Last year, the piece of legislation that would have allowed a majority of parents to petition that the failing public schools their children attend turn into charter schools, was denied on the last day of session: the Senate deadlocked on the bill, 20-20, after the House already passed it.
Well, it's a year later, and the House passed the controversial legislation, again, and it will come down to the Senate for a second time. The feeling when the session began was that with moderates like Paula Dockery and Mike Fasano gone from the body, the legislation would have an easier time passing. That remains to be seen. However, the controversy has only heated up, not cooled down, in its second iteration.
The biggest concern voiced by critics of the bill is the possibility of public schools being turned over to for-profit educational management companies, one of several options that parents would be able to vote for.
Meanwhile, death penalty opponents are unhappy about legislation passed yesterday in Tallahassee that will expedite the process for death row prisoners. They accurately point out that there have been several such prisoners who were exonerated after having spent more than 10 years on death row.
In case you've been on another planet the past six years, you know the environment for news media companies is tentative, to be charitable. Therefore it's sad but not surprising to hear that the Florida political aggregation and opinion site called Florida Voices is biting the dust, effective at the end of this week.
The St. Pete City Council has a big vote regarding funding for the Lens project with the Pier later this week. Pinellas County Commission chair Ken Welch is one of several commissioners who said the Council should hold off additional funding until a potential referendum is allowed to go forward, but a Tampa Bay Times reporter thought otherwise, prompting an angry response from Welch.
And enough of the idle chat about Bill Nelson running for governor — the senior Florida senator said it ain't happening.