Don Gaetz

sacred-heart.org

Uncle Sam is offering a one billion dollar compromise to Florida, regarding the Low Income Pool – which is provided to hospitals to help pay for uninsured and under-insured patients and is scheduled to expire on June 30 if not renewed.

State Senator Don Gaetz made the announcement on Thursday, adding that there are a number of conditions. One is that the LIP money must follow the patient. That’s a catch he says the state has known about for some time.

ricksblog.biz

Gov. Rick Scott's newly created Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding met for the first time on Wednesday. But hospitals have met his request for information by essentially telling him to look it up himself. That includes at least one Pensacola-area facility.

Many of the dozens of surveys returned by hospitals have five or fewer of the roughly 100 lines filled out with new information. Many referred Scott to data already on file with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

The Florida House provided a surprising twist in the Legislature’s fight over expanding Medicaid on Tuesday, by suddenly adjourning its 2015 session, that action ensures that a special session will be called to complete the budget.

In his remarks, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli blamed the shutdown on the Senate's unwillingness to drop its resolve to bring up a Medicaid expansion alternative before agreeing to a budget.

photo via Flickr//Usually Melancholy / https://flic.kr/p/pCMmPH

  Marco Rubio’s decision to vacate his U.S. Senate seat in favor of a run for president in 2016 is leading speculation about the slate of candidates wanting to succeed him. Two of the possibilities are in northwest Florida.

Cong. Jeff Miller had been listed as among those who may seek the Republican nomination. After a tour of the mold-infested federal courthouse in Pensacola last week, he came through with a “definite maybe.”

arc-gateway.org

Pensacola State College and Arc Gateway are beginning PALS – Program for Adult Learning and Support – a two-year post-secondary program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

About 40 students will make up the inaugural PALS class, including Cameron Northup, who was born with Down syndrome.

“I do not want to go into detail about my disability,” said Northup. “I want to talk about my abilities.”

Photo via Flickr//debra32514

International Paper plans to spend more $90 million to upgrade its Cantonment plant’s energy efficiency along with its production of containerboard and fluff pulp that’s used for packing materials.

According to a news release from IP, the five-year commitment will be supported by roughly $5 million in grants and infrastructure improvements. Currently, the plant,which opened in 1941 and was acquired by IP in 2000, has a workforce of about 400 and pumped about $330 million into the local economy last year.

Photo via Flickr//Jason Mitchell

Fourteen Florida counties will share $2.45 million from the state’s Defense Infrastructure and Reinvestment Grant Programs. The funding will provide support for community projects at 19 military installations.

Florida’s military and defense sector is responsible for almost 9.5% of the state’s economy. That translates to 758,000 direct and indirect jobs that represent $73 billion in spending.

FLSenate.gov

Florida lawmakers are gearing up for a little overtime. The Legislature kicks off a special session on Thursday, to redraw congressional districts.

The memo was issued Sunday by Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford. It came two days after Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ordered lawmakers to redraw the districts of Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown of Jacksonville and Republican Congressman Dan Webster of Orlando, and submit a map to him by Aug. 15.  Gaetz – a Republican from Niceville -- says that’s not an unreasonable deadline.

FLSenate.gov

There will be no appeal of last week’s ruling which struck down Florida’s congressional map that was drawn in 2012. The redistricting plan was declared unconstitutional by a judge in Tallahassee.

Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled that Districts 5 and 10 were drawn to benefit Republicans and need changing. Seven other districts that had been challenged do not need to be redrawn.

Photo via Flickr//EPI2oh

$10 million in State of Florida grant money is coming to the Panhandle, to help pay for upgrades in local storm water infrastructure. That word comes from state Senate President Don Gaetz.

The money is part of a $90 million settlement between the Department of Justice and MOEX Offshore – a co-owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded four years ago, causing the nation’s worst oil spill.

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