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Michael Moline - page 4

Michael Moline has 301 articles published.

Michael Moline is a former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal and managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal. Previously, he reported on politics and the courts in Tallahassee for United Press International. He is a graduate of Florida State University, where he served as editor of the Florida Flambeau. His family’s roots in Jackson County date back many generations.

State will exhaust budget for agriculture conservation easements by year’s end

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The state would run out of money to buy agricultural conservation land easements by the end of 2017 under the budget approved by the Legislature, the head of the Florida Forest Service said Wednesday. The service asked for $50 million and got $10 for the Rural & Family Lands Protection Program, land program administrator John Browne told aides to Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet. Combined with about $11 million for the current fiscal year, that would leave around $21…

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Thousands of acres of conservation easement on Cabinet aides’ agenda

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The Triple S Ranch lies 15 miles north of Lake Okeechobee — a 7,000-acre cattle operation, relatively untouched by development, within the recharge zone for the Kissimmee River. Rare and endangered species, including a Florida panther, wander its streams and cypress swamps. On Wednesday morning, aides to Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet will peruse a proposal to buy a conservation easement on 4,177 acres of the Okeechobee County property, for close to $7 million. The deal is scheduled to…

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Watchdogs decry Constitution Revision Commission’s proposed rules

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Proposed rules for the Constitution Revision Commission could let members deliberate in secret, limit public participation, bottle up ideas in committee, or bog down debating proposals with little support, government watchdog groups warned Monday. Sixteen organizations, including the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Florida Consumer Action Network, and unions, including Florida AFL-CIO, critiqued the proposed rules in a letter to the commission’s rules committee. “Transparency and a clear set of ground rules are essential to the credibility of the…

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Future Senate leaders’ political committees went quiet during Legislative Session

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Innovate Florida, state Sen. Bill Galvano’s political committee, spent a quiet April on the fundraising front while the Legislative Session concluded. It collected exactly $0. This after amassing $494,200 during the first three months of the year and $6.2 million since 2013, according to state records. Sen. Wilton Simpson’s Jobs for Florida committee’s fundraising took a breather, too, but spent $45,203 on consultants. Legislators must cease fundraising during session, but the restriction doesn’t apply to their political committees, a Department…

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Rick Scott’s Let’s Get to Work committee raised $495,000 during April

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Gov. Rick Scott’s Let’s Get to Work political committee raised $485,100 during April, with United Health Group Inc. kicking in the largest single donation of $100,000. Fundraising was down from March, when the PAC raised nearly $610,000. The committee has raised more than $56.8 million since 2014. Its best month thus far this year was January, when it raised nearly $1.7 million. The committee collected $50,000 each from Meadowbrook Inc., a communications company; and the Florida Chamber of Commerce PAC.…

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Jeff Atwater sticking around as CFO until state budget is nailed down

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Jeff Atwater will remain in office as state chief financial officer until the state budget is completely settled, his office confirmed Wednesday. Atwater has announced plans to leave Tallahassee to become CFO at Florida Atlantic University upon the conclusion of the Legislative Session. That came last Friday, although the Legislature required another three days to pass an $83 billion state budget. Atwater’s plans were first reported by Brian Burgess of The Capitolist. That budget — plus conforming bills spelling out…

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Rick Scott signs SB 10, the Lake Okeechobee restoration plan, into law

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Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation Tuesday pledging $800 million in bonds toward Senate President Joe Negron’s signature project — a $1.5 billion plan to restore Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades by building a reservoir south of the lake. Scott had signaled his intention to sign the legislation earlier in the week, calling Everglades restoration “a top priority.” SB 10 did not include Scott’s call to invest $200 million in the Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding the lake. Still, the governor said…

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