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FL House Passes Unemployment Compensation Deferment 117-0

The leadership of the Florida Legislature promised to quickly handle the unemployment compensation tax deferment and, so far, they are good on their word.

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Senate President Starts Session with Plea for Balanced Federal Budget

As session started today, Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, repeated his call for the state Legislature to demand the federal government balance its budget.

Atwater and Cretul, R-Ocala, proposed Monday that the state join 19 other states demanding a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Federal Constitution, which would require a balanced federal budget and limit federal restrictions on state spending.

Florida is on its way to becoming the third-most populous state in the nation and the tenth-largest GDP in the world.

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Cretul Opens the House

The Florida House of Representatives opened the 2010 session on a gloomy wet day in Tallahassee and the mood in the House chamber reflected the weather. Even the opening prayer stressed how Floridians were discouraged by the economic situation and were losing faith.

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Senate Session Starts

Morning Yall,

Im in the state Senate press gallery as session starts.

Gov. Charlie Crist and Attorney General Bill McCollum circled the floor before opening call, and reporters joked about Senators' wardrobes and handshakes.

Prayer just ended, including the words, "We pray for our Governor."

"Me too," comes a comment from the gallery

Its a party all around.

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Balance Federal Budget, Urge State Legislative Leaders

State Senate President Jeff Atwater and House Speaker Larry Cretul announced Monday they want Florida to join other states in demanding the federal government balance its budget.

If the federal government, now grappling with a $12 trillion debt, doesnt act more fiscally responsible, the consequences are clear.

Florida will be drowning in its debt, Atwater said, in a joint press conference with Cretul.

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Hasner Opens Session with AIF

Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Delray Beach, spent early Monday afternoon speaking on the House floor. Instead of the usual legion of House members, Hasner was addressing members of the Associated Industries of Florida with its President and CEO Barney Bishop in the first row.

While acknowledging that both the state and the nation were facing tough economic times, Hasner stated there was no recession of ideas and promised that the House would push a bold agenda in 2010.

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New Sink Campaign Strategist's Background in FL Includes Finance Complaint

Ken Morley is back in Florida. The veteran Democratic strategist has signed up with Alex Sink's gubernatorial campaign as the new general consultant, replacing Mark Farinella.

With Republicans still reeling from their own in-house financial management problems, they may be looking to play up some of the financial problems the Democrats have had over the years. They may be tempted to look at a complaint filed against Scott Maddox's short lived gubernatorial campaign in which Alex Sinks new strategist played a small part. If so, they won't find much--at least concerning Morley.

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U.S. Reps Featured in Latest Round of Dem AG Race Endorsement Battle

On paper there seems little to differentiate the two state senators running in the Democratic primary for attorney general. They are both from South Florida. They often hold the same positions on the issues and they have both done well with fundraising.

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Crist Goes After Obama Health Care Efforts as Whispers Grow He is Leaving GOP

As the rumors swirl that he is planning to abandon the GOP primary to continue running for the U.S. Senate, Gov. Charlie Crist is using yesterdays health care summit in Washington to reinforce his Republican credentials.

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Meek and Mild

While he is not getting much attention for his efforts, U.S.Rep. Kendrick Meek, the likely Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, released an op-ed calling the Obama administrations budget cuts to the space program unacceptable. While originally run earlier in the month, the column was carried again today.

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