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SCOTT SIGNS MEDICAL MARIJUANA PLAN
JIM SAUNDERS AND JIM TURNER |
More than seven months after Floridians overwhelmingly backed the broad legalization of medical marijuana, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a bill aimed at carrying out the voters' wishes... Story

WEEKLY ROUNDUP: RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS
BRANDON LARRABEE |
Relationships are hard to sustain in life, and nowhere is that more true than in politics... Read the Roundup

ADVANCES: WEEK OF JUNE 25, 2017
STAFF |
The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear arguments in a dispute about whether Gov. Rick Scott could shift death-penalty cases away from Orlando-area State Attorney Aramis Ayala... Read the Advances

SPEAKER SAYS VISIT FLORIDA `CLEANING UP THEIR ACT'
JIM TURNER |
House Speaker Richard Corcoran said Visit Florida apparently listened to state lawmakers' criticism, as the tourism-marketing agency has canceled an auto racing sponsorship and is negotiating for a better deal with an English football club... Story

PERSONNEL FILE --- PEOPLE ON THE MOVE, JUNE 23, 2017
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
DALE SWOPE has been elected president of the Florida Justice Association... Read the Personnel File


SUBPOENAS COULD COMPLICATE GILLUM CAMPAIGN
BRANDON LARRABEE |
Federal investigators have subpoenaed records related to a Tallahassee city agency, raising a new challenge for Mayor Andrew Gillum's run for governor in 2018... Story

BACKROOM BRIEFING: CONNECTICUT SAYS HIT THE ROAD, RICK
JIM TURNER AND DARA KAM |
Gov. Rick Scott was in Connecticut and New York this week doing his traveling-salesman act for Florida... Read the Briefing

UF AT TOP OF CLASS FOR PERFORMANCE FUNDING
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
The University of Florida finished first among the 11 universities eligible for state performance funding in the upcoming budget year, garnering $55 million of the $245 million total... Story

VISIT FLORIDA PUTS BRAKES ON RACING CONTRACT
JIM TURNER |
Visit Florida Racing shared a Facebook photo from its prime sponsor this week, but the days of the state's tourism brand spinning wheels at tracks like Watkins Glen, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Sebring International Raceway are coming to a screeching halt... Story

COURT BLOCKS PANEL FROM FORCING POLICE TESTIMONY
JIM SAUNDERS |
Amid heavy national scrutiny of police conduct, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday said a Miami citizens' panel did not have the authority to subpoena an officer to testify as part of an investigation into a traffic stop... Story


GOOD REVIEWS BRING MORE MONEY FOR UNIVERSITIES
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
Like students waiting for their professors to post final course grades, Florida universities will learn this week how well they did on annual performance reviews, entitling them to a share of a record $245 million in state performance funding... Story

CITRUS AGENCY TIGHTENS BELT AMID INDUSTRY WOES
JIM TURNER |
The Florida Department of Citrus plans to continue to squeeze its operations during the coming year as the industry struggles, though travelers will still be able to receive free orange juice at state welcome centers... Story

RAINY SEASON DOUSES FIERY FLORIDA
JIM TURNER |
After months of drought conditions that helped fuel nearly 2,500 wildfires across the state, Florida has quickly moved deep into its rainy season... Story

LOBBYIST FILE --- DOING BUSINESS ON THE FOURTH FLOOR, JUNE 21, 2017
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
ROB FIELDS has registered to lobby for Docusign, Inc. DREW GILLAN has registered to lobby for Charter Communications... Story


PARTY LEADER SAYS DEMOCRATS `MOVING FORWARD' AFTER UPROAR
BRANDON LARRABEE |
Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel appeared set to keep his position, at least for the moment, after meeting Tuesday with African-American state lawmakers angered by comments Bittel made at the party's annual fundraising dinner Saturday... Story

CHRISTIAN SCHOOL APPEALS FOOTBALL PRAYER RULING
JIM SAUNDERS |
A Tampa Christian school is continuing a legal battle about whether it should have been allowed to offer a prayer over a stadium loudspeaker before a state high-school football championship game... Story

CITIZENS SEEKS RATE HIKES, BLAMES WATER CLAIMS
JIM TURNER |
Continuing to point at “out of control” water damage claims, the Citizens Property Insurance Board of Governors on Tuesday unanimously backed proposed rate increases that would hit South Florida policyholders hardest next year... Story

