Mitch Perry Report 2.14.12 Valentine's Day edition

Although the huge news in Tampa last night was the emergency meeting held by the USF Board of Trustees regarding what school President Judy Genshaft described as "draconian" budget cuts by the Florida Senate, props to Tampa Tribune columnist Joe Henderson for his quote from Wesley Chapel Representative Will Weatherford in his column today.. Weatherford tells Henderson that the chances of USF's budget getting cut by 58 percent are between "slim and none." Weatherford represents the House, whose own plans to cut higher education aren't nearly as severe as the Senate's. Nevertheless, last night's meeting was quite intense.

House Republicans in Washington blinked yesterday, and now will go ahead and extend the current payroll-tax reduction for the rest of this year without spending cuts. Yet they are not budging regarding extension of unemployment benefits, and drug testing and compulsory GEDs for welfare recipients.

And as discussions continue on the redesign of St. Petersburg's Pier, a determined bunch of St. Pete residents prefer that the Pier remain just as it is. On Saturday night those activists held a meeting at the Pier, and are hoping to get a measure on the ballot in St.Pete later this year allowing citizens to weigh in on the issue.

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