Week in Review 2/4/2017

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Here’s a quick week in review of some of the more interesting things that happened in the last week.


  • In 2018 John Morgan might run for Governor, sponsor a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage, or both. (link)
  • Florida joined the lawsuit against Miami-Beach Mayor Levine’s living wage ordinance which would set the cities minimum wage at $10.31. This is part of Levine’s campaign for Governor in 2018. (link)
  • SB610 would make businesses who ban guns liable to lawsuits from legal gun owners if a mass shooting happens. (link)
  • SB614 is a better marijuana bill. It’d open up more dispensaries and be less onerous than Sen. Bradley’s SB 406. (link)
  • Republican Sen. Jack Latvala is considering running for governor. I’m not sure how he’d beat Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putam in a primary though. Latvala is one of those mythical moderate Republicans who has worked with union, immigrants, and environmentalist to stop reactionary Republican bills in the last. (link)
  • The number of people leaving their ballots blank or putting invalid names such as Bernie Sanders and Mickie Mouse on their ballot for the 2016 presidential election in Florida was double that from 2008. At 1.7% the 161,000 votes could have made a difference considering Trump won Florida by 113,000 votes. (link)
  • A study titled “The Riches of the Melting Pot: How Diversity in Metropolitan Areas Helps Grow the Wages of Low and High-Wage Workers,” from New American Economy has some very interesting information about immigration in Gainesville, FL. In 1990 6.1% of the population was foreign born but in 2011 it was 11%. According to the study almost all of the economic gains from the bottom 25% of earners are due to this increase in diversity. Increased diversity accounts for only 1/4 of the income gains for the top 25% earners. (link)
  • HB 409 would require county Supervisor of Elections officers to text voters on the first day of early voting and also on election day. This bill would increase voter participation so it’s unlikely the Republican controlled House, Senate, and Governor will support it. (link)
  • Jacksonville is the last major city in Florida that doesn’t offer protections to LGBTQ people under their Office of Equal Opportunity. The commissioners are now debating if they should do a referendum or vote on the ordinance themselves. A referendum is being sought so that reactionary lawmakers can hide behind the veil of democracy while abdicating their responsibility to protecting their LGBTQ residents. (link)
  • Gov. Scott and Florida Legislators are going to have a big fight over the budget. Scott believes there will be a $2.8 Billion surplus while legislative economist project only $7.5 million. Whose right? Probably the legislators but that won’t stop Scott from pushing more tax cuts for the rich. Hopefully the conflict will keep them too busy to further cut services for working people, their attacks on women’s reproductive health, etc. (link)
  • Here’s a good breakdown of what Gov. Scott’s budget proposal looks like. A lot of it won’t make it through the Florida House/Senate though. (link)
  • You’ll be hearing a lot of self congratulatory back slapping over the record k-12 spending from Florida Republicans this year but it’s not true. While we’re spending more than a billion more than our 2007 high water mark our per student spending is still down. Also, inflation. (link)
  • State Sen Bean and Rep Metz are looking to file legislation to punish so called sanctuary cities. (link)
  • Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court. If appointed he’d be be to the right of recently departed Scalia and one of the most conservatives to ever serve on the Court. One of the biggest concerns with him his his opposition to assisted suicide due to life being inherently precious. This might be used as an opening to start rolling back women’s reproductive rights. (link)
  • Trump ordered a raid that killed around 30 civilians including an 8 year old American girl and an American service man in Yemen. The 8 year old American was was Nawar al-Awlaki was the daughter of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki who put out youtube videos for al-Qaida. Obama killed Anwar al-Awlaki in a drone strike in 2011. I’d like to remind you that Trump promised to kill the families of terrorist while on the campaign trail.  (link)
  • Trump’s Muslim ban canceled some 100,000 visas. His administration said it affected less than 200 people. What a bunch of… alternative facts. (link)
  • Some good news. Due to the large push back US Rep Chaffetz withdrew his bill to sell off over 3 mill acres of public land. (link) In a similar move the Uber CEO drops out of a Trump business advisory  council. (link)
  • Trump is seeking to “destroy” the law limiting political activity of Churches. (link) The House has already introduced a bill on it. (link)
  • Trump is seeking to roll back the Dodd-Frank Act. In a nut shell, Trump doesn’t want brokers to have to act in their client’s best interest. On the second week in office Trump is giving a massive boost to wall street crooks. (link)
  • The US Senate passed a rule making it easier to energy companies to pay off and be paid off by foreign counties. I’m sure former Exxon CEO and Secretary Tex Tillerson is salivating. (link)
  • Lifeline, a program that helps gives poor people access to the internet is under attack by the Trump administration. Nine companies were given the go-ahead to join the program but Trumps new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai put a stop to that. (link)

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