COURT ALLOWS PUBLIC RECORDS FIGHT TO MOVE FORWARD
JIM SAUNDERS |
In a long-running dispute that centers on the state's Sunshine Law, a federal appeals court Tuesday said the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida can delve into information about a police officer's requests to use cell-phone tracking devices... Story


HEALTH OFFICIALS MOVE FORWARD WITH MARIJUANA PLANS
DARA KAM |
Florida health officials have laid out a new process to implement the voter-approved constitutional amendment broadly legalizing medical marijuana, as they attempt to meet deadlines included in the November ballot measure... Story

APPEALS COURT REJECTS CALOOSAHATCHEE WATER CASE
JIM SAUNDERS |
A federal appeals court Monday rejected a lawsuit alleging that the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers' management of water flowing from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River caused pollution problems in the Southwest Florida waterway... Story

SCOTT USES NEW WEAPON IN JOBS MISSION
JIM TURNER |
Gov. Rick Scott on Monday morning hadn't formally received a bill, negotiated during the final hours of a special legislative session, that will give him $85 million to try to boost economic development... Story


DEMOCRATS TRY TO BUILD SUPPORT IN GOVERNOR'S RACE
BRANDON LARRABEE |
With 14 months to go before they face their party's voters, the three declared Democratic candidates for governor gingerly began outlining their different approaches to the race during a forum Saturday in front of a packed room of activists... Story


SCOTT SIGNS RENEWABLE ENERGY, HEALTH CARE BILLS
JIM SAUNDERS |
Gov. Rick Scott late Friday signed 13 bills, including a measure that will carry out a constitutional amendment aimed at boosting the use of solar energy in the state... Story

WEEKLY ROUNDUP: STRANGE ED-FELLOWS
BRANDON LARRABEE |
If there was one thing that Gov. Rick Scott could count on during this spring's regular legislative session, it was the Florida Senate... Read the Roundup


...Read More in the Monthly Digest


SCOTT GOING TO WASHINGTON AMID HEALTH DEBATE

After U. S. Senate leaders released a proposal Thursday to roll back the Affordable Care Act, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he will go to Washington next week to weigh in on the issues...

SCOTT SIGNS MORE THAN THREE DOZEN BILLS

Continuing to finish work from the 2017 regular legislative session and a special session, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed 38 bills on issues ranging from aerial drones to memory-care services...

HEALTH INSURERS SEEK RATE HIKES

Nine insurance companies have submitted rate filings to sell individual health coverage that complies with requirements in the federal Affordable Care Act, with six seeking to sell through the federal exchange...

GILLUM 'APPROACHED' BY FBI LAST WEEK

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democratic candidate for governor in 2018, said Friday that he was "approached" by the FBI last week to discuss an unfolding investigation into potential wrongdoing related to city development efforts...

MARIANO DRAWS ANOTHER CHALLENGER

A second Democrat has filed initial paperwork to challenge freshman state Rep. Amber Mariano, R-Hudson, as she seeks a second term in 2018...


DEFENSE ATTORNEYS BACK CHALLENGE TO ANTI-HAZING LAW

A statewide organization of criminal defense attorneys wants to support a former Florida A&M University band member in his challenge to the constitutionality of a state anti-hazing law...

RATING AGENCY WARNS ABOUT CONTROVERSIAL SCHOOL LAW

Part of a controversial and wide-ranging education bill (HB 7069) signed by Gov. Rick Scott could affect the credit ratings of some of the state's school districts, according to a report released Thursday by Moody's Investors Service...

DEMOCRAT PLANS SENATE RUN AGAINST PERRY

State Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, has drawn a Democratic challenger as he runs for re-election in 2018...

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEES TO START IN SEPTEMBER

With the 2018 legislative session starting in January, the Senate and House will begin holding committee meetings the week of Sept...

MEDICAL RECORDS DISPUTE HEADS TO SUPREME COURT

A long-running battle about how much patients should be charged for copies of medical records has gone to the Florida Supreme Court...

LONGTIME UCF PRESIDENT APPROVED FOR ANOTHER YEAR

John Hitt, who has led the University of Central Florida since 1992, will continue as president for at least another year...


SEVEN INJURED IN PRISON `DISTURBANCE'

Six prison employees and an inmate were injured Wednesday in what the Florida Department of Corrections described as a “major disturbance” at a Panhandle facility...

