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PEREZ TOPS MALLEA IN HOUSE GOP PRIMARY
BRANDON LARRABEE |
Political newcomer Daniel Perez handily won a Republican primary Tuesday for a Miami-Dade County state House seat, overcoming an opponent who had support from top-flight GOP names including former Gov. Jeb Bush... Story

DIAZ, TADDEO CRUISE TO SENATE PRIMARY WINS
DARA KAM |
Republican Jose Felix Diaz and Democrat Annette Taddeo handily defeated their opponents Tuesday in a Miami-Dade County special primary election as they seek to replace a GOP senator who resigned after a profanity-laced tirade this spring... Story

STATE GRAPPLES WITH INCREASE IN CARD SKIMMERS
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
Credit-card skimming devices at Florida gas stations and stores are on a dramatic rise this year... Story

LOBBYIST FILE --- DOING BUSINESS ON THE FOURTH FLOOR, JULY 25, 2017
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
DALE BRILL has registered to lobby for Florida Tourism Investment Corporation, Inc. JORGE CHAMIZO has registered to lobby for Wellmerica, LLC. AMBER CROOKS has registered to lobby for The Conservancy of Southwest Florida... Story


ANTONACCI APPROVED TO LEAD ENTERPRISE FLORIDA
JIM TURNER |
Pete Antonacci, a water-management district leader who once served as general counsel for Gov. Rick Scott, was formally named Monday as president of the business-recruitment agency Enterprise Florida... Story

BRUTAL SENATE PRIMARY READY TO BE DECIDED
DARA KAM |
Even by the standards of Miami-Dade County's bare-knuckle politics, this year's special election for an open Senate seat is a nasty one... Story

THE NEWS SERVICE HAS: FIVE QUESTIONS FOR RYAN TORRENS
JIM TURNER |
Ryan Torrens is the first, and so far only, Democrat to take the initial step toward trying to succeed term-limited Attorney General Pam Bondi in 2018... Story

STATE FACES LEGAL TAB IN `DOCS VS. GLOCKS' FIGHT
JIM SAUNDERS |
Florida will pay $1.1 million in legal fees to attorneys who challenged a controversial state law that sought to prevent doctors from asking patients about guns, a group representing opponents said Monday... Story


WEEKLY ROUNDUP: CENTER COURT
BRANDON LARRABEE |
Every year, around the middle of the summer, with the Legislature long gone and the governor's office mostly silent, comes a time when courts are the center of the action in Tallahassee... Read the Roundup

MAGLAB HOME TO MAJOR RESEARCH --- AND HEFTY POWER BILLS
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
Cutting-edge science is not cheap... Story

STATE BEAR-PROOFING DOLLARS DROP
JIM TURNER |
Florida wildlife officials will have less money this year to help communities equip residents and businesses with bear-proof trash containers... Story

ADVANCES: WEEK OF JULY 23, 2017
STAFF |
Three months after Republican Frank Artiles resigned from the Florida Senate amid controversy, Miami-Dade County voters will go to the polls Tuesday in special primary elections for open Senate and House seats... Read the Advances


BACKROOM BRIEFING: SCOTT'S BENCH
JIM TURNER AND BRANDON LARRABEE |
Former subordinates to Gov. Rick Scott and his longtime political allies continue to get plum positions across state government... Read the Briefing

GOLDMAN SACHS REACHES OUT TO SCOTT ON VENEZUELA
JIM TURNER |
Goldman Sachs Asset Management, which has taken heat for its purchase of $2.8 billion in bonds for Venezuela's state-run oil company, is working behind the scenes as Gov. Rick Scott seeks to prevent Florida from doing business with entities supporting the Maduro regime... Story

STATE APPROVES ENDING DOG RACES AT MIAMI TRACK
DARA KAM |
Florida gambling regulators this week gave a Miami dog track permission to ditch greyhound races but keep more lucrative slot machines and card games, in a first-of-its-kind ruling... Story


SCOTT DEFENDS RIGHT TO APPOINT JUSTICES
BRANDON LARRABEE |
Dismissing concerns of a constitutional crisis, lawyers for Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday asked the Florida Supreme Court to reject a petition that seeks to bar Scott from appointing three new justices on his last day in office... Story

