October 25, 2013

Broward prosecutor named new head of the state's Sexually Violent Predator Program

The Department of Children and Families today announced that longtime Broward County prosecutor Kristin Kanner has been named the new director of the state’s Sexually Violent Predator Program.

Here's the release:

For more than 20 years, Kanner has served as an Assistant State Attorney in the 17th Judicial Circuit and has led the office’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit since 2004.

“After seeing Kristin testify in front of the Legislature last month during hearings on sexually violent predators, I knew she was the right person to lead the program,” DCF Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo said. “This is the first time in the program’s 14-year history that it will be led by a former prosecutor who brings an intimate knowledge of each stage of the process and an increased emphasis on public safety.”

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March 09, 2012

Daily Digest for Friday, 3/9


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Five Stories To Think About Today

* The Legislature is cruising toward sine die, but can't get there without passing a budget. After days of negotiations, Sen. JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales, and Rep. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, churned out a 122-page bill that's up for a vote in both chambers. The Florida Supreme Court could also release a ruling on the constitutionality of the Senate's redistricting maps.

* The Senate will take a final vote on SB 1718, known as "parent trigger." Prompting fierce debate in both chambers, the proposal would enable parents at low-performing schools to demand sweeping changes, including transforming the school into a charter school.

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March 08, 2012

Daily Digest for Thursday, 3/8


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Five Stories To Think About Today

 * The Senate will take up SB 1368, which would authorize state agencies to allow for random drug testing of employees. The bill would also permit the agencies to fire any employee who receives a first-time positive drug test result. The House already passed the measure.

* A controversial education proposal, known as "parent trigger," is scheduled for the Senate floor. SB 1718 would enable parents at low-performing schools to demand sweeping changes, including transforming the school into a charter school. The House passed the companion bill.

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March 07, 2012

Daily Digest for Wednesday, 3/7


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Five Stories To Think About Today

* Three days remain in session, and only 12 bills have passed both the House and Senate. Three have been approved by the governor. The House passed dozens of substantive bills last week, but the Senate calendar is unambitious.

* The budget will get its first full day of review.

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March 06, 2012

Daily Digest for Tuesday, 3/6


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Five Stories To Think About Today

 * Leon County Circuit Court Judge Jackie Fulford will announce her decision in a lawsuit over state worker pensions. Depending on how Fulford rules, legislators could face a $2 billion budget hole.

* PIP reform, a top priority for Gov. Rick Scott, is up for debate and a possible vote in the Senate. The proposal strengthens regulations for medical clinics, creates a statewide anti-fraud task force, and bans acupuncturists and massage therapists from participating in PIP. The House companion, which looks somewhat different, passed Monday.

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March 05, 2012

Daily Digest for Monday, 3/5


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Five Stories To Think About Today

 * As the clock ticks down on the final week of session, lawmakers are expected to start early and wrap up late each day to vote on hundreds of bills that are poised for the floors of the House and Senate.  Meanwhile, Sen. JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales, and Rep. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, will continue budget negotiations.

* Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich, D-Weston, is planning a press conference to oppose SB 1718, a hotly contested education bill known as "parent trigger." Headed to the Senate floor, the bill would enable parents with children at low-performing schools to demand big changes, including having the school converted into a charter school.

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March 02, 2012

Daily Digest for Friday, 3/2

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Five Stories To Think About Today

 * It's graveyard time for legislation. With only eight days left in the legislative session, only 27 of the 2,049 bills filed have been passed, according to a daily report compiled by the Florida Senate. Of those bills, five of them were symbolic memorials to Congress and two were the redistricting maps lawmakers are constitutionally required to pass.

* The last of the budget conference committees could meet today. After that, Senate Budget Chairman JD Alexander and House Budget Chairwoman Denise Grimsley will likely take over the budget negotiations.

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March 01, 2012

Daily Digest for Thursday, 3/1

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Five Stories To Think About Today

 * The controversial charter school bill, HB 903, will be heard on the floor today. As it stands, the bill allows charter schools to more easily access federal education funds -- and requires charter schools to post information about their management companies online. But Rep. Janet Adkins, the bill's sponsor, has twice tried to add in language that would require traditional school districts to share their construction money with charter schools. She plans to try again on the floor, she told reporters this week.

* Two other important PreK-12 education bills will come before the House: a bill that would expand the tax credit cap (in effect, expanding voucher programs for low-income students) and a bill that makes changes to the Florida High School Athletic Association. Coaches have slammed the latter of the two bills, saying it gives private-school athletes an unfair advantage.

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February 29, 2012

Daily Digest for Wednesday, 2/29

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It's Leap Day and FAMU day in the Capitol, so look out for orange and green. Today is also seersucker day, so expect to see some stylish and summery suits.

 

Five Stories To Think About Today

 * The House will take up a proposal from Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, to outlaw Internet cafes, which often operate video slot machines. Attorney General Pam Bondi is backing the proposal, but opponents say it would lead to the loss of 13,000 jobs statewide.

* The lower chamber will also consider a bill that would allow parents to make sweeping changes at low-performing schools. In some cases, parents could even opt to have the school converted into a charter school. The bill, known as the Parent Empowerment Act, has the support of former Gov. Jeb Bush and nationally known school reformer Michelle Rhee. But it has met opposition from Florida parent groups, including the statewide Parent Teacher Association.

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February 28, 2012

Daily Digest for Tuesday, 2/28


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 Here's what we're watching on Day 50 of the 2012 Florida Legislature.

Five Stories To Think About Today

 * Today marks the last day for committee hearings. By the end of the day, any bills that haven't made it through the committee process will be all but dead. Many proposals, however, will continue flying forward.

* The House will take up a sweeping health care bill, HB 1419, that includes new requirements for hospitals to contract with managed care providers. The lower chamber will also consider a proposal that would let local school boards place advertising on school buses. Any revenue would go back to the school systems.

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