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SFWMD Takes Preemptive Action against Expected Weekend Deluge

South Florida is due for rain and plenty of it over the next five days, but South Florida Water Management District staff say they have plans in place to control additional flood water from local governments, drainage districts and homeowner associations.

Summer storms and the outer edges of a tropical disturbance in the northwest Caribbean are forecast to bring as much as 2-8 inches of rain across South Florida by the end of the weekend, says District in press statement released Thursday.

Scott Vetoes SB 374, Negron's Higher Education Bill

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday vetoed Senate Bill 374 relating to postsecondary education. The bill was one of Senate President Joe Negron's top priorities.

In his veto letter, the governor acknowledged the importance of the Florida College System -- shortchanged on funding for 2017-18.

Writes Scott, "While the bill makes positive changes to several State University System programs, and there are many provisions I think would be good for students, it does so at the expense of the Florida College System."

EAA Farmers Harvest 373 Million Ears of Sweet Corn

Sweet corn season has officially ended in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA), as farmers have harvested nearly 373 million ears of locally grown sweet corn.

Brightline CEO Resigns to Start His Own Real Estate Investment Firm

Vincent Signorello has resigned as president and CEO of Florida East Coast Industries, the company building the Brightline passenger rail and the largest business parks in Miami-Dade County, to start his own firm.

Gov. Scott Appoints John Tupps Communications Director

Gov. Rick Scott has appointed John Tupps his communications director, beginning June 5. 
 
In announcing the appointment Thursday, Scott said, “John has demonstrated an incredible commitment to supporting our mission of making Florida the top destination for businesses, families and visitors. He has been a part of my administration since my first year in office and over the past six years, he has worked tirelessly to serve our state. I know John will use this experience and dedication each day to lead my communications efforts as we continue to fight for Florida jobs.”

Conservative Bruno Portigliatti Will Run for Eric Eisnaugle’s Vacated House Seat

Republican Bruno Portigliatti has announced his candidacy as a Republican for state representative, District 44, following Rep. Eric Eisnaugle’s May 8 appointment to the 5th District Court of Appeals.

Five to Be Interviewed for FDOT Secretary

The Florida Transportation Commission chose five finalists Thursday to be interviewed for the secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation. Their interviews are set for 1-4 p.m. Thursday, May 11.
 
In order of their scheduled interview times, finalists are --

Guardians of the Glades: Thanks for Trying, Governor

Guardians of the Glades met with Gov. Rick Scott Wednesday in Riviera Beach, specifically to thank him for his efforts to secure $200 million in state funds to speed up repair of the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee.

Said Tammy Jackson-Moore of Guardians of the Glades, “We applaud Governor Scott and hope that legislators in Tallahassee will support his efforts to speed up the rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike.

Budget Deal Reached; Session Will End Monday

The House and Senate have reached agreement on a budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, Senate President Joe Negron said Wednesday morning. 

Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, said they will extend the legislative session to Monday.

Negron stressed that the extension applies only to the budget and budget-related bills. The extension is needed because House and Senate leaders could not reach agreement on a budget by Tuesday night. Because it didn't, the constitutionally required 72-hour “cooling off” had to extend another work day.

Legislative Session Will NOT End on Time

Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, confirmed Tuesday evening that lawmakers will not be able to pass a budget before Friday's scheduled end of the legislative session, according to the News Service of Florida.

House and Senate leaders needed to finish a spending plan by Tuesday night because of a constitutionally require 72-hour “cooling off period.” It was not immediately clear whether the session would be extended or whether a special session would be needed, NSF reported. 

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