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ADVANCES: WEEK OF FEBRUARY 19, 2017
STAFF |
Florida lawmakers during the coming week will hold three days of committee meetings as they prepare for the March 7 start of the annual legislative session... Read the Advances

HOUSE FILES SUIT OVER LOTTERY CONTRACT
BRANDON LARRABEE |
The House of Representatives filed a lawsuit late Friday accusing the Florida Lottery of illegally signing a long-term contract for ticket sales, escalating a feud between House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Gov. Rick Scott a little more than a week before the legislative session begins... Story

WEEKLY ROUNDUP: COURTING OPPOSITION
BRANDON LARRABEE |
There was already plenty of anti-judiciary invective being hurled around the Legislature in the run-up to the 2017 legislative session, and this week may have intensified the tension... Read the Roundup

LOBBYIST FILE - DOING BUSINESS ON THE FOURTH FLOOR, FEBRUARY 17, 2017
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
ERICA ATALLA has registered to lobby for Netsmart Technologies... Story

HOUSE, SENATE ON DIFFERENT GAMBLING TRACKS
DARA KAM |
A new House proposal would ban the expansion of slot machines and prohibit wildly popular card games at the state's pari-mutuels, putting the House at odds with a gambling industry-friendly plan floated by Senate Republican leaders... Story

RUBIO, NELSON TARGET APALACHICOLA WATER STANDARDS
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
Following an adverse legal decision, Florida's two U. S. senators have joined forces to urge the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers to not finalize water-control standards for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin... Story


APPEALS COURT RULES AGAINST STATE IN `DOCS VS. GLOCKS'
DARA KAM |
Siding with a coalition of individual doctors and medical groups, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday that major portions of a controversial Florida law restricting physicians and other health-care providers from asking patients about guns is unconstitutional... Story

COLLEGE PRESIDENTS OPPOSE SENATE FUNDING PROPOSAL
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
Florida college presidents say they are opposed to a new performance-based funding measure that will be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee next week... Story

BACKROOM BRIEFING: HOUSE EYES TORRENT OF LEGAL FEES
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER AND JIM TURNER |
Florida's stinging setback in its "water war" with Georgia is only going to add more scrutiny to the enormous legal bills the state has racked up over the past few years... Read the Briefing

TOURISM NUMBERS UP AMID VISIT FLORIDA FEUD
JIM TURNER |
Gov. Rick Scott, embroiled in a fight with House leaders over the future of the state's tourism-marketing agency, said Thursday that Florida hit record tourism numbers in 2016... Story

SUPREME COURT BLOCKS ABORTION WAITING PERIOD
DARA KAM |
In another in a string of rulings siding with abortion-rights advocates, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a 2015 law that would have required women to wait 24 hours before having abortions... Story

JUSTICES GO AGAINST LEGISLATURE ON EXPERT WITNESSES
JIM SAUNDERS |
Pointing to "grave constitutional concerns," the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a controversial 2013 move by lawmakers to tighten a standard for expert witnesses in legal cases... Story

HOUSE MOVES TO WITHDRAW FROM REFUGEE PROGRAM
JIM TURNER |
State House members took the first step Thursday in seeking to withdraw Florida from a federal refugee-assistance program... Story


NEGRON OUTLINES CRC PRIORITIES, NAMES MEMBERS
BRANDON LARRABEE |
Two former state senators, the president of The Florida Bar and a defender of former Gov. Jeb Bush's education legacy were among those named to the Constitution Revision Commission by Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, on Wednesday... Story

CHANGES IN STORE FOR `LIQUOR WALL' PLAN
JIM TURNER |
A controversial proposal that would allow liquor to be sold in grocery stores was nearly capped in its first House committee as lawmakers expressed concerns about who could handle the bottles... Story

NELSON, DUNN WADE INTO 'WATER WAR' AFTER SETBACK
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
With an adverse legal decision in the ongoing "water war" with Georgia, Florida congressional members on Wednesday began taking steps to reassert Florida's claim that regional water policies are hurting Apalachicola Bay... Story

LAWMAKERS UNVEIL LEGISLATION TO LIMIT TESTING TIME
BRANDON LARRABEE |
Leading members of the House and Senate unveiled legislation Wednesday that they said could help reduce the amount of time Florida public school students spend on standardized tests during the school year... Story

DEATH PENALTY FIX ON THE FAST TRACK
DARA KAM |
A proposal that would require unanimous jury recommendations for death sentences to be imposed sailed through its first House vetting Wednesday, receiving unanimous approval from the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee... Story


