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Today on Context Florida: Shifting discourse and two sides of Florida’s solar debate

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Today on Context Florida:

The Florida Supreme Court recently invalidated the state’s congressional districts map, finding it had been drawn with unconstitutional intent to favor the majority party and incumbents. The decision is a Big Deal, says attorney Glenn Burhans, but noteworthy for another reason: Illustrating a shift in our judicial discourse and the proper place, if any, of sharp-elbowed dissent.

Most Floridians agree: Solar power is an essential part of our energy future. In fact, Florida voters might even find two solar amendments on their 2016 ballot. Dick Batchelor and Jim Kallinger warn: There are important differences between the two ideas. One amendment, written by a group called Floridians for Solar Choice, may sound appealing at first glance. However, the fine print proves this measure is designed to benefit big, out-of-state solar companies. That’s why we call it the “Shady Solar Amendment.”

Tory Perfetti and Mike Antheil say Floridians for Solar Choice is a legitimate grassroots citizens’ effort to give Florida residents and business owners the ability to choose solar energy and harness the power of the sun through the free market. Unfortunately, despite being the Sunshine State that choice is currently limited in Florida. A new organization recently has sprung up that aggressively parrots utility monopoly company arguments against the Floridians for Solar Choice ballot initiative with an amendment of its own, ironically called Consumers for Smart Solar. There’s nothing smart about this, they write; it’s actually a sham, written by the monopoly utility itself.

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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