Today's news -- December 6, 2017

 

 

 

 

Effort to decertify public employee unions back again *

Public employees could see their unions put out of business if they don’t maintain at least a 50 percent membership. Unions say the idea has more to do with politics than good government. It is unions, more often than not, that bring hundreds of people to the State Capitol to rally against what they consider bad public policy. And it's Democrats, more often than not, who get union endorsements. Now, a GOP sponsored bill would require at least half of the people working in a unit represented by a union actually be union members. Rep. Scott Plakon of Altamonte Springs stated, “One person could claim to represent ten thousand, and again, I don’t think that’s right.” Tallulah Thomas, a behavioral specialist for the Florida State Hospital claimed, “We do not do this job to become rich or famous. We do this because we believe in the work.” Not included in the 50 percent membership requirement are public safety agencies. Public safety unions are more likely to be bipartisan in their political endorsements. Florida Education Association President Joanne McCall pulled no punches when we asked if the bill was union busting. McCall said, “This is definitely political. This is about silencing a voice. We have been politically active. We speak up. We speak out.” Its sponsor, though, says it’s just good public policy. When Plakon was asked if his intent was to “bust unions”, he responded, “You know they said that on the House floor last year. And again, this is about transparency, democracy and accountability.” The legislation is expected to clear the House early in the legislative session. Its future in the Senate is uncertain.

http://www.wctv.tv/content/news/Public-Florida-unions-at-odds-with-state-lawmakers-462171113.html

A fight over public employee labor unions is brewing in the Legislature. Critics are decrying a bill they say is aimed at union-busting, while the measure’s sponsor claims it’s meant to ensure unions are doing their jobs. The proposal says if fewer than half of eligible members pay public employee union dues that union could be forced to recertify with the state or risk losing its standing all together.  Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, says his bill is to make sure unions are being accountable to their members. “I just don’t think it’s right for a small percent, a few percent of leaders of a union to claim to represent 97 percent," he says. Public employee unions would have to include the number of employees eligible for representation and the number of those who are represented-both paying and non-paying, in their annual reports.  Firefighter, law enforcement and correctional unions are exempt, which critics say could pit unions against each other. The measure has repeatedly cleared the House, but has failed in the Senate in years past. Florida’s public employee unions are blasting the measure. Rep. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Boca Raton, says he expects the measure to ultimately fail as it has in years past. “All I have to say to the hardworking men and women who belong to the unions. … I would not fear. I would not fear when this bill passes this committee…I would not fear when it passes the house. This has a long way to go. Through the Legislature and ultimately to the courts.” Plakon’s bill requires public unions to include the number of dues paying and non-dues paying members in their annual reports, along with how many people are eligible for representation. If the number of non-dues paying members is below fifty percent, the union would have to re-certify with the state or risk being dissolved.

http://news.wfsu.org/post/effort-make-it-easier-de-certify-public-employee-unions-back-again

Republican legislation that could dramatically reduce the ranks of unionized teachers in Florida passed a key state House committee Tuesday. The vote clears the way for a floor vote when the 2018 legislative session begins next month. The measure is being fast-tracked by House leaders. While most bills must pass multiple committees before becoming eligible for floor votes, HB 25 has been assigned to just one panel: the Government Accountability Committee. The committee's 14-9 vote followed the bill's sole public hearing. The legislation would enhance the state's ability to dissolve local teacher unions that haven't signed up at least 50 percent of local teachers as members. Supporters contend a union shouldn't be allowed to represent the interests of rank-and-file teachers if a majority of the teacher population doesn't belong to the union. With many local unions currently failing to meet that threshold, thousands of teachers could be left without union representation. Weakening the political sway of the unions' statewide umbrella organization, the Florida Education Association, has been a top priority for House Speaker Richard Corcoran (R-Land O'Lakes). "The teachers' union is fixated on halting innovation and competition in education," Corcoran told his chamber at his swearing-in ceremony last year. "They are literally trying to destroy the lives of a hundred thousand children." Increased dissolution of local unions could wreak havoc on teachers' professional lives, critics warn. Without collective bargaining negotiations between union representatives and district administrators, the fiscal and policy contours of teacher contracts would largely be decided by bureaucrats. "This is politics at its best," said Florida Education Association President Joanne McCall. "We should want those of us that are with the students on a regular basis and the administration that's handling the money, we should make the decisions that matter to our students. It shouldn't be folks here (in the Legislature)." But House Republicans take issue with that notion, arguing they were elected to make decisions regarding education policy. And the feeling of contempt union officials have for them is, it seems, mutual. "It is downright evil," Corcoran has said of the FEA's agenda.

http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2017/12/5/republican_legislati.html


Venture capitalist champions private-school scholarships (Joanne McCall quoted)

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/school-zone/os-florida-private-school-choice-money-20171130-story.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SentinelSchoolZone+%28Sentinel+School+Zone%29

