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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.

Senators Delve into 'Assignment of Benefits' Insurance 'Crisis'

February 24, 2016 - 8:30pm

A new effort is underway in the Florida Senate to further regulate a controversial practice that property insurers say is leading to rate increases.

The Senate General Government Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday unanimously approved a proposal (SB 1248) dealing with the practice known as "assignment of benefits." The state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera have raised concerns the industry is on the verge of a crisis unless action is taken.

State Lawmakers Weigh in on Terrorism Fight

February 22, 2016 - 7:45pm

Hawks in the Florida Legislature want Congress to fully declare the nation is at war with global Islamic terrorists
 
The Senate Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security Committee on Monday unanimously backed a proposal (SM 1710) that urges Congress and President Barack Obama to authorize the use of military force against al-Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) "and all other global Islamic terrorist organizations that similarly engage in acts of terrorism."
 

Airport Gun Bill Launched in Senate

February 16, 2016 - 6:00pm

A proposal that would allow people to bring guns into airport terminals, but not through federal security screening, has taken off in the Senate amid turbulence from aviation officials.

The measure (SB 1500), narrowly approved along party lines in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to continue carrying sidearms in the areas of airports that are before passengers go through the security-screening process.

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