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Michael Moline - page 6

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.

Jeff Atwater’s office defends pay increases for top administrators

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The office of Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who is stepping down with the conclusion of the Legislative Session, has defended pay raises for his top staff as in line with long-overdue increases throughout his department. In a letter dated Thursday to Senate President Joe Negron’s chief of staff, Cheri Vancura, Atwater’s chief of staff, Budd Kneip, said he wanted to explain the situation in light of a press inquiry. “When the CFO first arrived, we found that department personnel were…

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Extension resolution pledges that House and Senate will adjourn together

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The Senate has adopted a concurrent resolution giving the Legislature itself until 11:59 p.m. Monday to pass the state budget. SCR 1850, adopted on a voice vote after 9 p.m., limits the extension to work on SB 2500, the proposed General Appropriations Act, and related legislation including a package of tax breaks. House and Senate conferees were unable to nail down a budget agreement quickly enough to adjourn on time. “Be it further resolved that all other measures in both houses are indefinitely…

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Joe Negron starts edging toward the exit

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Senate President Joe Negron said Friday that the Senate was waiting to vote on two bills and then would retire for the evening. Those bills, he said, were the joint resolution extending the session past its midnight expiration time, into Monday, so the House and Senate could debate an $83 billion compromise budget and conforming bills. The other was SB436, by Sen. Dennis Baxley, to allow students to express religious beliefs in class assignments, profess faith via clothing and jewelry…

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Conference committees complete work on budget conforming bills

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The House and Senate staged one last conference committee Friday, agreeing on budget conforming bills containing sweeping policy changes, on public schools, higher education, economic incentives programs and more. House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron did the honors personally, leading delegations to a committee room to present and consider offers on the conforming bills. The $83 billion state budget landed on members desks in the House and Senate at 2:43 p.m., allowing them three days to study…

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Bill Montford complains about school spending during scholarships debate

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The Senate’s leading education expert unloaded Friday on spending levels for schools contemplated in the Legislature’s compromise $83 billion state budget. During debate on extending Florida’s corporate tax exemption scholarship program, Sen. Bill Montford complained that base spending per student would decline in the public schools next fiscal year, notwithstanding a modest increase in the school budget. “In the budget that you’re going to look at Monday,” he said, “the basic student allocation next year will be $27 less than it…

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Senate sends Dozier school memorial bill to governor’s desk

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Legislation to erect memorials to boys who suffered abuse and death at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna was headed to the governor’s desk Friday following final approval by the Senate. The vote to adopt HB 7115 was 35-0. The measure passed the House, 117-0, on April 18. Sponsor Darryl Rouson said the measure would provide “a respectful burial to the inidentified, unclaims remains” of the victims of a 1914 dormitory fire at Boot Hill Cemetery on…

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House moves toward Senate on must-pass workers’ compensation legislation

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The Senate refused Friday to move toward the House position on workers’ compensation reform, but the House gave ground on how much to pay attorneys handling claims appeals. Senate bill sponsor Rob Bradley offered an amendment that would have split the difference between the two chambers by paying attorneys as much as $200 per hour, but the Senate chose on a voice vote to retain his original language — $250. The Senate voted, 21-16, to send the bill to the House…

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