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Michael Moline - page 6

Michael Moline has 304 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.

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

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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

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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

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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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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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