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15 posts from October 1, 2013

October 01, 2013

PSC approves FPL's nuke fee request in record time

In record time on Tuesday, the Florida Public Service Commission approved charging Florida Power & Light  customers $43.5 million in 2014 for nuclear-power projects.

The fee will amount to 43 cents per 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, a drop of $1.19 from the current charge. It will be the seventh year the company has been able to use a law intended to help the company invest in the costly endeavor of building future nuclear power plants by collecting the money from customers to pay for upgrades to its existing plants.

The fees approved by the commission on Tuesday would allow FPL to put only $17 million into the cost of obtaining a license for two new reactors at the company's Turkey Point power plant complex in Miami-Dade County. The remaining estimated $26 million will be spent on upgrading existing projects.

Before legislators approved the so-called "advanced nuclear cost recovery" provision, utility companies were required to make the improvements and then seek permission from regulators to charge customers for it after the fact. By collecting the money in advance, regulators said Tuesday they believe FPL is operating efficiently. 

The PSC released this press release:

Continue reading "PSC approves FPL's nuke fee request in record time" »

Broward sets new voting precinct sizes


We reported in June that Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes was redrawing the precincts in advance of the 2014 election. Snipes expected to complete the process in September -- it isn't finished yet but we hear we can get an updated timeline later this week.

The new precincts will be between 500 and 5,000 voters, says spokeswoman Mary Cooney. 

We have also repeatedly asked for Snipes' thoughts on the next round of the state's non-citizen voter purge and whether Snipes plans to participate.  Here's all we could get about that: "As stated before, information hasn’t come out on the process, so she’s waiting to hear the details," Cooney said.

Head Start programs could be hurt by shutdown

There are 23 Head Start programs nationwide that are on an Oct. 1 funding cycle and could be hurt by the federal government shutdown. Here are the seven from Florida, according to the office of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston:

Mid-Florida Community Services

Episcopal Children’s Services Inc

Suwannee Valley Community Coordinated Care

Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners

Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners

Orange County Commission

Capital Area Community Action Agency

And that's on top of the fact that Head Start programs already faced cuts due to the sequester -- Florida expects to cut 1,205 slots.


Legislators hear plea to fix troubled child welfare agency

Speaker after speaker told Miami-Dade’s legislative delegation Monday that fixing Florida’s broken child welfare system requires more resources and better training for those on the frontlines. They asked lawmakers to do something.

In a two-hour meeting headed by Rep. Jose F. Diaz, vice chairman of the delegation, legislators were told more money is needed to create a stronger safety net for children facing risks — even if it means tapping the state’s budget surplus.

“I would like to put this back on you — this is about funding,’’ said Walter Lambert, the chief doctor of Miami’s Child Protection Team, who made a similar plea at a meeting in Broward last month.

The Department of Children & Families has had at least 20 children die while on its radar since the spring — a number that has placed the agency under intense public scrutiny. More here.


PPP: Rick Scott nearly ties Nan Rich (37-36%), Charlie Crist wallops him 50-38%


Public Policy Polling, a firm that typically surveys for Democrats and liberals (and that has recently come under fire) released numbers today showing Gov. Rick Scott remains unpopular in Florida and vulnerable in next year's election.

Scott is virtually tied 37-36 with little-known former state Sen. Nan Rich, an announced Democratic candidate struggling to fundraise.

But former Gov. Charlie Crist, expected to announce as a Democrat within a month or so, would soundly beat him under PPP's poll: 50-38%. Crist has bested Scott 52-40 and 53-39 in other PPP surveys. In Quinnipiac polls, Scott has trailed by a lesser margin that still hovers around 10 percentage points.

The poll numbers haven't hurt Scott's fundraising, however, his Let's Get to Work committee continues to pull in money hand over fist.

Download 130930_floridagovresults

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2013/03/ppp-charlie-crist-trouncing-rick-scott-by-12-points.html#storylink=cp