Issues to watch in year ahead

December 31, 2014 - Essential Water

As we spin a calendar on 2014 today, we offer we a discerning take on issues to watch in 2015.

So yet serve ado…

Presidential politics: The midterm choosing is hardly over. The new Congress is about to be seated. And already, here it comes: jockeying for a 2016 presidential election. Florida, always a pitch state, will take core theatre again as dual local sons — former Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio — exam a waters for a GOP nomination. In a end, we think Rubio will breeze adult sitting this one out, given a income and support already backing adult behind Bush. Prepare yourselves for a genuine probability of a Bush v. Clinton match-up.

Water: Essential for tellurian life and a state’s growth, H2O will be a defining emanate of a 2015 legislative session. Look for informal tensions over appropriation as Central Florida lawmakers, who possess oversized control in Tallahassee, find a larger share of supports for H2O projects north of a Everglades.

Health caring for a poor: With vigour ascent from sanatorium and business leaders, a Legislature might finally find a proceed to secure some of that $51 billion in Obamacare income meant to enhance health caring coverage to Florida’s poor. Senate President Andy Gardiner says he is open to deliberation a private-option devise that doesn’t enhance Medicaid, a bugaboo for Republican leaders who trust a state and republic can't means it. House Speaker Steve Crisafulli is some-more guarded, yet hasn’t ruled out a business coalition’s offer to pull sovereign supports into a private word module that would cover about 800,000 people. And remember, Gov. Rick Scott permitted a judgment of enlargement in 2013. Floridians are profitable to cover bad people in other states. It’s time some of that income — and caring — came home.

Flooding: While Washington continues to discuss either humans minister to meridian change, informal leaders are focusing reduction on what’s causing sea-level arise and some-more on what to do about a flourishing problem of flooding. Building codes, augmenting a tallness of roadbeds and addressing salt-water penetration in a region’s celebration H2O wells are all real-life hurdles that need useful solutions — soon.

High-stakes testing: Given a recoil in 2014, a state should give open schools a postpone from a overuse of high-stakes contrast this year. Members of a tea celebration are job for change. So are teachers, principals, propagandize house members and families. Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie records a district has some-more than 1,500 compulsory comment tests and “all a concentration is on assessment, rather than how we’re going to change.” Scott has called for a long-overdue examination of these tests. Given a hurdles his administration has faced in formulating a new standardised exam to reinstate a FCAT this year, he should call a timeout on a consequences and spend 2015 removing assessments finished right.

Cuba: Few foresaw President Obama’s go-it-alone proceed to normalize U.S. family with a island nation. His gauge drew churned greeting in Florida, from feeling in tools of Little Havana to expectation from Florida business owners. While Rubio promises to retard a fixing of an envoy and any appropriation for an embassy in Havana, all eyes sojourn bound on a Cuban supervision for signs of domestic and mercantile change. On only one measure, can we suppose a disproportion unobstructed Internet entrance would make in one of a world’s many unplugged nations?

Gambling: Scott final open due a new gambling compress with a Seminole tribe, yet ran into legislative roadblocks and out of time. With a five-year compress set to end Aug. 1, a trail looks no easier this legislative session. The new boss of a Florida Senate, Andy Gardiner, is a fixed competition of gambling who would throw a Florida Lottery if he could. He recently told a News Service of Florida that he doesn’t caring if a state loses a $116 million per year it receives for giving a Seminoles disdainful rights to certain list games. Given a competing interests in a negotiations, it’s a good gamble a destiny of list games will be motionless in court.

Jobs up, vital costs, too: The inhabitant economy is on a mend, stagnation is down and some-more people are withdrawal jobs for improved ones. Still, too many of us haven’t seen signs of a recovery. Nearly half of South Floridians are one financial puncture divided from poverty, according to census data. The numbers indicate to a genuine need for Florida to concentration on flourishing jobs that compensate a vital wage.

Charter schools: Broward and Palm Beach counties, along with propagandize districts opposite a state, are increasingly station adult to fly-by-night licence propagandize operators who have no business removing open taxation dollars to open schools currently that tighten tomorrow. But given a domestic poke of licence schools, it’s going to take a flesh of attention leaders to urge a authorisation routine for new schools. Will a attention step adult and assistance military itself?

Medical marijuana: The evidence opposite a Nov list beginning that would have certified a use of medical pot in Florida was that a magnitude was too extended and didn’t go in a state constitution. Given that 58 percent of electorate upheld a passage, lawmakers should mind a open will and get it right legislatively. Action is unlikely, though, that means Floridians will expected face another list expostulate in a presidential choosing year. For tighten to a year after a passage, a state still can’t emanate a regulatory resource to concede a sale of a non-euphoric code of marijuana, called Charlotte’s Web, that has been shown to yield service for children who humour from seizure disorders.

Pension reform: 2015 could be a year Florida finally gets critical about indispensable grant remodel during a metropolitan supervision level, interjection to Crisafulli. Last year, Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, crafted a identical magnitude after municipalities and their glow and military unions concluded that change was overdue. Unfortunately, a check didn’t pass a House. According to a James Madison Institute, roughly half of Florida’s cities have grant supports that are not actuarially sound.

These issues and most some-more — including travel funding, sports comforts and metropolitan elections — wait us in 2015. But let’s leave those for another day.

Today, let’s settle in for a fun weekend of football and family time.

And with that, we wish we all a Happy New Year!

Copyright © 2014, Sun Sentinel

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