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BRISE, GRAHAM, EX-LAWMAKERS MAKE PSC SHORT LISTS
JIM TURNER |
Two veteran utility regulators whose terms expire at the end of the year remained in the running Thursday for reappointment to the Florida Public Service Commission, while current and former state lawmakers got mixed results as they sought to be named to the commission... Story

BACKROOM BRIEFING: MONUMENTAL UPROAR
DARA KAM AND JIM TURNER |
Posturing over Confederate monuments is again an all-consuming political issue as the ideological street fight spreads across Florida... Read the Briefing

CITIES FACE 'ALL OR NOTHING' CHOICES ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA
DARA KAM |
Florida cities and counties are in a dilemma about pot... Story


GOP STRATEGIST TEES OFF ON TRUMP
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
As the Republican field running for governor grows, a top GOP strategist offered some advice Wednesday to candidates seeking to follow term-limited Gov. Rick Scott... Story

`CHEERFUL CURMUDGEON' LATVALA ROLLS OUT CAMPAIGN
DARA KAM |
With a cavorting dolphin as an eye-popping prop, state Sen. Jack Latvala made a pitch to hometown supporters Wednesday as an “old-school Republican” with the blend of government and private-sector experience that makes him the right fit to be the state's next governor... Story

SCOTT SAYS HE `DIDN'T SERVE TO DEFEND NEO-NAZIS'
JIM TURNER |
Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi, both strong supporters of President Donald Trump, decried racism and groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis as reverberations continued Wednesday across the country after a deadly weekend in Charlottesville, Va... Story

STATE MOVES TO PREVENT VENEZUELA INVESTMENTS
JIM TURNER |
Calling it “huge step in the right direction,” Gov. Rick Scott got support from two state Cabinet members Wednesday to keep an agency they oversee from conducting future business linked to the Maduro regime in Venezuela... Story

FHP SENDING MESSAGE: NO TICKET QUOTAS ALLOWED
JIM TURNER |
A prohibition on ticket quotas will become part of training for supervisors and higher-ups in the Florida Highway Patrol, a top highway-safety official told Gov. Rick Scott and the state Cabinet on Wednesday... Story

UNIVERSITIES SAY NEW MONEY HELPS WITH FACULTY, COURSES
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
Florida universities are hiring more faculty, providing more scholarships and expanding course offerings and academic counseling with a $121 million boost in funding provided by the Legislature this year... Story

UF SAYS NO TO WHITE NATIONALIST SPEAKER
DARA KAM |
The University of Florida is refusing to allow white nationalist leader Richard Spencer to speak on campus next month, citing “serious concerns” about safety in the aftermath of a deadly weekend clash in Charlottesville, Va... Story

LOBBYIST FILE --- DOING BUSINESS ON THE FOURTH FLOOR, AUGUST 16, 2017
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
DOUG BELL has registered to lobby for the Business Law Section of The Florida Bar... Story


OLSZEWSKI WINS GOP PRIMARY FOR ORANGE HOUSE SEAT
JIM SAUNDERS |
Former Winter Garden Commissioner Robert “Bobby O” Olszewski narrowly won a Republican primary Tuesday night and became the favorite to replace former Rep. Eric Eisnaugle in a Central Florida House seat... Story

GAMBLING DEAL GIVES BOOST TO BUDGET PICTURE
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
With help from a gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe, lawmakers will have a little extra money, mixed with uncertainty, as they shape the next state budget... Story

REGULATORS WEIGH ARGUMENTS ON FPL NUCLEAR PROJECT
JIM TURNER |
State utility regulators were asked Tuesday to reject a request from Florida Power & Light to continue recouping costs from customers for licensing and other expenses on two proposed nuclear reactors... Story

NEGRON GIVES SENATE COMMITTEES A MAKEOVER
JIM SAUNDERS |
With legislative committees poised to start meeting again in less than a month, Senate President Joe Negron on Tuesday revamped the leadership of several key Senate panels... Story

TOURISM NUMBERS GO UP AMID POLITICAL TURMOIL
JIM TURNER |
Florida continues to see record numbers of visitors while the state's tourism-marketing agency has been forced to reinvent its approach after months of legislative turmoil... Story

PERSONNEL FILE --- PEOPLE ON THE MOVE, AUGUST 15, 2017
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
JOHN KATOPODIS has been installed as president of the Florida Medical Association... Read the Personnel File


