Florida: 5 Things To Know For October 13

Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

BIDEN TO CAMPAIGN WITH CRIST IN SOUTH FLORIDA

Vice President Joe Biden is heading to South Florida to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist. Biden will appear with the former Republican governor on Monday at a Boca Raton synagogue and at Broward College’s Coconut Creek campus. Crist and Gov. Rick Scott are virtually tied in the polls leading up to the Nov. 4 election. The two are scheduled to have their second debate on Wednesday. It will be at Broward College’s main campus in Davie.

FLAG PROTEST IN CAPE CORAL

Some Cape Coral residents plan to protest a city ordinance that treats U.S. flags just like advertising banners. The city ordinance says flags, banners and other signs cannot block sidewalks and other right-of-way. That caused an inspector to tell a hardware store to move six small American flags from the public side of the business onto private property. Protesters say they will display their own flags Monday in hopes of getting the City Council to change the law.

UNIVERSITIES USE CORPORATIONS TO SKIRT PUBLIC RECORDS LAW

Florida’s public universities are setting up corporations to run their athletic teams, fundraising and other programs to avoid releasing information under the state’s open records law. The universities claim the corporations are not state agencies so they don’t have to supply information like salaries and donations that would normally be public records. However, the University of Central Florida wants its athletic corporation declared a state agency so it won’t have to pay a $10 million lawsuit won by the family of a football player who died during a practice.

SCOTT, CRIST FAR APART ON MEDICAID EXPANSION

Republican Gov. Rick Scott and his Democratic opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist, are far apart on their plans for Medicare expansion. Scott says he will leave that up to the Legislature, which has opposed expansion. Crist says if the Legislature won’t add 1 million low-income residents to the plan, he will try to do it through an executive order. The federal government has agreed to pay 100 percent of the Medicaid expansion costs for three years — about $50 billion over 10 years — and start phasing down to 95 percent in 2017.

AMENDMENT 1 WOULD RAISE BILLIONS FOR LAND CONSERVATION

In what supporters are labeling the “end game for conservation in Florida,” voters this November are being asked to change the state constitution to earmark billions of tax dollars for a host of environmental protection projects. The Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, or Amendment 1 on the ballot, would dedicate 33 percent of annual revenue raised through an existing tax on real estate transactions over the next 20 years to conservation projects. That amounts to an estimated $18 billion to $20 billion for everything from beach and spring restoration, to park improvements.

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News Talk Florida Staff