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Jack Latvala: 'Lower the Rhetoric' on Enterprise Florida Funds

September 16, 2015 - 8:30pm
Jack Latvala

A key senator wants Gov. Rick Scott's office to tone down how it has publicly pushed for more economic-development money, as lawmakers seek to revamp the state's business-incentives program.

Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, got an apology Wednesday from Bill Johnson, Scott's top business recruiter, as a committee overview of Enterprise Florida led to discussions that focused heavily on a growing debate about funding for the economic-development agency.

Senate Questions Business Recruitment Program

September 14, 2015 - 6:00pm

Florida's top business recruiter might face a tough crowd this week when he goes before a Senate committee to push Gov. Rick Scott's desire for more money to entice companies to the state.

Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, sent out a memo Monday reaffirming his chamber's stance that lawmakers have adequately funded Enterprise Florida, a public-private agency that Scott says is running short of recruitment dollars, and saying a current business-incentive program needs to be revamped.

Solar Amendment Heats Up Before Supreme Court

September 1, 2015 - 9:30pm

Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente, more than once Tuesday, advised lawyers that arguments about a proposed constitutional amendment to expand the use of solar energy leaned toward campaign rhetoric rather than key legal issues.

Still, when justices finished hearing arguments about ballot language proposed by the group Floridians for Solar Choice, supporters and opponents of the controversial initiative emerged from the Supreme Court offering positive spins.

Solar Group Confident on Eve of Court Review

August 31, 2015 - 7:15pm

Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment to expand the use of solar energy say it might be four years before they would again seek voter approval if the current ballot language is rejected by the Florida Supreme Court.

But Leaders of Floridians for Solar Choice, which is seeking to allow businesses to generate and sell small amounts of solar power to customers on the same or neighboring properties, expressed confidence during a media conference Monday that the state's top court will sign off on the proposed amendment for the November 2016 ballot.

Regulators Asked to Reject FPL Nuclear Request

August 18, 2015 - 6:30pm
Nuclear Reactors

Florida Power & Light received pushback Tuesday from South Florida officials and other critics as it requested $34.2 million from customers to continue planning a pair of nuclear reactors at its Turkey Point complex in Miami-Dade County.

The request, if approved by the Florida Public Service Commission in October, would place the cost for new nuclear power at 34 cents on a typical residential customer's monthly bill in 2016.

English Soccer Club Scores Visit Florida Scholarship

August 10, 2015 - 7:15pm
Fulham (in white)

When Fulham Football Club's Matt Smith headed home a goal against Cardiff on Saturday, cameras were immediately focused on the center forward as he wheeled away from the goal to celebrate.

More than 4,000 miles away, officials from Visit Florida, the state's tourism-marketing arm, were smiling.

Stamped in blue across Smith's predominately white away soccer jersey --- in photos picked up by the BBC, the Guardian and the Daily Mail --- was the name Visit Florida.

Backroom Briefing: Jeff Atwater Says, Honestly, He Hasn't Made Plans

August 6, 2015 - 6:00pm
Jeff Atwater

Less than a year into his second term as Florida's Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Atwater says he is asked daily about future political ambitions.

And so far, the former Senate president and former bank president --- who can't run again for the CFO post because of term limits --- professes that team Atwater hasn't made any decisions.

"We're not maneuvering our energy in any direction at this point for any future role," Atwater said, insisting that was his "straight up honest answer."

Cabinet Again Approves Scott's Environmental, Law Picks

August 5, 2015 - 6:30pm

Florida's top environmental official was directed Wednesday to rethink a proposal to make state parks more financially self-sustaining, as he and the state's top law-enforcement officer received Cabinet approval for the second time this year.

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Jon Steverson and Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen received unanimous support from the Cabinet to remain in their $150,000-a-year jobs.

Police Shooting Cases Spur FDLE to Seek More Investigators

July 30, 2015 - 7:45pm

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement wants more investigators to handle an increase in shooting incidents involving officers at other police agencies across the state.

The department next week will present Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet an outline of its budget proposals, which include requests for a boost in salaries for forensic lab technicians and for additional staff to help investigate officer-involved shootings and use-of-force cases.

Concealed-Weapon Licenses Fast-Tracked for the Military

July 27, 2015 - 5:45pm

Florida, which already has the most concealed-weapon licenses in the nation, is now fast-tracking the process for active-duty military members and honorably discharged veterans.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced Monday that active and retired service members will immediately begin to get top priority when applying for the licenses.

The expedited process is part of the state's reaction to a shooting rampage in Tennessee in which four Marines and a sailor were killed on July 16.

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