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Florida Education leader disgusted by school budget cuts listen

04/30/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Under the proposed state budget released earlier this week, $332 million is being cut from public education.

Locally, Hillsborough and Pinellas County Schools will lose a combined $38 million.

Those cuts have disgusted the head of the Florida Education Association, Andy Ford, who says Gov. Charlie Crist and legislative leaders promised schools would be "held harmless" under proposed property tax cut plans. Ford calls those "empty political promises, it’s irresponsible.”

One li...

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Critics scoff at a gas tax in Florida listen

04/29/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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In Tallahassee, Sen. Mike Fasano filed an amendment to a revenue bill Monday that would suspend 10-cents of the state's 15.6-cent per gallon gas tax for a two-week period from July 1-14. It comes after Gov. Charlie Crist has been expressing the same sentiments in recent weeks, saying it would bring relief at the pumps to Floridians.

Doug Calloway is president of Floridians For Better Transportation, a statewide advocate for public transportation created by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. ...

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Report on Iraq, recession released listen

04/24/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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MoveOn.org today released the results of opinion polling saying that many Floridians blame America’s economic troubles on the occupation of Iraq.

Twenty-five people gathered in the West Tampa office of the Florida Consumer Action Network (FCAN) for the release of the Iraq and Recession Report. Following the release, MoveOn members delivered it to the local offices of senators Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez.

Jason Palermo, a program organizer with FCAN, said the results of the survey p...

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Castor on helping Americans cope listen

04/22/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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In early February, Congress passed the $146 billion economic stimulus package bill, but 3 months later the stimulus hasn't yet happened. That’s because checks have yet to be sent out for taxpayers and seniors and veterans living on fixed incomes.

Some economists had pointed to an extension of unemployment benefits as a quicker way to stimulate the economy – as it would have gotten money into the marketplace almost immediately by allowing people to keep drawing unemployment for an ex...

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Truckers strike in Tampa to protest fuel prices listen

04/02/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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For the second day in a row, independent truckers were on strike in Tampa today protesting high diesel fuel prices and stagnant incomes. About 50 truck owner-operators demonstrated on Causeway Boulevard in front of the Port of Tampa.

David Santiago is a truck owner-operator. Santiago is striking because he wants the companies who hire independent truckers to pay them more.

“We just came together, we sat down and said, hey enough is enough, we can’t make it any more. I’m sure McDo...

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Truckers protest gas prices in Tampa listen

04/01/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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About 70 truckers lined up their rigs on 22nd Street near Causeway Boulevard in Tampa this morning to protest high fuel prices. They were joining a loosely formed national protest, hoping to pressure President Bush to stabilize prices by using the nation’s oil reserves.

Lakeland resident Jen Coolidge says she and her husband have been in the trucking business for more than 40 years combined, and it’s never been harder than right now to be an independent truck driver.

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Suggestion on cutting budget draws fire listen

03/20/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tampa City Councilman Thomas Scott appeared to be an army of one this afternoon when he said he hoped the city could investigate a memo by a Tampa police official that said the city could save $6 million in salaries and other benefits by cutting 15 positions within the Police Department.

The memo was sent by Tampa police Sgt. Borthland Murray last month to the Council. A followup memo by Police Chief Stephen Hogue categorized Murray’s claim as "wildly inaccurate.”

Laura McElroy, a ...

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Will Tampa raise solid waste fees?

03/05/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio met with City Council members this morning to brief them on four of the city’s Enterprise Funds. They agreed to discuss a proposal by the Iorio administration that would raise fees for solid waste collection at tomorrow’s City Council.

The increased fees may be necessary because, according to Steve Daignault, Tampa’s administrator of Public Works and Utility Services, without any changes, revenue for the Solid Waste Department will dip below expenditures beginni...

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Crist upbeat in state's annual report card listen

03/05/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Last night Gov. Charlie Crist delivered his second State of the State Address in Tallahassee.

Even with lawmakers cutting more than half a billion dollars from this year’s budget and more than $2 billion from next year’s, the governor oozed optimism.

Aubrey Jewett is a professor of Political Science at the University of Central Florida. He said there’s something to be said for the governor’s style, but says there is no doubt that he will have to make hard decisions this year.

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Democratic leaders react to "State of the State" listen

03/05/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Last night we aired a large portion of Gov. Charlie Crist’s State of the State Address. Immediately afterward, the Democratic leaders in the Senate and House responded.

Sen. Steve Geller of Halledale Beach reacted first. Geller said it when it comes to cut, everything needs to be looked at, not just reducing spending. He said these are complex problems, and can’t be solved by bumper sticker solutions.

Senate Democrats will oppose any broad tax increases, Geller said, but he thinks...

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