances by President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, as well as other high-profile politicians. NALEO represents more than 6,000 Latino officials. Its president, Sylvia R. Garcia — a former county commissioner, city controller and judge in her native Texas — recently talked with the Sentinel editorial board about the growing importance of the Latino vote and her group’s position on key issues in this year’s campaign.”

Tampa Tribune, Rhetoric obscures state’s true outlook

“In his presidential campaign, Republican Mitt Romney stresses the weak economic recovery and high Florida unemployment and, naturally, blames it all on the policies of Barack Obama. Republican Gov. Rick Scott says the state’s economy is steadily improving because of his own conservative leadership. The conflicting messages could explain why Scott hasn’t been invited to campaign alongside Romney. Whom should we believe?”

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.