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CONSTITUTION COMMISSION ADVANCES MORE PUBLIC PROPOSALS
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
The Florida Constitution Revision Commission on Tuesday voted to advance four public proposals, including a measure dealing with homestead exemptions and another potentially impacting abortion rights... Read the Advances

REGULATORS DEAL WITH FPL NUCLEAR LICENSE, COSTS
JIM SAUNDERS |
Grappling with a long-discussed nuclear project in Miami-Dade County, state regulators Tuesday backed Florida Power & Light continuing to pursue a critical license for two new reactors --- but turned down a company request involving costs... Story

STATE TARGETS PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY IN STOCK CASE
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
In a rare move, Florida is considering taking on a large pharmaceutical company, alleging the state's pension fund lost some $127 million in stock value because of federal security violations by the company... Story

STATE SAYS LAW ENFORCEMENT READY FOR UF SPEECH
JIM TURNER |
The commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Tuesday authorities are prepared to handle people who commit or encourage violence when a white-nationalist leader speaks Thursday at the University of Florida... Story


SCOTT DECLARES EMERGENCY AS UF READIES FOR WHITE NATIONALIST
DARA KAM |
Citing a need to protect “the health, safety and welfare” of the public, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in Alachua County in advance of a white-nationalist leader's appearance Thursday at the University of Florida... Story

VETERANS' AGENCY HOPES TO AVOID BUDGET CUTS
CHRISTINE SEXTON |
Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs Executive Director Glenn Sutphin told a House panel that the state would have to close a veterans' nursing home if the Legislature were to make steep spending reductions to his department's budget in the coming year... Story

FLORIDA TV TAX FIGHT TAKEN TO U.S. SUPREME COURT
JIM SAUNDERS |
Pointing to “protectionism,” a major satellite-television company is asking the U. S. Supreme Court to take up a constitutional challenge to a Florida law that sets different tax rates for cable and satellite TV services... Story

FARMERS MAY GET LOANS TO HELP WITH IRMA DAMAGE
JIM TURNER |
Florida farmers in 44 counties may be eligible for federal loans to help cover damage inflicted by Hurricane Irma, the U. S. Department of Agriculture has announced... Story

PERSONNEL FILE --- PEOPLE ON THE MOVE, OCTOBER 16, 2017
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
NICOLE STOOKEY ALBERS has been named public affairs manager of the Florida Municipal Electric Association... Read the Personnel File


ADVANCES: WEEK OF OCTOBER 15, 2017
STAFF |
With lawmakers back in their districts between committee weeks, many county legislative delegations will hold hearings during the coming days... Read the Advances

NURSING HOMES SEEK VARIANCES FROM GENERATOR REQUIREMENT
CHRISTINE SEXTON |
As industry attorneys waged a legal battle over new rules that require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators that can power air-conditioning systems, providers worried that they cannot meet the mandate by Nov. 15 are asking for variances from the rules... Story

SWEEPING MEASURE ADDRESS PRESCRIPTION PILLS
DARA KAM |
Doctors would be limited to prescribing seven days' worth of opioids for patients with acute pain and would have to check a statewide database before ordering most prescription pain medications, under a proposal filed Friday in the state House... Story

STATE TRIES TO SCUTTLE MATCHING-GIFT CASE
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
The state is asking a Leon County circuit judge to dismiss a case alleging the state has failed to match $460 million in private donations to universities and state colleges that were made under Florida's matching-gift laws... Story

STATE PARKS TAKE FINANCIAL HIT FROM HURRICANE
JIM TURNER |
Three Florida parks in the Keys opened to the public Friday for the first time since Hurricane Irma, as the state looks at overall storm damage to its parks topping $55 million... Story

WEEKLY ROUNDUP: NEW FACES AND TOUGH ISSUES
DARA KAM |
A few new faces, and some familiar ones that sprouted hipster beards over the summer, joined the hubbub in the Capitol for the first week of committee meetings before the legislative session kicks off in January... Read the Roundup


HEARING STARTS ON NURSING HOME GENERATOR RULES
CHRISTINE SEXTON |
Long-term care providers squared off Thursday against Gov. Rick Scott's administration in a legal challenge to emergency rules that require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators that can power air-conditioning systems for as long as four days... Story

BAXLEY APOLOGIZES FOR NURSING HOME DEATH COMMENTS
CHRISTINE SEXTON |
State Sen. Dennis Baxley issued an apology Thursday for questioning whether the deaths of residents of a Broward County nursing home were related to Hurricane Irma or were an inevitability given their advancing ages... Story