ANTONACCI PICKED TO LEAD ENTERPRISE FLORIDA
JIM TURNER |
Described by Gov. Rick Scott as someone who can “get deals done,” South Florida Water Management District Executive Director Pete Antonacci has been tapped as the next leader of the business-recruitment agency Enterprise Florida... Story

NEGRON TOUTS HIGHER ED CHANGES DESPITE VETO
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
Despite the governor's veto of a wide-ranging higher-education policy bill, Senate President Joe Negron said Wednesday that many of the initiatives embedded in the legislation, including an expansion of Bright Futures scholarships, will still benefit state university and college students as fall terms begin next month... Story

JUDGE GIVES STATE MORE TIME TO DEFEND ABORTION LAW
DARA KAM |
A Tallahassee judge gave Florida officials more time to present their defense of a two-year old law requiring women to wait 24 hours before receiving an abortion, but seemed skeptical that the state would convince him to keep the law on the books... Story

PERSONNEL FILE --- PEOPLE ON THE MOVE, JULY 19, 2017
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
ROGER STEVENS has been installed as chairman of the LeadingAge Florida Board of Trustees... Read the Personnel File

COURT BACKS HOTEL IN POOL CABANA DUI DEATH
JIM SAUNDERS |
A South Florida appeals court Wednesday tossed out a multimillion-dollar verdict against a Fort Lauderdale hotel in a case that stems from a drunken driver crashing into a hotel pool cabana and killing a pregnant woman... Story


APPLICANTS SEEK SPOTS ON PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
JIM TURNER |
With the terms of veteran commissioners Ronald Brise and Art Graham set to expire in January, a dozen other candidates are hoping to replace them on the Florida Public Service Commission... Story

QUALITY OF SCHOOLS CONFRONTS APPEALS COURT
BRANDON LARRABEE |
A Tallahassee-based appeals court wrestled Tuesday with what standard should be applied to Florida's education system, with judges sounding skeptical that courts were even a proper place to hear the issue... Story

APPEALS COURT GRAPPLES WITH TWO-HORSE RACE
DARA KAM |
It's clear gambling regulators weren't keen on a horse race between two aging nags on a dirt path, with the race launched by a red rag on a stick... Story


...Read More in the Monthly Digest


REPORT: RAULERSON TO RESIGN FROM HOUSE

State Rep. Dan Raulerson, a Plant City Republican who has battled a painful back condition, plans to resign from the House on Aug. 15, the Tampa Bay Times reported Tuesday...

COMPANIES APPEAL SLOT MACHINES RULING

A court battle will continue about whether certain electronic games played in bars and other establishments are illegal slot machines...

DEATH ROW APPEAL REJECTED IN STEREO STORE MURDERS

A federal appeals court Tuesday rejected arguments by a Death Row inmate that he should receive a new trial in the 1998 shooting deaths of two employees of a car-stereo store in Broward County...

SENATORS SEEK SCHOOL FUNDING STUDY

Two Republican senators Tuesday requested a study of a long-controversial part of Florida's school-funding formula, arguing it helps urban school districts at the expense of suburban and rural districts...

BOYD, RENNER GET NEW HOUSE CHAIRMANSHIPS

Two House committees will be under new chairmen heading into the 2018 legislative session...

SIGNATURES STEADILY INCREASE FOR GAMBLING INITIATIVE

Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment that could limit expansion of gambling in Florida have submitted more than 125,000 valid petition signatures to the state...


FSU DONORS FILE LAWSUIT OVER MATCHING FUNDS

A second lawsuit was filed Monday alleging that Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature have failed to provide matching funds, as required by state law, for private donations to colleges and universities...

ZIKA CASES CONTINUE TO INCREASE

Florida has reported six additional cases of the Zika virus during the past week, bringing the total to 113 in 2017, according to numbers posted Monday on the state Department of Health website...

SCOTT TO HOST `LATIN AMERICAN SUMMIT'

As he continues calling for change in Cuba and Venezuela, Gov. Rick Scott this fall will hold a one-day “summit” on issues related to Latin America...

COURT BACKS NEW TRIAL ON DAMAGES IN TOBACCO CASE

An appeals court Monday said the family of a dead smoker should receive a new trial to determine pain-and-suffering damages in a case against cigarette maker Philip Morris USA...

DIAZ OUTSPENDS DIAZ DE LA PORTILLA IN SENATE PRIMARY

Republican Jose Felix Diaz appears to have substantially outspent rival Alex Diaz de la Portilla in advance of a Tuesday special primary election in a Miami-Dade County Senate district...

