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Progress Gets OK to Pass Extra Energy Costs to Consumers

November 21, 2011 - 6:00pm

State regulators Tuesday approved Progress Energy Florida's controversial request to collect $140 million from customers next year to cover costs related to the idled Crystal River nuclear plant.

The money will pay for what is known as "replacement power,'' which Progress has to get elsewhere while the Crystal River plant is shut down for massive repairs to a containment building.

Supreme Court Justices Question Ban on Campaign Contributions

November 17, 2011 - 6:00pm

While agreeing a Central Florida judge should be removed from office because of a "pattern of misconduct,'' two state Supreme Court justices wrote Friday that they think a ban on judicial candidates soliciting political contributions is unconstitutional.

Chief Justice Charles Canady and Justice Ricky Polston wrote that the ban, spelled out in what is known as a judicial canon, violates free-speech rights.

Lobbying Battle Looms Over Victims' Claims Bills

November 15, 2011 - 6:00pm

A Senate committee Wednesday approved two claims bills that are priorities of Senate President Mike Haridopolos -- but a renewed lobbying battle looms about a proposal to award more than $15 million to a Broward County man.

The Senate Rules Committee voted 9-1 to move forward with SB 4, which calls for the Broward County sheriff's office to pay $15.575 million to Eric Brody, who suffered debilitating injuries in a 1998 car accident with a sheriff's deputy.

Gulf Power Nuclear Option Faces Legal Opposition

November 9, 2011 - 6:00pm

In a move spurring a regulatory fight, Gulf Power Co. is seeking to collect millions of dollars from customers for a possible nuclear-power project in Escambia County.

Gulf expects in 2012 to finish buying 4,000 acres of land near Century that could eventually be home to a nuclear plant or another type of power plant.

But with state regulators scheduled to hold a hearing next month about a Gulf request to raise base electric rates by $93.5 million, attorneys for consumers and business groups are trying to block part of the proposal dealing with the potential nuclear site.

Online Hotel Tax Fight Takes New Legal Twist

November 8, 2011 - 6:00pm

With the House raising arguments about separation of powers, a Leon County circuit judge is expected to allow only limited questioning of Rep. Rick Kriseman in a court battle about the hotel taxes paid by online-travel companies.

Expedia last month subpoenaed Kriseman and an aide to give depositions about their roles in distributing potentially damaging company documents to House members and the news media.

Hospital Districts' Future Could Be in Voters' Hands

November 6, 2011 - 6:00pm

A panel appointed by Gov. Rick Scott could call for local voters to decide the future of public hospital districts and could recommend that district money only go toward caring for indigent patients.

Dominic Calabro, chairman of the Florida Commission on Review of Taxpayer Funded Hospital Districts, said those are two of the ideas that could be included in a report the panel is required to finish by Jan. 1.

Weekly Roundup: Does What Happens in Gretna Stay in Gretna?

November 3, 2011 - 7:00pm

It's hard to picture two places in Florida more different than Miami and Gretna.

But international, glitzy Miami and rural, down-home Gretna are drawing headlines for the same reason: gambling.

The debate about expanded gambling intensified this week as lawmakers and lobbyists get ready to battle about adding resort casinos in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Meanwhile, the Gadsden County Commission agreed to hold a referendum about allowing slot machines at a new Gretna racetrack and poker room.

Supreme Court Sides with Water Managers over Property 'Takings' Case

November 2, 2011 - 7:00pm

In a case watched by developers, environmentalists and government agencies, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday sided with the St. Johns River Water Management District in a long-running dispute about the "taking" of property.

The dispute stemmed from a district decision in 1994 to deny a permit for a development project to Orange County landowner Coy Koontz.

District officials indicated they would grant the permit if Koontz agreed to conditions that included doing an environmental mitigation project several miles away from his land. Koontz refused and filed a lawsuit.

PSC Looks at Power Companies' Bills for 2012

October 31, 2011 - 7:00pm

State regulators largely signed off Tuesday on how much Floridians will have to pay for electricity next year -- but faced a tricky question about the amount Progress Energy Florida should pass along to consumers.

The state Public Service Commission approved fuel costs and a series of other smaller costs for Florida Power & Light, Tampa Electric Co. and Gulf Power Co.

Progress Energy Permit Renewal Challenged For Plants in Citrus County

October 25, 2011 - 6:00pm

Arguing that fish and other sea life in the Gulf of Mexico are being damaged, two environmental groups are challenging the state's decision to renew a permit for Progress Energy Florida power plants in Citrus County.

The Sierra Club and the Florida Wildlife Federation, in a case filed last week in the state Division of Administrative Hearings, target two coal-fired plants at Progress Energy's Crystal River complex.

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