UF PRESIDENT BACKS TEACHER FUNDS, BLOCK TUITION
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
University of Florida President Kent Fuchs said Tuesday that taking Florida's research universities to the "next level" will be a key in advancing the state's economy... Story

FLORIDA SUFFERS SETBACK IN WATER WARS
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
In a major setback to Florida, a special master appointed by the U. S. Supreme Court sided Tuesday with Georgia in a decades-old legal fight over water flow into the Apalachicola River... Story

HOUSE PANEL TAKES AIM AT NORTH FLORIDA JUDGE
DARA KAM |
A key House panel Tuesday used a judge accused of once throwing his law firm's clients "under the bus" --- and whose case has awaited action from the Florida Supreme Court for more than a year --- to highlight the chamber's dissatisfaction with how judicial wrongdoing is handled... Story

HOUSE PUTS FOCUS ON LOCAL ETHICS RULES
BRANDON LARRABEE |
A House committee unanimously approved an overhaul of local ethics rules Tuesday, paving the way for legislation that would require more stringent financial disclosure by some city officials and create a state registration system for local lobbyists... Story

SCOTT TAX CUT PLAN DRAWS DOUBTS
JIM TURNER |
Gov. Rick Scott may be "a little ambitious" in seeking $618.4 million in tax cuts, a key lawmaker said Tuesday, while others said the proposed cuts favor corporations over individual Floridians... Story

BREAKING NEWS: FLORIDA 'WATER WAR' ARGUMENTS REJECTED
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
A special master recommended Tuesday that the U.S. Supreme Court rule against Florida in a legal battle with Georgia about water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system. Florida filed a lawsuit alleging that Georgia diverts too much water from the river system, damaging Apalachicola Bay and the Franklin County seafood industry. The News Service will have a full story later Tuesday. --END-- 2/14/2017 © 2017 The News Service of Florida. All rights reserved. Posting or forwarding this material without permission is prohibited. You can view the Terms of Use on our website. Independent and Indispensable http://www.newsserviceflorida.com


...Read More in the Monthly Digest


FORMER CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATOR ARRESTED

A former Department of Children and Families child protective investigator was arrested Thursday on two counts of falsifying records, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced...

HOUSE SEEKS ONLINE ANIMAL-ABUSE REGISTRY

Names and mug shots of individuals convicted of animal abuse would have their names published online by the state, under a proposal filed Friday in the Florida House...

TRUMBULL, CHALLENGER GEAR UP FOR 2018 HOUSE RACE

State Rep. Jay Trumbull, R-Panama City, and a Democratic challenger have opened campaign accounts to run in 2018 for Trumbull's Bay County House seat, according to the state Division of Elections website...

TRUMP TO RALLY SUPPORT IN MELBOURNE

President Donald Trump will hold a rally Saturday in Brevard County, returning to the Orlando-Melbourne International Airport where he held a campaign event last year...

HOUSE MEMBER LOOKS TO SCUTTLE STADIUM MONEY

State Rep. Bryan Avila, R-Hialeah, has filed a proposal intended to eliminate an unused pool of money for professional stadium upgrades...


FOUR FINALISTS NAMED FOR FLORIDA GULF COAST PRESIDENCY

Former state Rep. Tom Grady did not make a list of finalists for the presidency of Florida Gulf Coast University, as a search committee Thursday opted for four veteran academics...

COURT SIDES WITH HOSPITAL IN 'PIP' DISPUTE

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday sided with a Jacksonville hospital in a battle with State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company about how much information the hospital should be required to provide about its charges...

PLAN CALLS FOR CHARTER SCHOOL IN TROUBLED DISTRICT

The State Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to approve a plan calling for the operation of public education in Jefferson County to be turned over to a charter school...

SUPREME COURT BLOCKS ABORTION WAITING PERIOD

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a 2015 law that would have required women to wait 24 hours before having abortions...

VOTE-BY-MAIL FIX APPROVED IN HOUSE

After a court ruling last year, a House subcommittee Thursday unanimously approved a bill that would deal with situations in which vote-by-mail ballots are rejected because signatures do not match the signatures on file with supervisors of elections...

INDIAN RIVER LAGOON MONEY PROPOSED

Sen. Debbie Mayfield, R-Vero Beach, has filed a proposal that would provide voter-approved money for restoration work along the Indian River Lagoon system...