HCA ADDING ANOTHER FLORIDA HOSPITAL

HCA Healthcare, a major player in Florida's hospital industry, is expected later this year to add Highlands Regional Medical Center in Sebring...


JUDGE SIDES WITH STATE ON CHARTER SCHOOL STANDARDS

Rejecting arguments of charter schools, an administrative law judge Friday upheld a plan that would make charter schools ineligible for state construction and facilities money if they have “D” performance grades in two consecutive years...

CORCORAN VOWS TO PURSUE `SANCTUARY CITY' ISSUE

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, said Friday the House during the 2018 session will again try to crack down on “sanctuary cities...

SPECIAL HOUSE PRIMARY DRAWS CAMPAIGN CASH

With a special primary election looming Tuesday in Miami-Dade County's House District 116, Republican candidates Jose Mallea and Daniel Perez combined to raise $182,000 in little more than a month, according to finance reports posted Friday on the state Division of Elections website...

TADDEO TOPS RIVAS LOGAN IN SENATE MONEY CHASE

Democrat Annette Taddeo has dwarfed rival Ana Rivas Logan in raising money for their special primary election Tuesday in Miami-Dade County's Senate District 40, according to newly filed finance reports...

SENATOR QUESTIONS ALGEBRA TEST FAIRNESS

While praising a recent legislative decision to eliminate an end-of-course exam for students taking Algebra II, a Northeast Florida senator is raising questions about whether the change is being applied fairly...

GENERAL REVENUE ANALYZED IN MID-AUGUST

As lawmakers prepare for an early start to the 2018 legislative session, state economists will huddle next month to update estimates of Florida's general revenue...

STATE JOBLESS RATE IMPROVES IN JUNE

Florida's unemployment rate fell to 4.1 percent in June, down 0.2 percentage points from the previous month and representing 419,000 people out of work from the state's labor force of 10.14 million...


SCOTT COMMITTEE CONTINUES RAKING IN MONEY

After starting the month with nearly $2.9 million on hand, Gov. Rick Scott's “Let's Get to Work” political committee raised $85,000 during the first six days of July, according to finance information on the committee's website...

INCREASE IN CHILD `BAKER ACT' CASES DRAWS ATTENTION

With a dramatic increase in the number of children being taken in for involuntary psychiatric examinations, a state panel Thursday began looking to address the “Baker Act” issue...

MORE FLORIDA FIREFIGHTERS GOING TO WESTERN STATES

Florida is sending 24 more wildland firefighters out west...

LATVALA COMMITTEE TOPS $225,000 IN JULY

With Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala weighing a run for governor, a Latvala political committee has raised more than $225,000 in July, according to the committee's website...

HILLSBOROUGH TO EXPAND USE OF CIVIL CITATIONS

Hillsborough County authorities will expand the use of civil citations for juveniles who commit misdemeanors, as part of a move to keep many youths from getting arrested and put into the criminal-justice system, State Attorney Andrew Warren announced Thursday...

LOBBYING FIRMS BRING IN CASH IN SECOND QUARTER

With quarterly compensation reports trickling in, one lobbying firm said this week that it earned at least $1 million representing legislative clients from April 1 to June 30...


COURT ORDERS NEW SENTENCING IN 1981 MURDER

A South Florida appeals court Wednesday overturned the life sentences of a man who has spent 35 years in prison for a murder he committed at age 16...

SCHOOL FIGHT SHOULDN'T HAVE LED TO CHARGE, COURT SAYS

A brief fight before classes should not have led to a juvenile being found guilty of violating a law aimed at preventing school disruptions, a state appeals court ruled Wednesday in an Indian River County case...

LATVALA TO HOLD MEETING ON OPIOID `CRISIS'

With overdose deaths dramatically increasing in Palm Beach County, Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, will hold a roundtable discussion next month to delve into the problems...

CITRUS CHIEF GETS NEW CONTRACT, NO RAISE

Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus, will not receive a raise under a new contract approved Wednesday...

COURT REJECTS APPEAL IN MEDICARE ADVANTAGE DISPUTE

An appeals court Wednesday rejected arguments that an arbitrator could have been biased in a dispute involving an insurance firm's attempt to receive $24 million in damages from UnitedHealthcare...

