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'Stand Your Ground' Shift Gets Senate Approval

March 15, 2017 - 8:00pm

A move to shift a key burden of proof in "stand your ground" self-defense cases was approved Wednesday by the Senate, as other key bills backed by Second Amendment advocates remain jammed in the Legislature's upper chamber.

With Democrats labeling the self-defense proposal "a shoot to kill" and "how to get away with murder" bill, the National Rifle Association-backed measure (SB 128) was approved in a 23-15 vote, with Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, joining Democrats in opposition.

Embattled Enterprise Florida Names Interim Chief

March 7, 2017 - 9:30pm
Mike Grissom

Florida's embattled business-recruitment agency Tuesday named its executive vice president as interim CEO --- a day after the top position was abruptly vacated by Chris Hart.

Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Scott and House leaders brought their feud over Enterprise Florida to the opening day of the 2017 legislative session.

The Enterprise Florida Executive Committee, at the recommendation of Vice Chairman Stan Connally, agreed to appoint Mike Grissom as interim CEO until a replacement can be found for Hart.

Leader Departs as Enterprise Florida Remains Under Fire

March 6, 2017 - 10:45pm
Chris Hart

A proposal to abolish Enterprise Florida was readied Monday to go to the House floor, as the state's business-recruitment agency suddenly found itself without a leader.

Gun Bills Line up in the Legislature

February 13, 2017 - 11:00pm

A measure that would reduce the penalty for people who briefly display a firearm in public and make it a non-criminal offense has been filed in the House.

House Moves Forward in Economic Development Feud

February 8, 2017 - 10:00pm

A House proposal that would kill Gov. Rick Scott's prized economic-development and tourism agencies began moving forward Wednesday over Scott's growing public objections.

The House Careers & Competition Subcommittee voted 10-5 to back a 172-page proposal (PCB CCS 17-01) that would eliminate the public-private Enterprise Florida and tourism marketer Visit Florida, along with a lengthy list of tax-credit and grant programs designed to attract companies to relocate and build in the state.

Negron Water Plan Clears First Hurdle

February 7, 2017 - 8:00pm
Sen. Joe Negron

Senate President Joe Negron's plan to buy farmland south of Lake Okeechobee to try to prevent the return of toxic algae blooms in Treasure Coast waterways drew unanimous support Tuesday at its first Senate committee.

Negron Says Water Project Issue is 'When and Where'

January 31, 2017 - 8:00pm

Senate President Joe Negron appeared willing Tuesday to look beyond sugar farmland to carry out his proposal to acquire 60,000 acres to reduce the flow of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee into estuaries on both coasts.

The Stuart Republican, speaking to reporters and editors gathered at the Capitol for an annual Associated Press event, maintained his desire to buy land for a reservoir south of the lake to store and clean water.

Backroom Briefing: Scott Poll Won't Sway House on Incentives

January 26, 2017 - 10:15pm
Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott's political organization tried to send a shot across the House bow this week. But the House doesn't appear to be backing off its opposition to his business-recruitment and tourism funding proposals.

The Scott political committee "Let's Get to Work" released results Monday of a telephone poll intended to show public support for the governor's funding requests for Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who remains highly critical of using tax dollars for business incentives and tourism marketing, appeared to scoff at the poll.

Lawmakers Want Money for North Florida Waterways

January 23, 2017 - 6:30pm

A coalition that includes two state House members and a former congressman announced Monday it will fight for money to protect waterways in North Florida as Senate President Joe Negron tries to move forward with an ambitious proposal to spend heavily on cleaning waters in South Florida.

Bill Would Make AAF Rail Service Pay for Safety Upgrades

January 17, 2017 - 8:00pm

Treasure Coast lawmakers, concerned about a passenger railroad service that will travel through their districts, want high-speed operators to pay for safety upgrades.

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