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Backroom Briefing: Special Session a Non-Starter for GOP

August 31, 2017 - 11:00am

Chances remain about zero that Republican leaders will be swayed by calls from the state's Democratic congressional delegation to hold a one-day special session to replace a statue of a Confederate general representing Florida in the U.S. Capitol.

With bills addressing the issue already filed for the 2018 regular legislative session, state Republican leaders gave no indication they will hold a special session after Florida's 11 congressional Democrats signed identical letters Wednesday to Gov. Rick Scott, state House Speaker Richard Corcoran and state Senate President Joe Negron.

Corcoran Lays the Law Down to 12 Maverick Tourism Agencies

August 26, 2017 - 6:00am

House Speaker Richard Corcoran wants a dozen local tourist-development councils that have broken ties with Visit Florida --- over new state rules Corcoran helped impose --- to outline how they spend tax dollars.

Enterprise Florida Marketing Takes Hit

August 22, 2017 - 4:30pm

Florida's business-recruitment agency isn't giving up on marketing to executives just because its budget has been slashed.

But it might not market to as many.

In scaling back marketing efforts after a cut in state funding, the public-private Enterprise Florida has outlined a $3 million marketing plan for this fiscal year that will reduce national newspaper ads and limit what the agency does at Major League Baseball spring-training games and with NASCAR.

Statue of Educator Bethune Proposed to Replace General

August 21, 2017 - 8:15pm

Amid a national debate about monuments and statues, a South Florida lawmaker renewed his push Monday for a likeness of Mary McLeod Bethune --- an educator and civil-rights activist who founded what is now known as Bethune-Cookman University --- to represent Florida in the U.S. Capitol.

State Sen. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, proposed a resolution (SCR 184) to have Bethune replace Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith as one of Florida's two representatives in the National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C.

Scott Says He 'Didn't Serve to Defend Neo-Nazis'

August 16, 2017 - 8:15pm

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi, both strong supporters of President Donald Trump, decried racism and groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis as reverberations continued Wednesday across the country after a deadly weekend in Charlottesville, Va.

Weekly Roundup: Getting Ready to Heat Up

Backroom Briefing: How Far Should Florida Go on Venezuela?

August 10, 2017 - 4:00pm

Florida's stance against the Maduro regime in Venezuela touched off an exchange this week involving anticipated 2018 political rivals Rick Scott and Bill Nelson.

Higher Pay Sought for FHP Troopers

August 9, 2017 - 6:00pm

Short about 200 troopers and seeking higher salaries to be more competitive with other law-enforcement agencies, the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is backing Gov. Rick Scott's call to boost pay as part of an election-year budget plan.

Backroom Briefing: Scott Urges Prudence

August 3, 2017 - 5:30pm

As he made an appointment this week to the Tampa Port Authority, Gov. Rick Scott tried to send a message to that agency's board and to other appointees across the state: Be fiscally responsible.

Scott used the appointment of Mike Griffin to the port authority to remind “all appointees to Florida's governmental boards, commissions and advisory councils of their responsibility to be accountable to the taxpayers of Florida and ensure the organizations they oversee operate with fiscal prudence.”

New Driver's Licenses to Boost Security

August 1, 2017 - 6:00pm

Colorful high-tech driver's licenses and state identification cards, designed for added security and to cut down on fake IDs, will start rolling out across Florida this month.

But unless it's time to update a card because of an expiration date or a name or address change, there's no need to rush out for a new ID.

In the works since 2014, the new design will become available Aug. 21 at a driver's license office in Volusia County's Orange City.

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