 

Hillsborough teachers keep the heat on after $92 bonus offer (HCTA mentioned)
http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/Hillsborough-teachers-keep-the-heat-on-after-92-bonus-offer_163310304?utm_source=TBT_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daystarter&utm_email=6575d82b873cf5ef9faac9fbc241bd1f

 

Early-release days moving to Fridays; more changes for Brevard teachers (Dan Bennett and Vanessa Skipper quoted)
http://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/2017/12/05/early-release-days-moving-fridays-more-changes-brevard-teachers/923258001/

 

Don’t use taxpayer money to fund religious organizations

http://www.gainesville.com/opinion/20171206/jiri-hulcr-dont-use-taxpayer-money-to-fund-religious-organizations

 

Pasco-Hernando State College faculty seeks to unionize (Caitlin Gille quoted)
http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/2017/12/05/pasco-hernando-state-college-faculty-seeks-to-unionize/#undefined.uxfs

 

House higher ed bill would tie funding to performance for HBCUs

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/363176-house-higher-education-bill-would-tie-funding-for-hbcus-to-performance

 

Education nominee for civil rights demonstrates hostility toward Title IX protections

https://thinkprogress.org/education-nominee-for-civil-rights-demonstrates-hostility-toward-title-ix-protections-ec9097b79d81/

 

USF should revisit approach to Title IX protections

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/Editorial-USF-should-revisit-approach-to-Title-IX-protections_163268063

 

House aims to roll out slimmer version of budget than Scott

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/251127-florida-house-aims-roll-slimmer-version-rick-scotts-budget

 

Senator files complaint against Latvala for interfering in investigation

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article188239494.html

https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2017/12/05/book-slaps-latvala-with-complaint-for-scorched-earth-tactics-against-sexual-harassment-accuser-134484

 

The coming nuclear war in the Florida Senate

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/251040-coming-nuclear-war-florida-senate

 

State’s Hurricane Irma loss estimates keep climbing

http://www.gainesville.com/news/20171205/floridas-irma-loss-estimates-keep-climbing

 

Recovery along the Withlacoochee River after hurricane

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/Column-Recovery-along-the-Withlacoochee-River-after-Hurricane-Irma_163303123

 

Details of generator rules draw criticism

http://www.gainesville.com/news/20171205/details-of-generator-rules-draw-criticism

 

Stop prosecuting kids as adults, advocates say

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/251063-prosecuting-kids-adults

 

Support for texting-while-driving law grows, as do concerns of more racial profiling.

http://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2017/12/05/support-for-new-texting-while-driving-law-grows-so-do-concerns-it-will-lead-to-more-racial-profiling/?utm_source=TBT_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DAILY%20BUZZ_with%20new%20logo_Clone%20before%20use&utm_email=6575d82b873cf5ef9faac9fbc241bd1f

 

Shot down: Three pro-gun bills defeated in Senate committee

http://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2017/12/05/shot-down-four-pro-gun-bills-defeated-in-senate-committee/

http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20171205/steube-stifled-again-on-gun-bills-after-senate-committee-kills-measures

http://www.theledger.com/news/20171205/gun-bills-silenced-in-senate-committee

https://apnews.com/0cd1a5e3c79d4e5199ddcb1952c31c9f/Deadlocked:-Florida-Legislature-unlikely-to-pass-gun-bills

 

Creation of slavery memorial at Capitol moves forward

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/political-pulse/os-slavery-memorial-20171205-story.html

 

“Moonlight” writer will tell the story of segregation walls with Miami art project

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article188087499.html

 

Good wins Democratic primary for Sarasota state House seat

http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20171205/good-wins-democratic-primary-for-sarasota-state-house-seat

 

Disputes Republicans need to resolve before they can pass their tax bill

https://thinkprogress.org/here-are-the-disputes-republicans-need-to-resolve-before-they-can-pass-their-tax-bill-e8fd0fa7af91/

 

Experts find tax plan riddled with glitches

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/06/tax-plan-glitches-mistakes-republicans-208049

 

House Republicans already shooting down tax bill’s promises

https://www.thedailybeast.com/house-republicans-already-shooting-down-tax-bills-promises

 

The Republican war on economics

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/12/the-republican-war-on-economics.html

 

Trump pressuring congressional Republicans to speed up on tax reform

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/05/trump-tax-reform-timing-republicans-280987

 

Tax plan aims to slay a Reagan target: the government beast

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/business/economy/tax-plan-reagan.html?emc=edit_tnt_20171205&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y&_r=0

 

Tax plan crowns a big winner: Trump’s industry

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/business/economy/tax-bill-real-estate.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

 

The Trump tax cuts for the rich must, and will, be repealed

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/12/the-trump-tax-cuts-for-the-rich-must-and-will-be-repealed.html

 

