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Florida Fight With EPA Backdrop to Congressional Debate

July 13, 2011 - 6:00pm

Pointing to a long-running fight in Florida, the U.S. House on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill that would restrict the Environmental Protection Agencys power to require tougher water-quality standards.

U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., was a key sponsor of the measure, which passed 239-184. Mica and other supporters said the EPA has overstepped its authority in Clean Water Act disputes with states.

EPA has indeed created a regulatory nightmare that affects almost every state in the union, Mica said during a floor debate.

David Simmons, Lizbeth Benacquisto Have Strong 2Q

July 11, 2011 - 6:00pm

Republican incumbents David Simmons and Lizbeth Benacquisto outpaced other Senate candidates in raising campaign cash during the second quarter of 2011, new reports show.

Simmons, R-Maitland, raised $91,640 between April 1 and June 30, while Benacquisto, R-Wellington, pulled in $62,165. Candidates faced a Monday deadline for filing campaign-finance reports, though not all had been posted on the Division of Elections' website as of 7 p.m.

State Pushing Back Against Proposed EPA Air Standards

July 7, 2011 - 6:00pm

Pointing to potentially higher electric rates, the Florida Public Service Commission is expected this month to raise concerns with the federal government about new air-pollution standards.

Utilities such as Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy Florida and the states municipal electric industry also are wary of the proposed standards, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to finalize in November.

Hearing Set for $363 Million FPIC Sale

July 6, 2011 - 6:00pm

As Florida moves forward with laws aimed at curbing medical-malpractice lawsuits, state regulators are ready to consider the sale of a major malpractice insurer to a California company.

The Office of Insurance Regulation has scheduled a July 21 public hearing on the proposed sale of Jacksonville-based FPIC Insurance Group Inc. to The Doctors Co. of Napa, Calif.

Appeals Court: Illegal Residents Entitled to Workers' Comp

July 4, 2011 - 6:00pm

After dropping out of school in his native Mexico, Luis Aragon crossed the U.S. border as an illegal immigrant at age 16 in search of work.

Aragon found jobs in Georgia before heading to Jacksonville, where he worked construction. But in September 2007, Aragon fell 30 feet off a roof on a job site, suffering serious injuries to his foot and arm.

That accident led to a legal fight that culminated last week with the First District Court of Appeal sending a clear message that illegal immigrants are entitled to workers compensation benefits in Florida.

No Injunction, Pension Requirement Begins

Report: The Bell May Be Tolling for Ma Bell

Progress Repairs May Cost Consumers

June 28, 2011 - 6:00pm

Progress Energy could seek to pass along hundreds of millions of dollars in extra costs to customers because of a massive repair project at a Crystal River nuclear plant.

Top Progress executives held a conference call with Wall Street analysts Tuesday, a day after filing documents with the Florida Public Service Commission and federal officials that outlined the companys decision to repair a containment building at the plant.

Weekly Roundup: The Education of Mr. Robinson

June 23, 2011 - 6:00pm

In naming Gerard Robinson as Floridas next education commissioner, the State Board of Education this week turned to someone with a compelling background --- and an affinity for school-choice programs.

The Board of Education unanimously voted Tuesday to appoint Robinson, who serves as secretary of education in Virginia. He will replace Eric Smith, who was pushed out of the commissioners job by Gov. Rick Scott.

AHCA Wants More Time on Medicaid Pilot

June 20, 2011 - 6:00pm

With a June 30 deadline looming, discussions about continuing Floridas Medicaid pilot program appear headed to overtime.

The Agency for Health Care Administration sent a letter to the federal government Monday seeking a 30-day extension of the pilot, as state and federal officials try to reach agreement on continuing the program for three more years.

Phil Williams, AHCAs assistant deputy secretary for Medicaid finance, said the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requested the letter. He said extra time is needed to fine tune details of the agreement.

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