Peltier column: Insurance redux set for this week
Published 01/23/2011 at 12:39 p.m.
An ambitious property insurance rewrite with everything including the kitchen sink(hole) has been filed and will get its first public hearing this week as lawmakers try again to reduce costs for the industry.
Peltier column: Property taxes, unemployment and corporate deals top lawmakers issues
Published 01/16/2011 at 4:08 p.m.
Property tax breaks, unemployment compensation, corporate incentives and a revenue cap proposal favored by the Senate president will be among a handful of high priority fiscal items to be addressed by the House, the chamber’s top finance and tax leader ...
Peltier column: Oil commission finds many to blame
Published 01/09/2011 at 2:34 p.m.
In what likely will become fodder for upcoming lawsuits, a stinging federal report scheduled for release this week shows shortcuts, mistakes, questionable technology and overall poor management combined to cause the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
Florida Parole Commission releases dying inmate, in prison for biting Collier deputy
Updated 01/05/2011 at 2:44 p.m.
The 27-year-old woman, born with AIDS and now dying of cancer, was serving a five-year sentence for biting a Collier County sheriff's deputy and kicking another after her 2008 arrest in Naples on a child neglect charge that later was ...
Peltier column: Rick Scott wants more money to promote Florida
Published 12/26/2010 at 12:21 p.m.
Despite a sluggish economy and a potential $3 billion budget gap, Florida would more than double the state’s tourism marketing budget and may give big electric utilities a break under proposals unveiled so far by Gov.-elect Rick Scott’s transition team.
Peltier column: Capital showdown for health care reform
Published 12/19/2010 at 5:52 p.m.
Combatants in the fight over national health care reform squared off last week in a federal court in the Florida panhandle, the latest battleground over national health insurance that will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Peltier: Jim Morrison pardon provides rock star status to legal proceedings
Published 12/12/2010 at 6:38 p.m. 2 Comments
There was a little irony last week as fans of deceased rock icon Jim Morrison waited for hours before finding out the Doors’ lead singer and consummate bad boy rock star had been pardoned by Florida officials for a libido ...
Peltier column: Insurance matters likely to return
Published 12/05/2010 at 3:16 p.m.
Lawmakers in January are expected to begin revisiting efforts to reduce the cost drivers they say are making the state’s property insurance market unstable and potentially budget busting.
Peltier column: Slowly but surely, Florida's economic recovery is coming
Published 11/28/2010 at 2:56 p.m.
Florida’s recovery from the worst economic downturn since the 1930s is going to take a little longer than previously expected, but it’s coming, a panel of economists predicts.
Peltier column: Everglades restoration approved
Published 11/21/2010 at 2:55 p.m.
In what may have a more significant impact on future actions, the Florida Supreme Court last week approved the financing plan needed to purchase 27,000 acres of land in the Everglades from U.S. Sugar.
Peltier column: Mitigation program is likely gone
Published 11/14/2010 at 3:34 p.m.
Saying the provision reduces already depressed selling prices and lacks any uniform standards, lawmakers this week will attempt to override a veto that if left intact would require coastal property sellers to tell potential buyers what they’ve done to hurricane-proof ...
Rick Scott talks transition with Charlie Crist in Tallahassee
Published 11/09/2010 at 6:14 p.m.
Governor-elect Rick Scott made a courtesy call Tuesday as he met with outgoing governor Charlie Crist and the incoming House speaker as he begins the task of transitioning to his administration.
Peltier column: Tea party happy with first foray into Florida
Published 11/07/2010 at 3:39 p.m.
For the tea party of Florida, the party however small, is definitely not over.
Peltier column: Trick or treat just in time for governor's race
Published 10/31/2010 at 3:18 p.m.
Yes, there is a Halloween analogy for the upcoming showdown between Alex Sink and Rick Scott to see who occupies the governor’s mansion for the next four years.
Peltier column: Tea party influence in Florida district a boon to Democrats?
Published 10/24/2010 at 4:54 p.m.
Democrats hoping to stem the tide of a potential Republican rout in November are eyeing a solidly GOP seat in Southwest Florida and may be aided by a tea party candidate who has rarely stepped foot in the district.
Peltier column: Amendment 1 would likely remove taxpayer help
Published 10/17/2010 at 5:15 p.m.
Created to “level the playing field” and open the elections process to less-affluent candidates, Florida’s system of public campaign financing would likely go away if voters on Nov. 2 pass Amendment 1.
Peltier column: Amendment 4 showdown seven years in the making
Published 10/10/2010 at 5 p.m.
