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2017 Legislative Session - page 7

Senate sends Dozier school memorial bill to governor’s desk

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Legislation to erect memorials to boys who suffered abuse and death at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna was headed to the governor’s desk Friday following final approval by the Senate. The vote to adopt HB 7115 was 35-0. The measure passed the House, 117-0, on April 18. Sponsor Darryl Rouson said the measure would provide “a respectful burial to the inidentified, unclaims remains” of the victims of a 1914 dormitory fire at Boot Hill Cemetery on…

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House moves toward Senate on must-pass workers’ compensation legislation

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The Senate refused Friday to move toward the House position on workers’ compensation reform, but the House gave ground on how much to pay attorneys handling claims appeals. Senate bill sponsor Rob Bradley offered an amendment that would have split the difference between the two chambers by paying attorneys as much as $200 per hour, but the Senate chose on a voice vote to retain his original language — $250. The Senate voted, 21-16, to send the bill to the House…

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Senate bows to minimum-mandatory sentencing for fentanyl traffickers

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The Senate changed its mind Friday and accepted mandatory-minimum prison sentences in a bill cracking down on synthetic opioids, including fentanyl and carfentanil. Senators had stripped the provision earlier in the week, but the House refused to abandon mandatory sentences and sent the bill back. Senate President Joe Negron initially ruled that Sen. Greg Steube’s motion to rescind the amendment had failed on a voice vote. But enough members insisted on a recorded vote, which went 20-18 to back down.…

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Lottery warning bill passes Senate, bounces back to House

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The Senate on Friday passed a bill requiring lottery ticket warning labels after removing a requirement that warnings also be displayed at counters where tickets are sold. The Senate approved the measure (HB 937) on a 23-15 vote, sending it back to the House. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, a Mount Dora Republican, mandates six rotating warnings on Florida Lottery tickets and advertisements. They include “WARNING: GAMBLING CAN BE ADDICTIVE” and “WARNING: YOUR ODDS OF WINNING THE TOP PRIZE ARE EXTREMELY LOW.”…

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Appropriations chiefs declare budget talks ‘closed’ — but with an asterisk

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House and Senate budget negotiators traded final offers Thursday and pronounced their work done, bar some last-minute tidying up. “The budget is closed,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Lavala said. “We’ve got a couple of question marks, but this is not an opportunity to entertain any new issues. We’re going to resolve one or two issues, and then we’re going to come back together and get those solved,” he said. “The cupboard is bare.” Left to do is reconcile conforming bills…

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Insurance bill sponsor insists it won’t become a train for AOB, PIP

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When Lee Jacobson heard that that an insurance omnibus bill had been pulled from the Rules Committee onto the Senate floor Wednesday, he hightailed it to Tallahassee. The Orlando insurance and personal-injury attorney, active in the Florida Justice Association, was watching his daughter play soccer at the time. “I ran home, threw two suits in a bag and grabbed two one-way flights to get here,” Jacobson said Thursday morning. His fear was that the bill — CS/CS/SB 454 — would…

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Amendment would move Senate workers’ comp fix closer to House language

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The sponsor of the Senate workers’ compensation bill has edged toward the House position regarding the maximum attorney fees payable in claims litigation. Sen. Rob Bradley filed an amendment to his bill Wednesday trimming the maximum hourly fee to $200 — down from $250 in his original bill, but more than the $150 contemplated in the House. The amendment also would require the Department of Financial Services to engage an independent consultant to study the system for reimbursing medical providers…

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