Today's news -- August 8, 2017

 

 

 

 

Latvala's “plan” to undermine HB 7069 *

A powerful Republican state senator considering a run for governor hasn’t been shy about his distaste for a controversial new law benefiting charter schools. But it appears he might have tried to kill it behind closed doors. Sen. Jack Latvala, chairman of the chamber's appropriations committee, discussed a “plan” to scuttle FL HB 7069 (17R) with a Democratic colleague who later filed an amendment to try to strip the bill of its funding, according to text messages obtained by Politico. But Latvala won’t say more about what Hail Mary strategy he might have employed. The Clearwater Republican had voted for the bill despite denouncing it on the Senate floor on the last day of the 2017 legislative session, which had been extended by three days in part because of disagreements over the nearly 300-page priority of House Speaker Richard Corcoran. But when Gov. Rick Scott called a special session for June, some senators saw it as a second chance to undermine the bill. Among those were Sens. David Simmons (R-Altamonte Springs) and Gary Farmer (D-Fort Lauderdale). Newly released communications suggest Latvala might have been involved, despite promising Senate President Joe Negron he would support his priorities in exchange for the prominent chairmanship. While the governor outlined his expectations for the special session June 2 -- he demanded that lawmakers increase funding for public schools, economic development and tourism -- he and legislative leaders insisted they hadn’t worked out a more comprehensive agreement in secret. But the next day, Farmer pinged Latvala to find out more. “How you feeling about this deal? Education still sucks,” Farmer wrote in a text message on June 3. “I might have a plan,” Latvala responded. He added that he had sent a draft of an economic development bill to Farmer’s personal email address and asked him to offer feedback. “Will do,” Farmer said. “And I am game to help …w e can’t let 7069 become law.” About an hour later, Farmer asked if Latvala had five minutes, presumably for a call. Latvala said, “Yes. Now.” Later that evening, Farmer asked: “Can’t we file amendments on the education funding bill that would undo parts of 7069?” “Not sure. But think they might be outside the call,” Latvala replied, raising the point that lawmakers’ activity during special session needed to be related to the reasons Scott called them back to the Capitol. During the three-day special session, Farmer sponsored amendments that would have cut the amount of funding in H.B. 7069 from about $420 million to $40 million. They failed. The text messages between Latvala and Farmer were not included in the Senate’s initial response to Politico's public records request. The Senate provided the additional texts, from Farmer, on Monday, after an article on the first batch had been published.

http://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2017/08/08/revealed-in-texts-latvalas-plan-to-undermine-controversial-charter-school-law-113823

 

Study will look at statewide school funding formula

A study will go forward on the state’s redistribution of money from poorer to wealthier school districts in a funding formula a Volusia County critic called “backwards Robin Hood.” The formula has cost Seminole, Osceola and Lake schools tens of millions in local tax revenue being redirected to more affluent districts, including Orange and Miami-Dade. In the latest fiscal year, 55 school districts sent a portion of their money to just a dozen other districts that have higher costs of living, which drives up the cost of education. “We need to look at a holistic approach, because education is a statewide duty,” state Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, said Monday. Hukill requested an evaluation last month in conjunction with Sen. Travis Hutson, R-Elkton. The study of the “district cost differential” formula -- green-lighted by Senate President Joe Negron last week -- will be conducted by two legislative research divisions that Hukill said are well-regarded, and she hopes it will be “complete before we go into session” January 9. “We want them to take a look at the factors that are included,” she said. “Maybe we should adjust the factors; maybe we should use different factors.” It isn’t the first time that Hukill or other legislators have sought either to eliminate or to examine the funding formula, which is one of many components in determining schools’ financing by the state. Gov. Rick Scott vetoed $100,000 spearheaded by Hukill in the budget this year to study the formula. Last year, a bill by state Rep. Larry Metz, R-Yalaha, to repeal it died in committee. At the time, Metz, a former Lake County School Board member, noted that Lake was the state’s 19th-most-populous school district but next-to-last in per-pupil funding. He said the funding disparities highlighted the need to study the K-12 funding formula. The formula has been in place since 2004 and was designed to adjust for the higher cost of living for wealthier school districts, including Palm Beach and Sarasota, where personnel costs are higher. Orange’s school district, for example, has received $32 million since the formula started and isn’t pushing for changes in the way state dollars are doled out.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-joe-negron-dorothy-hukill-school-funding-florida-20170807-story.html

