St. Petersburg Times – Good social policy, good business: University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft served her institution and her community well last week in announcing that USF would extend benefits to the domestic partners of its employees. The announcement was but a small part of Genshaft’s annual “State of the University” address. But it marked a big step forward in social policy — and also for the university’s bottom line.
Daytona Beach News Journal – Health-care debate demands rationality, leadership: The guns of August — the town-hall distortions and fabrications about health-care reform — sounded like white noise after President Obama’s speech to Congress on Wednesday. He didn’t silence the guns. But his voice, too indulgent through the summer, finally rose above the din, and with it a realistic vision of what’s possible for the first time in 65 years of attempts to enact universal health care.
Lakeland Ledger – Greer find center on health speech: Two weeks ago, Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer set off a minor firestorm by ripping President Barack Obama’s speech to students as an attempt to “indoctrinate America’s children to his socialist agenda.” While the move did bring Greer a dollop of national attention and myriad appearances on national TV, it also brought criticism from Democrats and Republicans as a shameless partisan ploy.
Miami Herald – Fix healthcare: President Barack Obama has laid out his vision for healthcare reform, setting a conciliatory but no-nonsense tone in his speech before Congress that outlined the parameters of a solid plan and the economic catastrophe ahead if nothing is done.
Orlando Sentinel – Keep astronauts flying: The presidential panel that looked at NASA’s future has presented the White House and Congress with a stark choice between raising the agency’s budget and abandoning a meaningful manned space program. But even with Washington, D.C., submerged in red ink, it would be historically shortsighted to give up on decades of U.S. leadership in sending astronauts into space.
Tallahassee Democrat – Help the harvest: To help alleviate the suffering of one in eight Americans, including many seniors and children, who struggle with hunger, America’s Second Harvest has declared September Hunger Action Month.
Tampa Tribune – Regional rail can start locally: The Hillsborough County Commission will soon decide whether to ask voters to increase the local sales tax to help pay for transportation improvements, including the first leg of what could grow into a multi-county rail system.