LACK OF BROADBAND HURTS HIGHER ED IN RURAL AREAS
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
The lack of high-speed internet services in many rural areas is one of the challenges hindering Florida's efforts to increase college degrees and spur economic development, a new report shows... Story

UF PREPARES FOR WHITE NATIONALIST LEADER
DARA KAM |
The University of Florida is coordinating with local and state law-enforcement officials in anticipation of the potential appearance in Gainesville of a white nationalist leader affiliated with this weekend's deadly confrontation in Charlottesville, Va... Story

SUPREME COURT REFUSES TO BLOCK EXECUTION
JIM SAUNDERS |
Rejecting arguments about a new lethal-injection procedure, the Florida Supreme Court on Monday refused to block the scheduled Aug. 24 execution of Death Row inmate Mark James Asay... Story

SCOTT PITCHES MAKING IT HARDER TO RAISE TAXES
JIM TURNER |
Gov. Rick Scott, expected to run for U. S. Senate next year, wants lawmakers to put on the 2018 ballot a proposed constitutional amendment that would make it harder for future legislators to raise taxes... Story

MONEY FLOWS IN SPECIAL ELECTION TO REPLACE EISNAUGLE
JIM TURNER |
Nearly $250,000 has been spent since the end of May by three of four Republicans running in a special election in a state House district that includes major Orlando-area tourist attractions... Story


GOP GATHERING GIVES PREVIEW OF GOVERNOR'S RACE
DARA KAM |
Florida's next governor won't be elected for more than a year, but Republican leaders from across the state got a taste of what's in store --- literally --- during a gathering in Orlando this weekend... Story


ADVANCES: WEEK OF AUGUST 13, 2017
STAFF |
With attention starting to turn to the 2018 legislative session, lawmakers will make appearances across the state during the coming week... Read the Advances


...Read More in the Monthly Digest


LAWMAKERS TO AGAIN CONSIDER `NO FAULT' REPEAL

A long-discussed proposal to repeal Florida's no-fault auto insurance system is headed back to the Legislature in 2018...

ALTMAIER FOCUSES ON `ASSIGNMENT OF BENEFITS' CHANGES

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier told Gov. Rick Scott and the state Cabinet this week that his office will continue to push lawmakers during the 2018 legislative session to address an insurance practice that critics argue is driving up rates...

SENATE COMMITTEES TO MEET THREE DAYS IN SEPTEMBER

Starting to prepare for the 2018 legislative session, Senate committees will hold meetings over three days in mid-September, according to a tentative schedule posted online...


CABINET APPROVES OKEECHOBEE, OSCEOLA LAND DEALS

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet agreed Wednesday to spend $6.8 million to preserve more than 3,000 acres in Okeechobee and Osceola counties...

JUDGE REJECTS NEW TRIAL, ACQUITTAL FOR BROWN

A federal judge Wednesday set a Nov. 16 sentencing date for former U. S. Rep. Corrine Brown after rejecting her requests for a new trial and an acquittal on corruption charges...

BILL WOULD PROTECT MAMA BEARS IN HUNTS

Black bears mothering cubs under 100 pounds would be off-limits if the state conducts bear hunts in the future, under a measure filed Wednesday by Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando...

COURT REJECTS PARENTAL RIGHTS AFTER RELATIONSHIP SPLIT

With one judge writing that laws are “struggling to catch up with and reflect the rapid changes taking place in society,” a South Florida appeals court Wednesday rejected parental rights for a woman who helped raise a child with a same-sex partner before their relationship ended...

PATRONIS STARTS COMMITTEE FOR POSSIBLE CFO RUN

Jimmy Patronis, Florida's new chief financial officer, said Wednesday he is starting a political committee but hasn't decided if he will run for the Cabinet office next year...

FPL NUCLEAR ISSUE TO BE DECIDED IN OCTOBER

State utility regulators are expected to decide in October whether to approve a controversial proposal by Florida Power & Light that relates to possible future construction of two nuclear reactors in Miami-Dade County...


BILL COULD EASE OPEN-CARRY PENALTIES

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee filed a bill Tuesday that would reduce penalties for people who have concealed-weapons licenses and openly carry guns...

GALVANO COMMITTEE TOPS $125K IN EARLY AUGUST

With a boost from major business groups, a political committee led by future Senate President Bill Galvano received more than $125,000 in contributions during the first nine days of August, according to the committee's website...

COURT REFUSES TO SUPPRESS STATEMENTS FROM MAYAN SPEAKER

An appeals court Tuesday rejected arguments that it should suppress statements given to police in a sexual-battery case because the suspect was interviewed in Spanish instead of a Mayan language...

