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Round-up of Sunday editorials from Florida's leading newspapers

By on July 1, 2012

Tampa Bay Times: Peek at Florida corporate handouts isn’t pretty

”Oops. Gov. Rick Scott’s administration late last month inadvertently gave Floridians a more complete picture of how their tax money is being given away to corporations in an expensive attempt to create jobs. It’s not a pretty sight, and it raises more questions about corporate welfare, secrecy and whether the money would be better spent investing in the state.”

Bradenton Herald: Affordable Health Care Act spawns Medicaid dilemma

“Everyone’s focused on the individual mandate, but let’s talk Medicaid. The Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act unconstitutionally coerced the states into signing up for a Medicaid expansion, and the federal money that comes with it, by threatening them with a total cutoff of Medicaid funds if they didn’t accept. The court remedied this by saying that the Department of Health and Human Services could not reduce the states’ existing Medicaid funding, only the additional money they would have gotten. This outcome gives the red states that brought the lawsuit brand-new leverage. It will be a lot easier for them to tell the administration where it can put its Medicaid expansion.”

The Daytona Beach News-Journal: School Board should soften harsh pass-to-play policy

“Volusia County School Board members have begun the process of re-evaluating their strict pass-to-play policy for athletes. It’s a step in the right direction. The 15-year-old policy is viewed by some school officials as too strict — far stricter than those of the state and surrounding counties. Board members discussed possible changes at a meeting Tuesday. Basically, the policy makes athletes ineligible for extracurricular activities if they fail one of their core classes in a grading period.”

The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville.com: Jacksonville mayor’s first year earns an overall B-

“What a year it has been for Mayor Alvin Brown, starting with an incredibly close election that felt like a mandate due to bipartisan support. He has enjoyed more than a few successes, but on many measures, Brown’s progress has been disappointing.”

The Lakeland Ledger: The Ledger Recommends – Clerk of the Circuit Court: Stacy Butterfield

“Two candidates are competing for Polk County clerk of the circuit court. They are Stacy Butterfield and Sam Johnson. The race is nonpartisan and thus open to all voters. It will be decided in the Aug. 14 primary election.” 

The Miami Herald: One more time

OUR OPINION: Failing once, state shouldn’t fumble second chance at ALF reform

“The governor has reconvened the task force whose recommendations to bring deep reform to how assisted-living facilities treat their vulnerable clients died in the Legislature this year because (a) lawmakers caved in to big-money industry interests and (b) the governor, who swore that protecting the frail and elderly was his priority, failed to get out and push. Nor did he get out and lead, either. In the meantime, the worst of the ALF operators are still operating unimpeded, and anyone unlucky enough to be in their “care” remains unprotected. The panel of industry experts represents the best second chance to develop measures that will curb the types of mistreatment, abuse and bad — sometimes fatal — practices graphically recounted in The Miami Herald series Neglected to Death.”

The Orlando Sentinel: Attacks on environment invite public suspicion

“The current Legislature is either ambivalent or outright hostile to conservation causes, gleefully dismantling the state’s growth management laws, dozing off while Florida’s springs decline, and doing the bidding of their chamber of commerce masters. Gov. Rick Scott is no better. His environmental agenda so far has been pathetic, characterized primarily by a few outdoor photo ops. But he generally views environmental regulations as merely impediments to business.”

Tampa Tribune, TBO.com: Pain from health tax can easily get worse

“Like everyone else, we’re trying to understand how the nation’s new health care law might affect us, our families and friends and the nation. Like a majority of Americans, we are skeptical of this law’s ability to take us to the advertised destination: better care for more people at lower costs. And, assuming the law isn’t repealed before it is fully phased in, we can’t be sure what impact it will have on our own insurance and experience at our doctor’s office. Without a doubt, it brings big benefits to some of the sickest people whose insurance rates are exorbitant if they can get insurance at all. It provides subsidies to help low-income households buy coverage. The political question is whether this forced marriage of big government and for-profit insurance companies is the best Congress can do. We certainly hope not.”

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