MARINO FOUNDATION LICENSE PLATE PROPOSED

The image of former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino could be affixed to the back of cars in the latest proposed specialty license plate...


HOUSE EMPLOYEE CHARGED WITH SOLICITING A MINOR

A former Florida House of Representatives employee who oversaw the chamber’s page and messenger program has been arrested and charged with two counts of using a computer to solicit a minor for sex...

PUBLIC MEETINGS EXEMPTION SOUGHT FOR ONE-ON-ONE TALKS

A House Republican on Wednesday proposed a bill that would allow members of state and local boards and commissions to hold one-on-one meetings in private...

COURT SIDES WITH THURSTON IN MATCHING FUNDS DISPUTE

An appeals court Wednesday sided with state Sen. Perry Thurston in a dispute about whether he was entitled to receive matching funds for his unsuccessful 2014 campaign for attorney general...

CHIROPRACTOR'S CHALLENGE TO 'PIP' LAW REJECTED

Rejecting arguments by a chiropractor, a South Florida appeals court Wednesday upheld part of a 2012 overhaul of the state's person-injury protection auto insurance system...

HOUSE MOVES ON ELIMINATING AGENCIES AMID SCOTT PRESSURE

A measure to abolish the public-private Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida will be heard by the House Appropriations Committee next week...

LEGISLATURE LIKELY TO REJECT TAMPA STADIUM MONEY

A request for state money to help cover ongoing improvements at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa satisfies state funding requirements...

CALLS ABOUT BEARS IN NEIGHBORHOODS DROP

Some people may not be reporting bear sightings in residential areas to protect the creatures from another statewide hunt, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission official told state lawmakers Wednesday...


BUSINESS GROUPS PROPOSE WORKERS' COMP CHANGES

Associated Industries of Florida and other business groups released a proposal Tuesday aimed at holding down workers' compensation insurance rates --- including revamping a state law about fees paid to injured workers' attorneys...

HAZING LAW CHALLENGED IN 'MARCHING 100' DEATH

A former member of Florida A&M University's "Marching 100" band is arguing that a state hazing law is unconstitutional as he challenges his convictions in the high-profile 2011 death of drum major Robert Champion...

LAWMAKERS WEIGH FLOOD INSURANCE CHANGES

State Rep. Larry Lee, D-Port St. Lucie, on Tuesday filed a flood-insurance measure that is similar to a Senate proposal that will get its first hearing next week...

ELECTED SECRETARY OF STATE PITCHED IN HOUSE

State Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, filed a proposal Tuesday that would lead to voters electing the secretary of state and making the position part of the Florida Cabinet...

RULE PROPOSED AMID ABORTION LEGAL FIGHT

As a federal judge considers whether part of a 2016 abortion law should be blocked, the state Agency for Health Care Administration has proposed a rule that it says would address a key issue in the legal battle...

CHANGES SOUGHT IN MEDICAID MANAGED CARE

A Senate Republican has filed a proposal that would revamp Florida's Medicaid managed-care system, including changing how HMOs and other health plans are spread across the state...

NEWTON, NEWCOMERS PLAN 2018 CAMPAIGNS

After winning his seat in the November elections, state Rep. Wengay Newton Sr. , D-St. Petersburg, is planning to run again in 2018, according to the Florida Division of Elections website...


SENATOR SEEKS STRONGER PENALTIES FOR REFUSING DUI TESTS

Ignition interlock devices would be required for individuals who repeatedly refuse tests for driving under the influence under a Senate proposal strengthening penalties for those who decline the tests...

SENATOR SEEKS CHANGES IN STATE WORKER INSURANCE

Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, on Monday filed a bill that would revamp the state-employee health insurance program, long a goal of House Republican leaders...

SCOTT KEEPS UP PRESSURE IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEBATE

After making three appearances Monday, Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday will continue trying to build public pressure against lawmakers who want to kill the state's business-recruitment and tourism-marketing agencies...

NURSING HOME EXEMPTION SOUGHT IN MEDICAID MANAGED CARE

With the nursing-home industry lobbying for changes, a Senate Republican has proposed exempting some nursing-home residents from the statewide Medicaid managed-care system...

ELECTED SECRETARY OF STATE SOUGHT

A Senate Republican has proposed returning to a system in which the secretary of state would be elected to a spot on the Florida Cabinet...