SIX LOBBYING FIRMS HIT $1M FOR LEGISLATIVE WORK

As an initial estimate showed more than $36 million spent on legislative lobbying during the year's second quarter, six lobbying firms reported they were paid at least $1 million for their work...

LOBBYING FIRMS RAKE IN HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS IN SECOND QUARTER

With each representing dozens of clients, 11 lobbying firms got paid between $500,000 and $999,999 for work in the Legislature from April 1 through June 30, newly filed compensation reports show...


HEARING SET ON CITIZENS RATE HIKES

State regulators will hold a public hearing next week in South Florida about proposed rate increases by the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance...

PERDUE TO APPEAR AT CITRUS INDUSTRY EVENT

Amid continuing struggles in Florida's citrus industry, U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will appear Wednesday at the Citrus Expo in Fort Myers...

BILL WOULD SET MARRIAGE LICENSE AGE AT 18

A bill filed Monday in the Florida Senate would ban the issuance of marriage licenses to anyone under age 18...

TRAVEL RELATED ZIKA CASES TOP 100 FOR YEAR

While officials say mosquitoes are not believed to be transmitting the Zika virus in Florida, the state's number of “travel related” cases this year has topped 100, according to information posted Monday on the Florida Department of Health website...

WILLIAMS DRAWS CHALLENGER FOR BROWARD HOUSE SEAT

Lauderdale Lakes Democrat Patricia H. Williams appears headed toward a primary-election battle next year as she seeks a second term in the state House...


FELON RIGHTS INITIATIVE TOPS $500,000 IN JULY

A political committee seeking to get a felons' rights initiative on the 2018 ballot raised nearly $500,936 in July, with $250,000 coming from the American Civil Liberties Union, according to a newly filed finance report...

DEMOCRAT FILES TO RUN FOR AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER

Broward County Democrat David Walker opened a campaign account Friday to run in 2018 for agriculture commissioner, according to the state Division of Elections website...

DEMOCRAT RAKES IN CASH FOR BID TO REPLACE MILLER

With Rep. Mike Miller, R-Winter Park, running for Congress in 2018, Orlando Democrat Anna Eskamani has quickly raised more than $52,000 for her campaign in state House District 47, according to a newly filed report...

COURT BACKS SUSPENSION IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING CASE

A state appeals court has upheld a decision by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation to suspend two Miami firms from affordable-housing funding programs after allegations that a related company inflated construction cost estimates...

DISNEY PUTS ANOTHER $500K INTO GAMBLING AMENDMENT

As the proposal's backers collect petition signatures, Disney Worldwide Services has contributed another $500,000 to a ballot initiative that could limit the expansion of gambling in Florida...

SCOTT COMMITTEE TOPS $164,000 IN JULY

Gov. Rick Scott's “Let's Get to Work” political committee raised $164,150 during July while also spending heavily on consultants, according to a newly filed finance report...


LATVALA COULD ANNOUNCE GUBERNATORIAL BID WEDNESDAY

Amid widespread speculation that he will run for governor in 2018, Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, will announce his political plans Wednesday during three events...

DESANTIS COMMITTEE PILES UP CASH

A political committee tied to U. S. Rep. Ron DeSantis raised $320,000 in July, bringing the committee's total to $1.26 million, as the Palm Coast Republican contemplates entering the 2018 governor's race...

REGULATORS SUSPEND GREYHOUND TRAINER

State regulators Thursday approved a six-month suspension and a $3,000 fine for a greyhound trainer after caffeine and other substances were found in six dogs last year...

`SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY' PITCHED FOR 2018

Small businesses would be able to sell items costing less than $1,000 without charging sales taxes the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2018, under a proposal filed this week by Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah...

STEUBE BACK WITH GUN BILLS FOR 2018 SESSION

Senate Judiciary Chairman Greg Steube, who filed a string of firearm-related bills that died during the 2017 legislative session, has reintroduced two --- focused on courthouses and private businesses --- as lawmakers begin submitting bills for the 2018 session...

GILLUM, COMMITTEE RAISE $58,000 IN JULY

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum had a slow fundraising month in July, bringing in $48,533 for his campaign and $10,000 for a closely aligned political committee, newly filed finance reports show...

LATVALA COMMITTEE TOPS $362K IN JULY

A political committee tied to Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala raised $362,154 in July as the Clearwater Republican prepares to announce whether he will run for governor in 2018...

