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Session 2014
12:24 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

What The Florida Education Association Is Looking For During The Legislative Session

FEA President Andy Ford
Credit NEA Public Relations

In his State of the State address on Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott promoted his $18.8 billion budget for education.

But if it were up to Florida Education Association president Andy Ford, there would be even more money going to Florida’s public schools.

The Florida Education Association is the state umbrella group for Florida teachers’ unions. Before the legislative session began, Ford sat down with StateImpact Florida to talk about policy priorities this year.

Q: Where is FEA on the Common Core State Standards now?

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Florida Politics
9:39 am
Wed March 5, 2014

How Gov. Rick Scott's State Of The State Compares To What Floridians Want

A word cloud of Governor Rick Scott's State of the State, which emphasized tax cuts and focused on successes in job creation

A campaigning incumbent always has to be upbeat and, in reporting on how you’ve done, you don’t want to bring down the party. Gov. Rick Scott was no exception.

Every state legislative session begins with an address by the Governor on the state of the state. But what if the people of Florida gave that speech instead?

We joined other Florida public radio stations and asked Floridians what they think the state has done well -- or badly -- and how it manifests in their daily lives. Here's what residents from across the state had to say:

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Digital Media
7:33 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Tech Group 'Chicas Poderosas' Comes To FIU's Journalism School

Mariana Santos spoke with students and faculty at Florida International University on Tuesday Mar. 4, 2014
Credit Diego Saldana-Rojas / WLRN

One Portuguese woman is set on the mission to educate women journalists on technology and leadership.

Fittingly, Mariana Santos spoke at FIU's Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communications this Tuesday, telling students and staff about her experiences working at the Guardian, in Latin America and in the current state of journalism.

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The Governor
5:50 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Scott: I Inherited A Mess From Charlie Crist. But Look At Me Now.

Credit JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NEWS

Gov. Rick Scott presented his record on job creation and economic growth in his fourth State of the State message to a joint session of the Legislature on Tuesday, March 4. It was partly a personal speech about his early life in poverty. But it seemed mostly focused on making sure he doesn’t lose a second term to former Governor Charlie Crist.

Here's Rick Stone's radio report.

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Public Transportation
5:27 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

No More Long Wait Times For Broward Buses

Credit Broward County Transit

  Broward transit began installing a $12.6-million bus-locating software on Monday. The application will help Broward residents who take the bus keep track of where their ride is. 

"The app will give them real-time schedule information so wherever they are; whether they’re at a bus stop or at home, or shopping," said Broward Transit spokeswoman Doris Williams. "They can put in the bus stop number and the application will let them see the real-time information of when their bus will arrive at the stop."

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Latin America Report
4:16 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

What My Talks With Hugo Taught Me About Chavismo In Venezuela

Hugo Chavez (left) talking to Tim Padgett in 2006
Credit Steve Pyke

Back in 1998, just before he was first elected President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez described his socialist revolution to me:

“Our revolution is like a river and the rain,” he said with typical bravado. “It’s a natural force.”

These days, it’s looking more like a spent force.

Today, March 5, marks the first anniversary of Chávez’s death from cancer. He was still in power when he died, and his revolution still rules Venezuela.

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Schools
4:11 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Miami-Dade Students Aren't Eating Their Free Breakfasts

A new study says low-income students aren't taking advantage of free breakfasts.
Credit Creative Commons via Bob Nichols / USDA

For years, public schools have offered free breakfast and lunch to kids from low-income families. But a new study says only a fraction of those who get their free lunch are eating their free breakfast. In Miami-Dade County, for every 100 students who get free lunch, only 41 are taking advantage of the morning meal.

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Guns
1:24 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Mayors' Hands Tied When It Comes To Backyard Gun Ranges

Credit Bar Jack/Flickr

On Monday, Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan released a series of letters between him, Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi, in which he questions the logic of a state law preventing municipalities from implementing their own gun controls.

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Session 2014
7:00 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Session Preview: Tax Cuts And Rosy Budget Outlook In An Election Year

Activists rally outside the Capitol on the eve of Session 2014.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

March 4 marks the start of the 2014 Florida Legislative session at the Capitol. It runs through May 2.

For two months, lawmakers will consider proposed legislation on everything from marijuana to red-light cameras.

All they really have to do is come up with a spending plan for the fiscal year that begins in July.  Gov. Rick Scott is recommending half a billion dollars in tax and fee cuts.

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Session 2014
6:50 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

The Legislature's Big Time Suck: Wordy Casino Bills

Credit z4x7.blog.com

The Florida Legislature formally opens its 60-day session on March 14, but it's already clear that the biggest time and energy suck of the session is likely to be the package of bills that could bring multi-billion-dollar resort casinos to South Florida.

The Senate Gaming Committee unveiled the legislation on Monday and, as WLRN-Miami Herald reporter Rick Stone tells us, it was also a chance for gambling opponents to preview their objections.

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Links
3:14 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

WLRN's Five Most Popular Stories Feb. 24-28

Credit Jeffery Katz / Florida Department of Transportation

The I-95 express lanes' toll increase made it to the top of our list this week, only furthering the idea that South Floridians can't live without their vehicles and highways. Two more stories involving roads and transportation also made it to the top five this week, which made us wonder... are you reading while driving? If so, stop!

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The Sunshine Economy
11:42 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Commerce is Brewing: Coffee Biz in South Florida

Credit Tom Hudson

  

How do you like your coffee? Cafe cubano? Latte? Black?  

American coffee consumption is growing again, including specialty, gourmet coffee.  Roasters in South Florida are going cup to cup with big national brands, which are working to bring cafe cubano blends to a national market.

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The End of the Road
4:17 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Trying To Free Up 95 Express, FDOT Prices 'Lexus Lanes' At Lamborghini Rates

Credit Jeffery Katz / Florida Department of Transportation

“Lexus lanes” may have been too cheap for Miami. This past Saturday morning, South Florida drivers traded in for “Lamborghini lanes.”

The maximum possible toll on the 95 Express lanes increased from $7.00 to $10.50 — the mininum has doubled to 50 cents — in response to record numbers of motorists forking over what was thought to be a discouragingly high amount of money.

“That day you paid seven bucks, we were trying to get you not to go there,” said Rory Santana, who oversees Miami-Dade County’s stretch of 95 Express for the Florida Department of Transportation.

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Politics
3:24 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Republicans Split Over Cheaper Tuition For Undocumented Students

Sen. Jack Latvala's tuition bill includes price breaks for families that pay taxes in Florida, whether they're documented or not.
Credit Greenspoon Marder/flickr

Florida's undocumented residents may soon have access to cheaper college tuition. The proposal is part of a sweeping bill aimed at reducing the cost of higher education.

Undocumented students could pay in-state tuition if they meet certain eligibility requirements. They’ve been paying the out-of-state rate, which is three times more expensive.

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Commute
3:23 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Lieutenant Governor Visits PortMiami For Update On Tunnel Progress

Credit Port of Miami Tunnel

Sometimes it seems like construction projects around South Florida never end. One major project, however, is getting close. Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera visited PortMiami this week to tour the tunnel being built there. He says in about 80 days, your commute downtown could get a little shorter.

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