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Dorothy Hukill looking at ‘cryptocurrency’ bill next year

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State Sen. Dorothy Hukill says she’s aiming to file legislation next year covering the use of “cryptocurrencies” such as bitcoin. “We’ve been learning a lot about it,” the Port Orange Republican said Wednesday. “We don’t really have any way to regulate it in Florida.” Cryptocurrency is online money, “decentralized digital currency beyond the reach of banks and governments,” as Fortune magazine recently defined it. Its use is growing, albeit gradually: Former Libertarian candidate for attorney general Bill Wohlsifer accepts bitcoin as…

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AIF announces “Champions for Business”

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Associated Industries of Florida’s, the state’s premier lobbying group, has announced the latest awardees of its “Champions for Business.” The group gives the awards every year to state lawmakers “whose extraordinary efforts provide model leadership on key legislation for the success of Florida’s business community,” according to a news release. On this year’s list are: Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican and four-time award recipient, for championing business incentives that ultimately stalled in the House; Sen. Dorothy Hukill, a Port Orange Republican and…

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Florida Property and Casualty Association says thank Legislature for AOB inaction

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The Legislature didn’t pass any assignment of benefits legislation in the 2016 Session, and the Florida Property and Casualty Association said property owners can thank Miami Republican Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla when their insurance premiums go up. The group described assignment of benefits, whereby policyholders can sign over their rights to a third party to get home repairs done, as a “kickback-driven lawsuit-for-profit scheme” that threatens to raise insurance rates for years. FPCA was pushing bills by Sen. Dorothy Hukill and Rep. Matt…

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With clock ticking, tax package discussed in Senate

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The 2016 tax package was back in the Senate Thursday, one day before the end of the 2016 Legislative Session, with state Sen. Dorothy Hukill trying to safely land the more than 100 page bill. Ironically, a watchdog group issued a report the same day that said the real tax problem in Florida isn’t at the state level, but higher-than-average local taxes. Among other provisions, the bill (HB 7099) would make permanent the current break on the state’s 6 percent sales tax on…

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Tug of war over tax package kills bills

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A squabble over tourist taxes, a last-minute amendment to the Senate’s tax cut package, sucked up about half of the 2016 Legislative Session’s last Senate Appropriations meeting, killing bills left hanging on the agenda. The panel OK’d the House plan (HB 7099), amended with the Senate’s own tax package. The legislation promises about $400 million in tax relief, though Gov. Rick Scott wanted $1 billion. For instance, it scales back Florida’s back to school sales-tax holiday from 10 days to three days…

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Senate committee passes assignment-of-benefits reform in water damage insurance claims

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A Senate committee passed a bill seeking to reform assignment-of-benefits for water damage claims on property insurance rates across the state. LobbyTools reports that SB 1248, from Miami Republican Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, takes several steps to reduce abuse of AOB agreements, which allow third parties to claim the insurance benefits resulting from loss, rather than receiving an upfront payment from homeowners. In part, the bill offers stronger prohibitions against water remediators, contractors or subcontractors who act as insurance…

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Legislature OKs digital assets measure

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Legislation that would protect one’s “digital assets” after death has been passed by the Florida Legislature. The bill (SB 494) now heads to Gov. Rick Scott‘s desk after the House passed it 116-0 Wednesday. The Senate previously approved it on a 36-0 vote. Under the bill, someone of a person’s choosing could have access to and control their financial accounts, social media and almost anything else the person has online after their death. Those include emails, text messages, online photographs, documents stored in the…

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