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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.

Projects Add Hometown Flavor to Budget Talks

February 15, 2016 - 4:45pm

From muck removal to paying for a dolphin pool or beef advertising, the House and Senate have a lot to hash out as they negotiate a roughly $80 billion spending plan for next year.

The Senate last week approved a package (SB 2500) that stands at $80.97 billion, while the House's spending plan (HB 5001) comes in at $79.98 billion.

Backroom Briefing: NRA Takes Aim at SWFWMD

February 11, 2016 - 11:00pm
Marion Hammer

The governor's office and the attorney general's office have tried to distance themselves from a growing showdown between the National Rifle Association and one of the state's water management districts.

Springs Funding Added to Senate's Everglades Fix

February 9, 2016 - 6:30pm

Money to restore the state's natural springs has been attached to a proposal that would direct as much as $200 million a year to South Florida water projects.

The Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee supported an amendment Tuesday that would require at least $75 million a year to be budgeted for springs preservation.

Springtime in Tallahassee? Maybe Not in 2018

February 8, 2016 - 6:45pm

If all goes as planned, Florida lawmakers will get to enjoy springtime outside of Tallahassee this year.
Now, lawmakers are starting to consider if an early start to the regular session should be repeated in two years.
The House Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee on Monday backed a proposal (PCB GOAS 16-01) that calls for the 2018 session to begin Jan. 9 rather than in March.

Tax Cuts Advance as Democrats Take a Walk

February 3, 2016 - 6:45pm

A nearly $1 billion tax-cut package is ready to go to the House floor after getting backed Wednesday --- without Democrats voting --- by a key committee.
Democratic members of the Finance & Tax Committee walked out before the vote on the proposal (PCB 16-04), which almost matches a tax-cut total sought by Gov. Rick Scott but includes different details.

Senate to Match Scott's $250 Million Incentives Request

January 25, 2016 - 10:15pm

A key Senate budget chairman will recommend that Gov. Rick Scott get his wish for $250 million to recruit businesses to Florida.
Senate Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, said Monday he will ask that the incentive money be included in his panel's proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The subcommittee's proposal is due Thursday.

Sheriffs Pitch Alternative to Open Carry

January 20, 2016 - 7:45pm

Florida sheriffs Wednesday proposed an alternative to a controversial bill that would let people with concealed-weapons licenses openly display firearms in public, but the proposal quickly drew opposition from Second Amendment advocates.

The Florida Sheriffs Association, which has opposed the open-carry measure, outlined proposed steps that would provide immunity to people who inadvertently or accidentally display firearms. However, a release from the association noted the proposal "stops short of Florida becoming a complete open-carry state."




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