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Florida Legislature

  1. Convicted murderer whose release Pam Bondi fears will stay behind bars

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Tampa police officer convicted in 1980 of murdering a security guard was again denied parole at a hearing Wednesday where Attorney General Pam Bondi said his release could have put her at risk.

    Attorney General Pam Bondi says Norman sent threats to her and a former prosecutor.
  2. New DEP secretary says there's no conflict in political side businesses

    News

    TALLAHASSEE — When Noah Valenstein, the newly appointed head of the Department of Environmental Protection, was applying in April to be the state's top environmental regulator, he left one thing off the application: Companies he started and his wife runs have been paid nearly $1 million by politicians and lobbying …

     Noah Valenstein got the job as secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday May 23rd, on a unanimous vote by Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet. He will take the helm on June 5, with a salary of $150,000 per year. [Florida Governor's Office]
  3. Adam Putnam calls for special session on medical marijuana

    Blogs

    Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Republican candidate for governor Adam Putnam wants state lawmakers to come back to Tallahassee in a special session to finish the work on medical marijuana that they started but didn't finish earlier this month.

    Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam is a candidate for governor in 2018.
  4. Gov. Rick Scott's family history of alcohol abuse could decide 'liquor wall' bill

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott must decide Wednesday whether to let Walmart and other big-box stores sell liquor, and he says a factor in his decision is the history of alcohol abuse in his family.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott is considering a veto of a bill that would allow Walmart, Target and other big box retail stores to sell liquor. [Andres Leiva | Tampa Bay Times]
  5. John Morgan 'prepared to invest $100M' in medical marijuana

    State Roundup

    John Morgan spent nearly $7 million pushing two statewide ballot initiatives to expand medical marijuana throughout the state of Florida.

    Personal injury lawyer John Morgan says he’s ready to put up to $100 million in “the right opportunities.’’
  1. Gov. Rick Scott vetoes 'liquor wall' repeal

    Blogs
  2. New DEP secretary says there's no conflict in political side businesses

    News

    TALLAHASSEE — When Noah Valenstein, the newly appointed head of the Department of Environmental Protection, was applying in April to be the state's top environmental regulator, he left one thing off the application: Companies he started and his wife runs have been paid nearly $1 million by politicians and lobbying …

     Noah Valenstein got the job as secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday May 23rd, on a unanimous vote by Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet. He will take the helm on June 5, with a salary of $150,000 per year. [Florida Governor's Office]
  3. New DEP secretary sees no conflict in political side businesses

    Blogs

    When Noah Valenstein, the newly appointed head of the Department of Environmental Protection, was applying in April to be the state's top environmental regulator, he left one thing off the application: Companies he started and his wife runs have been paid nearly $1 million by politicians and lobbying …

    Noah Valenstein
  4. Governor signs 16 bills into law, including $3.75 million child abuse settlemement

    Blogs

    Gov. Rick Scott signed 16 bills into law Tuesday, agreeing to pay the surviving victim of one of the most horrific child abuse cases in state history $3.75 million in legal damages, another bill to end "gotcha" public records requests, and a bill that will give families with …

    Nubia Barahona, the victim of one of the most horrific child abuse crimes in state history.
  5. Gov. Rick Scott's family history of alcohol abuse could decide 'liquor wall' bill

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott must decide Wednesday whether to let Walmart and other big-box stores sell liquor, and he says a factor in his decision is the history of alcohol abuse in his family.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott is considering a veto of a bill that would allow Walmart, Target and other big box retail stores to sell liquor. [Andres Leiva | Tampa Bay Times]
  1. Convicted murderer whose release Pam Bondi fears will stay behind bars

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Tampa police officer convicted in 1980 of murdering a security guard was again denied parole at a hearing Wednesday where Attorney General Pam Bondi said his release could have put her at risk.

    Attorney General Pam Bondi says Norman sent threats to her and a former prosecutor.
  2. New DEP secretary says there's no conflict in political side businesses

    News

    TALLAHASSEE — When Noah Valenstein, the newly appointed head of the Department of Environmental Protection, was applying in April to be the state's top environmental regulator, he left one thing off the application: Companies he started and his wife runs have been paid nearly $1 million by politicians and lobbying …

     Noah Valenstein got the job as secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday May 23rd, on a unanimous vote by Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet. He will take the helm on June 5, with a salary of $150,000 per year. [Florida Governor's Office]
  3. Gov. Rick Scott's family history of alcohol abuse could decide 'liquor wall' bill

