“Mister speaker, the president of the Florida Senate. Let the president be received!”
A stately welcome for Mike Haridopolos, a man whose top lieutenant on Monday accused House Speaker Dean Cannon of playing 'stunts' with Florida's budget.
The comment threatened to throw the legislature into overtime, but after a night of backroom deal-making the House and Senate are finally getting down to business on a compromise plan to cut $4 billion in spending.
“Yesterday was an up-and-down day, and our friendship really made the day a success, and I think we've always enjoyed a good relationship and I think hopefully we can continue to find a lot of success,” Sen. Haridopolos said.
Meanwhile, Gov. Scott is trumpeting enormous success in cutting the crime rate. It's fallen 6.7 percent, not bad given a weak economy.
“While we can't point to one single factor or set of factors that drive the crime rate, clearly we are moving in the right direction,” the governor said. “We have strict laws and tough penalties in place.”
“What do you want? CHOICE! When do you want it? NOW!”
Outside the capitol, a massive rally in support of legislation that would expand Florida’s charter school system. Critics complain it would be a drain on taxpayer funding for public schools, but many of those are failing.
“Choice is the most important thing when it comes to education,” said Rep. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland. “Parents involved with their kids - that's what's going to make everybody successful in this process.”
It now appears Gov. Scott's controversial plan to cut corporate income taxes may not be dead, as many had thought. Even though money's tight, Haridopolos says he's optimistic there will be lower taxes in the budget.
For the second day in a row, the powerful Senate Budget Committee has postponed a vote on a bill that would dramatically shrink the state-run insurance company. Insiders say senate leaders are trying to reduce the rate hikes Citizens Property Insurance would be required to implement beginning next year.
Polling Place Distirct 1A
WALTON PARK RECREATION CENTER - 122 WALTON PARK DRIVE
Polling Place District 1B
ANDREW BELLE COMMUNITY CENTER - 1270 LAKE STREET
Polling Place District 2A
ROY DRIGGERS BUILDING (CIVIC CENTER) - 126 N. ST. ANDREWS STREET
Polling Place District 2B
WIREGRASS RECREATION CENTER - 620 6TH AVENUE
Polling Place District 3A
HOUSTON COUNTY FARM CENTER - 1701 E. COTTONWOOD ROAD
Polling Place District 3B
NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY - 1842 3RD AVENUE
Polling Place District 4A
DOTHAN UTILITIES COMPLEX - 200 KILGORE DRIVE
Polling Place District 4B
DOUG TEW RECREATION CENTER - 300 GARLAND STREET
Polling Place District 5A
WESTGATE RECREATION CENTER - 501 RECREATION ROAD
Polling Place District 5B
WESLEY MANOR RETIREMENT CENTER - 718 HONEYSUCKLE ROAD
Polling Place District 6A
VAUGHN-BLUMBER CENTER - 2715 FLYNN ROAD
Polling Place District 6B
WIREGRASS COMMONS MALL COMMUNITY ROOM - 900 COMMONS DRIVE