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Report: Nearly 5.8 million Floridians were uninsured in the past 2 years listen

03/19/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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A new report from a health care advocacy group says that almost two of every five Floridians under the age of 65 were uninsured for some period of time in the past couple of years.

Ron Pollock is executive director with Families USA, the organization that released the study. He said approximately 5.8 million Floridians were uninsured for at least six months within the past two years, that's 38 percent of the state’s population.

Tampa area Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor says th...

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Major rally for public education set for Wednesday listen

03/17/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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More than a thousand people are expected to protest tomorrow at the state capitol to protest multimillion-dollar cuts to local school districts' budgets.

Over the past year and a half, the Hillsborough County school district has absorbed more than $82 million in cuts, according to Jeanne Clements, president of the Hillsborough County Teachers Association. She says at that same time, new schools have opened, more staff has been hired, and more students have been absorbed into the school dis...

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State educators lament fiscal situation in Tallahassee listen

03/16/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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The Florida State Board of Education held a workshop where members heard from a variety of state educators today.

The administrators all acknowledged the tremendous challenges they are facing with reduced funding, but most said they were thinking positively.

Sanford Shugart, president of Valencia Community College, told Board member Roberto Martinez that the resource allocation model in the state has been broken for a long time.

Michael Greco is the superintendant with the Osceola D...

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Bill would eliminate impact fees in Florida until 2012 listen

03/16/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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A bay area senator angered environmentalists before the legislative session began when he filed a bill that would block the collection of developer impact fees for three years.

Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, says the way impact fees are imposed is totally unfair and inappropriate.

Hillsborough County Environmental activist Denise Layne says Bennett’s bill and other proposals aim to deregulate the building process this year.

The foreclosure crises has hit Florida hard, with some economist...

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Senator: Unemployed should take drug tests for benefits listen

03/12/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Unemployment is now at a 16-year high in Florida, as the Sunshine State has lost more than 355,000 jobs over the past year.

For many who have lost a job, it’s a blow to the ego to have to ask for government assistance. But if one bay area legislator has his way, they may have to submit more than their personal information and their pride to collect unemployment.

Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has introduced a bill that would require random testing for one of every 10 people who apply...

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Tampa City Council asks: Where's the stimulus money? listen

03/12/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tampa City Council members today discussed when they might see some of the federal stimulus money that will soon be making its way to the Sunshine State.

Mark Huey is the economic and urban administrator for the city of Tampa. He said he receives three to four emails a day with new information and interpretation on how the funds will impact the redevelopment of the city. Huey said he’s involved with a citywide interdepartmental task force to track the funding process.

Earlier this week...

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Dan Gelber introduces himself in Ybor City listen

03/10/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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There are relatively few declared candidates for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Mel Martinez next year.

Former House Speaker Marco Rubio had filed papers for the office on the GOP side.

Three Democrats - all from the Miami area– have declared: Congressman Kendrick Meek, North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns, and Sen. Dan Gelber from Miami Beach.

Gelber served the last few years as the leader of the House Democrats in Tallahassee, and made a name for himself for his poi...

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Ex-Tampa Congressman revisits his vote on Iraq listen

03/09/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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U.S. military officials said yesterday that the U.S. will reduce its military presence in Iraq by 12,000 troops over the next six months as part of the first major drawdown since President Barack Obama announced his plan to end combat operations in the country next year.

A week from next Thursday will mark the sixth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by U.S. and coalition forces.

When President Obama made his announcement of troop withdrawals from Iraq 10 days ago, WMNF contacted for...

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Activists promote bill to include gays in Florida's civil rights laws listen

03/09/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Next week in Tallahassee, gay rights group on rallying in support of four separate bills in the Legislature that would end the anti-gay adoption ban and add the words "sexual orientation and gender identity” to the state’s existing civil rights laws.

The two bills filed by Democratic Sen. Nan Rich would allow gays to adopt, the other would leave it to judges to determine where to place children when both parents are dead.

Another bill is sponsored by Delray Beach Sen. Ted Deutch. His bi...

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Michael Lind on Obama listen

03/06/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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As the stock market continues its downward spiral, some conservative critics are blaming President Obama, not yet in office 6 weeks yet.

In an opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal called “Obama’s radicalism is Killing the Dow,” Stanford University Economics Professor Michael J. Boskin writes that the Wall Street sell-off is a product in part of the realization that our new president’s policies are designed to radically re-engineer the market-based U.S. economy, not just mitigate ...

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