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Dick Batchelor

Today on Context Florida: Love & government, vote solar, America’s greatness and virtual public schools

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Today on Context Florida: Darryl Paulson offers a warning – never mix love and government. In 1868, Florida passed a law making it illegal for a “Negro man and a white woman … who are not married to each other … to habitually live in and occupy in the nighttime the same room.” Violation of the law was a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Florida also made it illegal for such individuals…

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Consumers for Smart Solar spends nearly $268,000 in March

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The controversial solar-power ballot initiative that will go before Florida voters in November reported on Monday that it had spent nearly $268,000 last month, with much of that going to legal fees as it worked to win approval from the Florida Supreme Court. Two weeks ago, the high court ruled 4-3 that the wording of the initiative that is backed by many of the state’s major utilities met the legal standards to qualify for the statewide ballot this fall. Consumers for Smart Solar,…

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Today on Context Florida: Secret Service protection, censorship not so bad, Smart Solar, alimony “reform” and the Pfizer squeeze

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Today on Context Florida: As Donald Trump moves ever closer to snagging the GOP nomination for U.S. president, Bob Driver says he will probably ask for — and receive — a high level of Secret Service protection. He may well need it. As the weeks pass, the political atmosphere is heating up to the point where “ugly” no longer describes what’s going on. Trump’s fans are many, and well may usher him into the White House. But the fact remains that…

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Consumers for Smart Solar say they’ve got the signatures to qualify for November ballot

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Consumers for Smart Solar, the utility backed constitutional amendment that would outline rules for solar power in Florida, has gathered 695, 376, more than 11,000 beyond the the required 683,149 valid petitions to get on the November ballot, the group says in a statement issued Friday afternoon “Not only did we reach the required valid petitions milestone, we have also now met the petition threshold in 14 congressional districts to certify the amendment to the ballot,” said Jim Kallinger, co-chair of Consumers for Smart…

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Supreme Court approves first of proposed solar amendments

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A proposed constitutional amendment that would allow Floridians to generate and sell their own solar power passes legal muster, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The court’s purview was limited to whether the language embraces one subject and uses “clear and unambiguous language” in the ballot summary. The majority said yes on both counts. Justice Ricky Polston, however, disagreed on the ballot summary portion, saying it was “confusing.” The decision clears the way for the amendment to go before voters in 2016, assuming it gets…

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Today on Context Florida: Shifting discourse and two sides of Florida’s solar debate

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Today on Context Florida: The Florida Supreme Court recently invalidated the state’s congressional districts map, finding it had been drawn with unconstitutional intent to favor the majority party and incumbents. The decision is a Big Deal, says attorney Glenn Burhans, but noteworthy for another reason: Illustrating a shift in our judicial discourse and the proper place, if any, of sharp-elbowed dissent. Most Floridians agree: Solar power is an essential part of our energy future. In fact, Florida voters might even find…

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