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Today on Context Florida: Environmental disappointments, Loretta Lynch, Skip Foster and healthcare

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Today on Context Florida:

What began as the “year of the environment” for the 2015 legislative session has turned into a year of disappointment for many environmentalists, says Bruce Ritchie. Amendment 1 and statewide water policy were major issues heading into the session, with growth management also emerging once the opening gavel dropped. The House-proposed spending plan includes at least $10 million for land buying – House leaders say $205 million for the Florida Forever program – while the Senate proposes $37 million. Environmental groups say both proposals ignore voters on Amendment 1.

Mark Ferrulo notes that the time the U.S. Senate heads back to Washington, D.C., after a two-week recess, President Barack Obama’s U.S. attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch will have been waiting more than five months for her nomination to be attorney general to be confirmed, the longest any attorney general nominee has waited in three decades.

Skip Foster, the new publisher at the Tallahassee Democrat, was greeted as a liberator in his maiden speech to the Capital Tiger Bay Club, reports Florence Snyder. The gray-haired eminences who make up the Club’s membership know the difference between a good newspaper and a Chamber of Commerce rag. They are embarrassed that the Times – New York and Tampa Bay — regularly come to town to break stories that were there, sometimes for years, for the Democrat’s taking.

As the president and CEO of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Julio Fuentes speaks to business owners and leaders every day, hearing their concerns over healthcare coverage in our state. It is why the Hispanic Chamber stands with A Healthy Florida Works to bring the tax dollars sent to Washington, D.C., back to Florida to extend healthcare coverage to approximately 1 million uninsured Floridians.

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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 [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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