$50 MILLION SOUGHT TO TACKLE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
DARA KAM |
Skyrocketing numbers of overdoses... Story

HURRICANE COSTS TAKE TOLL ON STATE BUDGET
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
Hurricane recovery efforts have already cost the state budget more than $141 million and are likely to increase, the Senate Appropriations Committee was told Thursday... Story

CITRUS CROP FACES SHARP DROP --- AMID FEARS IT COULD GO LOWER
JIM TURNER |
Florida's struggling orange crop is expected to drop 21 percent this growing season, a percentage some believe could become larger as farmers continue to suffer the effects of Hurricane Irma... Story

STATE TRIES TO REMOVE JUDGE IN MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPUTE
DARA KAM |
Accusing him of being biased, Florida health officials are asking that Administrative Law Judge John Van Laningham be removed from a case involving a medical marijuana license... Story

BACKROOM BRIEFING: SCHOOLS GRAPPLE WITH PET CLEAN-UP
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER, TOM URBAN AND JIM TURNER |
Floridians love their pets, and they're not about to abandon them in a storm... Read the Briefing

NURSING HOMES CAN SEEK VARIANCES FROM GENERATOR RULE
CHRISTINE SEXTON |
Shortly before attorneys for the state prepared to defend emergency regulations calling for nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators that can power air-conditioning systems, Gov. Rick Scott's administration Thursday released a new emergency rule that lays out a variance process for facilities that cannot comply with the requirements... Story

LOBBYIST FILE --- DOING BUSINESS ON THE FOURTH FLOOR, OCTOBER 12, 2017
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
MIKE ABRAMS has registered to lobby for The Pew Charitable Trusts... Story


...Read More in the Monthly Digest


DISASTERS COULD PUSH UP INSURANCE RATES

Florida's insurance commissioner said homeowners' policies could face some “upward pressure,” as he was asked Tuesday about the impact on rates from this year's series of natural disasters...

JUDGE-LAWYER FACEBOOK CASE GOES TO SUPREME COURT

A Miami-Dade County law firm Tuesday took the first step in asking the Florida Supreme Court to decide whether a circuit judge should be disqualified from a case because she was a Facebook friend of an attorney representing one of the parties...

REPORT CHARTS COURSE TO EXPAND TELEHEALTH

The state Telehealth Advisory Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a final report and legislative recommendations to remove barriers to the use of telehealth...

CABINET APPROVES PROTECTING OKEECHOBEE RANCH LAND

Gov. Rick Scott and the state Cabinet agreed Tuesday to spend about $5.7 million to conserve more than 2,500 acres of ranch land in a deal that nearly depletes this year's funding for a program used to keep agricultural property from development...

SUPREME COURT REJECTS STAY OF NOVEMBER EXECUTION

With no explanation, the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a request to stay the scheduled Nov. 8 execution of Patrick C. Hannon, who was sentenced to death in the 1991 murders of two men in Hillsborough County...

THRASHER AMONG VETERANS NAMED TO HALL OF FAME

Florida State University President John Thrasher, a former state House speaker who served in the Vietnam War, is among 20 members of the 2017 class of the Florida Veterans' Hall of Fame...


IRMA INSURANCE CLAIMS NEAR $5 BILLION

Potential insured losses from Hurricane Irma in Florida now approach $5 billion...

MORE VARIANCES SOUGHT ON NURSING HOME GENERATORS

At least 21 more long-term care providers have filed requests for variances with the state Agency for Health Care Administration as they seek additional time to comply with Gov Rick Scott's mandate that they add generators that can power air-conditioning systems...

HUNDREDS OF BOATS REMOVED AFTER IRMA

More than 850 vessels impacted by Hurricane Irma have been removed from state waters, the U. S. Coast Guard announced Monday...

PROPOSAL WOULD FUNNEL MONEY TO INDIAN RIVER LAGOON

At least $50 million a year of voter-approved money would go to conserving and managing the Indian River Lagoon, under a measure filed Monday by Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart...

SUPREME COURT SETS ARGUMENTS IN RED-LIGHT CAMERA BATTLE

The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments in February in a battle about a red-light camera program in the city of Aventura that could have broader implications across the state...