Ali v. Fraser has nothing on these guys when it comes to pre-fight hype. This ballot fight card has been seven years in the making.
Peltier column: Strive to seek the truth in campaign ads
Published 10/03/2010 at 1:47 p.m.
It’s time again for that friendly reminder. We’re going into the final month of campaigning and there will continue to be a barrage of politically charged ads that should remind everyone not to believe everything they see. It’s already started.
Peltier column: BP process still painfully slow
Published 09/26/2010 at 4:14 p.m.
Frustration over the slow pace of BP claims processing continues as local government officials and private citizens slog their way through separate but equally complex mazes constructed by the company and the overseer Ken Feinberg.
Peltier column: Tuesday will be a big day for Crist's campaign
Published 09/19/2010 at 4:55 p.m.
Tuesday may well be a critical day in the U.S. Senate race, especially for breakaway independent candidate Gov. Charlie Crist. On that day, he may learn if he can spend the millions he has sitting in the bank.
Peltier column: Like oil spill itself, plans for session to address issue have vanished
Published 09/05/2010 at 5:19 p.m.
Like the oil sheen from the Deepwater Horizon well itself, talk of a special session to address issues related to the historic oil spill appear to have vanished as legislative leaders and political hopefuls turn their attention toward upcoming elections ...
Peltier column: Wildlife rules slated to change this week
Published 08/29/2010 at 4:05 p.m.
Following more than a decade of discussions, arguments, stops and starts, state wildlife officials this week are scheduled to change the way they classify endangered and threatened species.
Peltier column: Early voting catching on across Florida
Published 08/22/2010 at 4:44 p.m.
Early voting appears to be catching on, according to a survey of elections supervisors who say millions already spent on gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races may be raising the level of early interest across the board.
Peltier column: BP falls short in reimbursing, say some Panhandle businesses
Published 08/08/2010 at 3:15 p.m.
Suzanne Burke is ecstatic that BP has successfully capped the well that before its cementing poured 5 million gallons of light crude into the Gulf of Mexico.
Peltier column: Money talks in Florida primary races
Published 08/01/2010 at 2:52 p.m.
It looks like the Beatles were wrong. I seems money, indeed, can buy you love. Or at least provide a significant downpayment.
Peltier column: Proposed legislative amendments challenged
Published 07/25/2010 at 3:26 p.m.
So much for grass-roots efforts. If anyone tells you the constitutional amendment process is a means for regular citizens to avoid the courts or the Legislature, think again.
POLL: Delegates: Expect short, unproductive special session on oil drilling
Published 07/19/2010 at 7:45 a.m.
Despite the optimism of Gov. Charlie Crist, local delegates say it’s unlikely lawmakers will conclude the four-day special session with a proposed constitutional amendment to ban drilling in state waters.
Peltier column: Florida legislators call BP payments 'corrosive'
Published 07/04/2010 at 2:39 p.m.
Following months or criticism over paying claims too slowly, BP is now taking heat from some for just the opposite, paying locals too much for their efforts and upsetting a regional economy that some fear will never return.
Peltier column: In for the long haul
Published 06/27/2010 at 1:35 p.m.
Nerves are wearing thin along the Florida Panhandle as heavier concentrations of oil invaded once sugar sand beaches last week and dashed the hopes that Florida would somehow escape the ravages of the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
Peltier column: Ann Grady latest in spouses to run
Published 06/20/2010 at 1:41 p.m.
Legislative qualifying ended Friday at high noon with a few surprises, including the last-minute filing of Naples Republican Ann Grady to run for the seat held for a single term by her husband, Tom.
Peltier column: Patience wearing thin along Panhandle's Gulf coast
Published 06/13/2010 at 4:28 p.m.
Gary Chernekoff doesn’t own a restaurant, isn’t a charter boat captain and doesn’t work for a hotel or resort. At first blush, he’s not directly connected to the tourism industry that is so important here along the Florida Gulf coast.
Peltier column: Oil's arrival changes life in the Panhandle
Published 06/06/2010 at 5:04 p.m. 2 Comments
At first view, nothing seems to have changed as a few tourists and locals enjoy the surf at one of Florida’s most famous beaches over the weekend. People pick up shells, snap photos and set up beach umbrellas for what ...
Peltier column: Is Arizona immigration law coming to Florida?
Published 05/30/2010 at 12:48 p.m.
The immigration fight may come to Florida as early as next year after a House Republican said he’ll likely file legislation to crack down on illegal immigration by proposing a measure similar to a controversial measure passed in Arizona that ...
Michael Peltier: Business group joins Florida, many other states in health-care lawsuit
Published 05/16/2010 at 2:35 p.m.
