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FORMER LAWMAKER EVERS DIES IN TRAFFIC ACCIDENT
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
Former state Sen. Greg Evers, described Tuesday as a “down-home gentleman,” died Monday night in a single-vehicle accident near his home in Okaloosa County, a family spokeswoman said... Story

APPEALS COURT ORDERS ANOTHER LOOK AT PIPELINE
JIM SAUNDERS |
A federal appeals court Tuesday ordered regulators to take another look at the environmental impact of a major natural-gas pipeline project, saying that an earlier review did not adequately consider resulting greenhouse-gas emissions at Florida power plants... Story

DEMOCRATS LOOK FOR CANDIDATE IN HOUSE SPECIAL ELECTION
JIM TURNER |
Democrats hope to have a new candidate in a Republican-leaning House district after Paul Chandler announced Tuesday he will withdraw from a special election for the Orange County seat... Story

EXECUTIONS READY TO START AGAIN IN FLORIDA
DARA KAM |
Florida's death penalty hiatus is slated to end Thursday, when the state plans to execute the first Death Row prisoner in more than 19 months... Story

ENTERPRISE FLORIDA MARKETING TAKES HIT
JIM TURNER |
Florida's business-recruitment agency isn't giving up on marketing to executives just because its budget has been slashed... Story

PERSONNEL FILE --- PEOPLE ON THE MOVE, AUGUST 22, 2017
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
GIL ZIFFER has been elected president of the Florida League of Cities... Read the Personnel File


COURT'S MEA CULPA DOESN'T HALT EXECUTION
DARA KAM |
The Florida Supreme Court on Monday rejected a reprieve for a convicted murderer scheduled to be executed Thursday, after justices acknowledged the court had been mistaken for more than two decades about the race of one of the victims... Story

STATUE OF EDUCATOR BETHUNE PROPOSED TO REPLACE GENERAL
JIM TURNER |
Amid a national debate about monuments and statues, a South Florida lawmaker renewed his push Monday for a likeness of Mary McLeod Bethune --- an educator and civil-rights activist who founded what is now known as Bethune-Cookman University --- to represent Florida in the U. S. Capitol... Story

ANTONACCI TAKES CUES FROM SCOTT, ENTERPRISE FLORIDA BOARD
JIM TURNER |
Expect little change in direction of the state's business-recruitment agency under its new management... Story


DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES VOW TO BACK ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAW
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
Three Democratic candidates for governor pledged Saturday to support legislation that would prohibit discrimination in jobs and housing based on sexual orientation... Story


CONVICTION UPHELD IN TAMPA BAY TERROR PLOT
JIM SAUNDERS |
A federal appeals court Friday upheld the conviction and 40-year prison sentence of a man convicted in a plot to carry out terror attacks in the Tampa Bay area as “payback” for the death of Osama bin Laden... Story

WEEKLY ROUNDUP: TURBULENT TIMES
DARA KAM |
It's been more than 150 years since Florida Gov. John Milton killed himself, a week before Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered in one of the final battles of the Civil War... Read the Roundup

ADVANCES: WEEK OF AUGUST 20, 2017
STAFF |
Death Row inmate Mark James Asay is scheduled to be executed Thursday at Florida State Prison, marking the state's first execution since January 2016... Read the Advances


SCOTT DINES WITH TRUMP, DRAWS FIRE FROM DEMOCRATS
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday had lunch with President Donald Trump at a New Jersey golf resort, as the president continued to draw criticism for comments about a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va... Story

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


...Read More in the Monthly Digest


PENCE TO VISIT MIAMI-DADE, DISCUSS VENEZUELA

Vice President Mike Pence will travel Wednesday to Miami-Dade County to meet with Venezuelan exiles and local leaders and discuss conditions under the Maduro regime in Venezuela...

LAWMAKER TAKES AIM AT SPORTS STADIUM FUNDING

State lawmakers will again consider a proposal to discard an unused pool of state sales-tax dollars available to build and upgrade professional sports stadiums...

BILL WOULD END BAN ON FIREWORKS SALES

Sen. Greg Steube is again trying to light the fuse on a proposal to legalize fireworks sales to the general public in Florida...

