Thursday, June 21, 2007

Florida Democratic Party Opens Up Delegate Selection Plan to Comments

To comment on the plan for the selection of delegates for the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, please click here.

A copy of the plan is available here.

Progressive States Network Reviews Florida's Recent Accomplishments, Missed Opportunities

The Progressive States Network, a nonpartisan thinktank that reviews state policies affecting middle-class families and working people, provided a brief summary of Florida's accomplishments, as well as some missed opportunities.

In response to crushing increases in homeowners' insurance, the legislature froze rates for customers of the Citizens Property Insurance system until 2009 and generally, in the words of Gov. Crist, put a "nail in the coffin of an industry that is hurting people."

On the environmental side, the legislature passed new incentives for alternative energy use and production and took steps to develop express buses and a rail system.

Florida legislators' accomplishments also included:

- Getting rid of failed, inadequate and almost certainly inaccurate (see the election in the 13th Congressional District last year) touch-screen voting machines.

- Mandated that gift cards not expire.

- Required all elementary students to take physical education, as part of an effort to fight the rising problem of childhood obesity, which has caused an increase in juvenile diabetes.

- Refused to revive a public school voucher system.

On the down side, the state failed to enact reforms to the state's KidCare children's health insurance plan, a plan that has been tossing as many as 15,000 children a month out of the program due to badly-designed rules instituted during Jeb Bush's administration.

Overall, Florida was classifed as an "Incremental Gainer."

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Sink and Bronson Team Up to Address Global Warming

Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson present Conversations on Climate Change, a series of Cabinet workshops that will explore how Florida’s economy could be affected by climate changes and our state’s opportunities to expand renewable energy sources.

"Climate change is a reality, and we need to learn as much as we can about the potential impact on our state’s financial health," said Sink. "As a government official concerned about Florida’s economy, I am focused on protecting the vitality of our financial and insurance markets."

For more information on the programs, visit Florida Climate Change.

Bill Young Votes to Block More Off Shore Drilling

After months of bad news about his inaction on behalf of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed, Rep. Bill Young finally has some good news to tell his constituents.

Young joined Democrats on the House Approrpriations Committee to block Republican legislation to open up more coastal areas to off shore drilling for natural gas.

The legislation was proposed by Pennsylvania Republican Rep. John Peterson. Even without Young's vote, the proposal would have failed. It was defeated 25 to 39.

Peterson has vowed to try again.