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Tax Cuts Advance as Democrats Take a Walk

February 3, 2016 - 6:45pm

A nearly $1 billion tax-cut package is ready to go to the House floor after getting backed Wednesday --- without Democrats voting --- by a key committee.
 
Democratic members of the Finance & Tax Committee walked out before the vote on the proposal (PCB 16-04), which almost matches a tax-cut total sought by Gov. Rick Scott but includes different details.

Senate to Match Scott's $250 Million Incentives Request

January 25, 2016 - 10:15pm

A key Senate budget chairman will recommend that Gov. Rick Scott get his wish for $250 million to recruit businesses to Florida.
 
Senate Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, said Monday he will ask that the incentive money be included in his panel's proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The subcommittee's proposal is due Thursday.
 

Sheriffs Pitch Alternative to Open Carry

January 20, 2016 - 7:45pm

Florida sheriffs Wednesday proposed an alternative to a controversial bill that would let people with concealed-weapons licenses openly display firearms in public, but the proposal quickly drew opposition from Second Amendment advocates.

The Florida Sheriffs Association, which has opposed the open-carry measure, outlined proposed steps that would provide immunity to people who inadvertently or accidentally display firearms. However, a release from the association noted the proposal "stops short of Florida becoming a complete open-carry state."

Drone Liability Bill Continues Flying in the Senate

January 19, 2016 - 10:45pm

A proposal that would make owners of drones liable for the negligence of the aerial devices' operators was revamped Tuesday, but critics still say the measure could ground the industry's growth in Florida.

Corcoran: House Still Not a Fan of Stadium Funding

January 15, 2016 - 8:15pm
Richard Corcoran

It's still early in the Legislative session, but the four entities seeking millions of dollars from the state for stadium improvements may again have a tough time getting off the bench.

House budget chief Richard Corcoran, the powerful Trinity Republican who is next in line to be House Speaker, hasn't changed his opposition to giving sales-tax dollars to professional sports facilities in Daytona, Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa.

Backroom Briefing: Gambling Foes at Odds over Poll

January 7, 2016 - 4:00pm

Floridians overwhelmingly back the current Seminole gaming "compact" and support what they know of a bigger gambling deal Gov. Rick Scott has asked lawmakers to approve, according to a Florida Chamber of Commerce poll released Thursday.

Scott and the Seminole Tribe of Florida reached agreement last month on a compact that would allow tribal casinos to add craps and roulette in exchange for a guarantee of $3 billion to the state over seven years. That came after lawmakers in 2010 approved another gambling compact, part of which expired last year.

Springs Backers Seek Water Policy Changes

January 4, 2016 - 6:45pm

An advocacy group for Florida's natural springs has outlined concerns with a major water-policy bill that is expected to be quickly approved during the upcoming 2016 legislative session.

The Florida Springs Council, a consortium of 35 organizations, is telling lawmakers what changes are needed to get its support for the proposal (SB 552 and HB 7005). But the group isn't hopeful that its requests --- or similar requests from other environmental groups --- will result in changes to the proposal.

New Water Policy Expected to Flow in Session

December 30, 2015 - 5:00pm

Shortly after the 2016 legislative session goes through its opening rituals, the House and Senate will take up a statewide water-policy proposal more than two years in the making.

The proposal (SB 552 and HB 7005), which sped through legislative committees, has attracted some last-minute opposition from environmental groups that contend it wouldn't go far enough to ensure clean waterways.

But the package, a priority of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, is expected to quickly win approval from the House and Senate.

Florida Population Tops 20 Million

December 22, 2015 - 8:30pm

Florida has surpassed the 20 million population mark while growing faster than California.

The Sunshine State, adding more than 1,000 people a day, is nearly up a half-million people on New York, which it surpassed a year ago to become the third most-populous state, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released Tuesday.

Florida, with an estimated 20,271,272 residents as of July 1, is also growing faster than a year earlier, when 803 people a day were being added to the state's head count.

End of the Road Near for Old Sunpass Transponders

December 16, 2015 - 6:30pm

Time is running out for about 100,000 SunPass customers to convert, for free, to new transponders

Older, battery-operated transponders used for Florida toll roads and some bridges become obsolete with the New Year.

"It is important that anybody with that type of unit contact us now so that their service continues uninterrupted," Chad Huff, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Turnpike, said in an email.

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