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First Coast Connect

4/3/2018: Philip Levine; One Spark; Professional Educators Network

Kevin Meerschaert

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with former Miami Beach Mayor and Democratic candidate for Governor Philip Levine (01:03).

Ahead of this week’s One Spark festival we spoke with Board Chairman Peter Rummell and Florida Blue Market President Darnell Smith (31:38).

We talked to Bob Boyd, counsel for the Professional Education Network of Florida (PEN), about HB 7055 which was recently signed into law by Governor Rick Scott  (46:00).    

Philip Levine

He’s the former mayor of Miami Beach and is one of four major candidates looking to win the Democratic nomination for Governor of Florida.

Philip Levine is touting his American Dream roots and his tenure as a progressive mayor of a large South Florida city in his run for the nomination.

He says he wants to focus on fighting sea level rise, bring more jobs and a living minimum wage to Florida.

One Spark 2018

One Spark 2018 kicks off this Thursday in a new location: Daily’s Place.

Startup companies and entrepreneurs – called One Spark Creators – will receive market validation and compete for cash prizes.

But the venue is a big change from the festival’s origins. The festival used to take over a big chunk of downtown.

Professional Educators Network

Florida will create the nation's first ever private school voucher program for bullied students under a sweeping education bill signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott.

The far-reaching measure pushed by House Speaker Richard Corcoran also requires all Florida schools to display the words "In God We Trust" on school grounds. It also mandates unions that represent teachers go through a recertification process if membership levels fall beneath a certain threshold.

Boyd says PEN is not a union and is not attempting to step into the process of collective bargaining.

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.