Florida Supreme Court upholds retirement law
The Florida Supreme Court has upheld a law requiring public employees to contribute 3 percent of their pay to the state's pension plan. The 4-3 decision on Thursday reversed a trial judge's ruling that said the law violated the collective bargaining and contract rights of about 600,000 teachers, state and county employees and some city workers. More at AP, the Orlando Sentinel and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Gov. Rick Scott calls for more early voting dates and locations
Gov. Rick Scott is recommending that supervisors of elections be allowed to offer up to 14 days of early voting – the number of days allowed before lawmakers shortened the early voting period two years ago.
Scott also wants to see the number of voting sites be increased. He issued this statement: "Our ultimate goal must be to restore Floridians’ confidence in our election system. ... We need more early voting days, which should include an option of the Sunday before Election Day, and we need more early voting locations." More at the Miami Herald.
Florida immigrant seeking law license receives work permit
An illegal immigrant seeking a Florida law license has received a federal deportation deferral and work permit. Jose Godinez-Samperio also notified the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday that he has received a Florida driver license. The high court is considering whether to admit him to the Florida Bar after hearing oral argument in October. Full story and backstory from the Associated Press.
Jackson Health System asks Kendall trauma center be shut down
Ratcheting up the stakes in Miami-Dade’s hospital wars, Jackson Health System has filed two petitions with the state demanding a hearing to consider its belief that the license for trauma operations at Kendall Regional Medical Center was granted illegally and should be revoked. More at the Miami Herald.
Sweetbay Supermarkets plans to close 33 under-performing stores in Florida. The closings, which are planned to occur by mid-February, will leave Sweetbay with 72 stores in the state. Full story at the Tampa Bay Times and see Florida Trend's map of the closings.