BETHUNE STATUE BILL FILED IN HOUSE

A day after the proposal emerged in the Senate, a House Democrat on Tuesday filed a measure that calls for placing a statue of civil-rights leader and educator Mary McLeod Bethune in the National Statuary Hall in Washington, D. C. The measure (HCR 73), filed by Rep. Patrick Henry, D-Daytona Beach, would lead to a likeness of Bethune replacing a statue of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith as a representative of Florida in the U. S. Capitol...

LONGTIME SEMINOLE STATE PRESIDENT TO STEP DOWN

After more than two decades as president, Ann McGee will step down from leading Seminole State College of Florida next year...

LAWMAKER WANTS TAX `HOLIDAY' FOR VETERANS

A two-month sales tax “holiday” would be offered each year to honorably discharged military veterans under a proposal filed this week by Rep. Kionne McGhee, D-Miami...


BILL WOULD LET CODING COUNT AS FOREIGN LANGUAGE

A Senate Republican filed a proposal Monday that could lead to some high-school students taking computer coding courses to get foreign-language credits...

PROPOSAL COULD MAKE IT HARDER TO AMEND CONSTITUTION

State Rep. Rick Roth, R-Loxahatchee, reintroduced a measure Monday that would make it harder for voters to change the Florida Constitution...

FLORIDA ADDS 14 ZIKA CASES IN WEEK

The number of Zika cases reported in 2017 in Florida jumped about 10 percent during the past week, with the total reaching 151, according to information posted Monday on the state Department of Health website...

PRISON SYSTEM LOCKDOWN LIFTED

The Florida Department of Corrections said Monday that operations at state prisons had returned to normal after a partial lockdown because of safety and security concerns...

BILL SEEKS TO ADD POLICE TO HATE CRIMES LAW

Hate-crime protections would be extended to law-enforcement officers and other first responders under a measure reintroduced Monday by Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah...

JUDGE RULES AGAINST EX-FAMU COACH IN CONTRACT DISPUTE

A Leon County circuit judge has sided with Florida A&M University in a breach-of-contract lawsuit filed by former men's basketball coach Clemon Johnson, who was fired in April 2014 after three years in the job...

JUDGE SETS HEARING ON ABORTION WAITING PERIOD

A Leon County circuit judge will hear arguments in November about the constitutionality of a 2015 state law that would require women to wait 24 hours before having abortions...


PROPOSAL WOULD REVAMP BEACH RESTORATION

Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, proposed a measure Friday that would set aside at least $50 million a year to help address issues such as beach erosion...

BILL WOULD BLOCK USE OF FOOD STAMPS FOR SODA

A House Republican filed a proposal Friday that seeks to prevent people from using food-assistance benefits to buy soft drinks...

HOUSE SETS SCHEDULE FOR SEPTEMBER COMMITTEES

Major policy committees will be first up when the House starts holding committee meetings in September to prepare for the 2018 legislative session, according to a tentative schedule posted online...

FLORIDA JOBLESS RATE HOLDS STEADY IN JULY

Florida's unemployment rate remained unchanged from June to July, holding at 4.1 percent, as the state reported a slight decline in the number of people working...

COURT REJECTS ORDER TO PAY ANIMAL PROTECTION GROUP

A state appeals court Friday upheld the conviction of a woman in an Orange County dog-fighting case --- but said she can't be required to make a $3,000 payment to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals...

RED-LIGHT CAMERA DEBATE TO RETURN

Florida's long-running debate about red-light cameras is coming back to the Legislature in 2018...


GRANT, TRUMBULL TO LEAD HOUSE PANELS

Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, will serve as chairman of the House Health Quality Subcommittee, while Rep. Jay Trumbull, R-Panama City, will lead the Energy & Utilities Subcommittee, as House Speaker Richard Corcoran released committee assignments Thursday for the 2018 legislative session...

PROGRAM REACHES MILESTONE IN KILLING PYTHONS

With the state trying to reduce invasive species in areas such as the Everglades, a hunter Thursday killed the 500th Burmese python in less than five months under a South Florida Water Management District program...

REPUBLICAN SWITCHES HOUSE RACES IN TAMPA BAY

After initially planning to run in 2018 to try to replace House Minority Leader Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, Republican Christopher Licata this week switched races to run for an open Pinellas County House seat...

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...

 
 
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