Trump’s tax plan is still even less popular than Trump

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/12/05/trumps-tax-plan-is-still-even-less-popular-than-trump/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.823147b366cc

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/06/us/politics/tax-cuts-public-opinion-koch-brothers.html?emc=edit_tnt_20171206&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

“Tax the rich, not the sick”: Hundreds storm D.C. offices to protest tax bill

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/05/tax-rich-not-sick-hundreds-storm-capitol-hill-offices-denounce-gop-tax-bill?utm_term=%27Tax%20the%20Rich%2C%20Not%20the%20Sick%21%27%3A%20Hundreds%20Storm%20Capitol%20Hill%20Offices%20to%20Denounce%20GOP%20Tax%252

 

In a win for Scientology, House tax bill favors more political freedom for churches

http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/In-a-potential-win-for-Scientology-House-tax-bill-favors-more-political-freedom-for-churches_163283652?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

 

Trump campaign adviser says GOP tax overhaul is “death to Democrats”

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-campaign-adviser-says-gop-tax-overhaul-death-to-democrats?utm_content=buffer0a042&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

Among the tax bill’s biggest losers: high-income, blue state taxpayers

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/05/us/politics/tax-bill-salt.html?emc=edit_cn_20171206&nl=first-draft&nlid=3179832&te=1&mtrref=undefined

 

Nelson scores victory on insurance plan but it helped passage of tax bill he dislikes

http://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/politics/2017/12/05/nelson-scores-victory-insurance-plan-but-helped-passage-gop-tax-bill-he-dislikes/924623001/

 

Castor named to tax conference committee

http://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2017/12/04/rep-kathy-castor-named-to-tax-conference-committee/?utm_source=TBT_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DAILY%20BUZZ_with%20new%20logo_Clone%20before%20use&utm_email=6575d82b873cf5ef9faac9fbc241bd1f

 

Food stamp changes may usher in welfare reform push

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/05/agriculture-food-stamps-281671

 

Divisions in both parties over spending raise risks of a shutdown on Friday

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/divisions-in-both-parties-over-spending-raise-risks-of-a-shutdown-on-friday/2017/12/05/9985ee9a-d9c1-11e7-a841-2066faf731ef_story.html?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.d02fd18b7f9e

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/05/house-gop-spending-stopgap-280953

 

The 2017 government shutdown fight, explained

https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/policy-and-politics/2017/10/23/16492584/government-shutdown-explained

 

Trump Jr. asked Russian lawyer for info on Clinton Foundation

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/donald-trump-jr-asked-russian-lawyer-info-clinton-foundation-n826711

 

Investigators probe European travel of Trump associates

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/06/trump-europe-russia-travel-281134

 

McFarland provides the latest example of the Trump team’s deceiving denials

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/12/05/k-t-mcfarland-provides-the-latest-example-of-the-trump-teams-highly-deceiving-russia-denials/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.a154de9b2533

 

Trump’s revamped fight against the FBI mirrors his approach to the presidency

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/12/05/trumps-revamped-fight-against-the-fbi-is-a-distillation-of-his-approach-to-the-presidency/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.3c3bb60060fa

 

Congress to grill Trump’s data guru and his longtime assistant

https://www.thedailybeast.com/congress-to-grill-trumps-data-guru-and-assistant

 

Sixteen GOP senators say that president can obstruct justice

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/12/05/sixteen-republican-senators-are-on-the-record-as-saying-that-a-president-can-obstruct-justice/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.38bad167a7da

 

The new right-wing attack on the Mueller probe, explained

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/12/5/16737350/mueller-russia-scandal-peter-strzok-trump

 

Special counsel investigation has cost at least $6.7 million

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/us/politics/mueller-trump-russia-investigation-costs.html?emc=edit_cn_20171206&nl=first-draft&nl_art=&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1&mtrref=undefined

 

Stop demonizing Medicaid

http://jacksonville.com/opinion/editorials/2017-12-04/tuesday-editorial-stop-demonizing-medicaid

 

The CHIP program is beloved. Why is its funding in danger?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/health/childrens-health-insurance-program.html?emc=edit_tnt_20171205&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

Get health coverage during ACA open enrollment

http://www.tallahassee.com/story/opinion/2017/12/05/opinion-get-health-coverage-during-aca-open-enrollment/923314001/

 

Woman with stage 4 cancer ejected from GOP senator’s event for asking a question https://thinkprogress.org/dean-heller-laura-packard-health-care-29b7e4649631/

 

FEMA staffers told they might be billed for working too much

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-05/fema-tells-staffers-they-might-get-billed-for-working-too-much

https://theslot.jezebel.com/fema-says-it-might-bill-employees-for-working-overtime-1821013797

 

Three months after Hurricane Harvey, opinions on Trump’s response “tilt negative”

https://thinkprogress.org/texas-residents-still-struggling-ac8b5e4ccad5/

 

