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Department of Transportation

Rick Scott signs DOT reform bill

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Among the five bills signed Wednesday by Gov. Rick Scott is HB 865, an omnibus measure that reforms several areas in the Florida Department of Transportation. LobbyTools reports that the bill, in part, mandates the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority to get DOT approval on contracts before receiving department money. The department must also submit a report examining district boundaries and headquarters, as well as changes allowable weight for vehicles fueled by natural gas on interstate highways.

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Rene Garcia: ‘The people of Miami-Dade County … cannot wait any longer’ for signature bridge

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Sen. Rene Garcia is weighing in on a multi-million dollar bridge project planned for South Florida, telling the Florida Department of Transportation that the Miami-Dade community can’t wait any longer. In a letter to FDOT Secretary Rachel Cone this week, Garcia said he was confident the procurement process established by the state transportation agency “followed the spirit and the letter of the law put forth by the 2013 settlement agreement between the city of Miami and the state.” His letter…

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It’s official: Jim Boxold resigns as state Transportation secretary

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Gov. Rick Scott Monday officially announced the resignation of state Transportation Secretary Jim Boxold after FloridaPolitics.com broke the story of his departure last Friday night. Boxold’s resignation is effective Feb. 3, the governor said in a statement. Rachel Cone, who is now Assistant Secretary for Finance and Administration, will serve as interim secretary. Later Monday, the governmental affairs firm Capital City Consulting also confirmed he was joining the team. “Jim Boxold has done a great job leading FDOT and I want to thank him for…

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Jim Boxold to step down as DOT head for lobbying job

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In the second of two surprise departures from the Gov. Rick Scott administration, the secretary of the state’s Department of Transportation is expected to step down to pursue a career in the private sector. Jim Boxold, who was appointed in December 2014 to succeed Ananth Prasad, is leavinf to join the governmental affairs firm Capital City Consulting, multiple sources have confirmed. An announcement about Boxold’s joining the firm could come as soon as Monday. Boxold is the second department head to leave the Scott Administration…

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PSTA climbs on board Janet Long’s ‘regional council of governments’ idea

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Members of the governing board of Pinellas’ bus transportation authority voted unanimously Wednesday to develop an agreement to coordinate with the Hillsborough transit authority. The agreement, which would be forwarded to the State Legislature, is a step to creating a regional council of governments that’s been proposed by Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long. Long said the proposal is a “framework” for merging several governmental agencies into one regional organization that can provide regional solutions to transit, land and economic development,…

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Daytona International Speedway revs up lobbying efforts by hiring Johnson & Blanton, SSG

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After getting rebuffed in another attempt to secure state incentive money for improvements at its historic track, the Daytona International Speedway has signed on two new lobbying teams with the start of another state fiscal year. The speedway has hired Johnson & Blanton and Southern Strategy Group to represent its interests in Tallahassee. The speedway, which opened in 1959 and is nearing the completion of a $400 million “Daytona Rising” renovation, was one of three sports facilities that sought incentive…

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Tampa bypassed in approved U.S. flights to Cuba

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Six airlines won permission Friday to resume scheduled commercial air service from the U.S. to Cuba for the first time in more than five decades, another milestone in President Barack Obama‘s campaign to normalize relations between Cold War foes. The airlines — American, Frontier, JetBlue, Silver Airways, Southwest and Sun Country — were approved by the Department of Transportation for a total of 155 roundtrip flights per week. They’ll fly from five U.S. cities to nine cities in Cuba other…

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