SUPREME COURT WANTS QUICK RESPONSE ON CITRUS VETO

The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday gave Gov. Rick Scott's administration until noon Monday to respond to a lawsuit challenging the governor's veto of $37.4 million intended to go to residents whose healthy citrus trees were cut down as the state tried to eradicate citrus-canker disease...

GAINER NET WORTH TOPS $31 MILLION

With state lawmakers facing a July 1 deadline for filing financial-disclosure reports, Sen. George Gainer, R-Panama City, is likely to rank as one of the wealthiest members of the Legislature...

COURT SIDES WITH LAW FIRM IN `CLAIM' BILL DISPUTE

Pointing to a recent Florida Supreme Court decision, a South Florida appeals court Wednesday sided with a law firm in a dispute related to the Legislature's attempt to limit legal fees in “claim” bills...

ZIKA CASES MOSTLY TRAVEL RELATED

As summer officially started Wednesday, Florida has had 84 reported Zika infections this year --- with the vast majority of them classified as “travel related,” according to information posted online by the state Department of Health...

DEMOCRAT PLANS TO SEEK CALDWELL HOUSE SEAT

As Rep. Matt Caldwell prepares to leave the Legislature next year, a Democrat has become the second candidate seeking to replace him in a Lee County House District...


HOMEOWNERS SEEK TO OVERTURN SCOTT CITRUS MONEY VETO

Homeowners and their lawyers asked the Florida Supreme Court late Tuesday to overturn Gov. Rick Scott's decision this month to veto $37.4 million that would have gone to residents whose healthy citrus trees were cut down as the state tried to eradicate citrus-canker disease...

SCOTT VETOES CAPITOL COMPLEX BILL

Gov. Rick Scott blocked the creation of an advisory council for the Capitol Complex as he vetoed a pair of bills Tuesday...

ASSOCIATED INDUSTRIES GIVES BOOST TO PUTNAM COMMITTEE

With help from one of the state' most-powerful business groups, Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam's “Florida Grown” political committee has raised more than $376,000 in June according to the committee's website...

FIELD SET IN ORANGE COUNTY HOUSE ELECTION

Four Republicans and one Democrat formally qualified before a noon Tuesday deadline to run in a special election to succeed former state Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, R-Orlando, in an Orange County House district...

STATE DRIVER DATABASE ISSUES RESOLVED

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles' driver database system experienced problems Monday, causing delays for some people attempting to register vehicles...

REPUBLICAN FILES FOR MORAITIS HOUSE SEAT

With Rep. George Moraitis, R-Fort Lauderdale, facing term limits next year, a Republican candidate has emerged to try to succeed him in Broward County's House District 93...


JUDGE CHANGES MIND ON LEGALITY OF GAMES

A Tallahassee judge Monday reversed a previous decision about devices, known as “pre-reveal games,” that critics argue are unregulated slot machines...

SCHOOL FUNDING, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BILLS GO TO SCOTT

Measures that would increase funding for public schools and tourism marketing, create a new pool of money for economic development and seek to help the federal government speed work to repair the dike around Lake Okeechobee were sent Monday to Gov. Rick Scott...

STATE SAYS SLOTS RULING SHOULD STAND

Attorneys for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation asked the state Supreme Court on Monday to let stand a major ruling that blocked a Gadsden County pari-mutuel facility from having slot machines...

SOLAR AMENDMENT BACKERS TOUT NEW FIRM IN FLORIDA

Sunrun, a San Francisco-based rooftop solar company, has enlisted two of the authors of last year's successful renewable-energy constitutional amendment to help promote the firm's entry into the Florida market...

FLORIDA FACES FIRST THREAT OF STORM SEASON

A low-pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico could be the first storm to threaten Florida during the 2017 hurricane season...

CANDIDATES QUALIFY FOR EISNAUGLE HOUSE SEAT

Three Republicans quickly qualified Monday morning to run in a special election to replace former state Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, an Orlando Republican appointed last month as a judge on the 5th District Court of Appeal...

APPLICATION PROCESS STARTS FOR PSC POSTS

With the terms of commissioners Ronald Brise and Art Graham set to expire in January, the state has started the application process for two seats on the Florida Public Service Commission...


SCOTT COMMITTEE RAISES $96K IN EARLY JUNE

After a relatively quiet May, Gov. Rick Scott's “Let's Get to Work” political committee raised $96,000 in early June, according to the committee's website...

