Today on Context Florida: Bills & budgets, ideology, death penalty and 3D seismic surveying

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Today on Context Florida:

Bills and budgets establish the records on which members of the Legislature run for re-election, says Bob Sparks, and Republican leadership prioritized passing HB 851, the bill granting in-state tuition for undocumented students. Who among Florida’s Congressional Democrats will break with their party leadership and get something done to save Medicare?

Whoever limited the length of the Florida legislative session did so wisely, writes Andrew Skerritt. There is no telling how much damage earnest but ideological politicians can do in 90 days. Too often, we saw legislators proposing bills to suit constituents with narrow interests.

Humans have been imposing the death penalty for centuries, but Steve Kurlander points out that human mores have evolved. Many countries consider it inhumane, reckless and unnecessary, and have banned it. But in this quest to reduce the “cruel and inhuman” nature of the death penalty, Kurlander adds, society also reduces the pain, loss of freedom, and even loss of life that some say should be imposed for the kind of violence the unrepentant Clayton Lockett committed.

Our country’s Atlantic Coast, including parts of Florida’s Atlantic coast, might have billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas available to lead America toward energy independence from unstable countries. That is why Nicolas Gutierrez calls for the federal government to approve conducting 3D seismic surveying in the Mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.