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SKIMMER, TRAFFICKING LAWS HIT BOOKS SATURDAY
JIM TURNER |
County elections supervisors are up for pay raises, while penalties increase for trafficking in the modern version of food stamps and for stealing credit-card information at gas pumps, under new laws that go into effect Saturday... Story

TRUMP, CLINTON HEAD BACK TO FLORIDA AFTER DEBATE
JIM SAUNDERS |
Get ready, Florida voters... Story


TWO ON SHORT LIST TO LEAD ENTERPRISE FLORIDA
JIM TURNER |
A retired state Department of Transportation assistant secretary and a former adviser to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder are the finalists to lead Florida's public-private business recruitment agency... Story

WEEKLY ROUNDUP: THE TIMES, THEY ARE A-CHANGING
BRANDON LARRABEE |
As fall settles over Tallahassee --- at least in terms of the season, not the weather --- state government is also going through some changes... Read the Roundup

ADVANCES: WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 25, 2016
STAFF |
Policymakers and business leaders will converge on Orlando during the coming week to discuss economic-development issues... Read the Advances


BOARD SET TO REQUEST MORE MONEY FOR SCHOOLS
BRANDON LARRABEE |
The Florida Board of Education appears ready to request another record figure of per-student funding for public education, setting a starting point for what is annually one of the most politically charged debates over the state budget... Story

JUSTICES CLEAR HUNTER ON MUZZLELOADER CHARGE
JIM SAUNDERS |
Christopher Weeks donned camouflage and an orange vest and went hunting in February 2012 with a muzzleloader rifle that had been a Christmas gift from his wife... Story

BACKROOM BRIEFING: MCMULLIN BACKERS OFFER SOMETHING TO CHEW ON
JIM TURNER AND JIM SAUNDERS |
A Tallahassee food bank received hundreds of Publix muffins Thursday because the state's third-largest political party, in terms of registered voters, isn't on the November ballot... Read the Briefing

JUSTICES REJECT ARBITRATION IN NURSING HOME INJURY CASE
JIM SAUNDERS |
With similar questions popping up across the state in recent years, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday said a lawsuit about injuries suffered by a nursing-home resident should not be sent to arbitration... Story

LOBBYIST FILE - DOING BUSINESS ON THE FOURTH FLOOR, SEPTEMBER 22, 2016
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
BILL PROCTOR AND ASSOCIATES lobbyists William Proctor and Antonia Smith have registered to lobby for Bill Proctor and Associates, LLC. PAUL BRADSHAW has registered to lobby for Phosphorus Free Water Solutions, LLC. KEVIN BUCKLEY has registered to lobby for Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. CHIP CASE has registered to lobby for Tableau Software... Story


PUTNAM RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT CAPITOL UPGRADES
JIM TURNER |
Emergency repairs to two underground parking decks at the Capitol and planned upgrades to a main entry plaza could reach $75 million... Story

SCOTT TAPS BRAGG AS HEAD OF ELDER AFFAIRS
BRANDON LARRABEE |
It wasn't the first or second state job he applied for, but Jeffrey Bragg was appointed Wednesday to lead the agency that oversees services for older Floridians... Story

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA HAS: FIVE QUESTIONS FOR ANDREW GILLUM
DARA KAM |
Hurricane Hermine thrust Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum into the statewide spotlight this month after the Category 1 storm --- the first hurricane to hit Florida in more than a decade --- walloped the capital city... Story

PERSONNEL FILE - PEOPLE ON THE MOVE, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
JARYN EMHOF has been named chief of staff and communications director for Republican Congressman Daniel Webster... Read the Personnel File

DUDEK STEPPING DOWN AS AHCA SECRETARY
JIM SAUNDERS |
Liz Dudek, a longtime state health official who helped lead an overhaul of the Medicaid program, is retiring as secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday... Story


PLAN WOULD EXTEND BRIGHT FUTURES INTO SUMMER
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
The state university system's Board of Governors this week will debate expanding the Bright Futures scholarship program to cover summer classes... Story

FDLE SEEKS STATEWIDE ANTI-TERRORISM SQUADS
JIM TURNER |
Intent on preventing another mass nightclub shooting or a repeat of incidents this past weekend in New York and New Jersey, Florida's top cop wants to bulk up the state's anti-terrorism efforts... Story

BONDI BREAKS SILENCE ON TRUMP DONATION
JIM TURNER |
Attorney General Pam Bondi rejected renewed assertions Tuesday that a $25,000 political contribution from current Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump influenced her office in 2013 to dismiss allegations that Floridians had been bilked by Trump University... Story

REVAMPED SENATE CHAMBER TO BE READY FOR NOVEMBER SESSION
RYAN RAY |
When state senators arrive in Tallahassee after the November elections, they will be greeted by newly revamped digs... Story


