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Today on Context Florida: Crime, Healthy Florida Works, Big Sugar and Andrew’s Capital Grill

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Today on Context Florida:

One of the truthful boasts in Gov. Rick Scott’s curiously brief speech to the Legislature last week may not have been good news to all who heard it, says Martin Dyckman. “We are at a 43-year low in our crime rate,” Scott said. By 2013, crime in Florida had fallen 60 percent from its high point in 1988, which was 10 percent better than the national decline. But there are some to whom this might be a dark lining in a silver cloud.

Florida Senate and Senate President Andy Gardiner took a significant step on an issue with profound impacts on Florida taxpayers, businesses and, ultimately, our economy, says Tom Feeney. The Senate filed SPB 7044, the “Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange” (FHIX), based upon A Healthy Florida Works Plan. This plan was thoughtfully proposed by a bipartisan coalition of business owners, hospitals, community leaders and individuals who support a fiscally responsible program that draws down Florida’s share of federal funds to reform medical coverage for nearly one million Floridians.

You think you live in a representative democracy. According to Diane Roberts, you don’t. You live on a sugar plantation. You call it “Florida.” You may reside far from the muck farms and wouldn’t know a cane field from a pawpaw patch, it doesn’t matter. Florida’s state government works for Big Sugar.

In Casablanca, “Everybody goes to Rick’s” Cafe Americain. In Tallahassee, Florence Snyder says everybody goes to Andrew’s Capital Grill. Or Andrew goes to everybody, as he did last week, personally attending to the feeding and watering of 1,200 of Associated Industries’ closest friends at its annual eve-of-session cocktail party.

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 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.

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