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Weekly Roundup: Courting Opposition

February 17, 2017 - 5:30pm

There was already plenty of anti-judiciary invective being hurled around the Legislature in the run-up to the 2017 legislative session, and this week may have intensified the tension.

In legal battle after legal battle, the state or the Legislature suffered a loss. A special master appointed to referee the latest battle in the “water war” between Florida and Georgia essentially said Florida's case was all wet. State laws on abortion and guns were blocked by the courts.

Weekly Roundup: Let's Get Ready to Rumble

February 10, 2017 - 10:00pm
Rick Scott and Richard Corcoran

At another time, it might not be unusual for the governor to accuse the House speaker of being more concerned about politics than jobs. It would be notable, though not altogether shocking, for the speaker to respond like Clint Eastwood to talk of the Senate suing the House.

Weekly Roundup: Everybody's Talking

February 3, 2017 - 10:00pm

Like any capital city, Tallahassee is often dominated by talk --- from rumors about running for office, to discussion of policy proposals, to analysis of how the latter might influence the former. The size of Tallahassee just amplifies the chatter.

"This town's so small a whisper can be heard a mile away. And people here will gossip when there's nothing else to say," Reba McEntire sang in "Rumor Has It," and it's as fitting a description of Florida's political players as of a troubled relationship.

State Employee Pay Hikes on the Table

February 1, 2017 - 10:15pm

Florida would have more state employees, and at least some of them would make more money, under a budget proposal unveiled this week by Gov. Rick Scott.

Weekly Roundup: Time to Get Down to Business

January 27, 2017 - 10:00pm

After earlier committee weeks that were largely devoted to learning the ropes of the legislative process and learning what, precisely, respective committees do, House and Senate members this week started tackling some of the thornier issues they'll face when the annual session begins March 7.

Weekly Roundup: Ready to Settle Down?

January 20, 2017 - 10:00pm

There was uncertainty in the air this week in Washington, but things were settling down a bit in Florida.

With the transition between President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump in full swing, and Democratic members of Congress staying away from Trump's inauguration by the dozen, the nation's capital was in a state of flux.

Weekly Roundup: Getting Ready for the Season

January 13, 2017 - 10:00pm

On Monday night in Tampa, the Clemson Tigers dethroned the Alabama Crimson Tide in college football's national championship game. The next few days in Tallahassee proved that there's still a long way to go before we know who will come out on top in a different kind of season: the 2017 legislative session.

But the jockeying for position, which had died down a little bit over the holidays, returned to the spotlight.

House Set to Look for Ways to Cut Budget

January 10, 2017 - 9:45pm

House members are expected to consider how they would cut the state budget by anywhere from $1.1 billion to $2.2 billion as part of an exercise toward making the next spending plan balanced.

Plans for the exercises were unveiled Tuesday by House Appropriations Chairman Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, as he tried to stress the chamber's message that the state budget for the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1, will be incredibly tight.

"Our spending pattern is unsustainable, and this is the time to address it," Trujillo said.

Steve Crisafulli Won't Run for Agriculture Commissioner

January 9, 2017 - 4:30pm

Former House Speaker Steve Crisafulli bowed out of a potential race for agriculture commissioner on Tuesday, leaving the 2018 campaign for the Cabinet position without a clear front-runner.

Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, comes from a family with deep roots in the state's citrus industry and had made no secret of the fact that he was considering a bid for agriculture commissioner. Adam Putnam, who currently holds the post, is term-limited and expected to run for governor in 2018.

But in a statement issued Monday, Crisafulli said he was out of the race.

2017 Look-Ahead: Election Chatter, Trump and Legislative Wrangling

December 30, 2016 - 10:00pm
Donald Trump

The first person to say it is unclear --- most seem to attribute the phrase to Hall of Fame baseball manager Casey Stengel --- but 2016 seemed to prove the old quote: "Never make predictions, especially about the future."

The journalist has an additional warning from the late, great Peter Jennings: "I don't think a reporter should give advice or make predictions."

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