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Come to Your Census

Governor Charlie Crist has formally declared the week of March 21 as Florida Census Week.

Today, he sent out a proclamation listing the various reasons there should be a census week for the state. Besides the fact that it's a constitutional mandate for the state to conduct one every ten years, Crist also pointed out that the census is used to distribute Congressional seats to states, determine who will represent you within the state, and allow officials to make decisions about where and how to spend money for community services.

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AG Bill McCollum to Sue Federal Government Over Health Care Reform

As soon as President Barack Obama signs the health care bill passed by the House of Representatives last night, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum will join attorneys general from nine other states to file a lawsuit asserting the legislation is unconstitutional.

"The health care reform legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last night clearly violates the U.S. Constitution and infringes on each state's sovereignty," said Attorney General McCollum.

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Meek Brings Out Bill Clinton to Help Raise Funds

As the federal quarterly fundraising deadline of March 31 draws near, politicians across Florida running for Congress are scrambling to raise as much as possible this week.

U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek is bringing out the big guns, starting off with a fundraising email from Bill Clinton.

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House Dismisses Ethics Complaints Against Ron Saunders

The House Rules & Calendar Committee dismissed the complaints filed by a Tea Party activist against incoming House minority leader Rep. Ron Saunders, D-Key West.

Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, chairman of the committee, wrote a letter to James Barnes in response to allegations that Barnes filed against Saunders. Barnes claimed that Saunders raised campaign funds during the legislative session and that the House member filed incorrect reimbursements for travel and per diem expenses.

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The Book of Love

To steal a line from the classic song by the Monotones, who wrote the book of love? Apparently, a committee set up by the state of Florida.

The Family Law Handbook contains all the details about how to get a divorce, but conservative critics say it has little about how to maintain a successful marriage.

This could be changing. A bill calling for the appointment of a Marriage Education Committee consisting of family advocates to add marriage tips and recourses to the Handbook passed the Senate Judiciary Committee today by a unanimous vote.

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Senate Passes Bill Restricting Adoption Agencies from Asking About Guns

Sen. Thad Altman's push to prevent adoption agencies from asking prospective parents if they own guns made headway Thursday.

Altman and gun rights advocates pointed out that social workers documenting people who own guns is a violation of Florida law and their second amendment rights.

According to Altman, the questioning also made some prospective adoptive families decide against adopting U.S.-born children, because adoption agencies outside the U.S. don't ask.

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St. Joe Company To Move Headquarters

The St. Joe Company has announced it will move its headquarters from Jacksonville to Panama City by the summer 2011.

The company's new headquarters will be located adjacent to the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, which is being built on 4,000 acres of land.

"What this means to Panama City and the surrounding areas is jobs," Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City, said. "This move signals that our region is poised for growth once Florida's economy gets back on track."

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House authorizes Affiliated Party Committees, Democrats and Shakespeare's ghost weep

The House just passed legislation that allows the Senate president, House speaker and minority leaders to create Affiliated Party Committees, or "leadership funds" depending on who you ask.

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Bad Day for Trial Lawyers in the House

Two losses for the trial lawyers in the Florida House.

This morning, the House overwhelmingly voted in favor of measures to limit fees for lawyers working on behalf of the state outside the Attorney Generals office. House members on both sides invoked the tobacco lawsuit which brought the state $13 billion of which $3 billion ended up in attorney fees. Democrats, led by Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Plantation, argued that the proposal tied the hands of future attorney generals.

The House voted to cap attorney fees 71-40.

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Huckabee/Webster 2012

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was in Tallahassee last night as the keynote speaker for a Suwannee River Boy Scout Council fundraiser. Huckabee avoided politics and did not talk about either his 2008 presidential bid or his plans for 2012. The University Center Club event pulled in more than 330 attendees, who paid $250 a ticket.

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