DEATH SENTENCE TOSSED OUT IN CHILD'S MURDER

The Florida Supreme Court has ordered a new sentencing hearing for a man convicted of murdering a 5-year-old girl whose body was found in a South Florida canal with evidence of being bitten by an alligator...

FLORIDA POLYTECHNIC GETS ACCREDITATION

Florida Polytechnic University, the newest school in the state university system, has received a key accreditation to award bachelor's and master's degrees, officials announced Friday...

STATE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DOWN TO 4.3 PERCENT

Florida's jobless rate fell to 4.3 percent in May, down 0.2 percentage points from the prior month, representing 435,000 people out of work from the state's labor force of 10.15 million...

SCOTT GOING ON JOBS MISSION TO CONNECTICUT

Flush with a new “job growth” fund, Gov. Rick Scott is renewing his business-recruitment efforts in Connecticut...


BONDI POSTS NET WORTH AT $1.7 MILLION

Attorney General Pam Bondi's net worth increased 18 percent last year over the previous year and has risen 277 percent since she first ran for office...

NEW SENTENCING ORDERED IN HOUSE PARTY MURDER

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ordered resentencing for a Death Row inmate convicted of murdering two people in 2006 while robbing guests at a house party in Lake County...

JUDGE SAYS EX-MAYOR SHOULD LOSE RETIREMENT BENEFITS

A former North Miami Beach mayor who pleaded guilty last year to an unlawful-compensation charge should lose his state retirement benefits, an administrative law judge said Thursday...

SCOTT TO SIGN CONTROVERSIAL EDUCATION BILL

Gov. Rick Scott is scheduled Thursday afternoon to appear at a private school in Orlando to sign a controversial education bill (HB 7069) that has been a top priority of House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes...

ROAD DESIGNATIONS HONOR SLAIN OFFICER, PALMER

A transportation measure (SB 368) that was among 28 bills signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Rick Scott designates sections of Orange County roads after slain Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton and the late golf legend Arnold Palmer...

DEMOCRAT PLANS RUN FOR EISNAUGLE HOUSE SEAT

With the qualifying period starting Monday, a second Democrat has filed paperwork to run in a special election to succeed former state Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, R-Orlando...


SCOTT VETOES MAJOR HIGHER EDUCATION BILL

Gov. Rick Scott late Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have made wide-ranging changes in Florida's higher-education system, rejecting a top priority of Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart...

LOTTERY, WIRELESS BILLS HIT SCOTT'S DESK

Measures to place warnings on state lottery games and to give wireless providers a boost in dealing with local-government regulations were among 63 bills sent to Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday...

STATE SEES SAVINGS WITH LOWER INTEREST RATES

The state saved $300 million this year by refinancing $1.25 billion in bonds at lower interest rates, Ben Watkins, director of the Florida Division of Bond Finance, said Wednesday...

SCOTT WILL SIGN PAY RAISES FOR STATE WORKERS

Gov. Rick Scott is scheduled Wednesday afternoon to sign a measure that will provide raises to state employees and make changes in the state retirement and health-insurance programs...

APPEALS COURT SETS ARGUMENTS IN EDUCATION BATTLE

A Tallahassee-based appeals court will hear arguments next month in a long-running fight about whether Florida is providing an adequate public-education system...

BONDI'S CHIEF OF STAFF MOVING TO SBA

Kent Perez, the chief of staff for Attorney General Pam Bondi, is moving to the State Board of Administration...


STAY SOUGHT IN MURDER RESENTENCING AFTER AYALA REMOVAL

An attorney for a man convicted in an Orange County home-invasion murder asked the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday to put on hold the inmate's resentencing because of a decision by Gov. Rick Scott to assign a new prosecutor in the case...

COALITION URGES SCOTT TO SIGN SOLAR BILL

A diverse coalition of 16 special interests jointly asked Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday to sign a bill now on his desk that would carry out a constitutional amendment designed to expand the use of solar and other renewable-energy devices...

BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT PROGRAM TURNED DOWN

Upholding recommendations from an administrative law judge, the state Agency for Health Care Administration on Tuesday rejected a proposal by Baptist Hospital of Miami to establish an inpatient bone-marrow transplant program...

TAMPA BAY TRAUMA FIGHT CONTINUES BREWING

Amid a series of legal battles across the state about new trauma centers, an administrative law judge has ruled that Bayfront Health-St. Petersburg and St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa can intervene in a case to try to prevent a rival hospital from opening a trauma center...

 
 
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