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Impasse Remains over Insurance Commissioner

April 20, 2016 - 5:15pm
Jeff Bragg and Bill Hager

Palm Harbor resident Jeffrey Bragg and state Rep. Bill Hager, R-Delray Beach, have been asked back to interview again with the Florida Cabinet for the state insurance commissioner job next week.

But there still doesn't appear to be a consensus between Gov. Rick Scott and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who must jointly recommend the replacement for outgoing Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty.

Scott, Atwater Mum on Insurance Commisioner Picks

April 18, 2016 - 7:30pm
Rick Scott and Jeff Atwater

After failing to reach agreement last month, it remained unclear Monday whether Gov. Rick Scott and state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater will be able to find common ground on the appointment of Florida's next insurance commissioner.

The state has attracted 16 additional candidates for the position, bringing to 71 the number of applicants. Cabinet aides are expected to discuss the latest recommendations from Scott and Atwater during a meeting Wednesday.

Jacksonville Lawmaker Faces Federal Indictment

April 16, 2016 - 11:00am
Reggie Fullwood

State Rep. Reggie Fullwood, a three-term Democratic lawmaker from Jacksonville, was indicted Friday on federal charges that allege he used campaign donations for personal use at grocery, jewelry and liquor stores.

United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley III announced in a news release that Fullwood was charged with 10 counts of wire fraud and four counts of failure to file federal income-tax returns for 2010 through 2013.

To conceal the embezzlement of campaign funds, the indictment alleges that Fullwood submitted fraudulent campaign expenditure reports to the state.

Money Flies into Competitive Senate Races

April 11, 2016 - 7:15pm

When Florida voters went to the polls in 2014, they saw little competition for state Senate seats.

But then came redistricting. And as updated campaign-finance totals rolled in Monday, it was apparent that candidates --- and their contributors --- expect some heavily contested Senate races this year.

Lawmakers to Tout Renewable Energy Amendment

April 5, 2016 - 4:00pm
Installing solar
A group of state lawmakers launched an initiative Tuesday to educate voters on a proposed constitutional amendment that would give commercial property owners a tax break on renewable-energy devices similar to one given to residential property owners.

New Law Will Send More Money to Ports

April 4, 2016 - 6:15pm

More money will be floated yearly to the state's 15 seaports under a wide-ranging transportation bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Rick Scott.

The measure (HB 7027) boosts the minimum annual funding for the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development program --- administered by the Florida Ports Council --- from $15 million to $25 million.

Flores Wants Senate Review of Biscayne Bay Contamination

March 30, 2016 - 9:00pm
Anitere Flores

Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, wants Senate leaders to establish a select committee to review the recent discovery of a radioactive isotope in Biscayne Bay linked to a nuclear power plant in southeast Miami-Dade County.

Flores' request to Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, follows the March 7 release of a study by Miami-Dade County that indicated tritium --- a radioactive isotope of hydrogen --- has leaked from Florida Power & Light's Turkey Point plant's cooling canals into groundwater and toward Biscayne National Park and the Biscayne aquifer.

Citizens Warns of 'Crisis' on Claims Issue

March 16, 2016 - 6:00pm

Inaction by Florida lawmakers to address a spike in water-damage claims could reverse years of work to shrink state-backed Citizens Property Insurance, the company's president said Wednesday.

President and CEO Barry Gilway warned the Citizens Board of Governors that policyholders can expect to see annual rate hikes that approach 10 percent in South Florida, where water-damage claims have been the most prevalent.

Citrus Forecast Improves but 'Trying Times' Remain

March 9, 2016 - 7:45pm

Citrus growers received some good news about the outlook for this year's crop, but the long-term prognosis remains dire for the industry threatened by greening disease.

House Doesn't Budge on Everglades 'Legacy' Money

March 1, 2016 - 6:15pm

The House is sticking with a proposal to create a 10-year funding pool only for Everglades restoration, setting up potential negotiations with the Senate on how to spend voter-approved money for land and water conservation.
 
With little comment, the proposal known as "Legacy Florida" was teed up Tuesday for a House vote as soon as Wednesday.

The House proposal (HB 989), which seeks at least $200 million a year for Everglades projects, is narrower than a Senate proposal.

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