GASOLINE PRICES DROPPING AFTER STORM SPIKE

Gasoline prices in Florida have fallen 7 cents during the past week and 25 cents over the past month, after hurricanes Harvey and Irma drove up costs at the pump...


HOUSE, SENATE PLAN FOUR DAYS OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS

Coming off their first committee week in advance of the 2018 session, House and Senate committees will meet over four days in late October...

LAWMAKERS EYE STUDENT FINANCIAL LITERACY REQUIREMENT

Florida lawmakers will again consider a proposal that would require high-school students to pass a financial-literacy course before graduation...

FARMERS COULD GET IRMA-RELATED TAX BREAKS

Farmers could receive tax breaks on equipment damaged by Hurricane Irma and on fuel, under a proposal by Rep. Matt Caldwell, a North Fort Myers Republican who is running for agriculture commissioner next year...

GOP LAWMAKER WHITE RUNS FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL

Republican state Rep. Frank White, a general counsel and chief financial officer for a group of auto dealerships, announced Friday he will run for state attorney general in 2018...

COURT GIVES BOOST TO ORANGE COUNTY CHARTER CHANGES

An appeals court Friday overturned a ruling that at least temporarily blocked voter-approved changes to Orange County's government...

OLSZEWSKI, PEREZ QUICKLY PREPARE FOR 2018 CAMPAIGNS

After winning special elections for state House seats, Winter Garden Republican Bobby Olszewski and Miami Republican Daniel Perez have quickly started preparing for 2018 reelection bids...


SCOTT, CABINET CONSIDER OKEECHOBEE LAND DEAL

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet next week are slated to consider a $5.7 million deal that would help protect more than 2,500 acres of land in Okeechobee County...

DEBRIS REMOVAL FIRM SAYS IT WILL USE PRE-STORM PRICING

As the state looks into claims that debris-removal companies haven't fulfilled post-Hurricane Irma contracts, one of three firms in the crosshairs of Attorney General Pam Bondi announced it will complete the work at pre-storm pricing...

HOUSE PANEL TO HEAR BAEZ CASE IN DECEMBER

The House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee on Thursday set a Dec. 4 hearing to determine whether Rep. Daisy Baez violated residency requirements when she was elected last year...

SUPREME COURT WON'T RECONSIDER INDIGENT CARE FIGHT

A divided Florida Supreme Court on Thursday declined to reconsider a decision in a dispute about paying for indigent health care in Sarasota County...

VISIT FLORIDA AD CAMPAIGN TARGETS MAJOR MARKETS

Florida's tourism-marketing agency Thursday kicked off the second part of a $5 million post-Hurricane Irma effort to draw visitors to the state...

SCOTT SEEKS I-75 EVACUATION IMPROVEMENTS

Gov. Rick Scott has directed the Florida Department of Transportation to determine if traffic can be improved for people who use Interstate 75 to evacuate future hurricanes...


NEWSPAPER APPEALS WITNESS IDENTITY RULING

The Sun Sentinel newspaper has filed a notice as a first step in asking the Florida Supreme Court to take up a dispute about whether the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is required to disclose the names of witnesses to a murder on Interstate 95...

PROPOSAL CALLS FOR ELECTED SECRETARY OF STATE

A proposal to make the secretary of state an elected Cabinet position, eliminating the governor's power to appoint Florida's highest elections official, has returned in the Senate...

`GOOD SAMARITAN' PROPOSAL OFFERED IN SENATE

Failure to provide reasonable assistance to a person in “imminent danger” of grave physical harm, yet taking video and posting it online, could result in a third-degree felony, under a proposal filed Wednesday...

HOUSE PANEL SUPPORTS CREATING SLAVERY MEMORIAL

With little discussion, a House panel Wednesday approved a bill that would lead to the creation of a slavery memorial at the Florida Capitol...

APPEALS COURT UPHOLDS MAJOR TOBACCO VERDICT

Though it raised concerns about a jury instruction, a state appeals court Wednesday upheld a nearly $35 million verdict against R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in the death of a longtime smoker...

FELONS' RIGHTS INITIATIVE TOPS 200,000 SIGNATURES

With continued financial backing from the American Civil Liberties Union, a ballot initiative to restore felons' voting rights has topped 200,000 petition signatures submitted to the state, according to the Florida Division of Elections website...


HOUSE PANEL BACKS RED-LIGHT CAMERA REPEAL

The House is on a fast track to try to repeal Florida's red-light camera law, with the Appropriations Committee on Tuesday voting to back elimination of the devices by July 1, 2021...

