The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 31, 1998 · Page 6
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March 31, 1998

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 6

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Tuesday, March 31, 1998
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6A THE PALM BEACH POST TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 1998 SELECT TROPICAL MENSWEAR House weighs kindergarten vouchers The plan would give poor parents about $3,500 to send ill-prepared children to private schools. Crawford said the district would prefer first to let Webster's preschool consolidation, which it ma FALMBEACH j Track bills, e-mail your TAILORED CLOTHING' sportjackets ; -100 WOOL; 100 SILKWOOL, SILK C ASHMER E-WERH2l5.OO-$675.00 NOW $&5.0Q7$495.00 f DRESS TROUSERS , "1 " -100TropicAlwool- . SOLbsWERisi35.00 NOW $119.00 ) FANCIES WERE Sl$5.00 NOW $149.00 (? ' :l - ( By Shirish Date Palm Beach Post Staff Writer : TALLAHASSEE Florida i would see its first school vouchers, under a House plan to let poor parents of ill-prepared pre-l schoolers send them to kindergarten at a private school. ' Speaker Daniel Webster, a 1 devout Christian and a longtime ' supporter of vouchers, said he ' wants to help students who might otherwise remain behind 1 through the rest of their school-t ing not help get the "camel's nose under the tent" of public financing for private schools, including religious schools. "A child who is not going to be ready for school at 5 years old is ' , going to be a problem," Webster said. Those that are not ready, we know will fall through the cracks." As he did last week when he announced his proposal to consolidate all child-care and preschool programs under a single unjbrella, Webster had with him a member of the House black caucus, a group that splintered away from the Democrats in January during a squabble over the party's leadership this fall. Rep. Beryl Roberts-Burke, D-Mlami and a sponsor of the kindergarten voucher bill, said children who start kindergarten ill-prfpared often cost the state dejarly in their adolescence and early adulthood, often in the form of prison or welfare costs. "We're offering a better alternative from Complimentary valet and self-parking available. 350 So. County Road Palm Beach 655.5454 Mon., Tues., Wed., Sat. 10am - 6pm Thurs. - Friday 10am - 9pm HONOLULU HOLLYWOOD HAVANA 1939 1959 Phone rate legislation stalls again supports, work for a couple of years before decidmg whether an expansion of vouchers into the K-12 years is necessary. "We just think if it isn't broke. don't fix it," Pickup-Crawford said. Both the pre-kindergarten and the kindergarten proposals are scheduled for their first hearings in committee today. I wares High Tech Entertaining 15,795 From The Disklavier plays just like the original artist with pre-recorded disks. Choose from Peter Nero, Geo. Shering, Liberace - Musicals, Classics, Jazz, Dinner Music, C & W. Over 400 Disks Available A Trusted Home In Music Sine 1933 Oaktree Plaza 1 1 575 US Hwy One North Palm Beach 694-0800 Across from PuWix 90 days FREE financing 0 Down No Payments for 90 Days. The Lf Rates A A ; L. I - Month CD. Rise. So Can p opinions at Palm Beach Interactive: www.GoPBI.comVournewt the beginning," she said. Other Democrats promised strong opposition, just as they did last week in response to the plan to transfer the lottery-financed pre-kindergarten program from the education budget into the health and human services budget. "I would have a lot of problems with that," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston. "I can't find a valid public policy reason for supporting (vouchers.)" Webster, however, said the public policy reason is simple: to open up, statewide, an additional 3,000 to 5,000 kindergarten slots now available in private schools, where children may get more individual attention than in public schools. Approximately 5,000 or 6,000 children would be eligible for the kindergarten vouchers, he said. Parents would be given the amount of money each school district is given for a kindereart- ner about $3,500 to use, if they wanted, to send their child to a private school for a year. They could also choose to put the child in a public school kindergarten, Webster said. Palm Beach County Schools spokesman Vernon Pickup- hearing in the Environmental Protection Committee, but Saun ders said he is working to get the bill directly to the House floor. Shirish Date Pool measure revised Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Davie, backed off her crusade to require fences around pools Monday and instead agreed to a compromise that would re- quire all new pools to have one of four safety features. Wasserman Schultz introduced the watered- down version of her bill during a hearing in the House Community Affairs Committee and it passed unanimously. "I'm elated about this. I think the bill has some momentum now that it's come out of committee " Wasserman Schultz said after the vote. She intends to ask the speaker of the House to move the bill along faster now that it has garnered support. The bill now says that in order to pass inspec tion a pool must have one of the following: A fence or