UNIVERSITIES LOOK TO SHORE UP COUNSELING
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
With a 48 percent increase in the number of students seeking counseling, Florida universities are asking for an additional $14.5 million in the coming budget year to hire more mental health professionals, including psychologists, counselors, psychiatric nurses and prevention specialists... Story

WATER STANDARDS FIGHT HEADS TO APPEALS COURT
JIM SAUNDERS |
Moving quickly after a judge tossed out challenges to controversial new state water-quality standards, the city of Miami has signaled it will continue battling in an appeals court... Story

MIAMI ZONE LIFTED, BUT ZIKA FIGHT CONTINUES
JIM TURNER |
A federal travel advisory stemming from the Zika virus was downgraded Monday for one Miami-Dade County neighborhood, while eradication efforts have increased in a second, higher-profile area... Story

LOBBYIST FILE - DOING BUSINESS ON THE FOURTH FLOOR, SEPTEMBER 19, 2016
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
ERIKA ALBA has registered to lobby for the Institute of Hazardous Material Management... Story


WEEKLY ROUNDUP: FIGHT CLUB
BRANDON LARRABEE |
Signs weren't the only things causing fights in Florida politics this week... Read the Roundup

FIVE IN RUNNING FOR ENTERPRISE FLORIDA LEADER
JIM TURNER |
A former advisor to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and a retired Florida Department of Transportation assistant secretary are among five finalists to head the state's public-private business recruitment agency... Story

ADVANCES: WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 18, 2016
STAFF |
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will rally voters Monday in Southwest Florida, long a GOP stronghold... Read the Advances


PROVOST NAMED UWF PRESIDENT AMID CLAIM OF 'INTERFERENCE'
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
University of West Florida trustees on Thursday elevated a provost to the school's presidency, rejecting a state senator while the top trustee cited "interference" from Tallahassee in the decision... Story

FAMU TRUSTEES VOTE TO REPLACE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT
BRANDON LARRABEE |
The Florida A&M University board of trustees voted Thursday to approve a negotiated agreement leading to the exit of President Elmira Mangum, once again plunging the state's only public historically black university into uncertainty... Story

JUSTICES ORDER NEW ELECTION IN QUALIFYING CHECK CASE
JIM SAUNDERS |
Finding a state law unconstitutional, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a new mayoral election in Miami Gardens after the "irrational" disqualification of a candidate because of a snafu involving a returned check... Story

PERRY DEFENDS ACTIONS IN SIGN ALTERCATION
JIM TURNER |
State Rep. Keith Perry, who is running in a high-profile Senate race, met with reporters Thursday to defend his actions in an altercation in which he struck a Gainesville man over the removal of a campaign sign... Story

BACKROOM BRIEFING: RIGHTS RESTORATION COULD HEAD TO BALLOT
DARA KAM AND JIM TURNER |
Nearly eight years after Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet did away with quasi-automatic restoration of civil rights, voters may have a chance to approve a constitutional amendment that would automatically restore voting rights for non-violent felons... Read the Briefing

BREAKING NEWS: PROVOST NAMED UWF PRESIDENT
STAFF |
The University of West Florida Board of Trustees voted 9-4 today to make Martha Saunders the school's next president. Saunders, the university's current provost and vice president, will replace President Judy Bense, who is stepping down from the post. Saunders' appointment is subject to confirmation by the state university system's Board of Governors. Former Florida Senate President Don Gaetz received the other four votes. The News Service will have a full story later Thursday... Story


FAMU TRUSTEES SET STAGE FOR PRESIDENT'S EXIT
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
Elmira Mangum will no longer lead the country's largest historically black public university if Florida A&M University trustees approve a plan advanced Wednesday to end her two-year presidency... Story


...Read More in the Monthly Digest


GOP FUNNELS MONEY TO ARTILES SENATE BID

The Republican Party of Florida and GOP senators in mid-September poured tens of thousands of dollars into state Rep. Frank Artiles' bid to win a fiercely contested Miami-Dade County Senate seat, newly filed finance reports show...

LOCAL ZIKA CASES CONTINUE TO MOUNT IN MIAMI BEACH

Three more locally transmitted cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus were reported Friday in Miami-Dade County, as the overall number of such cases climbs toward 100...

BOARD OF EDUCATION BACKS MORE SCHOOL SPENDING

The Florida Board of Education on Friday approved a budget request for the coming fiscal year that would funnel $20.9 billion in state and local tax dollars through the main formula for funding public education...

ANTI-MARIJUANA GROUP RAMPS UP SPENDING

A group fighting a proposed constitutional amendment that would broadly legalize medical marijuana spent nearly $1.4 million from Sept...

GALVANO, PUTNAM COMMITTEES BRING IN BUCKS

A political committee led by Senate Majority Leader Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, raised $108,500 from Sept...