Administration touts border arrests as proof of crackdown on illegal immigration

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/us/politics/border-arrests-immigration-homeland-security.html?emc=edit_cn_20171206&nl=first-draft&nl_art=&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1&mtrref=undefined&mtrref=www.nytimes.com

 

As “Dreamers” grow more anxious, little support comes from Florida Republicans

http://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2017/12/05/as-dreamers-grow-more-anxious-little-support-comes-from-florida-republicans/

 

“Dreamers” from Central Florida head to D.C. to lobby for Clean DREAM Act

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-dreamers-march-washington-20171205-story.html

 

LGBTQ rights just had a horrible day in the Supreme Court

https://thinkprogress.org/lgbtq-rights-horrible-day-scotus-e189ca49c6c3/

https://www.thenation.com/article/justice-kennedy-appears-ready-to-undo-his-own-legacy-on-lgbtq-rights/

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/us/politics/supreme-court-same-sex-marriage-cake.html?emc=edit_cn_20171206&nl=first-draft&nlid=3179832&te=1

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-asked-if-wedding-cake-bakers-case-protects-religious-freedom-or-illegal-discrimination/2017/12/05/c73e6efa-d969-11e7-a841-2066faf731ef_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_baker-1045am:homepage/story&utm_term=.d669b2437a7d

 

The true statement about anti-gay beliefs that set off Justice Kennedy

https://thinkprogress.org/kennedy-masterpiece-snowflake-2ac761d8a5d3/

 

Supreme Court wedding cake case isn’t about cake at all

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-supreme-court-wedding-cake-case-isnt-about-cake-at-all/2017/12/04/84b69364-d92d-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.88a426a27202

 

Consumer bureau’s new leader steers a sudden reversal

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/business/cfpb-mick-mulvaney.html

 

Zinke recommends Trump shrink two more national monuments

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/05/ryan-zinke-national-monuments-cascade-siskiyou-gold-butte?CMP=edit_2221

https://thinkprogress.org/attack-on-public-lands-continues-88a19b2c7bc0/

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/dec/06/trump-cuts-national-monuments-assault-humanity-fight-utah-bears-ears-grand-staircase-escalante?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=255526&subid=7590566&CMP=GT_US_collection

 

Trump science job nominees missing advanced science degrees

https://www.statnews.com/2017/12/05/science-degrees-trump-administration/

https://apnews.com/fc357285cc2d491abfa5cc0d817603ba

 

Fed, perplexed by low inflation, is still ready to raise rates

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/us/politics/fed-inflation-rates.html?emc=edit_cn_20171206&nl=first-draft&nl_art=&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1&mtrref=undefined

 

White House aide is confirmed as Homeland Security secretary

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/us/politics/kirstjen-nielsen-confirmed-homeland-security-secretary.html?emc=edit_cn_20171206&nl=first-draft&nl_art=&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1&mtrref=undefined

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/12/05/senate-confirms-kirstjen-nielsen-to-head-department-of-homeland-security-installing-a-close-ally-of-john-f-kelly/?utm_term=.6c7c55441b70

 

Air Force failed to alert the FBI about shooter. Other branches are much worse.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/12/05/the-air-force-failed-to-alert-the-fbi-about-devin-kelley-other-branches-are-much-worse-at-reporting-violent-criminals/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.d7ec826cce3a

 

U.S. to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, alarming Mideast leaders

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/world/middleeast/american-embassy-israel-trump-move.html

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/05/trump-israel-jerusalem-embassy-281812

 

Palestinian envoy says U.S. recognition of Jerusalem is “declaring war”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-israel-britain-palestinians/palestinian-envoy-says-u-s-recognition-of-jerusalem-is-declaring-war-idUSKBN1E00UO

 

Trump’s plan to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel will derail diplomacy

https://www.vox.com/2017/12/5/16735072/trump-jerusalem-capital-embassy-palestinians-israelis

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/06/donald-trump-jerusalem-statement-capital-israel-middle-east?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=255526&subid=7590566&CMP=GT_US_collection

 

A reckoning on sexual misconduct? Absolutely. But how harsh, women ask.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/business/sexual-harassment-debates.html?emc=edit_cn_20171206&nl=first-draft&nlid=3179832&te=1&mtrref=undefined

 

Time honors “The Silence Breakers” for speaking out against sexual harassment

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2017/12/06/times-person-of-the-year-the-silence-breakers-for-speaking-out-against-sexual-harassment/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.05f01dbfcf2d

https://apnews.com/841ff18ab80644d78a88a5d7d5101ba7?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP

 

How brands secretly buy their way into Forbes, Fast Company, and HuffPost stories

https://theoutline.com/post/2563/how-brands-secretly-buy-their-way-into-forbes-fast-company-and-huffpost-stories

 

 

 

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