Politics

Residents, Lawmakers Sound Off About Bill Requiring Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

Residents, Lawmakers Sound Off About Bill Requiring Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  Governor Rick Scott signed a bill Tuesday that will require people who receive government assistance to take a drug test in order to receive benefits.

"The goal of this is to make sure the taxpayers aren't paying for someone to take illegal drugs," Scott said.

The law requires every person who applies for the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program to pay for the drug test. If the test comes back negative, then the state will pick up the cost. If it's positive, the person loses benefits for one year.

"In some ways I think it's a good thing," agreed 36-year-old Jacksonville resident Casandra Greene.

Greene depends on public assistance to feed her eight children. She said she understands some people abuse the system and she hopes the law will make them think twice.

But Greene thinks it's too bad those people have to hurt parents like her who are trying to do right by their kids.

Scott Approval Rate Hits New Low

Scott Approval Rate Hits New Low

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott's approval rating has dropped to a new low, although he's been on the job for less than five months.

A poll released Wednesday shows Florida voters disapproved of the way Scott's been doing that job by a 57 percent to 29 percent margin.

The Quinnipiac University poll, though, shows the Republican governor has plenty of company. Voters rated the GOP-controlled Florida Legislature about the same. They disapproved of lawmakers' work 56 percent to 27 percent.

Scott and the Legislature each are down from 35 percent approval ratings they got in a similar poll released April 6. Pollsters called 1,196 registered voters on cell and land lines May 17 through 23. The poll has an error rate of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

SJC Chamber of Commerce Welcomes Carol Saviak as new Government Relations Manager

SJC Chamber of Commerce Welcomes Carol Saviak as new Government Relations Manager

The St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce announces the addition of Carol Saviak, Government Relations Manager, to its staff. In this newly crafted Government Relations Manager position, Saviak will have two primary areas of focus: business advocacy and economic development. She will work closely with the Economic Development Council in establishing both the State and Local legislatives agendas and subsequently, serve as our advocate for the business community. She will also assist the Vice President of Economic Development in implementation of the tactics focused on increasing employment totals, average wages and commercial tax base within St. Johns County.

2011 Lincoln - Reagan Day Celebration

Chairman Harlan Mason and the St. Johns County Republican Party are pleased to announce our 2011 Lincoln - Reagan Day Celebration on Tuesday May 24th, 2011. Our headline speaker will be former United States Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania who has formed an exploratory committee and is considering a run for President in 2012.The field is narrowing with the annoucement by Mike Huckabee last night that he would pass up the race for President in 2012.

State Takes Action Against Companies Soliciting Fake Energy Audits

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced today the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has filed suit against Unlimited Energy Solutions, Inc., and nine individuals for violation of the Florida Telephone Solicitation Statute. The lawsuit was filed as a result of an investigation of numerous complaints received by the Department in regard to potentially illegal sales calls.

Update: St. Augustine Passes Horse and Carriage Law, 3-2

Update: St. Augustine Passes Horse and Carriage Law, 3-2

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A new carriage proposal has passed following a public hearing on the ordinance tonight.

The city-drafted law would control the number of horse-drawn carriages on the streets. 

The St. Augustine City Commission voted 3-2 to pass the bill into law around 7:30 p.m. today; commissioners Bill Leary and Nancy Sykes-Kline were the two dissenting votes.

The sticking point for the commissioners was whether or not to keep the blackout period in the ordinance. As written, carriages cannot operate from 4:30 to 6 p.m. because of traffic issues.

But some of the bed and breakfasts aren't unhappy with that decision, because they have guests who often charter carraiges to get to dinner and other events during that period of time.

St. Johns County Education Foundation Welcomes New Board Member

St. Johns County Education Foundation Welcomes New Board Member

The St. Johns County Education Foundation is pleased to welcome its newest Board Member, Peggy Gachet.  Gachet heard about the Foundation through Dr. Joseph Joyner’s key communicator’s group.

Gachet, who is creative in problem solving and business sales, will assist the Foundation in raising funds for its numerous efforts within the community.