 

Magistrate recommends 2 percent raise for Polk teachers (Marianne Capoziello quoted)
http://www.theledger.com/news/20170807/magistrate-recommends-2-percent-raise-for-polk-teachers

http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/region-polk/polk-county-schools-dealing-with-a-teacher-shortage

 

Duval district reassigns nearly 40 teachers just before start of year (Terrie Brady and Chris Guerrieri quoted)
http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/education/2017-08-07/duval-county-school-district-reassigns-nearly-40-teachers-just-start

 

Bay district celebrates new year with back-to-school rally (Alexis Underwood quoted)
http://www.newsherald.com/news/20170807/district-celebrates-new-year-with-back-to-school-rally

 

Civil rights groups urge state to consider neediest children in ESSA plans

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/civil-rights-groups-urge-florida-other-states-to-consider-neediest/2332919

 

The NAACP report: Why are charter supporters complaining?

https://dianeravitch.net/2017/08/08/the-naacp-report-why-are-charter-supporters-complaining/

 

Trump’s after-school cuts could lead to more hungry kids, lower test scores

http://hechingerreport.org/trumps-proposed-school-cuts-lead-hungry-kids-lower-test-scores/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_campaign=6c3d63134c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_08_07&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a4f3e0748b-6c3d63134c-298490665

 

Florida near bottom of list on health care ranking

http://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/20170807/florida-near-bottom-of-list-on-health-care-ranking

 

Cuts to mental health care could leave thousands without help, advocates say

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-mental-health-care-deep-cuts-central-florida-20170802-story.html

 

State reports dozen more Zika cases

http://health.wusf.usf.edu/post/state-reports-dozen-more-zika-cases#stream/0

 

Ben & Jerry's backs state felon voting rights restoration

http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2017/8/7/ben_jerry_s_backs_fl.html

 

Thousands of properties in state now in high-risk flood zones

http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20170806/thousands-of-florida-properties-now-in-high-risk-flood-zones

 

Never enough money to undo damage to natural Florida

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-ed-florida-environmental-damage-cannot-be-undone-20170807-story.html

 

For the last time, Trump hasn’t made the economy any better

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/08/07/for-the-last-time-trump-hasnt-made-the-economy-any-better/?utm_term=.30271f25ee8f

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/08/07/the-rnc-says-trumps-jobs-numbers-are-unprecedented-because-words-dont-matter-anymore/?utm_term=.620e6784c158

 

Our broken economy, in one simple chart

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/08/07/opinion/leonhardt-income-inequality.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

 

Unions urge slow-down as self-driving car laws pick up speed

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-28/unions-urge-slow-down-as-self-driving-car-bills-pick-up-speed

 

The list of things Flynn could be charged for seems to be expanding

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/8/5/16101484/michael-flynn-russia-investigation-turkey

 

A better way to protect Mueller

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/07/opinion/robert-mueller-tillis-coons-bill.html?emc=edit_th_20170808&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

https://thinkprogress.org/republican-senator-pours-cold-water-on-bipartisan-plans-to-stop-trump-from-obstructing-investigation/

 

Facing Trump subsidy cuts, health insurance officials seek a backup plan

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/07/us/politics/health-insurance-subsidy-cuts-trump.html?emc=edit_th_20170808&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

 

Will Congress force me to deny health care to children once again?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/will-congress-force-me-to-deny-health-care-to-children-once-again/2017/08/07/734ff7fe-792a-11e7-9eac-d56bd5568db8_story.html?utm_term=.1965e59864c9

 

Before it can hire foreign workers, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago advertises at home -- briefly