ALTMAN QUICKLY READIES FOR 2018 RUN

With his election to a House seat assured this year, term-limited state Sen. Thad Altman, R-Rockledge, has quickly set his sights on the 2018 elections...

TRUMP ADDS CANADY TO LIST OF POTENTIAL SUPREME COURT PICKS

Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles Canady, along with U. S. District Judge Federico Moreno of the Southern District of Florida, are on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's latest list of potential picks for the U. S. Supreme Court...

COURT ALLOWS CHALLENGE TO MIAMI-DADE SEX OFFENDER LAW

A federal appeals court Friday cleared the way for a constitutional challenge to a Miami-Dade County ordinance that prevents sexual offenders and sexual predators from living within 2,500 feet of schools...

VOTING UNDERWAY IN NOVEMBER ELECTIONS

The first votes are in for the 2016 presidential election in Florida, while more than 2 million residents have requested vote-by-mail ballots...

ALTMAN WINS HOUSE CONTEST AS WRITE-IN WITHDRAWS

Term-limited state Sen. Thad Altman, R-Rockledge, has won his bid to return to the Florida House...


UNIVERSITY SYSTEM CHANCELLOR'S CONTRACT TO BE RENEWED

The state university system's Board of Governors agreed Thursday to extend the contract of Chancellor Marshall Criser III, a former AT&T Florida president who moved into the system's top job in January 2014...

SCOTT DIRECTS $25 MILLION TO ZIKA RESEARCH

Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday the state will provide $25 million to seek a vaccine against the mosquito-borne Zika virus...

LAWSUIT SETTLED OVER INMATE HEALTH CARE

The Florida Department of Corrections and former prison health-care provider Corizon have agreed to pay about $2.1 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging that the state agency and the company denied hernia operations to inmates to save money...

FLORIDA SEAT BELT USE AT ALL-TIME HIGH

Seat-belt use is up to nearly 90 percent in Florida, the state Department of Transportation said Thursday...

STATE FIGHTS RULING ON CARD GAMES

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation on Thursday took the first step in appealing a judge's ruling about lucrative "designated player" card games at pari-mutuel facilities across the state...

JUDGE MOVES FORWARD WITH NORTHEAST FLORIDA TRAUMA CASE

An administrative law judge has refused to halt a dispute about whether the state Department of Health should have allowed a trauma center to open in Northeast Florida...

SOUTH FLORIDA DEMOCRATS READY TO RUN AGAIN IN 2018

After cruising to re-election this year without opposition, three South Florida Democrats have opened campaign accounts to run again for their House seats in 2018...


ZIKA TOLL CONTINUES GROWING FOR PREGNANT WOMEN

Florida has added 10 new cases of the Zika virus, and the overall number of infections involving pregnant women has reached 90, according to information released Wednesday by the state Department of Health...

U.S. HOUSE APPROVES CITRUS GREENING RELIEF BILL

The U. S. House of Representatives approved a bill Wednesday to increase tax deductions for citrus growers forced to replace trees damaged by citrus greening...

SCOTT DIRECTS DEP TO PROBE TAMPA BAY DISCHARGES

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday called on Department of Environmental Protection officials to investigate sewage discharges near St. Petersburg in the aftermath of Hurricane Hermine...

STATE GETS WIN IN LAWSUIT OVER KIDS IN NURSING HOMES

A federal judge this week dismissed a case filed by the U. S. Department of Justice that alleged Florida had improperly placed children with disabilities in nursing homes...

PAY RAISES SOUGHT FOR FDLE OFFICERS

Many state law-enforcement officers would get pay raises under a proposal that is expected to face scrutiny from Florida legislators...

GIBSON, EDWARDS PLAN 2018 RE-ELECTION BIDS

State Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, and state Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, have opened campaign accounts as first steps toward running for re-election in 2018, according to information posted this week on the state Division of Elections website...


SCOTT SEEKS HERMINE DISASTER DECLARATION

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday asked the federal government for a major disaster declaration because of damage caused by Hurricane Hermine...

ZIKA CASES RISE WITH FOUR NEW LOCAL CASES IN MIAMI-DADE

  Florida has four new cases of locally transmitted Zika virus in Miami-Dade County, the state Department of Health reported Tuesday...

SIMPSON HELPS MIAMI-DADE SENATE CANDIDATES

A political committee linked to state Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, collected $85,000 from Sept...

HERMINE CLAIMS ESTIMATED AT $80 MILLION

Florida's property-insurance industry didn't take a serious blow from Hurricane Hermine, which whipped through the state the first week of September, Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier told Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet on Tuesday...

WORKERS' COMP RATE DECISION COULD COME SOON

State regulators could be nearing a decision on a proposed 19.6 percent increase in workers' compensation insurance rates...