Bolstering its involvement from cheerleader to plaintiff, a national business group has joined Florida and other states in a growing lawsuit against national health-care reform. In the meantime, the list of plaintiffs has grown from the original list of 13 ...
POLL: Special session to ban oil drilling
Published 05/11/2010 at 10:24 a.m.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said Tuesday he will call lawmakers in for a special session later this month to consider a constitutional ban on oil drilling in Florida’s coastal waters.
Capital Column: Election 2010: This is going to be fun
Published 05/09/2010 at 4:15 p.m.
A little over a year ago, it looked as if the table had been set for November 2010.
Peltier column: Session brings some benefit to Southwest Florida
Published 05/02/2010 at 2:59 p.m.
Florida lawmakers called it quits Friday with little fanfare as they gaveled to conclusion a session shaped as much by political winds as budget constraints as election year considerations appeared to limit the scope of the possible.
Crist signs Seminole gaming deal
Published 04/28/2010 at 2:49 p.m.
Capping off years of effort, Gov. Charlie Crist Wednesday signed into law a measure that expands Seminole gambling in exchange for $1.2 billion over the next five years.
$50M earmark still designated for Jackson Lab genetics project in Collier
Published 04/26/2010 at 2:28 p.m. 1 Comment
House and Senate budget negotiators on Monday agreed to earmark $50 million in economic development funding to sweeten the pot in efforts to attract Jackson Laboratory to build a genetic research facility in Collier County.
Peltier column: Legislature in final week but Crist will captivate attention
Published 04/25/2010 at 1:43 p.m.
Lawmakers enter the final week of session with most major items remaining on the table as they try to conclude work by Friday but have a handful of major issues separating them from session’s end.
Money for the Jackson Lab remains in state budget
Updated 04/23/2010 at 7:36 p.m.
A $50 million earmark for Maine-based The Jackson Laboratory remains in the mix as budget negotiators expect to meet this weekend to craft a compromise $68 billion state budget. So far, Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, remains hopeful funding will be ...
Bolt with Crist and pay the price, memo warns GOP faithful
Updated 04/22/2010 at 7:57 p.m.
Anticipating a possible bolt of Gov. Charlie Crist, the Republican Party of Florida on Thursday told members in no uncertain terms that there would be a price to pay for bolting with him.
Peltier column: Baseball bills moving through state Legislature
Published 04/18/2010 at 2:47 p.m.
The next two weeks may prove helpful for local plans to lure the Chicago Cubs to Naples, as a pair of measures loosening state purse-strings are moving but face looming deadlines and may easily be overshadowed by tight budgets and ...
Florida Senate approves Indian gaming compact
Updated 04/15/2010 at 11:49 a.m.
TALLAHASSEE— The Florida Senate approved a gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida Thursday morning that will give the tribe exclusive rights to card games and slot machines in what backers say will mean $41.5 billion for the state ...
Peltier column: Teachers and gamblers to dominate week in Tallahassee
Published 04/11/2010 at 5:33 p.m.
Medicaid, gambling and teacher tenure will dominate the week while lawmakers are also likely to begin budget talks to reconcile two different spending plans approved by each chamber a little over a week ago.
Capital column: Business initiatives advance despite tight budget
Published 03/28/2010 at 4:11 p.m.
Despite a $3 billion budget shortfall, lawmakers spent much of last week putting together proposals to spend state money to attract aerospace companies, boat manufacturers, film makers and biotech researchers to the state.
Florida Senate earmarks funds to help lure $710M research facility to Collier County
Updated 03/25/2010 at 9:25 p.m.
Jackson Laboratory, which now employs 1,000 workers at its 43-acre complex, wants to establish an Institute for Personalized Medicine and Research Village near the newly built university.
Michael Peltier: Rep. Hudson eyes health agency
Published 03/21/2010 at 8:33 p.m.
The Florida Department of Health would be reorganized and its mission reined in under a measure the House sponsor says is needed to maximize efficiencies in a sprawling agency that now oversees a gamut of initiatives from emergency response to ...
Bill that would open Florida’s Gulf Coast to drilling may not reach legislators until next year
Published 03/19/2010 at 6:45 p.m.
A proposal to allow companies to explore for oil off Florida’s Gulf Coast will come before lawmakers.
Michael Peltier: Lawmakers address oil, predators this week
Published 03/14/2010 at 6:54 p.m.
Oil drilling and proposed changes to state sexual predator laws will face lawmakers in the next few days as they enter the third week of the legislation session. With budget allocations released, House and Senate budget negotiators will also get ...