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Weekly Roundup: All's Well That Ends ...

June 19, 2015 - 9:00pm
Richard Corcoran

Finally, some might say mercifully, the special legislative session is done.

An outside chance remains that lawmakers might have to return to Tallahassee to address redistricting --- a challenge to congressional districts is pending in the Florida Supreme Court --- and there is a more-remote possibility that health care could bring people back to the Capitol.

But for now, lawmakers have completed their constitutional duty of passing an annual spending plan.

Don't mistake that for everybody being happy, though.

Cabinet Awaits Scott Recommendations on Key Jobs

June 17, 2015 - 7:30pm

The state's top environmental and law-enforcement agencies may remain under interim leadership for a little longer.

Cabinet aides for Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Attorney General Pam Bondi said Wednesday their offices will review applicants for the environmental and law-enforcement jobs, but they expect Gov. Rick Scott to first offer a short list of candidates or to make recommendations.

Budget Talks Stumble over Business Incentives

June 8, 2015 - 5:45pm

Gov. Rick Scott's call for more money to attract businesses to Florida put an unexpected halt Monday to budget talks on transportation, tourism and economic-development issues.

Senators claimed a "lack of respect" as they sought what they considered an adequate explanation about why the House wanted to boost funding for Enterprise Florida, the state's public-private economic development agency.

Backers of Buying Land Have Uphill Climb

June 3, 2015 - 10:00pm

Despite continued lobbying and statewide rallies, lawmakers with control over a water-and-land funding package don't appear to be open to pleas to increase spending on environmental lands.

But as budget talks likely begin this weekend, with the Legislature focused more on deciding whether to expand health-care coverage and how much to earmark for education, proponents of a 2014 environmental ballot initiative say they will continue to push for an increase in spending on land and water projects.

Rick Scott Calls Trimmed Tax Cut Package 'Positive'

June 2, 2015 - 6:30pm

A House committee, voting mostly along party lines, advanced a less robust tax-cut package Tuesday that drastically trims Gov. Rick Scott's call to reduce taxes on pay-TV and cellphone bills.

Claiming a need to raise money for health care, the Republican-dominated House Finance and Tax Committee, in a 12-5 vote, approved a $273.2 million tax-cut package (HB 33A) for the coming fiscal year that maintains many features of a $690 million plan (HB 7141) that the House proposed during this spring's regular legislative session.

'More Realistic' Tax Cuts Expected

June 1, 2015 - 8:45pm

Floridians could still get a reduction in their cable-TV and cellphone bills as part of a new House tax-cut package, but the overall plan likely will fall short of the tax cuts sought by Gov. Rick Scott.

Also, Scott's call to permanently lift the sales tax on the purchase of college textbooks may be altered, as the House is repackaging a tax-cut package (HB 7141) from the regular legislative session to help develop a budget that lawmakers say will include higher health-care costs.

Weekly Roundup: Whose Special Session Is It Anyway?

Rick Scott: Budget Impasse Could Delay Tax Cuts

Rick Scott, Cabinet Open Search for DEP, FDLE Leaders

Rick Scott Reappoints Unconfirmed Agency Heads

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