CLINTON TO CAMPAIGN WEDNESDAY IN ORLANDO

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will campaign Wednesday in Orlando --- a trip that comes after two Florida appearances in recent days by Republican Donald Trump...


MORE THAN 1 MILLION BALLOTS ALREADY REQUESTED

More than 1 million ballots have been requested for the November general election, according to the state Division of Elections...

FACULTY AT MANATEE-SARASOTA COLLEGE VOTE TO UNIONIZE

  Faculty members at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota have voted to become the 10th Florida state college to unionize, according to the United Faculty of Florida...

LAWMAKERS START COMMITTEE MEETINGS IN DECEMBER

House and Senate leaders Monday announced committees will meet in December, January and February as lawmakers prepare for the 2017 session, which will start March 7...

REHWINKEL VASILINDA TO EXIT HOUSE AS INDEPENDENT

Term-limited state Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, who has "worn the Democratic mantle lightly," will leave office in November as an independent...

'SMART SOLAR' GROUP SPENDS BIG ON ADVERTISING

A group backing a controversial solar-energy ballot initiative spent about $1.7 million on advertising early this month, a newly filed finance report shows...

RIVERA ATTORNEY ARGUES FOR RULING ON CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUE

Urging the Florida Supreme Court to take up the question, an attorney for former state lawmaker David Rivera argued in a filing Friday that appeals-court judges erred when they decided that a constitutional issue was not "ripe" in a long-running ethics case...

PIGMAN PREPARES FOR 2018 RE-ELECTION BID

Joining other lawmakers who were unopposed in this year's elections, state Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park, has taken an initial step toward seeking another term in 2018...


MORE MOSQUITOES IN MIAMI BEACH TEST POSITIVE FOR ZIKA

Another mosquito sample in Miami-Dade County has tested positive for the Zika virus...

CITIZENS RATE HIKES APPROVED FOR 2017

. Citizens requested the increase primarily to cover a surge in water-damage claims...

JUDGE BACKS AHCA ON NORTH FLORIDA NURSING HOME

An administrative law judge Friday backed a decision by the state Agency for Health Care Administration to approve a new 103-bed nursing home in Alachua County, rejecting a challenge from a competing nursing-home firm...

SCOTT APPROVES ANOTHER $10M FOR ZIKA FIGHT

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday authorized spending an additional $10 million in state money to help battle the Zika virus, as Congress remains deadlocked about federal funding for the issue...

COURT SIDES WITH AHCA ON LEGAL FEES IN AUTISM DISPUTE

A federal appeals court has sided with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration in a dispute about paying about $210,000 in legal fees in a case about providing services to children with autism...

FLORIDA'S JOBLESS RATE HOLDS STEADY

Florida's unemployment mark has remained unchanged for a fourth consecutive month, according to the state Department of Economic Opportunity...


ZIKA INFECTION TOTAL CONTINUES CLIMBING

State health officials Thursday reported 18 additional cases of the Zika virus, with seven of the infections believed to have occurred in South Florida...

ENGINEER TO REPLACE EDGAR ON PSC

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday appointed Pinellas County engineer Donald Polmann to a spot on the Florida Public Service Commission...

CITIZENS BEGINS PAYOUTS FOR HERMINE

State-backed Citizens Property Insurance has already paid out around $70,000 for about 120 claims from Hurricane Hermine, which crossed the state early this month...

FLORIDA ZIKA CASES TOP 800

As Congress remains bogged down in a debate about Zika funding, the number of cases of the mosquito-borne virus in Florida has topped 800, according to figures posted on the state Department of Health website...

CHALLENGE OVER SARASOTA COUNTY HOSPITAL DROPPED

Sarasota Memorial Hospital has dismissed a challenge to the state Agency for Health Care Administration's rejection of plans for a new hospital in southern Sarasota County...

PENCE TO RALLY VOTERS IN THE VILLAGES

Republican vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will campaign Saturday in The Villages, a Central Florida retirement community that is a GOP stronghold...


LAWMAKER PERRY APOLOGIZES FOR SIGN FIGHT

State Rep. Keith Perry, the Republican nominee in a heated state Senate race in North Florida, apologized Wednesday for his role in an altercation that has shaken his campaign...

FEA APPEALS VOUCHER DECISION TO SUPREME COURT

The Florida Education Association called Wednesday for the Florida Supreme Court to step into a fight over the state's de facto school-voucher system, setting off a battle that could determine whether the program can be legally challenged...

COURT UPHOLDS 75-YEAR SENTENCE FOR JUVENILE OFFENDER

Saying it hopes for "more clarity and uniformity" on such issues from the Florida Supreme Court or the Legislature, an appeals court Wednesday upheld a 75-year prison sentence for a man who committed attempted murder in 1991 when he was 16 years old...

 
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