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Kristen M. Clark, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Kristen M. Clark

Kristen Clark covers the Florida Legislature and state government in the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee bureau. A Michigan State graduate, Kristen previously covered community news for the Palm Beach Post, Michigan state government for the Lansing State Journal and local and federal politics for the Forum in Fargo, N.D. She is married to Ryan S. Clark, a sports journalist who covers Florida State athletics for Warchant.com.

Email: kclark@miamiherald.com

Twitter: @ByKristenMClark

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  1. Union-backed coalition launches ad urging veto of schools bill, taking Republicans out of context

    Blog

    The fight over whether Republican Gov. Rick Scott should sign or veto a controversial $419 million K-12 public schools bill is escalating to new levels: Ad wars.

    A labor union-backed political advocacy group debuted an online video ad Tuesday (below), asking Scott to veto HB 7069 because it heavily favors privately managed charter schools over traditional public education....

    Fight for Florida, a labor union-backed political advocacy group, debuted an online video ad, asking Gov. Rick Scott to veto HB 7069.
  2. Pam Bondi on Sunshine exemption sealing criminal records: What about sex offenders?

    Blog

    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says she’s “concerned” about a new exemption to the state’s Sunshine Law, which would virtually eliminate Floridians’ access to millions of criminal and arrest records.

    Approved unanimously by lawmakers last month, SB 118 would require clerks to seal more than 2.7 million criminal records and hundreds of thousands of arrest records for individuals who were found not guilty, acquitted at trial, had charges against them dropped or dismissed, or weren’t charged after being arrested....

    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
  3. Florida Lottery secretary leaving for Kentucky lottery job

    Blog

    The reason Florida’s lottery secretary will leave his post next week after 17 years with the agency became clear Tuesday: Tom Delacenserie accepted a higher-paying position as the new head of Kentucky’s state lottery.

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office announced Delacenserie’s forthcoming departure last Friday, with no details on why Delacenserie was resigning effective June 2....

    Florida Lottery Secretary Tom Delacenserie, left, is resigning June 2 to take a job as the new president and CEO of the Kentucky Lottery Corp.
  4. Sunshine Law takes further hits with new Legislature-approved exemptions

    Blog

    From temporarily shielding the identities of murder witnesses to permanently sealing millions of criminal and arrest records, state lawmakers did more this spring than they have in all but one of the past 22 years to chip away at Floridians’ constitutional guarantees to access government records and observe meetings of their elected officials....

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O Lakes and Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, talk during a budget conference committee meeting in Tallahassee on May 5.
  5. Potential new laws further curb Floridians' right to government in the Sunshine

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — From temporarily shielding the identities of murder witnesses to permanently sealing millions of criminal and arrest records, state lawmakers did more this spring than they have in all but one of the past 22 years to chip away at Floridians' constitutional guarantees to access government records and observe meetings of their elected officials.

    The Legislature passed 17 new provisions — and reauthorized six others — that create carve-outs in the state's Sunshine Law, according to a tally by the First Amendment Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates for transparency in government and has annually tracked Sunshine-related legislation....

    The Legislature passed 17 new exemptions to the Sunshine Law, according to a tally by the First Amendment Foundation.
  6. Report: Miami-Dade charter school offered students 'extra credit' to voice support for bill

    Blog

    While some Miami-Dade charter schools were offering incentives to parents last week if they declared support for a controversial education bill, one charter school in Hialeah Gardens reportedly directed its teachers to offer students "extra credit" if they signed online petitions in favor of HB 7069....

  7. Conservative group thanks senators, urges Scott approval of schools bill

    Blog

    A national Hispanic conservative group is showing its gratitude to 18 Republican state lawmakers who were crucial to passing a controversial and charter-friendly K-12 public schools bill, in the hopes of building more support for Gov. Rick Scott to sign the legislation into law....

    An example of a mailer the LIBRE Initiative is sending to senators this week regarding a K-12 public schools bill that passed and would expand school choice in Florida.
  8. PolitiFact: House Speaker Richard Corcoran misleads about education legislation negotiations

    State Roundup

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran says his critics are wrong that the main education bill was hammered out behind closed doors.

    Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, tweeted that it is "fiction" to say that the "best and brightest teachers and principals provision in HB 7069 was NOT made public."

    "Fact: these provisions were contained in HB 7069 which was filed on March 10, 2017 passed two committees and the House 79-38 on April 13th, 2017."...

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes, center, was all smiles on the House floor May 5 after budget negotiations. (SCOTT KEELER   |   Times)
  9. Florida's largest school district to host town halls on Legislature's K-12 spending plan

    Blog

    Miami-Dade County Public Schools — namely through its superintendent, Alberto Carvalho — has been one of the most vocal opponents in the past couple weeks against the Legislature’s approved K-12 spending for 2017-18 and related legislation (HB 7069) that has $419 million earmarked for special programs and myriad policy critics say would diminish traditional public education....

    Miami Dade schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho
  10. Florida Lottery secretary to resign June 2

    Blog

    After just 18 months being in charge of the Florida Lottery, Secretary Tom Delacenserie is leaving his job.

    Delacenserie is resigning his post effective June 2, Gov. Rick Scott's office announced Friday.

    Scott appointed Delacenserie to head the Florida Lottery in November 2015. He replaced Cynthia O'Connell, one of Rick Scott's original agency heads, who resigned after details emerged about questionable travel expenses and absenteeism. Before then, Delacenserie had for two years been the deputy secretary of sales and marketing. He began working for the Florida Lottery in 2000....

    Florida Lottery Secretary Tom Delacenserie
  11. Most of public wants veto of HB 7069, Gov. Scott's office indicates

    Blog

    By a margin of at least 3-to-1 so far, Floridians are telling Gov. Rick Scott they want him to veto a controversial $419 million K-12 public schools bill House Republicans pushed through at the end of session, according to information requested from Scott’s office Thursday evening.

    In the 10 days since lawmakers approved HB 7069, the state’s Republican governor has been inundated with roughly 10,000 emails, phone calls, letters and petition signatures urging him to either sign or reject the bill....

    Gov. Rick Scott
  12. Florida colleges: Funding cuts to us - amid favor to universities - is 'demoralizing'

    Blog

    As Senate President Joe Negron aims to make Florida’s 12 public universities “elite” destinations, state lawmakers this spring voted to give an extra $232 million next year to those institutions — while simultaneously cutting $25 million that has helped the state’s 28 state colleges serve students who are most in need.

    The stark difference in funding priorities was received as a decisive insult to institutions like Miami Dade College and Broward College — and the tens of thousands of students they serve: That they don’t matter as much as the universities....

    Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton.
  13. While Hillsborough, St. Pete colleges take a budget hit — public universities get more

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — As Senate President Joe Negron aims to make Florida's 12 public universities "elite" destinations, state lawmakers this spring voted to give an extra $232 million next year to those institutions — while simultaneously cutting $25 million that has helped the state's 28 state colleges serve students who are most in need.

    The stark difference in funding priorities was received as a decisive insult to institutions like Hillsborough Community College and Pasco-Hernando State College — and the tens of thousands of students they serve: That they don't matter as much as universities....

    Florida Senate President Joe Negron talk to members in the chamber. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times].
  14. Corcoran scores surprising ally in schools bill

    Blog

    Miami Democratic Rep. Roy Hardemon had an unlikely and influential ally showering him with praise in his legislative district Wednesday: House Speaker Richard Corcoran.

    “[Hardemon] doesn’t care who’s got power. He doesn’t care what the status quo is. He doesn’t care whether he gets elected,” Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, said in brief remarks on stage for the groundbreaking of the Liberty Square redevelopment project, with Hardemon at his side....

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, left, R-Land Lakes, sits with Rep. Roy Hardemon, D-Miami, while they attend the groundbreaking ceremony to for the Liberty Square Rising project in Liberty City on Wednesday, May 17, 2017.
  15. Fact-checking Richard Corcoran's misleading tweet about education bill negotiations

    Blog

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran says his critics are wrong that the main education bill was hammered out behind closed doors.

    "Time to end the myth of ‘legislation negotiated in secret.’  #transparency #HB7069#PutKidsFirst," Corcoran tweeted May 12....

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, left, and Senate President Joe Negron talk to the press at the end of the legislative session on May 8, 2017.