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  • Class Size Changes 1, March27, 2015
    Florida voters put class size limits into the constitution in 2002. As Matt Galka tells us, a bill passed by the Florida House would give schools a break for exceeding the class size numbers, but opponents say that’s not what voters wanted. A little more than a decade ago, Florida voters put caps on class […]
    Matt Galka
  • Uniforms Coming to a School Near You? 1, March26, 2015
    The Florida House of Representatives has given tentative approval this afternoon to make it easier for school districts to adopt standard uniform policies for kindergarten through eight grade. Under state law, uniforms are already allowed, but this legislation offers an encouragement. The legislation offers a ten dollar per student incentive for districts th […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Hitting a Donkey with a 2X4 1, March26, 2015
    One lawmaker likened legislation making major changes in the body that regulates high school sports in Florida to hitting a donkey on the head with a 2 x 4. The House Education committee today passed legislation requiring a complete shakeup of the governing organization, reorganizing its board and membership, allowing students to attend any school. […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Cards on the Table 1, March26, 2015
    Destination resort casinos, the future of greyhound racing, and renewing the compact that allows blackjack in certain places around the state. All were topics of discussion for lawmakers today, and as Matt Galka tells us, the odds are against getting many of the proposals to pass. A four hour long workshop saw legislators diving into […]
    Matt Galka
  • Turf wars: Nurses vs. Doctors. Round one to the Nurses 1, March25, 2015
    A turf war over your health care options is heating up at the State Capitol. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, it has to do with giving Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners more authority at the expense of doctors. Elizabeth Markovich isn’t a doctor, but she has a Doctorate degree in nursing and more than 15 years […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • A First for Political Theatre: Bag Monster 1, March25, 2015
    Take a look at this. He’s called a bag monster and he was walking around the state Capitol today to dramatize the harm done by plastic bags. According to the Surfrider Foundation, the average family uses 500 plastic bags a year that end up in land fills or in our waterways.Holly Parker says the Foundation […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Hillsborough County Comes to the Capitol 1, March25, 2015
    A pirate stormed through legislation offices today passing out beads and posing for pictures with lawmakers and staff as part of Hillsborough day in the State Capitol. The annual fest fed cuban sandwiches to more than a thousand people and offered stunts from the Museum of Science along with exhibits from the Lowery Park Zoo […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Taxis are Uber Mad 1, March25, 2015
    The boom of ride sharing services through smart phones has ruffled some feathers in the traditional cab company community.  As Matt Galka tell us, taxis say ride sharers are breaking the rules, and the legislature is trying to fix that. Tom Villaverde says he used to work 80 hours a week selling cars. “And I […]
    Matt Galka
  • Cut My Taxes 1, March24, 2015
    Governor Rick Scott is facing some opposition to his plan to cut 673 million dollars in taxes this year., so he kicked off what he is calling his “Cut My Taxes Week”  with a booth in the state Capitol. Even the Governor is adding to the confusion with a TV spot in which he says […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Confederate Vets Excluded from Hall of Fame…for now 1, March24, 2015
    5 people were inducted into the Veterans Hall of Fame today, but controversy continues to swirl around three who were nominated but not chosen because they served in the Confederate army. The law as written says they must have served in the US Military. One of them was David Lang’s great grandfather, who went on […]
    Mike Vasilinda

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Gerrymandering in Florida

November 25th, 2008 by Anna Laura Rehwinkel

State Supreme Court Justices are reviewing a proposal that could change the way legislative districts are drawn. Since Republicans took over in the mid 1990s, the districts are setup to give Republicans an advantage. And as Whitney Ray tells us, the recent Florida vote may be the proof the court needs to make changes for the future.

Hear it Here: Gerrymandering

On November 4th America spoke. Democrats won the White House and gained seats in Congress. Democrats outnumber Republicans here, but the state legislature remains overwhelmingly Republican. House Speaker Ray Sansom says voters made a conscious choice.

I commend the voters because they did a great job, in my opinion in Florida, of separating us from the national congress, Sansom said.

But choice at the state level was slim. One reason Obama lacked coat tails, says ACLU Spokesman Larry Spalding, is because legislative district lines give Republicans an unfair advantage.

We dont have competitive districts and the only reason we dont have competitive districts is because the legislature essentially gets to pick its own seats, Spalding said.

When the party in power draws lines to make sure they stay in the majority, its called gerrymandering.

A proposed constitutional amendment to stop gerrymandering is waiting for a decision from the Florida Supreme Court.

Attorney Barry Richard is arguing to put the amendment on the 2010 ballot.

Because the Republicans are in power now and because theyve drawn the districting, Democrats have a higher burden than Republicans in order to change the face of the legislature, Richard said.

The amendment, if approved by the court, would require fewer political considerations and more fairness when lines are redrawn in time for 2012.

If the anti-gerrymandering amendment is approved for the 2010 ballot it would need 60 percent approval to pass.

Posted in Elections, Legislature, State News, Voting | 7 Comments »

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