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2016 legislative session - page 2

Gov. Scott signs unclaimed life insurance policies bill into law

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Gov. Rick Scott made progress on cleaning his post-Legislative Session plate on Tuesday, signing into law a bill to require life insurance policies to notify beneficiaries when a deceased policyholder has died. The bill – SB 966 by Republican Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto – was approved with no opposition by lawmakers on March 10. It requires insurers to use master death lists they already possess to tell the survivors of loved ones when benefits are made available through a life insurance policy.  CFO Jeff Atwater was a vocal proponent of the…

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Associated Industries of Florida releases report card on lawmakers

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The Associated Industries of Florida report card is out, and the Florida Legislature received passing grades. Tom Feeney, the president and CEO of the Associated Industries of Florida, said the Florida Senate voted in favor of the business community 87 percent of the time, while the Florida House voted in favor of the business community 94 percent of the time. The annual Voting Record report is compiled by using actual votes cast as reported in the official state records. AIF…

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With Rick Scott’s blessing, “shacking up” now legal in Florida

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Gov. Rick Scott has approved a repeal of a 148-year-law that criminalizes an unmarried couple living together. The measure legalizing “cohabitation” (SB 498) was one of 20 bills signed into law by the governor on Wednesday. The change is largely a reflection of the times: Though Florida was among a few states that still criminalized cohabitation, its prohibition was essentially unenforced. Technically, a man and woman living together but not married could have been fined $500 and locked up for 60 days. There are almost…

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Rick Scott to sign Israel anti-boycott bill in Boca Raton

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Gov. Rick Scott will hold a formal bill-signing ceremony in Boca Raton on Wednesday afternoon to laud a bill that will keep the state of Florida from doing business with firms who boycott Israel. Scott will meet with Jewish and pro-Israel Floridian stakeholders at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, where he will signal his public approval of SB 86, which prohibits state pension money and other state funds from flowing to companies who economically protest Israel. Specifically, the bill mandates the…

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Rick Scott signs omnibus FDOT bill into law

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Gov. Rick Scott gave his signature on  Monday to a omnibus transportation bill making about a dozen changes to state law regarding the Florida Department of Transportation. Scott’s final approval of HB 7027 means numerous sundry changes for FDOT, one of the largest aspects of the budget and a prominent area of policy for Floridians who travel the state’s roads, railways, and waterways. Perhaps most notably, the bill enacts into law a proposal championed by Republican Speaker-to-be Rep. Richard Corcoran, whereby any proposed amendment to…

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Capitol Press Corps members talk shop after 2016 Session

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Members of the Florida Capitol Press Corps broke down the 2016 Legislative Session at the Capital City Tiger Bay Club’s April meeting on Friday, April Fool’s Day. Reporters Gary Fineout of the Associated Press, Tia Mitchell of the Florida Times-Union, Bill Cotterell of the Tallahassee Democrat, Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida, and Dara Kam of News Service of Florida answered questions posed by PR pro Christina Johnson, founder of On3 Public Relations. Much of the conversation was more or less exposition of what went down during the annual lawmaking period,…

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Tampa Bay area arts, cultural institutions fared well in Legislature’s budget

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Several of Tampa Bay’s most prominent fine arts institutions found success in the Legislature’s budget for 2016-17, navigating the delicate appropriations process and escaping Gov. Rick Scott‘s veto pen. Lawmakers approved $2 million for Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, frequently home to performances by The Florida Orchestra and national touring acts. Katie Pedretty, Director of Public Relations, said the money will go toward renovating the 33-year-old building that has become as much a public space as a private entity. “The lobby will be expanded by more than 6,000 square feet to include…

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