Submitted by cmosteller on Wed, 09/13/2017 - 12:23

FAC News Clips – September 13, 2017




Pensacola News Journal

Proposed budget cuts could mean 3 percent raises for Escambia County staff

A proposed plan could save Escambia County $3.7 million — enough to give Sheriff's Office deputies and county employees 3 percent raises — but it's likely not enough to keep Sheriff David Morgan from appealing his department's budget to Gov. Rick Scott. The Escambia County Commission held the first of two public hearings on the budget on Tuesday, and commissioners voted 5-0 to pass the first of two votes to approve the $455.6 million budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. They also heard a proposal for $3.7 million in cuts to fund 3 percent raises for all county employees.


Gainesville Sun

County passes tentative 2018 budget

A $164 million tentative budget for the 2018 fiscal year was unanimously approved by the Alachua County Commission. The vote was taken without a single county resident in attendance during a public hearing held Tuesday evening at the Alachua County Administration Building. To meet the tentative general fund budget proposal, the commission rolled back the general fund property tax millage rate from 8.9290 mills this fiscal year to 8.4648 for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The change won’t become official until Sept. 26, when the county finally adopts the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.


Panama City News Herald

Bay County moves toward true tax decrease

PANAMA CITY — Bay County Commissioners on Tuesday night approved of a budget that lowers property taxes and includes $2.1 million to subsidize the county’s ambulance service and includes funding for nonprofit agencies. No one from the public showed up to comment at the first of two public hearings. The commission in the first of two votes tentatively approved of a general fund property millage rate of 4.43 mills, a decrease of 4.6 percent decrease from last year’s millage rate of 4.65.


Jackson County Floridan

County board approves liquor ballot, agrees to pay for half the election costs

In this 2011 Floridan file photo, a large crowd gathers at the Russ House in Marianna to kick off a “Jackson Yes” petition drive to put by-the-drink liquor sales up for a public vote in Jackson County. During a meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, Jackson County commissioners were to reconsider the issue, this time prompted by a group called Jackson Forward. Jackson County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a mail-in ballot to let voters decide whether liquor can be sold by the drink in the county.


Hurricane Irma


Florida Today

Opinion: Irma, Harvey and Sandy: We need a Marshall Plan for future disasters like these

When superstorm Sandy struck my home state of New York in 2012, it dealt a severe blow to communities that were unprepared for a major flooding event — even though many of them were literally right on the water. People died, property was destroyed and lives were ruined because residents and local governments failed to appreciate the risk. Now the same story is unfolding in Texas and Florida. The tragic truth is that we know all too well that cities and towns on the coast and near major waterways are vulnerable to storms.


Miami Herald

Editorial: State, feds and locals must help rescue the Florida Keys

With one road in and one road out, it’s taking some time to discover the full extent of damage in the Florida Keys after Hurricane Irma stormed onto land there. Once police, emergency personnel — and the Miami Herald — were able to survey the situation, the only word that seemed fitting, for the Lower Keys especially, was “devastation” — Gov. Scott’s description. The Keys are a fragile strand of islands — with an equally fragile environment, exposed to the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Bay — and least able to withstand an intense hurricane.



Local representatives reassure Northeast Florida that FEMA has the resources to rebuild

After 2 major hurricanes have hit the United States, questions about FEMA funding have started to pop up.  After getting an update on the damage caused by Irma in St. Johns County, Local Representatives (R) Congressman John Rutherford, (R) Congressman Ron DeSantis, and (R) Senator Marco Rubio gave an update on the relief efforts there.  On the question of whether FEMA has the money, after a Hurricane Harvey aid bill was passed, Congressman Ron DeSantis replied



Leon County Sending Law Enforcement Help to Lee County

With Leon County’s storm recovery well underway, the county’s Sheriff’s Department has sent help to a far more storm-tossed area to the south. While Tropical Storm Irma did not leave the Capital Region unscathed, Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil pointed out the situation was far more serious elsewhere. A large delegation of Sheriff's Department employees gather for a group photo before bidding farewell to their mobile and human assets, which will soon be on the road to Fort Myers.


Miami Herald

Florida presses for federal dollars after Irma, but budget hawks resist

Many members of Florida’s congressional delegation couldn’t be in Washington for votes on Tuesday, as the state began a massive cleanup after Hurricane Irma. But that hasn’t stopped them from pressing colleagues who were spared Irma’s wrath to join in their quest for federal help. Miami Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the only member from Florida in office when Hurricane Andrew made landfall 25 years ago, is urging Washington to treat her state as it did Texas just a week ago.


Tampa Bay Times

Editorial: Remaining patient after Irma

There is no getting around it. Returning to normal after Hurricane Irma, even in very fortunate Tampa Bay, is going to take a while. Hundreds of thousands of Tampa Bay households on Tuesday remained without power, traffic signals were still out at hundreds of intersections and public schools throughout the region will be closed until Monday. We need to continue to be resourceful, helpful to our neighbors — and patient. Nearly 6 million households statewide were without electricity Tuesday as Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy and Tampa Electric brought in thousands of workers to help restore power.


Health Care


Sarasota Herald Tribune

Pennisi: LIP penny vs. Medicaid dollars

There’s good news and bad news for Florida in the federal government’s recent decision to approve more dollars for Florida’s uncompensated care pool, known as the Low Income Pool or LIP. Gov. Rick Scott is to be commended for utilizing his relationship with the administration in Washington to bring this funding to Florida. But while the additional dollars for the pool will help, they do nothing to move the needle on Florida’s access to health coverage. In other words, LIP dollars won’t insure a single Floridian.