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  • Blackjack Gambling Deal Set to Expire 1, October12, 2015
    The clock is ticking on the state’s gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe. As Matt Galka tells us, state lawmakers say they won’t discuss a new deal during their special session at the end of the month, meaning time could run out on blackjack being offered at casinos around Florida. The ongoing back and forth […]
    Matt Galka
  • Florida Legal Marijuana Growers Look to Future for Profits 1, October12, 2015
    As we reported last week, State Health officials don’t know when they will issue 5 licenses required by law to grow legal marijuana. When the licenses are issued, it will become an expensive investment, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, those applying to grow legal pot are looking to the future for profits. In British […]
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  • 81 Year Old Peddling Across Country for a Purpose 1, October9, 2015
    81 Year old Tom Cawood left San Deigo California on his bicycle August 24th with his wife following in an RV. They are headed for Saint Augustine Florida, in part to see if he can make it and in part to do some good. Six weeks later, as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the couple’s destination […]
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  • Fantasy Sports Could Pose Real Problem in Florida 1, October9, 2015
    If you’ve watched even a little bit of a sporting event this year, you’ve probably seen a commercial for companies DraftKings and FanDuel. As Matt Galka tells us, the fantasy sports businesses could create plenty of real problems in the state. The advertisements are almost unavoidable. Daily fantasy sports companies Draft Kings and FanDuel hock […]
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  • Drivers License Suspensions Under Senate Scrutiny 1, October8, 2015
    Nearly one point four million Floridians had their drivers license suspended last year. The vast majority of the suspensions were for failing to pay a fine, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, lawmakers say the system creates a vicious cycle from which some people never recover. Every day, on just about every police blotter in […]
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  • Senate Panel Votes to Remove Confederate Flag from Seal 1, October8, 2015
    The Confederate flag is still on display in a prominent place in Florida’s Capitol. As Matt Galka tells us, Florida state Senators could be removing it entirely soon. It’s not the most noticeable symbol at the Capitol. But for State Senator Arthenia Joyner, the Confederate Flag on the Senate’s seal became plain as day over […]
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  • Pastor Protection Act Clears First Committee 1, October7, 2015
    The Supreme Court ruling earlier this year legalizing gay marriage across the country has sparked potential new legislation in Florida. As Matt Galka tells us, some in Florida’s Capitol believe clergy need new protections to preserve their faith. St. Petersburg pastor Paul Gibson doesn’t have same sex couples knocking down his door for him to […]
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  • Backyard Gun Ranges Could Soon Be Illegal in Urban Areas 1, October7, 2015
    Back yard gun ranges and firing a gun into the air to celebrate…if it’s in an urban area, would be against the law under a bill that cleared its second legislative committee today. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, lawmakers say they are trying to balance public safety with the rights of gun owners. Residents of […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Open Carry Could be Coming to Florida 1, October6, 2015
    Florida owns the record for concealed carry permits in the country. But as Matt Galka tells us, more than one million Floridians with those permits could soon be able to walk around with their guns on display. 45 states allow some type of open carry of firearms.  Florida is one of only five that outlaw […]
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  • Lawmakers Criticize Medical Marijuana Delay (Again) 1, October6, 2015
    The state Department of Health was unable to provide lawmakers with a timeline today as to when low THC marijuana will be available to patients. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the authorizing legislation was passed almost 18 months ago, and the failure to deliver the medicine is frustrating lawmakers. Five licenses to grow medical marijuana […]
    Mike Vasilinda

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School Administrators Seek Help From Lawmakers

December 16th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

State House members are in Tallahassee today and tomorrow looking at ways to cut more than 2 billion dollars from the state budget. As one of the largest items, schools face some of the largest cuts, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, school officials from around the state are at the Capitol pleading for mercy.

Hear it Here: School Administrators Seek Help From Lawmakers

Florida spends 140 million dollars a year recognizing A and B schools. The schools use the money for everything from ice cream socials to clowns and fairs. But in tight budget times like these, CFO Alex Sink says the non mission critical budget items need to go.

If we get down to making a decision, or the legislature has to make a decision between cutting teachers out of the classroom or continuing to fund a program thats not mission critical, I know where I would make the choice, Sink said.

The call for reexamining the budget comes as school officials from around the state are walking Capitol hallways looking for relief. Miami Dades Superintendent told state house members firing people could actually make economic conditions worse.

If we begin downsizing by the thousands, and thats what a 100 million dollar or 200 million dollar reduction will result in, these people will go on welfare and these people will not find jobs in the current economy, Miami Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said.

One school official here working the hallways commented only partially in jest that what the state budget really needs is CPR.

State Education commissioner Eric Smith is warning school boards to brace for the worst.

Further cuts are going to be very difficult to manage at the district level, at the community college level, Smith said.

Legislative committee meetings on the cuts are just beginning. The tough decisions begin when lawmakers come back in early January.

One idea to offset school cuts is to allow local districts to use tax money earmarked for construction in the classroom, at least temporarily.

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