SCOTT WANTS TO MAKE NURSING HOME RULES PERMANENT

Gov. Rick Scott directed agencies Tuesday to begin the process of approving permanent rules that would require nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to add generators that can power air-conditioning systems...

DISNEY PUMPS MORE MONEY INTO GAMBLING MEASURE

With the number of petition signatures continuing to climb, Disney Worldwide Services sunk another $575,000 in September into a proposed constitutional amendment that could make it harder to expand gambling in Florida...

JUDGE BACKS EXPLORATORY OIL WELL IN BROWARD

An administrative law judge said Tuesday that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection should allow a major Broward County landowner to drill an exploratory oil well in the Everglades...

SCOTT, PUTNAM TO SEEK POST-IRMA FEDERAL AID

Gov. Rick Scott and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam will be in Washington, D. C. on Wednesday to meet with members of Florida's congressional delegation to discuss federal assistance after Hurricane Irma...

VENEZUELA DIVESTMENT BILL FILED IN HOUSE

Florida would have to divest from companies doing business with the Venezuelan government, under a House proposal filed Tuesday by Rep. Bill Hager, R-Delray Beach...

STATE SEEKS TO SCUTTLE MARIJUANA SMOKING CASE

Attorney General Pam Bondi's office is asking a judge to toss out a challenge to a new law that bars patients from smoking medical marijuana...

`DIRECT PRIMARY CARE' STARTS MOVING IN SENATE

With the proposal backed by business and medical groups, a Senate committee Tuesday approved a bill that could spur the use of “direct primary care” agreements in Florida...

REAGAN LICENSE PLATE PROPOSED

A Senate Republican on Tuesday proposed a measure that would create a President Ronald Reagan specialty license plate...


ANTI-FRACKING PROPOSALS FILED FOR 2018 SESSION

Two Tampa Bay-area Republicans will make another attempt at banning the controversial oil and natural-gas drilling technique known as “fracking...

IRMA ASSISTANCE DEADLINE EXTENDED

Workers who lost wages because of Hurricane Irma will have additional time to seek help from the state...

TWO MORE DEATHS LINKED TO BROWARD NURSING HOME

` Nearly a month after a sweltering Broward County nursing home was evacuated, two more former residents of the facility have died, Hollywood police said Monday...

IRMA INSURANCE CLAIMS NEAR $4.6 BILLION

Property-insurance claims from Hurricane Irma have approached $4.6 billion in estimated losses, according to the latest numbers from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation...

JUDGE SIDES WITH DISABLED MAN AGAINST THEME PARK

An administrative law judge has sided with a man who challenged Universal Studios Orlando because the theme park would not allow motorized wheelchairs in the customer lines for rides...

`BARACK OBAMA HIGHWAY' PROPOSED FOR BROWARD

A Democratic lawmaker Monday proposed designating a stretch of road in Broward County as “President Barack Obama Highway...

`BUMP STOCK' BAN PROPOSED IN FLORIDA

Little more than a week after a massacre in Las Vegas, a Florida state senator Monday proposed banning devices --- known as “bump stocks” --- that can be used to increase the rate of firing bullets from semi-automatic weapons...

OLSZEWSKI BOLSTERS FINANCIAL EDGE IN HD 44

With Democrats making a late replacement in the race, Republican Bobby Olszewski continued to build a financial advantage going into a special election Tuesday in Orange County's House District 44...

FRY, MCCLURE TOP $100,000 IN HOUSE GOP PRIMARY

Poised for a special primary election Tuesday in a Hillsborough County House District, Republicans Yvonne Fry and Lawrence McClure have each raised more than $100,000, according to newly filed finance reports...


SCOTT SCHEDULES EXECUTION IN HILLSBOROUGH MURDERS

Less than 24 hours after the state executed Death Row inmate Cary Michael Lambrix, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a death warrant for a man convicted in two 1991 murders in Hillsborough County...

CRC MEMBER: CHANGING WRITE-IN LAW `RIGHT THING TO DO'

Although she is a Republican, Florida Constitution Revision Commission member Sherry Plymale explained in an opinion piece this week why she is supporting a write-in candidate proposal that was originally offered by a Democrat...

IRMA DEATH TOLL UP TO 69 IN FLORIDA

Hurricane Irma's official death toll in Florida stands at 69, nearly a month after the storm pounded a south-to-north path through the state...

 
 
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