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Promise Kept: Saunders Gets Cruz on Government Operations Appropriations Committee


When Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, won the special election for the 58th district House seat, during the victory party, incoming Democratic House leader Ron Saunders, D-Key West, promised that he would try to put her on an appropriations committee.

Saunders delivered. House Speaker Larry Cretul, R-Ocala, named Cruz to the Government Operations Appropriation Committee as well as to the Elder & Family Services Policy Committee and the Governmental Affairs Policy Committee.

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Redistricting: Not Rocket Science… More like an advanced law degree

Today Sen. Mike Haridopolos, R-Melbourne, led a workshop allowing reporters and editorial staff from the papers to give redistricting a shot.

In mid-February, Ellen Freidin, chairman of FairDistricts Florida, told law makers lines could be drawn that would avoid giving incumbents and political parties an advantage, and also avoid hurting minority representation. Its not rocket science, she said, but failed to give specific answers on exactly how to do it.

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What's atwitter? Breaking news alerts from the Sunshine State News

Sunshine State News is venturing into the wild world of Twitter, and we hope readers on the lookout for breaking news updates will join us.

Our Twitter account, called SSNAlerts, will provide quick updates of news that is of importance to you. Our links will direct you to interesting stories and features on our Web site as well as interesting info to be found around the Internet.

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Class-size Amendment Passes Major Hurdle

A constitutional amendment that gives schools a little wiggle room on meeting class-size requirements passed through the Policy and Steering Committee on Ways and Means just before noon today. Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Destin, got his proposal passed with a 15-8 vote, with all Republicans and one Democrat voting for it.

A 2002 constitutional amendment set the limits at 18 per class in kindergarten through third grade, 22 fourth through middle, and 25 in high schools.

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Political Bits and Pieces

The two Democratic candidates running for Attorney General are not doing the Republican field any favors on gun issues. Both Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, and Sen.

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The Spaceman Comes in Peace

This morninga group of legislators held a press conference on the fourth floor lobbyof the House promoting legislation sponsored by Sen. Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, to offer tax breaks and other incentives to develop the entertainment industry in Florida and lure new jobs to the state.

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Crist Denies Discussions About Leaving GOP

Sunshine State News sources say Gov. Charlie Crist was in Palm Beach this past Saturday meeting with his closest supporters. The purpose of the meeting? To decide whether he should exit the Republican Party and run as an Independent. When confronted with this claim, Crist flatly denied it. Decide for yourself. Watch the video and read the transcript below:

Reporter: Governor you've said that you are not considering leaving the Republican Party, but we have a source that tells us you were in Palm Beach on Saturday discussing with some of your closest supporters--

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First Ladies of the Florida Legislature

An email from Gov. Charlie Crist's Senate campaigntoday attacked Marco Rubio for "conferring a heretofore unknown title" quoting Rubio saying, "My wife was the First Lady of the Florida House of Representatives and it is absolutely appropriate for her to accompany me to official events and party functions."

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Senate Votes to Delay Unemployment Tax Hike

The state Senate voted Tuesday afternoon to provide quick relief to businesses fearing a major hike in the state unemployment tax.

The Senate voted 39-0 to pass a House of Representatives bill that delays for two years a looming tax hike that would result in as much as a twelvefold increase on employers unemployment tax bills. The House bill (HB 7033) was one of two introduced for the session. The other was introduced into the Senate by Sen. Rudy Garcia, R-Hialeah.

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Tea Party Raises a Cup to Jeff Atwater's Budget Resolution

Balancing the federal budget may not be the Tallahassee press corps' cup of tea but the Tea Party likes the idea. A lot.

Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, after announcing a proposed resolution calling on the feds to balance the budget, was asked repeatedly by reporters Tuesday to address the irony in his demand that the U.S. government balance its books when the state has had to borrow money from the feds to balance its own.

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