Today on Context Florida: Jax pension reform, ECARE, Keystone XL and marriage equality

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Today on Context Florida:

Jacksonville needs to get on top of police-and-fire pension reform, says Julie Delegal, and failing to do it now amounts to playing politics with taxpayer money. Contrary to claims of a recent direct mail piece, it is not the mayor playing fast and loose with our tax dollars.

Shannon Nickinson notes that those who gathered at the ECARE breakfast at Sanders Beach Corrine Jones Community Center recently got a glimpse of what that graduating class of 2027 might hold.

Nicolas Gutierrez of the Florida Energy Forum was both encouraged and disappointed following the recent U.S. House of Representatives’ vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline, which will carry 830,000 barrels of oil per day into Gulf of Mexico refineries from Canada. Sadly, U.S. Reps. Gwen Graham (FL-2) and Patrick Murphy (FL-18) were in the Democratic minority as two of only 28 Democrats who joined 238 Republicans in voting for the project.

Marriage equality finally came to Florida, says Mark Ferrulo, and loving same-sex couples have the legal right to marry. Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel’s decision not only sparked jubilant celebrations across the state, it also served as an important reminder of the impact the judicial system has on critical issues, including Floridians’ basic human rights.

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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 His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, 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 and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.