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2017 Legislative Session

Jeb Bush foundation issues legislative grades; aces for Richard Corcoran, Joe Negron

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House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron aced the 2017 Legislative Session when it comes to school choice, said an organization founded by former Gov. Jeb Bush. Foundation for Florida’s Future gave both Republican lawmakers an “A+” this year and included both on their “honor roll,” which the group says, “recognizes the legislative leaders who championed bold education reforms that keep the promise of a quality education for each and every student.” “His determination to ensure every child,…

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Rick Scott signs nursing home reimbursement changes into law

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Changes to how the state’s nursing that accept Medicaid are paid are coming down the pike. Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a wide-sweeping health care bill (SB 2514) last week that, among other things, moves the payment system to a cost-based system to a prospective payment system. The law delays the move from cost-based system to a prospective payment system by a year, giving health care officials and providers additional time to study and prepare for the shift. “LeadingAge…

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Lawyers to face off in hearing over ‘pre-reveal’ games

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Lawyers for the Seminole Tribe of Florida and companies behind what are known as “pre-reveal” games—a name they apparently disdain—will appear Monday afternoon in a Tallahassee courtroom. Circuit Judge John Cooper agreed to hear argument on why he should reconsider his previous ruling that the stand-alone consoles aren’t illegal slot machines. The devices in question use a specific software known as “Version 67.” The machines—offered mostly at bars and taverns—look and play like a slot machine, Cooper had reasoned, but don’t fit the legal definition of gambling because the…

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Pre-reveal game makers bemoan state’s ‘heavy-handed tactics’

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The companies behind what are known as “pre-reveal” games say they’re “losing money every day” even after a Tallahassee judge ruled the stand-alone consoles aren’t illegal slot machines. Gator Coin II and Blue Sky Games are asking Circuit Judge John Cooper to lift an automatic stay of his March decision. Cooper, however, already has agreed to reconsider the ruling, setting a hearing next Monday in the Leon County Courthouse. The devices—offered mostly at bars and taverns—look and play like a slot machine, Cooper had reasoned,…

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We have a deal: Lawmakers agree to increase money for higher ed and Hoover dike

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Gov. Rick Scott expanded the call of the Legislature’s special session Friday to include money he wants to repair the Herbert Hoover Dike and higher education investments important to the Senate. House Speaker Richard Corcoran had proposed both items in a letter to Scott earlier in the day. Meanwhile, the Senate went into recess pending what President Joe Negron referred to as “an amendment being prepared based on current developments.” Corcoran posited the dam project as economic development spending, fully compatible…

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Rick Scott signs 33 bills into law

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Gov. Rick Scott on Friday approved another 33 bills from the 2017 Legislative Session, according to an email from his office. The official list with descriptions follows: CS/CS/HB 39 Autism Awareness Training for Law Enforcement Officers – This bill requires the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to enhance Autism Spectrum Disorder training for law enforcement officers. HB 65 Civil Remedies for Terrorism – This bill creates a civil cause of action for a person injured by an act of terrorism. …

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Associated Industries releases 2017 Voting Record report

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The voting record report is out. Associated Industries of Florida released its 2017 Voting Record report. Published for more than four decades, the annual report is considered one of the definitive legislative scorecards for the business community. This year, the organization calculated more than 208,966 votes on 1,955 bills with 848 legislators. “This session, AIF faced a variety of tough issues on behalf of Florida’s business community, including opposing any measure that would have made it more expensive for businesses…

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