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Trump Touts Possible DeSantis Bid for Governor

December 22, 2017 - 7:15pm
Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Palm Coast Republican who continues to mull a bid for governor, drew Twitter praise Friday from President Donald Trump, who flew to Palm Beach for the Christmas holiday.

Imported Citrus Numbers Continue to Grow in Florida

December 20, 2017 - 8:30pm

An increase in imported orange juice is anticipated by the Florida Citrus Commission to offset a decline in tax revenue from the state's hurricane-battered growers, who await congressional action on disaster relief.

The commission --- during a brief conference call Wednesday --- agreed to shift $556,147 from reserves to help cover the Department of Citrus' budget for the current fiscal year, with the transfer leaving a $682 negative balance. Taxes on citrus pay for the department's operations.

Some 866,000 Hurricane Irma Insurance Claims Filed in Florida for a Whopping $6.55 Billion

December 18, 2017 - 6:15pm

Estimated insured losses from Hurricane Irma have topped $6.55 billion, with the number of claims approaching 866,000, according to information released Monday by the state Office of Insurance Regulation.

The latest report showed that 865,974 claims from the September storm had been filed with insurance companies as of Friday, with 719,512 involving residential properties.

Negron Supports Scott on 'Job Growth' Fund

December 11, 2017 - 5:45pm
Joe Negron and Rick Scott

Senate President Joe Negron backs a still-untapped $85 million “job growth” fund created this year, as Democrats continue to question the need to replenish what critics have called a “slush fund” for the governor.

Backroom Briefing: House Projects Might Get Chilly Reception

December 7, 2017 - 1:00pm
Rob Bradley and Richard Corcoran

Heading into the 2018 legislative session, Senate Appropriations Chairman Rob Bradley says the House and Senate are not as far apart as casual observers, lobbyists and the media might believe.

Senate Eyes Possible No-Fault Insurance Repeal

December 5, 2017 - 8:00pm

A key Senate committee next month will take up a proposal that would replace the state's no-fault auto insurance system, while a similar bill has already sped to the House floor.

Senate Banking and Insurance Chairwoman Anitere Flores said the proposal (SB 150) by Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, will be among the first discussed by her committee when the annual legislative session begins Jan. 9. The committee had been slated to take up the issue Tuesday, but time ran out in a scheduled two-hour meeting.

Nick Wiley Leaving Top Fish and Wildlife Post

November 27, 2017 - 5:00pm
Nick Wiley, middle

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be on the hunt for a new executive director as the year comes to an end.

Tab Mounts to Clean up Irma Water Debris

November 13, 2017 - 7:00pm

Florida continues to spend about $2.4 million a week to clean up debris strewn across state waters during Hurricane Irma two months ago.

The state money could soon run dry, even as the weekly costs grow with the cleanup moving deeper into counties more heavily damaged by the storm.

Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Secretary David Clark told members of the House Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness on Monday that by early next year the state may use up the $36 million allocated to the agency for storm-debris cleanup.

Backroom Briefing: How High Will Tax Cuts go?

November 9, 2017 - 2:30pm

Based on past years, and comments from House and Senate leaders, Gov. Rick Scott will get a tax-cut package to sign in 2018 when he is expected to be ramping up a run for U.S. Senate.

Senate Panel Backs $100 Million for Florida Forever

November 6, 2017 - 6:30pm

A measure that would double the amount Gov. Rick Scott wants to spend on the state's most-prominent land preservation program was easily approved Monday during its first Senate committee.

And bill sponsor Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican elevated earlier in the day to chair the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, said the state isn't doing enough for land conservation.

The Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee voted unanimously to support Bradley's bill (SB 370) that would designate $100 million a year for the Florida Forever program.

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