a safety cover, or, the back doors of a house leading to the pool must have alarms that sound when the door is opened, or self-closing, self-latching locks. Anyone who fails to equip a new pool with a safety feature would be charged with a misdemeanor. Mary Lou Picket Minority firm invited At least one minority firm was among more than 30 invited to jom tne states trial team in a lawsuit against the tobacco in dustry, a key member of the group testified to a Senate ethics panel Monday. Tallahassee attorney David Fonvielles testimony contrasts with accusations that the all-white, all-male lawyers were handpicked for a lucrative payday by Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles. "Comments on the good old boy (network) are absolutely false," Fonvielle said. There were Republicans on the team, and I'd never met the governor in my life." The lawyer was subpoenaed to appear in front of the Senate Executive Business, Ethics, and Elections Committee, a group in vestigating the behind-the-scenes dealings during the $11 billion settlement with the tobacco industry. Last week, an episode of ABC's 2020 dubbed the entire affair as "an old boys scam." Fonvielle said every lawyer in the state qualified to take the case was contacted by Pensacola attorney Fred Levin, a friend of the governor who was one of the architects of the lawsuit that sought recover money Florida spent treating sick smokers. Of the more than 30 lawyers invited to join. Fonvielle said 21 showed up to the first meeting and nine Florida firms ended up on the case. Fonvielle said more women than men worked on the deal at times, and at k-ast one of the original lawyers contacted was a black man. Your Interest MWsCD. Patm Beach Post Staff and Wire Reports A proposal designed to in-' crease local phone rates Monday once again stalled in the House Ufilities and Telecommunications Committee, the panel that Aftffvrt just six weeks ago voted to dou- ble them oyer the next six years. Commit- tee members quickly CAPITAL NOTEBOOK backed away from the original mea- sure after a public outcry and af ter prominent GOP leaders de-ncfunced the idea, particularly in ant election year. A second version of the bill allowed a $l-a-mpnth increase per year over the next six years and sent the decision on whether to actually do so to 'the nonpartisan Public Service Commission. But even that version drew criticism. "Let's cut to the chase: We're all a bit shellshocked," said Rep. Scott Clemons, D-Panama City, wBo voted with the 14-2 majority in! February but who has since shied away from that position. ! The latest version simply tells the PSC to figure out how much b(3ow market rate, if any, phone cpanies are charging residents customers, and allows the grpup to find a way to bring the rafe to "fair and reasonable" levels. ; After nearly two hours of discussion, committee chairman Rep. Joe Amall, R-Jacksonville Beach, put off a vote on the measure until at least Thursday. Shirish Date Canal bill clears panel The legislature would specifically have to authorize the state's participation in any proposal to re-plumb South Florida's extensive canal system to help restore the Everglades under a bill that cleared its first committee Monday. The proposal forces the South Florida Water Management District to present the results of the so-called "restudy" to the governor and the legislature and prevents it from joining the Army Corps of Engineers as a local sponsor without legislative approval. Rep. Burt Saunders, R-Na- pies, sponsorea me onginai dm, which was drafted by lobbyists for the sugar industry. Environmentalists complained that the measure was designed merely to delay restoration work. They went to Rep. Sandy Safley, R-Clearwater, to push an amendment that would have given the legislature the ability to stop the district from participating in the $5 billion project, but would have let the district proceed without to Sure Step 16 gmg-r 1 Tnere 's no Pace t0 g DUt up with the Sure Step CD MjTS"" I from NationsBank and Barnett. Because no matter what J happens to interest rates, you'll come out ahead. If rates rise, you can step up to a higher rate after only six months, locking in that higher rate for an additional 16 months, or longer. If rates go down, you're already locked in for 16 months at your original rate. We also offer an IRA which works the same way. So stop by your nearest NationsBank or Barnett banking center to open your Sure Step CD. Barnett. A Merger Of Ideas. A New Level Of Financial Opportunity.. Afju. p-r-TiW vt ds ( PY ffWt: ft r4 Man t 12. I Tr r.iiunum baiarw to ti n iro'jrit a ll.Ono The minimum ha.wvr to earn a 5 7f AJV m 110 Otirt Kr-ounU i:U. liinii urxW i rv 4 r AFY Af'Y- ftrr !ftwd urt ft 16 frmth Sir ( f) kites ftrr tut .jrt W hr wrrhtmr rir A ptrtftltv hr otyJ for rftrti ttith-irawal S:Hv-rWi ( -rjiraf sutAhJir tmtxks r Mmjr Fl'l Banwtt Banfc . N A a xL' omivd vut-si fcan of NftMoraBart Ofpnrfti! C I i NftUntuBank Cory such a prohibition. ; Safley 's amendment, however, failed on a voice vote of the House Water and Resource Management Committee, which then passed Saunders' bill on an 11-1 vote. The measure is next set for a (

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