SHARK FIN TRADE TARGETED IN SENATE BILL

A Northeast Florida senator has filed a bill that would crack down on the sale and possession of shark fins and shark tails, considered a delicacy in parts of Asia...


SCOTT COMMITTEE COLLECTS NEARLY $1.7 MILLION IN MONTH

A political committee closely tied to Gov. Rick Scott raised almost $1.7 million in January, including collecting a handful of six-figure checks, according to a finance report posted Friday on the state Division of Elections website...

HOUSE MEMBERS POISED FOR RE-ELECTION BIDS

Incumbent state House members continued lining up this week to run for re-election in 2018, according to filings with the Florida Division of Elections...

BILLS WOULD MAKE IT HARDER TO CHANGE CONSTITUTION

Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, introduced a measure Friday that would make it harder for voters to change the Florida Constitution...

NEGRON WATER PLAN FILED IN HOUSE

Rep. Thad Altman, R-Rockledge, filed a House bill Friday to match a controversial $2.4 billion proposal --- backed by Senate President Joe Negron --- to buy farmland south of Lake Okeechobee...

COURT SIDES WITH FELON IN GUN POSSESSION CASE

A sharply divided appeals court Friday sided with a convicted felon who was arrested for carrying a gun while exercising on the grounds of a Jacksonville middle school...

MOLESTATION CONVICTION OVERTURNED BECAUSE OF MISCONDUCT

An appeals court Friday overturned the conviction of a man on molestation charges because of what it described as "egregious prosecutorial misconduct" and a failure to object by a defense attorney...

LATVALA POLITICAL COMMITTEE TOPS $157K IN JANUARY

A political committee tied to Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, raised more than $157,000 in January, as the longtime lawmaker considers a run for governor, according to a newly filed finance report...


HOUSE READY TO MOVE ON HEALTH CARE REGULATIONS

The House will begin moving forward next week with proposals to chip away at health-care regulations, including a plan to eliminate the controversial "certificate of need" process...

JUDGE REJECTS REQUEST TO DELAY BROWN'S TRIAL

A federal judge Thursday rejected a request by former U. S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla...

GALVANO, SIMPSON COMMITTEES TOP $100K

With Republicans Bill Galvano and Wilton Simpson expected to become the next two Senate presidents, political committees with close ties to the lawmakers raked in contributions in January, according to newly filed finance reports...

FLORIDA CITRUS FORECAST DROPS AGAIN

Florida's citrus industry, on pace for its worst harvest in five decades, continues to get troubling news...

JUSTICES TURN DOWN APPEAL IN PRISON GUARD MURDER

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an appeal by a Death Row inmate convicted in the 2008 murder of a prison guard at Tomoka Correctional Institution in Volusia County...

NUNEZ PLANS 2020 BID FOR STATE SENATE

Rep. Jeanette Nunez, a Miami Republican who is a top lieutenant to House Speaker Richard Corcoran, has opened a campaign account to run in 2020 for a state Senate seat, according to the Florida Division of Elections website...


APPEALS COURT POISED TO HEAR WORKERS' COMP CASE

As lawmakers ponder changes to the workers' compensation insurance system, the 1st District Court of Appeal will hear arguments Feb. 22 about whether Florida's Sunshine Law was violated before regulators approved a 14.5 percent rate increase in September...

RIDESHARE PROPOSAL ON THE MOVE IN HOUSE

A controversial proposal that would set statewide regulations for ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft got its first green light Wednesday from a House panel...

HOUSE MEMBERS SUPPORT NAMING ROAD FOR GOLF GREAT

The House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Wednesday unanimously backed a proposal (HB 225) that would designate a stretch of State Road 408 in Orlando after World Golf Hall of Fame member Arnold Palmer, who died in September at age 87...

BROWN CHIEF OF STAFF PLEADS GUILTY

A onetime aide to former Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown pleaded guilty Wednesday to two criminal counts in connection with the federal investigation that helped end Brown's 24-year tenure in the U. S. House...

ALBRITTON TO RUN FOR GRIMSLEY SENATE SEAT

With state Sen. Denise Grimsley announcing last week that she will run for agriculture commissioner in 2018, Rep. Ben Albritton, R-Wauchula, said Wednesday he will seek to replace her in the Florida Senate...

DENNARD PICKED TO LEAD CAREERSOURCE FLORIDA

Michelle Dennard was unanimously chosen Wednesday to become president and CEO of the workforce agency CareerSource Florida, replacing Chris Hart who recently moved to the top role at Enterprise Florida...

 
 
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