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Today on Context Florida: Healthcare budgets, guns, testing and agricultural workers

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Today on Context Florida:

Maybe it is fondness for suspense that Gov. Scott and GOP House members have strung Floridians along about the future of Florida’s healthcare system, says Daniel Tilson. Only one third of the way through the legislative session, and the Senate and House have drawn up radically conflicting budgets based on healthcare appropriations or lack thereof, while the lives of 800,000 uninsured Floridians hang in the balance.

Guns on campus are on the Florida legislative fast track, notes Marc Yacht. Florida Senate Bill 176 and House Bill 4005 would allow students with concealed weapons permits to carry. Most teachers, parents, and anyone wishing to bring sanity to America’s gun culture fear this bill. The finalized bill could be law this summer. Would a parent encourage a child to attend a school with gun-toting students? Yacht said he wouldn’t.

Educational testing in Florida is not good business, says Shannon Nickinson. They marched students into a new testing system that has not been tested in the field — and, apparently, is vulnerable to cyber-attack. Does that sound like seeing the light, Nickinson asks.

Some 150,000 agricultural workers live in Florida and Eve Gartner says their work literally makes them sick while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the agency tasked with safeguarding agricultural workers, delays strengthening needed protections. There are an estimated 20,000 pesticide poisonings among agricultural workers every year partly because of the lack of safety training and standards, protective equipment, or knowledge about protecting against workplace pesticide exposures.

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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