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Some legislators will promote development to fix economy listen

02/20/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Earlier this week, some state lawmakers announced that they believe a way to kick start Florida’s economy is by streamlining the permitting process for new development.

The St. Petersburg Times reporting this week that some of the groups pushing for looser permitting include such politically powerful groups as the Florida Home Builders Association, the Association of Florida Community Developers, and Associated Industries.

Barney Bishop is president of Associated Industries, based ...

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Economic intervention forum organized by GOP donor listen

02/18/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Medium

A major donor to Republican causes organized a panel discussion today at a Cruise Terminal at the Port of Tampa. The forum focused on the federal government’s recent interventions into the economy, including last year’s bailout of financial institutions, labeled the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco was among those invited to speak.

A panel made up of bankers, business owners, economists, and others disagreed about whether one of the main goals of the ...

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Martin Indyk on Middle East Peace possibilities listen

02/18/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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In the Middle East today, Hamas vehemently rejected the Israeli Cabinet's decision not to open its border crossings with the Gaza Strip until Hamas agrees to release abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit.

Shalit was abducted by Gaza militants in a cross-border raid in June 2006. Hamas has demanded the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the soldier's freedom.

According to the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Israel’s Welfare Minister told the Cabinet th...

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Hillsborough School District makes plans for stimulus funds listen

02/17/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Some of the education money from the stimulus plan will be distributed through competitive funding.

Jeff Eakins is the Hillsborough County School District’s Director of Federal Programs. WMNF spoke with him after Kathy Castor's news conference today, and asked him about that and other aspects of how the district will spend its new funding.

That’s Jeff Eakins, he’s the Hillsborough County School District’s Director of Federal Programs, speaking about how the district will deal with the ...

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Castor, Hillsborough Schools officials celebrate windfall listen

02/17/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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As part of the federal stimulus plan signed into law by President Barack Obama, more than $5 billion in education funding is expected to come to Florida.

In Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor’s 11th Congressional District which encompasses Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Manatees Counties, $145 million is coming soon.

Castor spoke this morning from Chamberlain High School, her alma matter, where she was joined by dozens of people, including local school board officials, and dozens of s...

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Debating the Employee Free Choice Act

02/17/09 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Tuesday)
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There’s a battle looming in Congress between organized labor and big business- it’s over the proposed Employee Free Choice Act. The bill was passed by the House back in 2007- but it’s been filibustered in the Senate since 2007.

President Barack Obama says he supports EFCA. Labor unions say it would make it easier for employees to form unions. They say that over the past 30 years the balance of power has shifted and that companies have gained too much power to fight union organizing driv...

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Meek gets key union endorsement in Senate bid listen

02/16/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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This morning one of the biggest public employee unions in Florida endorsed Miami area Congressman Kendrick Meek in the Senate race in 2010.

The endorsement by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is an early and strong boost for the Democrat. Currently, only Miami Beach Sen. Dan Gelber and North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns have announced their candidacies, though there could be several more announcing in the coming months.

Monica Russo is president of the Florida SEIU. She says...

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Here comes new attempt to scale back Class Size Amendment listen

02/16/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Two weeks before the Florida Legislature convenes for its formal regular session, there is again talk of class-size rules being scaled back because of budget issues.

As mandated by the passage of the 2002 Constitutional amendment, class-size rules are scheduled to be fully implemented by next year.

But according to the state board of education, approximately a quarter to a third of all of the state’s classrooms will be above the cap next year- and it’s expected to cost over $800 million...

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Florida could get $5B in education funding from stimulus bill listen

02/13/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Public housing provisions total nearly $10 billion. Nearly $15 billion would go to clean-water and environmental protection projects.

And minus the construction money, education programs would receive nearly $100 billion in new funding, including $12 billion for special education, boosting the federal share for education services to the highest level ever, according to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Arne Duncan is the Secretary of Education. On a conference call with reporters t...

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Former City Councilwoman enters St. Pete mayoral race listen

02/13/09 Arielle Stevenson
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Former City Council member and lawyer Kathleen Ford today officially entered her name into the race for St. Petersburg’s mayoral race. She is among a growing list of candidates.

She spoke from city hall in downtown St. Petersburg. Her top concern if elected is growing the weakened infrastructure downtown. The continuing problem of growing numbers of homeless in St. Petersburg is something Ford says she is adapt to handle effectively.

Ford says this issue will require increased attent...

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