HURRICANE CHANCES TREND UPWARD

Researchers at Colorado State University point to an increasing likelihood of Atlantic hurricanes in the 2017 season based on an adjusted forecast...


MOST SCHOOLS WILL OPEN IN EARLY AUGUST

School doors will be open in 41 public-school districts as of Aug. 10, continuing a trend for students to return to their classrooms well before Labor Day...

COUNTY ASKS JUSTICES TO RECONSIDER INDIGENT CARE RULING

Sarasota County on Tuesday asked the Florida Supreme Court to reconsider a ruling in favor of private hospitals in a long-running dispute about payments for care of indigent patients...

DEMOCRATS HOLD VOTER EDGE IN SD 40; GOP LEADS IN HD 116

With special elections looming in two Miami-Dade County legislative districts, Democrats hold an edge in voter registration in the Senate district while Republicans lead in the House district...

SECOND DEMOCRAT EMERGES FOR RICHARDSON HOUSE SEAT

With state Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, running for a congressional seat, a second Democratic candidate has emerged to try to replace him next year in the state House...

DEMOCRAT TO RUN FOR JACKSONVILLE HOUSE SEAT

Republican state Rep. Clay Yarborough faces a Democratic challenger as he seeks a second term in the Florida House...


JOHNSON TO CONTINUE LEADING BOARD OF EDUCATION

The State Board of Education on Monday selected Marva Johnson to serve a second consecutive term as board chair...

FORMER INTERIM DEP CHIEF JOINS LOBBYING FIRM

Ryan Matthews, who served this year as interim secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, has joined the renamed lobbying firm of Peebles, Smith & Matthews, the firm announced Monday...

NURSING PROGRAMS APPROVED FOR CENTRAL FLORIDA COLLEGES

The State Board of Education on Monday approved new baccalaureate degrees for nursing at four state colleges in Central Florida...

SUPREME COURT REINSTATES INTERNET CAFE LAWYER

The Florida Supreme Court on Monday reinstated to the practice of law a prominent Jacksonville attorney who faced criminal charges stemming from his representation of a major player in the Internet cafe industry...

OFFICIALS HUDDLE ON ZIKA PREPAREDNESS

With the number of Zika cases continuing to inch up in Florida, state, federal and local officials gathered Monday in Miami to discuss ways to prepare for the mosquito-borne virus and to combat it...

LA ROSA DRAWS DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGER

St. Cloud Republican Mike La Rosa has drawn a Democratic challenger as he prepares to seek a fourth term next year in the Florida House...


SUPREME COURT WON'T HEAR `OPT OUT' TESTING CASE

The Florida Supreme Court will not hear a case about whether public-school students should be able to "opt out" of taking the state's standardized tests...

FORMER SCOTT LAWYER NAMED TO BOARD OF EDUCATION

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday appointed Tallahassee attorney Ben Gibson to the State Board of Education...

NEWTON DRAWS DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGER

As he tries to win a second term in the state House, Rep. Wengay Newton, D-St. Petersburg, has drawn a Democratic challenger...

SCOTT RAISES CONCERN ABOUT INEQUITY IN MEDICAID PROPOSALS

A day after U. S. Senate leaders released a proposal to replace the federal Affordable Care Act, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday raised concerns about whether Florida would be treated fairly in Medicaid funding...

COURT ALLOWS SUIT AGAINST GOLF CLUB IN FATAL CRASH

An appeals court Friday allowed the estate of a woman killed in a car accident to pursue a lawsuit against a Central Florida golf club that served alcohol to one of the drivers in the crash...

LAKE COUNTY TEACHER GETS TOP HONOR

A high-school math teacher from Lake County has been named the 2018 Macy's/Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year...


SCOTT NAMES GRADY TO CONSTITUTION REVISION PANEL

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday tapped former state Rep. Tom Grady to fill an open spot on the Florida Constitution Revision Commission...

GAMBLING BALLOT INITIATIVE TOPS 100,000 SIGNATURES

Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment that would restrict the expansion of gambling in Florida have submitted more than 100,000 petition signatures to the state...

BENSE, GAETZ TO LEAD TRIUMPH GULF COAST

Former House Speaker Allan Bense on Thursday kept the position of chairman of the non-profit organization Triumph Gulf Coast as it starts to oversee how BP oil-spill settlement money is spent across the Panhandle...

 
 
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