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Hillsborough Superintendent: Deficit Spending "Can't Continue"

It was with great fanfare in 2009 that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced it was giving $100 million to Hillsborough County schools for a program called Empowering Effective Teachers -- one of just three public school districts in the country awarded the grant. At the time, it was at the forefront of the movement to pay teachers for performance, rather than seniority.Now, the district won't be getting a fifth of that money. And the consequences to the school district's budget are coming clear. Increases in teacher pay and bonuses haven't been matched by the Gates Foundation money or other revenue, forcing the school district to dip into its financial reserves.
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A day after proposing that hospitals post prices online, Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday linked "transparency" to state funding for hospitals.

Guns, Medical Marijuana At Issue In House

Sep 30, 2015

As lawmakers continue preparing for the 2016 legislative session, House panels next week will take up a bill that would allow people to openly carry firearms and will get an update about a medical-marijuana law passed last year.

Former Governor Jeb Bush is taking to the airwaves with his first commercial, saying during his time in office, he he cut spending and Florida led the nation in creating new jobs. To check on those claims, WUSF's Steve Newborn checks in with PolitiFact Florida's Josh Gillen.

The presidential campaign is beginning to swirl, and one of Florida's favorite sons is stirring the mix with this political message:

Scott, Cabinet Start Talks on Dozier Site Future

Sep 29, 2015
Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet began discussions Tuesday on the future of the shuttered Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, a former state-run reform school where children are alleged to have been abused and died.

However, no decisions were made as the state officials agreed to await a final report expected in January from University of South Florida researchers, who excavated the 1,400-acre site about 70 miles west of Tallahassee and continue to try identify remains.

Clinton Global Initiative

Former President Bill Clinton has announced a partnership to turn part of downtown Tampa into a more walkable, healthy place to live and work.

Though Mr. Rubio, never mentioned any opponents by name, his arguments for generational change were barely disguised shots at Florida’s former governor, Jeb Bush, a rival candidate. “The time has come for both the Republican Party and the United States of America to elect a new generation of leaders with ideas relevant to the times in which we live,” Mr. Rubio said.

Al Gore Criticizes Rick Scott at Climate-Change Summit

Sep 29, 2015

Al Gore reserved most of his criticisms for the state Legislature and Florida’s power companies, who are fighting a proposed Florida constitutional amendment calling for more solar power. After a group aligned with the solar industry called Floridians for Solar Choice proposed the amendment, a power company-funded group called Consumers for Smart Solar began efforts to place a rival initiative on the ballot. "The coal burning electric utilities use their legacy political connections and power and wealth and lobbying and campaign contributions in order to absolutely control the state legislature and the governor's office so that the people of Florida are denied the laws and regulations and opportunities to take advantage of buying electricity for a cheaper price by turning away from the monopoly," Gore said. “The coal burning monopolies are trying to fool you.”


Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly was elected to represent Florida’s 13th Congressional district in a special election in 2014, and was re-elected in November 2014. 

This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 4 at 7:30 a.m., we feature a newsmaker special with Jolly, who is now campaigning for the Senate seat being vacated by  U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.  

Scott Assails 'Price Gouging' At Hospitals

Sep 29, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday said he will push a series of proposals targeting "price gouging" in the hospital industry, including a proposal that would require hospitals to post online the prices and average payments for services they provide.

Settlement Could Offer More Options For People With Mental Illness

Sep 29, 2015

The state Department of Children and Families has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by Disability Rights Florida and move toward providing more options for people who are mentally ill to live in their communities instead of in state mental hospitals.


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