Mitch Perry Report for 4.10.15 — A lollapalooza of tax cuts for everyone in Florida

The Coachella Music Festival is this weekend in Indio, Calif., about 20 minutes west of Palm Springs near the Coachella Valley, one of the hardest-hit drought-stricken regions of the Golden State.

I’ve attended five such spectacles (2009-2013), and if you’re into music, it’s an amazing amount of fun — and also a bit of work, unless you’re used to standing for at least 10 hours straight in stifling hot weather for three consecutive days.

Here in Tallahassee, the first Word of South Festival takes place this weekend — a combination literary and music event, with five stages, more than 100 bands and nearly three dozen authors present.

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A “lollapalooza” of tax cuts was passed by the Florida House Thursday afternoon. The $690 million in cuts may or may not actually happen. It depends on whether the Senate signs off it, which looks doubtful at this moment with the vast gap existing between the two bodies.

The final vote was 112-3, which means most of your most liberal Democrats went along with Republicans in the Legislature, because hey, everybody loves a tax cut, right?

Democratic Minority Leader Mark Pafford of West Palm Beach was one of the three “nays.” You’ve got to admire him for sticking to his convictions, while also considering he a) lives in a very safe district, b) has no thoughts of running for higher office, or C) thought it was the wrong thing to do, which is what he said afterward.

In other news reported on the state Legislature Thursday …

Do we have an Indiana-style controversy on our hands in the Sunshine State? Democrats seemed spent Thursday in the House, seemingly weary of arguing against the Jason Brodeur sponsored “conscience protection” bill. It would “protect” Florida private adoption agencies from being compelled by the government to place foster children and other kids who need parents into the hands of a gay couple. However, there is no Senate companion.

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If you spend a few days covering the Legislature, chances are good you’re going to come across legislators discussing guns. Better than that, the Florida House voted overwhelmingly yesterday allowing anybody in the state to pack heat when evacuating their home because of a hurricane or similar disaster.

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Activists from Miami have been in Tally all week trying to cajole recalcitrant Republicans in the House to get behind Medicaid expansion. I’m sure you can guess how that’s going.

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I’m not sure President Obama gives a fig, but just in case, add a Florida Senate Committee to the list of those who want to crank up sanctions against Iran if the nuclear negotiations don’t pan out by the end of June.

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And a bill moving through the Senate would include pregnant women in the state’s civil rights laws. It would seem a no-brainer, but while a similar bill breezed through the Senate last year, it stalled in the House.

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at [email protected]


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