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What's Going on the Week of July 28

July 29, 2019 - 9:30am
The Florida Capitol

It’s time for Florida’s blue-light special.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. Friday and lasting until 11:59 p.m. Aug. 6, shoppers will be able to buy clothes, shoes, school supplies and computer equipment without paying sales taxes --- otherwise known as a sales-tax “holiday.”

The holiday is billed as a back-to-school event. But it’s not only popular with parents looking for bargains as kids get ready for school. Retailers like the holiday as a marketing opportunity. And legislators love touting tax breaks for ordinary families.

What's Going on the Week of July 21

July 22, 2019 - 9:45am
Ronald Rubin and Jimmy Patronis

The Florida Office of Financial Regulation ordinarily draws little attention.

But for the past two months, it has been in the center of a controversy stemming from allegations of sexual harassment against Commissioner Ronald Rubin, who has been suspended from his job leading the agency.

The controversy could come to a head Thursday, when Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Cabinet discuss an inspector general report about the allegations. Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, who first released details of the sexual-harassment complaint, has called for replacing Rubin.

Paul Tudor Jones Digs Deep for DeSantis in First Half of July

July 18, 2019 - 8:30am
Paul Tudor Jones and Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ political committee reeled in $300,000 during the first half of July, nearly half of which came from a wealthy investor, according to the latest numbers reported on the committee’s website. 

Palm Beach billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, a co-founder of the Everglades Foundation, contributed nearly half of it -- $125,000 to the Friends of Ron DeSantis committee on July 8.

Nine other organizations and individuals contributed money to the Republican governor's political committee on the same day, signaling a possible fundraising event. 

What's Going on the Week of July 14

July 15, 2019 - 9:00am
Judge Mark E. Walker

An omnibus elections package passed by the Legislature in May includes a slew of issues proposed by county elections supervisors seeking fixes to voting problems that cropped up over the past few years. But those parts of the legislation have been overshadowed by a controversial last-minute addition aimed at carrying out a constitutional amendment that would restore voting rights to felons. 

Principal Reassigned after Questioning the Holocaust

July 9, 2019 - 7:30am
Reassigned Principal William Latson

A Boca Raton high school principal who came under fire for questioning whether the Holocaust occurred has been removed from his position, according to Palm Beach County school officials. 

“It is out of an abundance of concern and respect for the students and staff of Spanish River Community High School that school district administration has decided to reassign Principal William Latson effective immediately,” a statement from the school district, posted Monday on Twitter, said. 

What's Going on the Week of July 7

July 8, 2019 - 8:30am
Gov. Ron DeSantis, as he began his first term

After taking office in January, Gov. Ron DeSantis is still three years away from a potential re-election campaign.

But in politics, the money chase rarely ends.

So when DeSantis’ political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, files a finance report with the state in the coming days, it is expected to detail receiving more than $700,000 in contributions in June. The money, according to a list of contributions posted on the committee’s website, has come in chunks as large as $100,000.

The June haul comes on top of $430,000 that the committee raised in May.

Florida Ordered to Reimburse Feds for Erroneous Refugee Payments

July 3, 2019 - 7:00am

Florida made more than $114,000 in erroneous payments to refugees between 2015 and 2017 and needs to return the money to the federal government, an audit released Monday shows. 

What's Going on the Week of June 30

July 1, 2019 - 7:00am

Monday might seem like an otherwise unremarkable summer day. Or maybe a chance to get away and start the Fourth of July holiday a little early.

But in state government, Monday is one of the biggest days of the year. 

That’s because July 1 is when the new state budget and dozens of freshly signed laws take effect. 

What's Going on the Week of June 23

June 24, 2019 - 7:00am
Debate site: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County

First came Republican President Donald Trump. Now, get ready for the Democrats who want to drive him out of the White House.

Twenty Democratic presidential candidates will take part in televised debates Wednesday and Thursday in Miami as they try to score points with primary voters.

It remains to be seen how much of an impression the candidates will make during the crowded debates --- 10 candidates will be on the stage each night --- but their statements, utterances and mannerisms will be parsed to try to figure out if any win or lose.

NRA Lobbyist Marion Hammer Appeals February Privacy Lawsuit Decision

June 18, 2019 - 1:00pm
Marion Hammer

Pointing to her privacy rights, attorneys for prominent National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer have asked a federal appeals court to overturn a decision in a lawsuit stemming from emails she received after the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. 

Hammer filed a lawsuit against California attorney Lawrence Sorensen and three other men over emails she alleged were harassing and threatening, including emails from Sorensen that contained photos showing injuries from gunshot wounds. 

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