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Governors in the news: Florida's Scott holds off on changing a policy while Rick Snyder charges ahead in Michigan

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January 20, 2011

By Eileen McGuire-Mahony

Despite personal opposition, Florida's Governor will not seek to ban gay adoptions

While saying he personally believes adoptive parents should be heterosexual couples, Republican Rick Scott has not given any indication that he is planning to revive Florida's ban on gay adoptions. Scott shares this view with David Wilkins, the man named as Secretary of the Department of Children & Families on Tuesday. As well as keeping in line with the Scott Administration's professed priorities, the policy continues that of the preceding administration. After Florida's Supreme Court ruled, in 2010, in favor of an openly gay man who has spent six years in a protracted adoption battle, former Attorney General Bill McCollum and outgoing DCF head George Sheldon declined to appeal. Sheldon additionally instructed his officers to cease enforcing the ban. In addition to Governor Scott and Secretary Wilkins, current Attorney General Pam Bondi has said she will not immediately seek to overturn the ruling.[1]

Michigan's chief executive uses State of the State to roll out aggressive economic plan

Michigan's new Republican Governor, Rick Snyder, announced two initiatives on Wednesday. Making his first State of the State address, Snyder rolled out the Michigan Dashboard, or “MiDashboard”, an online toll accessible to the public that will track the state's progress in five key areas using 21 discrete metrics.[2] The measurements include both some direct measures and some inferential statistics, designed to be part of an ongoing plan to rehabilitate the troubled state's flagging economy.

Governor Snyder is also moving ahead on a jointly funded bridge connecting Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, The Detroit River border is the busiest international crossing point on the continent, something Snyder sees as a way to bring jobs and economic stimuli into his state. Canada's government has pledged $550 million (US) and Snyder has already secured a matching grant form the Federal Highway Administration. As outlined in his speech, all additional funding will come from private investors, something that would fulfill a campaign promise not to raise taxes to pay for such a bridge.[3]