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Jim Rosica has 1205 articles published.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

John Morgan plays hero to the ’71 percenters’

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“Compassionate capitalist” John Morgan came to Tallahassee Thursday morning, holding court for the cameras soon after he sued the state over not allowing medical marijuana to be smoked. Pay no attention to the fact that Morgan had electronically filed his lawsuit an hour before: It was about speaking to and “for the people.” “Today is a day that should not have been necessary,” he said outside the Leon County Courthouse. “The people of Florida knew exactly what they were voting…

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John Morgan’s suit says smoking pot actually good for the lungs

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Medical marijuana advocate John Morgan says cannabis smoking doesn’t “impair lung function” and even “increase(s) lung capacity,” as part of his lawsuit to be filed against the state Thursday. Florida Politics on Wednesday night acquired a copy of the 15-page complaint that Morgan says he will file in Leon Circuit Civil court in Tallahassee—against which a leading House Republican has already said the state will prevail. Morgan, the main backer of the marijuana amendment that passed last year, has said he would sue because…

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Richard Corcoran’s net worth drops 27 percent

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House Speaker Richard Corcoran‘s net worth has fallen by more than 27 percent from last year, according to his latest financial disclosure. His annual filing for 2016 was posted Wednesday on the Florida Commission on Ethics website. Corcoran, an attorney and father of six children, reported a net worth of $341,750 as of Dec. 31, 2016—nearly $129,000 less than his 2015 reported worth of $470,640. As assets for this year’s report, he listed his Land O’ Lakes residence, valued at roughly $500,000, and his house in Tallahassee,…

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Joe Negron’s personal wealth nears $1 million

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Senate President Joe Negron‘s net worth is now over $950,000, according to a financial disclosure filed last week with the Florida Commission on Ethics. Negron’s net worth as of Dec. 31, 2016 was $952,634, his filing shows. That’s up 15 percent from his 2015 reported worth of $828,646. As income, he listed $278,887 from the Gunster law firm and his $28,502 pay as a state lawmaker. In January, Negron—a Stuart Republican—quit Gunster, saying his decision was spurred by its representation of…

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Florida Bar will focus on ‘protecting the courts’ during constitutional revision process

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The new president of The Florida Bar says the organization is standing by to offer “technical legal” support to the Constitution Revision Commission as it readies to amend the state’s governing document, which could include changes affecting the judicial branch. But Michael J. Higer, a partner in Berger Singerman’s Miami office, won’t say which public proposals already filed he favors—or fears. He assumed the Bar presidency on June 23. “It is too early in the process to focus on any…

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Florida’s bizarre fireworks law still in place

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It’s almost Independence Day, which in Florida means: Time to scare some birds. Although you can buy fireworks in the state, they’re not actually legal here. Indeed, The Tampa Tribune in 2014 called fireworks sales in Florida an “institutionalized charade,” leading one lawmaker to call for “more freedom (and) less fraud.” Retail sales are allowed only because of a 62-year-old loophole in the law, the only known one of its kind in the country. That allows “fireworks … to be used…

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The 5 on 1: Five ‘most interesting’ laws taking effect July 1

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Saturday is not only the first day of the state’s budget year, it’s also when a host of new laws go into effect. Here’s a capsule look at five of the more notable statutes taking effect July 1: — Religious expression in schools.  This new law clarifies that public school students can’t be punished for praying at school or incorporating “religious materials” into their classwork. Currently, students can pray before or after instructional time outside of the class room, on…

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