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Today on Context Florida: Hillary Clinton wins Florida, healthcare costs, Chris Christie, homelessness and women-owned business

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Today on Context Florida:

Steve Schale explains why Hillary Clinton should easily defeat Bernie Sanders in Florida’s presidential primary. For the first time in a while, the Florida Democratic Primary will mean something.  For Bernie Sanders, it is a chance to prove he can win a big, diverse state.  For Hillary Clinton, it is an opportunity to solidify her position as the party’s standard-bearer. Yet, unless something dramatic changes, Schale says Clinton will win Florida and firmly position herself as the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee.

Falling behind only terrorism and the economy, Charles Evans says the rising cost of health care is very much on the minds of voters across the country. That’s certainly the case in Florida as we approach the presidential primary on March 15. Voters want solutions to one of the most expensive items in the family budget and on the corporate balance sheet, Evans says. While Washington may have failed to provide a solution with the Affordable Care Act, Florida lawmakers are offering a bold plan to reduce health care costs.

Chris Christie had a distinguished political career as a federal prosecutor who put organized crime members and terrorists in federal prisons. Elected as governor of New Jersey in 2009, Christie was easily elected in 2013 in a state that has been hostile to Republicans. Darryl Paulson describes how Christie’s national political ambitions suffered a severe setback in 2014 when individuals in his administration ordered the closing of lanes on the George Washington Bridge connecting New Jersey and New York to punish a political opponent.

On behalf of hard-working families, seniors, veterans, those experiencing homelessness and those with special needs throughout the state, the Florida Senate and House of Representatives took a positive step this week. Together, both chambers came to an agreement on funding for affordable housing, recommending that $214.1 million be appropriated from Florida’s housing trust funds toward affordable housing. Jamie Ross of the Sadowski Coalition says his group is thankful for all the hard work that the Senate and House have put into this budget. They applaud them for coming to agreement on this vital issue that affects Floridians in all corners of the state while also including more than $5.2 million for homeless and other housing projects.

In the Pensacola area, Shannon Nickinson notes that more and more women are starting businesses of their own. Forbes reports that one-fourth of all enterprises in the country is owned by women and that a rising number of women-owned businesses are topping the $1 million mark. Nationally women own 36 percent of companies. In the Pensacola metro area, 38.5 percent of firms are owned by women. Women are equal owners in another 7.7 percent of Pensacola’s businesses. Of the 14,718 businesses led or co-owned by women in the two-county area, 2,172 have paid employees. Those companies support 17,124 jobs in the Pensacola area’s economy.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

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.

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