Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Today on Context Florida: Daniel Tilson, tax cuts, abuse-deterring opioids and volunteer month

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Today on Context Florida:

Political columnists write stories, says Daniel Tilson. They’re not supposed to be stories. Tilson reflects on some takeaways from his home visit by Rick Scott’s FDLE. Wrong-minded and ridiculous on so many levels. But here’s the thing … the decision to take that action and the action itself, to whatever extent meant to be intimidation, or not, brought the Law of Unintended Consequences into play, big time.

Florida’s tax-cutter-in-chief is at it again, notes Janelle Irwin. After rounding out “cut my taxes week,” Gov. Scott is now touting his whopper of a tax cut last year. According to the Governor’s Office, Floridians have saved nearly $200 million since last September when the state reduced auto registration fees. $200 million is a lot of money! Well, not really, she says. Because it is only $25 per car, per year.

Sandi Frear explains why abuse-deterring opioids should be a legislative priority in 2015 and beyond. While Florida has made great strides in dealing with this problem, more needs to be done to limit the abuse of prescription drugs. Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto and Rep. Jeanette Nunez have introduced legislation – SB 728 and HB 1021 – requiring health insurers in Florida to cover the new abuse-deterring opioids. These bills make sense. They ensure Floridians get the medication they need while also reducing abuse.

Chester W. Spellman points out that every day in Florida, countless volunteers serve in schools, mentoring and tutoring vulnerable children. They serve at senior centers, state parks, and even in our homes, providing meals to homebound individuals and caring for those with unique abilities. They make our communities safer, stronger and healthier. That is why Volunteer Florida is proud to recognize April as Florida Volunteer Month.

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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