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David Simmons: We’re not done yet with HB 7069

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Interparty, cross-house fighting over the controversial education omnibus bill House Bill 7069 is not yet over, nor are efforts to stop provisions that could spell death sentences to underperforming public schools, Republican state Sen. Dave Simmons vowed Wednesday. And the bill might face a legal challenge led by state Sen. Gary Farmer, a Parkland Republican who has become the bill’s most outspoken critic. At a panel discussion, with three Republican state representatives, held by the Seminole County Chamber of Commerce…

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Florida passes bill to issue certificates for miscarriages

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Florida could become the first state to issue what’s essentially a birth certificate for women who’ve had miscarriages under a bill the Legislature sent to Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday. The Grieving Families Act would give parents the option of receiving a state-issued certificate if a pregnancy is lost between nine weeks and 20 weeks of gestation. “The parent can name the child if they have a gender or they can just name it Baby Smith,” said Republican Rep. Bob…

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Compilation of Easter messages from Florida’s elected officials and politicians

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A running compilation of Easter-themed messages from Florida’s elected officials and politicians. Florida Senate President Joe Negron: State Sen. George Gainer: State Sen. Jack Latvala: State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto: “As week six of the legislative session concludes we take time today to celebrate Good Friday,  and look forward to the Easter weekend.” “I am hopeful you can spend time with loved ones on this joyous occasion. From my family to yours, Happy Easter.” “He is not here: for he is…

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House panel approves scaled back version of school recess bill

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The House PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee passed its version of the public school recess bill, setting lawmakers on two very different paths when it comes to free play. The committee approved a committee substitute for the bill (HB 67) that would allow school boards to include free-play recess for students in kindergarten through third grade as part of 150 minutes per week of physical education requirement. The proposal, sponsored by Reps. Rene Plasencia and Bob Cortes, also requires school districts to…

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Lawmakers look to raise money during upcoming legislative committee meeting weeks

in Statewide by

It’s going to be a busy few weeks for Florida Republicans. House Majority announced fundraising events for seven House Republicans, all of which are running for re-election in 2018, between Jan. 24 and Feb. 20. The fundraising kicks off on Tuesday with an event for Rep. Bob Cortes. The event is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. at The Beer Industry of Florida, 110 South Monroe Street, Suite B. House Majority will also hold a fundraiser for Reps. Heather Fitzenhagen,…

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Rick Scott wants to hire counterterrorism agents

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Vowing to do everything he can to prevent another terrorist attack like the June 12 Pulse nightclub massacre, Gov. Rick Scott pushed for nearly $6 million to create a new counter-terrorism and law enforcement intelligence task force in Florida. “Terror, like we saw in the attack on the Pulse nightclub, is a threat to our state, our nation and each of us,” Scott said in announcing the proposal at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Orlando Regional Operations Center Wednesday. “We need…

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Ryan Yadav calls for state response to missing ballots in Seminole County

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Democratic House District 30 candidate Ryan Yadav is calling for the state to take “all steps necessary to address” missing ballots in Seminole County, suggesting there may be voter fraud at work. Yadav, who’s taking on Republican state Rep. Bob Cortes, is responding to news reports in the Orlando Sentinel Tuesday that the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Office has confirmed five absentee ballots apparently were stolen from mailboxes or somewhere else, filled out and returned by someone other than…

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