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2016 legislative session - page 4

Rick Scott calls 2016 with Legislature ‘a very good Session’

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Gov. Rick Scott is declaring a legislative victory despite the fact that the  Legislature shot down most of his top priorities during the 2016  Session. Scott spent Monday on a five-city swing as part of his “Million, Billion Jobs Victory Tour.” During stops in Orlando, St. Petersburg and Fort Myers, the Naples Republican talked about job growth and tax cuts. He also thanked lawmakers for their hard work during the 2016 Legislative Session, which ended Friday. “We are headed in…

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Unlike 2015, Florida lawmakers go home happy and on time

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Florida lawmakers went home when they were supposed to this year. That alone made the 2016 Legislative Session more successful than last year. In an often contentious process where far more bills die than go to the governor, it was a rare year in Tallahassee. How so? Lawmakers passed restrictions on abortion and killed a measure that would have provided civil rights to gays and lesbians, and Democrats said it was a great session. Tax cuts for businesses died, along…

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A look at bills that passed and died in Florida this year

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The Legislature passed about 275 bills during the 2016 session that ended Friday. That means about 1,600 bills died. Here’s a look at some that succeeded and some that failed. ___ WINNERS – An $82.3 billion dollar budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. – Requirements that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. – A water policy that aims to clean springs, protect groundwater and restore the Everglades. – A package of bills…

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Tax holiday, skimmer laws give Florida Retail Federation plenty of Session cheer

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With the 2016 Legislative Session in the books, the Florida Retail Federation said Friday that Florida’s 270,000 retail businesses have plenty of reasons to celebrate. The trade group said “a number of positive retail-specific bills” made it through the House and Senate and their impact will be felt at “pharmacies, grocers, convenience stores, restaurants, law enforcement, and Florida’s overall business community.” The favorite Back-to-School sales tax holiday, which state economists say saves Florida shoppers $23 million, topped FRF’s list of…

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Property Casualty Insurers “disappointed” by failure to pass ride-sharing regulation

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The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America said it was disappointed lawmakers capped off the 2016 Legislative Session without passing insurance regulations for Uber and Lyft drivers. “Twenty-nine other states have passed legislation addressing insurance coverage requirements for TNCs, and it is past time for Florida to do the same,” the group said in a Friday email. “PCI will continue to work with lawmakers on a solution for 2017 so that this is the last year rideshare drivers and passengers…

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Uber legislation finally flames out

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A compromise between Republican lawmakers and ride-hailing firms like Uber was on thin ice Friday afternoon as Session raced to a close, until finally, the bill hit a brick wall. Sen. David Simmons, the Senate Rules Chair, had worked on the bill (SB 1118) for months. It would have mandated minimum commercial insurance requirements for drivers with Uber and similar app-based companies, known as “transportation network companies” in Capitol-ese. The House — which favors a more Uber-friendly approach — passed its own bill (HB 509) last…

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Jeff Atwater praises Legislature for curbing “balance billing”

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Florida CFO Jeff Atwater praised his colleagues in the Legislature Friday for passing HB 221, which curbs “balance billing” by Florida health insurance providers. “The Florida Legislature was tasked with striking a finely tuned and balanced solution to a multifaceted problem,” Atwater said. “While all sides of this health care community presented valid perspectives and strong opinions throughout the legislative process, I’m pleased that our legislative leaders kept consumers at the forefront of this conversation, ultimately removing them from this…

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