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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.

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.



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