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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.

Backroom Briefing: Corcoran Goes Wawa in Incentives Debate

December 22, 2016 - 6:00pm
Richard Corcoran

House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Gov. Rick Scott have started to exchange some not-so-subtle jabs about the future of the state's business-recruitment and tourism-marketing agencies

Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, has repeatedly expressed opposition to Scott's focus on providing money to Enterprise Florida for business incentives and has questioned the need for tourism-marketer Visit Florida to even exist.

And this week, Corcoran dragged one of the governor's favorite businesses into the mix: Wawa convenience stores.

Gun Proposals Could Have a Better Shot in the Senate

December 21, 2016 - 11:00pm

A measure that would expand how and where Florida's more than 1.67 million concealed-weapons license holders can carry handguns may have an easier path through the Senate in 2017 than in the past.

Long-time Utility Regulator to Direct State Parks

December 20, 2016 - 5:00pm
Lisa Edgar

Lisa Edgar, who is ending a 12-year run as a state utility regulator, has been appointed director of the Florida Park Service, the state Department of Environmental Protection announced Tuesday.

Pitbull Controversy Raises Questions at Space Agency

December 19, 2016 - 12:15pm
Pitbull

Another agency's controversial contract with a Miami rapper, and its aftermath, was on the mind of Space Florida officials Friday, as they reaffirmed a $1 million line of credit for an unnamed company.

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