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Don Gaetz: We don’t need special session for gun control

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State Sen. Don Gaetz is telling constituents not to take the special-session-on-gun-control bait. Gaetz, a Niceville Republican who was Senate president in 2012-14, sent out an email Monday. It reprinted and linked to an op-ed he wrote for the Northwest Florida Daily News, Okaloosa County’s newspaper. It appeared Sunday. He wrote on the mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub that left 49 people dead and 53 wounded. The shooter, later killed by police, called 911 to claim allegiance to the Islamic State…

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Mitch Perry Report for 6.16.16 -CLC clears the path for Rubio

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Politics never takes a day off, and some would probably say it shouldn’t. Take the reaction this week to the shooting massacre in Orlando. Democrats have done what they believe urgently needs to be done to lessen the possibility of further mass gun shootings, by introducing gun control legislation in Washington. In Washington early this morning, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy put himself into the history book with a nearly 15-hour filibuster to force the Senate to take action to address gun violence. Murphy…

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Plaintiffs seek summary judgment in Amendment 1 suit

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Advocacy groups suing the Legislature over environmental funding now are asking a judge to hand them the win. Florida Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club and others filed a 57-page motion for summary judgment Wednesday. Granting such motions allows parties to win a case without a trial. They filed suit last year over Amendment 1, the constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2014 that mandates state spending for land and water conservation. The measure requires state officials to set aside 33 percent of the money…

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Andy Gardiner touts Center for Students with Unique Abilities at education summit

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The push to make sure Florida graduates can enter the workforce shouldn’t stop when it comes to students with intellectual disabilities. That was the message Senate President Andy Gardiner sent during a speech at the Degrees to Jobs Education Summit on Wednesday afternoon. Gardiner used his speech to highlight the work the Legislature has done to make sure all Floridians receive a good education. The Orlando Republican also encouraged business and higher education officials to continue to work to make…

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Rick Scott kicks off 2016 Degrees to Jobs Summit

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Calling it an opportunity to connect businesses and university leaders, Gov. Rick Scott kicked off his 2016 Degrees to Jobs Summit in Orlando on Wednesday morning. The goal, Scott told a room of about 350 university, college and business leaders, is to “challenge everything we’re doing.” “This is going to be a fun two days,” he said. The two-day summit aims to connect Florida’s business leaders with university and college officials about how to best prepare students for the workforce.…

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Andy Gardiner, Lars Houmann, call for more health care access, but not Medicaid

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At an industry-sponsored summit in Orlando Tuesday, outgoing Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner and the leader of one of Florida’s biggest hospital system both called for urgent help in providing more access to health care. But not through Medicaid. Gardiner, an Orlando Republican, and Lars Houmann, president of the Florida Division of Adventist Health System, told the Florida Health Care Affordability Summit that the great challenge is opening up health care to uninsured and low-income residents of Florida. “I would…

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Senate mural will be saved, but removed from Capitol

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It’s official: The nearly 40-year-old mural outside the Florida Senate chambers will be taken down. In a letter, Senate President Andy Gardiner said the mural will be preserved, however, for viewing elsewhere. It’ll be stored till then. The letter was sent last Tuesday to Jeff Howell, the Republican Party of Florida treasurer. Howell, a Tallahassee attorney, leads an informal volunteer campaign to save the artwork. The 10-foot-by-16 foot “Five Flags Mural” greeted visitors to the Senate’s 5th floor viewing galleries. The mural’s removal…

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