CORCORAN PAC NEARS $2.9 MILLION IN TWO MONTHS

As he eyes a potential run for governor next year, House Speaker Richard Corcoran's political committee raised $818,500 in July --- bringing its total to nearly $2.9 million since starting to collect cash in early June, according to a newly filed finance report...

GALVANO COMMITTEE COLLECTS $235,000

Sen. Bill Galvano, a Bradenton Republican poised to become Senate president after the 2018 elections, raised $235,000 for his political committee in July, according to a finance report posted on the state Division of Elections website...

FLORIDA SENDS MORE HELP TO FIGHT WESTERN FIRES

Florida is sending 40 more wildland firefighters out west...


STATE APPROVES TWO MORE MARIJUANA LICENSES

Florida health officials this week signed off on two more cannabis operations, bringing to 11 the number of businesses licensed to grow, process and distribute medical marijuana to a fast-growing number of patients...

LAWMAKERS TO AGAIN CONSIDER `DIRECT PRIMARY CARE'

After the issue stalled in the Senate at the end of this spring's legislative session, lawmakers could take up a proposal in 2018 that would clear the way for doctors and patients to enter into “direct primary care” agreements...

NEGRON APPOINTS CAPPS TO CITIZENS INSURANCE BOARD

Blake Capps, who founded a roofing company in Hobe Sound after Hurricane Andrew, was appointed Wednesday by Senate President Joe Negron to the Citizens Property Insurance Board of Governors...

SCOTT RECRUITING BUSINESSES IN TENNESSEE

With little fanfare, Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday went to Tennessee to try to recruit businesses...

COURT BACKS ANETHESIOLOGIST IN PATIENT DEATH

A divided appeals court Wednesday sided with an anesthesiologist in a Miami-Dade County medical malpractice case involving a woman who died while undergoing surgery for a tumor in her skull...

JACKSONVILLE, ST. AUGUSTINE PAPERS SOLD TO GATEHOUSE

The Florida Times-Union and The St. Augustine Record are poised to get a new owner...


CABINET EYES LAND DEALS IN OKEECHOBEE, OSCEOLA

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet next week are expected to consider proposed deals that would help preserve more than 3,000 acres of land in Okeechobee and Osceola counties...

RESULTS CERTIFIED IN MIAMI-DADE LEGISLATIVE PRIMARIES

The state Elections Canvassing Commission on Tuesday certified the results of July 25 special primary elections in Miami-Dade County, formally setting the stage for battles next month in Senate District 40 and House District 116...

TWO MORE HOPEFULS LINE UP FOR RAULERSON HOUSE SEAT

A Democrat and a Libertarian have opened campaign accounts this week to run in a special election to succeed state Rep. Dan Raulerson, a Plant City Republican who announced recently he is leaving the House because of health issues...

DEFENSE LAWYERS CHALLENGE ANTI-HAZING LAW IN FAMU CASE

Saying an anti-hazing law is too vague, a statewide group of defense attorneys is urging the Florida Supreme Court to overturn the conviction of a former Florida A&M University band member in the high-profile death of drum major Robert Champion...

SIMPSON COMMITTEE TOPS $371K IN JULY

A political committee led by Senate Majority Leader Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, raised $371,500 during July as it continued to pile up cash ahead of the 2018 elections, according to a newly filed report...

CLEMENS COMMITTEE PULLS IN $65,000

Preparing to become his party's Senate leader after the 2018 elections, Lake Worth Democrat Jeff Clemens raised $65,000 in July for his Every Vote Counts political committee, according to a newly filed finance report...


STATE DECISION ON MIAMI DOG TRACK DRAWS CHALLENGE

Operators of a Broward County pari-mutuel facility Monday asked state regulators to back away from a decision that would allow a rival Miami greyhound track to end dog racing while continuing to offer slot machines...

JUDGE GOING TO U.S. SUPREME COURT IN DISCIPLINARY CASE

An Orlando-area circuit judge has filed a document at the U. S. Supreme Court indicating she will challenge a Florida Supreme Court decision disciplining her for conduct during a 2014 election campaign...

FLORIDA ADDS DOZEN MORE ZIKA CASES

Florida health officials added another 12 reported cases of the Zika virus during the past week, including the first sexually transmitted case in 2017, according to information posted on the state Department of Health website...

LEVINE COMMITTEE ADDS $500,000 IN JULY

With Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine continuing to look at a possible run for governor in 2018, his political committee added slightly more than $500,000 in July, according to a new filing with the state Division of Elections...

 
 
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