BC-FL--Preview,Advisory, FL

Editors:

Among the stories for Monday from the Florida AP:

MIAMI — A House committee will vote Monday on a watered-down alternative to Medicaid expansion that would extend coverage to roughly 115,000 people and rely on state funds, bypassing tens of billions of federal dollars under the federal health overhaul. It will be the first time the committee discusses the controversial bill since it was introduced last week. Gov. Rick Scott slammed the House bill, saying it would be a double hit for Florida taxpayers and instead pushed a Senate proposal that would still draw down federal dollars and give them to residents in the form of vouchers which they could use to purchase private health insurance.

ORLANDO — Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt addresses the AP's annual meeting.

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senators is almost ready to share with colleagues and voters an immigration overhaul crafted over several months. The so-called Gang of Eight is finishing up the final details and is planning to unveil the proposed legislation on Tuesday. Even before the measure gets its first public airing, its authors were defending the program that would provide a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million individuals in this country who came illegally or overstayed their visit. "We're not awarding anybody anything. All we're doing is giving people the opportunity to eventually earn access to our new, improved and modernized legal immigration system," said Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who has been among the lawmakers at work on the overhaul.

MIAMI — Duna Lopez started school in Miami last fall not knowing a single word of English. The 8-year-old girl from Barcelona, Spain, with dark blond hair was placed in the Coral Way Bilingual K-8 Center, the nation's oldest bilingual school. For half the day, she receives classes in Spanish; it's English for the rest. During language arts, she gets pulled out with three other new arrivals for extra help on grammar and phonics. After seven months, she's one of the most active participants in class. "In five months, like that, I learned it," she said. Duna's success is exceptional, but the language challenge she faced is increasingly common across the U.S. educational map. Nationwide, nonwhites are expected to become a majority of the population within a generation, and schools are at the cutting edge of that historic shift.

Also:

CHILD ABUSE DEATH — A man accused of child abuse in his daughter's death has posted bail and has left the Sarasota County Jail.

TODDLER-LAWN MOWER ACCIDENT — Financial help is pouring in for the family of a toddler who lost her feet when her father accidentally backed a lawn mower over her outside their Palm Harbor home.

TRIPLE FATAL CRASH — Police say three people died when their Jeep crashed shortly after they'd stolen some beer from a Tampa convenience store.

SHARK BITE — A surfer escaped with just a minor injury after being bitten by a shark off New Smyrna Beach.

CLERGY-HEALTH COVERAGE — Clergy members, veterans and community leaders are gathering in Tallahassee to ask the legislature to expand healthcare coverage to uninsured Floridians.

Contacts:

— Tallahassee, Brendan Farrington, 850-224-1211 (office), 850-224-2099 (fax)

— Pensacola, Melissa Nelson, 850-438-4951 (office), 850-438-0720 (fax).

— Tampa, Tamara Lush, 727-823-4721 (office), 727-821-2931(fax).

— Orlando, Mike Schneider, 407-425-4547 (office), 407-648-8011 (fax).

— West Palm Beach, Kelli Kennedy, 561-832-3466 (office).

The AP, Miami

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