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/apply-by-fax-before-it-can-hire-foreign-workers-trumps-mar-a-lago-club-advertises-at-home--briefly/2017/08/07/7198576c-792f-11e7-9eac-d56bd5568db8_story.html?utm_term=.a004226af749

http://eyeonpbc.blog.mypalmbeachpost.com/2017/08/07/trump-backs-limits-to-immigration-as-mar-a-lago-seeks-foreign-workers/?ecmp=newspaper_email&

 

Sessions scolds Chicago for suing over “sanctuary cities” threat

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/07/us/chicago-sues-justice-department-over-sanctuary-crackdown.html?emc=edit_th_20170808&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/08/07/chicago-to-sue-justice-department-over-new-police-grant-rules-targeting-sanctuary-cities/?utm_term=.1b772ed239d0

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/07/sessions-emanuel-chicago-sanctuary-cities-241390

 

Miami-Dade complied with Trump to change its “sanctuary” status

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article165837497.html

 

Rubio says Trump-sponsored immigration bill is “not going to pass”

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2017/08/marco-rubio-says-trump-sponsored-immigration-bill-is-not-going-to-pass-.html

 

Government report finds drastic impact of climate change on U.S.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/07/climate/climate-change-drastic-warming-trump.html?_r=0
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/new-federal-report-finds-strong-link-between-climate-change-human-activity/2017/08/07/583283d2-7bdd-11e7-9d08-b79f191668ed_story.html?utm_term=.73f11af1c6b1

 

Federal agency censors use of term “climate change”, emails reveal

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/07/usda-climate-change-language-censorship-emails

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/08/trump-administration-climate-change-ban-usda?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=238528&subid=7590566&CMP=GT_US_collection

 

Report: More will go hungry due to climate change

http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2017-08-08/climate-change-air-quality/report-more-will-go-hungry-due-to-climate-change/a58884-1

 

Secrecy and suspicion surround Trump’s deregulation teams

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/07/business/trump-deregulation-teams-transportation-department.html?_r=0

 

Warren blocks Trump’s pick for antitrust chief

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-07/trump-s-pick-for-antitrust-chief-is-said-to-be-blocked-by-warren

 

Trump’s stalled trade agenda leaves industries in the lurch

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/07/us/politics/trumps-stalled-trade-agenda-leaves-industries-in-a-lurch.html

 

Canada vs. Mexico: Trump seeks to divide and conquer in NAFTA negotiations

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/08/canada-v-mexico-trump-seeks-to-divide-and-conquer-in-nafta-negotiations?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=238528&subid=7590566&CMP=GT_US_collection

 

Trump likes when CIA chief gets political, but officers are wary

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/07/us/politics/mike-pompeo-cia.html

 

U.S. may begin airstrikes against ISIS in Philippines

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u-s-may-begin-airstrikes-against-isis-philippines-n790271

 

Trump finally starts winning -- by copying Obama

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-finally-starts-winning--by-copying-obama/2017/08/07/695a6a6c-7bba-11e7-83c7-5bd5460f0d7e_story.html?utm_term=.4d81c413aac2

 

In attacking senator, Trump opens himself to criticism over the military. Again.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/08/07/in-attacking-blumenthal-trump-opens-himself-to-criticism-over-the-military-again/?utm_term=.24c4dbbfff6c

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/08/07/trump-renews-attack-on-democratic-senator-calling-him-a-vietnam-con-artist-on-twitter/?utm_term=.589fa0f424fb

 

Trump bashes the media but still loves good press

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/08/trump-media-stories-hemming-241392

 

The case of “Nicole Mincey,” the Trump fan who may actually be a Russian bot

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-curious-case-of-nicole-mincey-the-trump-fan-who-may-actually-be-a-russian-bot/2017/08/07/7aa67410-7b96-11e7-9026-4a0a64977c92_story.html?utm_term=.7c288847c170

 

How Trump's FCC aided Sinclair's expansion

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/06/trump-fcc-sinclair-broadcast-expansion-241337

 

 

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