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott must decide Wednesday whether to let Walmart and other big-box stores sell liquor, and he says a factor in his decision is the history of alcohol abuse in his family.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott is considering a veto of a bill that would allow Walmart, Target and other big box retail stores to sell liquor. [Andres Leiva | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”
  5. Potential new laws further curb Floridians' right to government in the Sunshine

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — From temporarily shielding the identities of murder witnesses to permanently sealing millions of criminal and arrest records, state lawmakers did more this spring than they have in all but one of the past 22 years to chip away at Floridians' constitutional guarantees to access government records and …

    The Legislature passed 17 new exemptions to the Sunshine Law, according to a tally by the First Amendment Foundation.
  1. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”
  2. While Hillsborough, St. Pete colleges take a budget hit — public universities get more

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — As Senate President Joe Negron aims to make Florida's 12 public universities "elite" destinations, state lawmakers this spring voted to give an extra $232 million next year to those institutions — while simultaneously cutting $25 million that has helped the state's 28 state colleges serve …

    Florida Senate President Joe Negron talk to members in the chamber. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times].
  3. How profitable will medical-marijuana shops be? Very, says confidential pitch for investors

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — As differences over pot shop restrictions burned a medical marijuana bill to ashes in Tallahassee, one of Florida's largest legal cannabis operators courted millions of dollars from new investors and touted a lucrative plan to open dozens of storefronts around the state.

    Medical marijuana products are on display in the "Garden" at Surterra Wellness Center, 2558 E Fowler Ave. in  Tampa. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  1. Florida Legislature 2017: What passed and what failed

    State Roundup

    State legislators filed about 1,900 bills in the 2017 session. Only 12.6 percent, or 234 bills, were passed by both the House and Senate chambers. As of Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott has signed 20 …

    Lobbyists track the action in the Florida Senate during the final week of the Florida Legislative session at the Capitol in Tallahassee. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. State lawmakers pass $82.4 billion budget that heads now to Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The budget Gov. Rick Scott didn't want to see is heading for his desk.

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, center, stands with Reps. Michael Bileca, right, R-Miami, and Chris Sprowls, R- Clearwater, on Monday at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee. The Legislature’s session had been extended three extra days.
  3. Stop charter schools from profiting off taxpayers? Nope, deal kills proposed ban.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Lawmakers were on track this spring to enact long-sought safeguards to stop businesses from turning a profit off public money intended for charter school capital projects.

    Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, said he doesn't know why the new rules on charter schools, aimed at making them more accountable, were left out. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times]
  1. New DEP secretary says there's no conflict in political side businesses

    News

    TALLAHASSEE — When Noah Valenstein, the newly appointed head of the Department of Environmental Protection, was applying in April to be the state's top environmental regulator, he left one thing off the application: Companies he started and his wife runs have been paid nearly $1 million by politicians and lobbying …

     Noah Valenstein got the job as secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday May 23rd, on a unanimous vote by Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet. He will take the helm on June 5, with a salary of $150,000 per year. [Florida Governor's Office]
  2. Florida Legislature 2017: What passed and what failed

    State Roundup

    State legislators filed about 1,900 bills in the 2017 session. Only 12.6 percent, or 234 bills, were passed by both the House and Senate chambers. As of Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott has signed 20 …

    Lobbyists track the action in the Florida Senate during the final week of the Florida Legislative session at the Capitol in Tallahassee. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. All eyes on Gov. Rick Scott as he considers budget veto options

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott keeps a veto pen on his desk, but considering his total frustration with the 2017 Legislature, it looks more like a machete.

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott could target his political enemies.
  1. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”
  2. While Hillsborough, St. Pete colleges take a budget hit — public universities get more

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — As Senate President Joe Negron aims to make Florida's 12 public universities "elite" destinations, state lawmakers this spring voted to give an extra $232 million next year to those institutions — while simultaneously cutting $25 million that has helped the state's 28 state colleges serve …

    Florida Senate President Joe Negron talk to members in the chamber. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times].
  3. Veto schools bill and education budget, critics urge Gov. Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott faces mounting pressure from school superintendents, teachers unions and parent groups to veto $23.7 billion in base funding to K-12 public schools next year — as well as a controversial $419 million education policy bill that lawmakers unveiled and passed in the span of just …

    Joining other superintendents from large counties, Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Mike Grego is urging Gov. Rick Scott to reject the education budget and a massive education bill, HB 7069. [DIRK SHADD | Tampa Bay Times]