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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 appeals court upholds 14.5 percent workers’ comp premium increase

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A state appeals court has upheld a 14.5 percent increase in workers’ compensation insurance premiums, rejecting legal arguments that it was approved in violation of Florida’s open-government laws. “This argument ignores the plain language of the statute and the ordinary meaning of the terms within it,” a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee ruled Tuesday. “Accordingly, we reverse the trial court’s final order, and remand for reinstatement of OIR’s final order issued on Oct. 5,…

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Jax House member Jay Fant launches campaign for Attorney General

in Statewide by

Jacksonville House member Jay Fant announced for state Attorney General Tuesday, promising to fight for the Constitution — especially the First and Second amendments — and against “big government.” Fant said during a kickoff news conference in the state Capitol that “fighting big government, fighting for the Constitution, and fighting for free enterprise” were what drove him to seek his House seat in 2014. “My zeal for protecting property and people has not abated. Today, because if this, I am…

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Jack Latvala gets into it with Jeff Brandes over economics incentives bill

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

The Senate sent the VISIT Florida and Enterprise Florida budget cuts to the Governor Monday on a 29-8 vote, but not before Sen. Jack Latvala, who has supported Gov. Rick Scott on economic incentives, took the opportunity to nitpick. The House approved the measure earlier in the day. Latvala started with HB 5501’s formal name: Displaced Homemakers. Among its many provisions, the bill would fold a jobs program for them into standard programs within the Department of Economic Opportunity. “You…

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Education bill, key to budget deal, clears the Senate by two votes

in Statewide by

Only one of the budget conforming bills debated in the Senate Monday drew a point of order — SB 7069, to implement the House’s ideas about charter schools and teacher bonuses. It didn’t stop the bill from passing, on a vote of 20-18. House and Senate negotiators have paired the bill with separate legislation carrying the Senate’s higher education agenda. Sen. Gary Farmer raised the point of order, arguing that the education compromise violated multiple Senate rules. For example, he…

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Area lawmakers, Dozier survivor pitch Pasco forensics lab to Rick Scott

in Statewide by

Legislators from Pasco County urged Gov. Rick Scott Monday to approve legislation authorizing construction of a $4.3 million criminal forensics laboratory there that would attack the state’s 16,000-case backlog of unsolved murders. “This is not about Pasco County. This is about the entire state,” Sen. Wilton Simpson said. The project would “greatly expand law enforcement’s ability as it relates to terrorism and as it relates to cold cases,” he said. “This project is going to change lives, and it’s going…

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Senate sends $82.4 billion budget bill to the House in extended session

in Statewide by

The Senate approved an $82.4 billion state budget during legislative overtime Monday, including a raft of conforming bills implementing House and Senate priorities on matters including public schools, colleges, and universities. The 34-0 vote sent the budget bill to the House. The final Senate vote came at about 8:30 p.m. without debate, following a day spent in extensive debate over the budget package. The chamber sent the usual implementing bill over by the same margin, then paused to give the House time…

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Jack Latvala appeals to Senate to pass budget, despite flawed process

in Statewide by

Don’t let the perhaps flawed way that House and Senate negotiators agreed upon their $83 billion state budget tarnish the final bill, Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala urged Monday as the Senate took up the measure in an extended session. “We’ve done a lot of good with this budget” and “cannot get bogged down just worrying about one issue and forget all of the many accomplishments that we’ve had together this year,” he said. “If there’s fault to be had…

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