The Florida Department of Environmental Protection today announced it has completed a series of post-hurricane season beach inspections, as part of the response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
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Governors of 12 states, all of them Republicans, declared Jan. 22-28 “National School Choice Week,” according to organizers of the weeklong event. Not joining them: Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Kaiser Health News and The Washington Post report that the “pressure is growing on the federal government” to create health insurance exchanges for states falling behind in implementing the federal mandate, as well as states that are “flat-out” refusing to create exchanges — such as Florida.
A new report issued by The National Academy of Engineering, a government-created nonprofit, concludes that the lack of regulation and ineffective safety management practices that led to BP’s catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have not been fully remedied — leaving communities in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana potentially vulnerable to another oil spill.
During a speech given in Texas last night, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder criticized legal challenges launched by states — including Florida — against the section of the Voting Rights Act that requires approval of election laws in certain areas. Holder also affirmed the need for vigilance against laws aimed at rolling back voting rights.
A federal health agency yesterday denied two states’ requests for waivers of a provision in the health care reform law that requires a profit cap for health insurance companies. Florida is currently waiting for a decision on a similar waiver from the agency.
North Dakota is on its way to becoming the first state in the country to have an operating health insurance exchange program. Each state is required by the Affordable Care Act to have some infrastructure in place by January 2013 for an exchange. Florida remains one of the lone states dragging its feet.
According to a plan approved by the Coast Guard and obtained by the Associated Press, BP will no longer be responsible for the cleanup of any oil washing up on Gulf of Mexico shores, unless officials can prove it came from the BP well that blew out in 2010, killing 11 workers and sending more than 20 million gallons of oil into the gulf.
The Obama administration has approved BP’s first plan to drill for oil in the gulf since last year’s Deepwater Horizon disaster, which left 11 dead and damaged the gulf ecosystem and the economies of the states that border it. Representatives for the Gulf Restoration Network say the decision is “problematic,” considering the fact that comprehensive safety legislation has yet to be passed through Congress.
Florida had 69 mass layoff actions during the month of September, the fourth highest number in the nation, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics summary released today.