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Florida Democratic Party News Clips — July 1, 2013

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TAMPA TRIBUNE: GOVERNOR SCOTT SHOULD SHOW LEADERSHIP AND FIX WEATHERFORD'S "MISTAKE" 

Medicaid refusal looms large [Tampa Tribune Editorial] "The state's decision to reject $51 billion in federal money to expand Medicaid looks more foolish with each passing day. Last week, two health insurance coalitions that represent some of the nation's largest corporations warned that the decision could cost the state thousands of jobs, punish businesses with millions in penalties and ultimately raise insurance premiums for employees across Florida. Gov. Rick Scott, the self-proclaimed jobs governor, needs to use the power of his office to marshal the political support needed to fix this mistake...Scott should use the economic argument to build a majority consensus in the House that can deliver the votes needed to bring the Medicaid expansion dollars to Florida - if not before the end of this year, then during the legislative session next spring."

  

ORLANDO SENTINEL ON EXPANDING HEALTH INSURANCE: "THIS ISN'T ROCKET SCIENCE"

Give businesses a boost: Expand health insurance [Orlando Sentinel] "So if providing health insurance to a million Floridians without it isn't enough to persuade lawmakers to accept $51 billion in federal funds over the next decade, how about taking the money and expanding coverage for the sake of lightening a heavy load on the state's employers?...This isn't rocket science. The 24 states that are accepting federal funds — provided under Obamacare to expand health insurance for the poor — will get fewer people showing up at emergency rooms who can't pay. In those states that'll mean less cost shifting to businesses. They'll be more competitive — and more inclined to invest, grow and hire — than their rivals in states with higher costs, like Florida...Adding another million Floridians to the insurance rolls also will create more than 100,000 new health care jobs, according to some studies...Scott, who urged lawmakers in February to expand health coverage, should get House and Senate leaders together and get cracking on a compromise. He can assure them it'll be good for business."

 

CATERING TO TEA PARTY MAY COST RICK SCOTT IN 2014

With each veto, Scott may be writing off voters [Palm Beach Post] "As the heap of bills awaiting Gov. Rick Scott’s signature thins, each one he approves or vetoes puts his mark on the state as chief executive but also carries potential impact for his 2014 re-election campaign...Scott’s vetoes, especially, paint a broad and sometimes dizzying landscape as he seeks to appeal to an array of voting groups to maintain his hold on the governor’s mansion. He used his red pen to veto an alimony overhaul that could win him support from women voters and a tuition increase that may endear him to younger voters, two blocs considered crucial for his reelection. His veto of a driver license measure that garnered near-unanimous support from the Legislature could signal Scott’s attempt to boost enthusiasm among tea party activists who helped him to victory three years ago but who were alienated by some of his actions this year...Scott’s veto may trouble Hispanic voters, one of the state’s fastest-growing demographics, and put him at odds with national Republicans courting Hispanics in the wake of the 2012 elections."

 

STUDY: MINORITIES FACED LONGER ELECTION LINES IN 2012

Presidential commission probes Florida voting lines, which study shows were longest for Hispanics [Miami Herald] "Hispanic voters waited longer at the polls last November than any other ethnic group, a statewide study has concluded, with black voters also experiencing longer delays than whites. The study, submitted Friday in Coral Gables to a bipartisan election reform commission created by President Barack Obama, found that precincts with a greater proportion of Hispanic voters closed later on Nov. 6 than precincts with predominantly white ones. In some cases, blacks also had longer waits than whites."

 

WITH DOMA GONE, TWO FT. LAUDERDALE MEN BECOME FIRST SAME-SEX COUPLE TO GET A GREEN CARD

Fort Lauderdale gay married binational couple first recognized for green card [Miami Herald] "Two Fort Lauderdale men are the first wedded same-sex couple recognized by the United States for a green card, winning their immigration battle two days after the Supreme Court ordered the federal government to honor gay marriages...Marsh received the good news on Friday, his 55th birthday. Two days before, the Supreme Court ruled section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. Section 3 had been the paragraph used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to deny green cards for foreign-born spouses in same-sex marriages. 'We are ecstatic that our country recognizes our marriage,' Marsh said Sunday. 'I never doubted the Supreme Court would not overturn DOMA. Ever. It was in my mind impossible that anybody could stop love.'"

  

STUDY SHOWS CHARTER SCHOOLS "LAGGING" BEHIND DESPITE INFLUX OF PUBLIC DOLLARS

Florida charter schools lagging, study says [Tampa Tribune] "Charter schools are on the rise in Florida, seen by some as a solution to chronically underperforming public schools. But Florida's growing penchant for funneling public money into charter schools hasn't universally translated into better performance, according to a national study released last week. Florida students in traditional public schools, on average, read at a higher level than those in charter schools and do just as well in math, according to the study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University, released Tuesday."