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Florida Cabinet

Higher pay sought for FHP troopers

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Short about 200 troopers and seeking higher salaries to be more competitive with other law-enforcement agencies, the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is backing Gov. Rick Scott‘s call to boost pay as part of an election-year budget plan.

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Senate moves proposal to elect secretary of state closer to the ballot

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The Senate voted tentatively Tuesday to ask the voters next year whether Florida’s secretary of state should once again be an elective position. SJR 882, by Sen. Aaron Bean, would amend the state constitution to make the Secretary of State an elected member of the Cabinet beginning with the 2022 General Election. Identical legislation is pending in the House. The Senate action set up the measure for a final vote. Bean argued the state’s chief elections officer should be “accountable to the people.” Now, secretaries of…

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Florida doesn’t need an elected Secretary of State, or Agriculture Commissioner

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It would tax the imagination to come up with anything that Florida needs less than to elect a secretary of state once again. Why would the Legislature even consider that? Sen. Aaron Bean, the sponsor, explained it the other day. As reported by FloridaPolitics.com, the Fernandina Beach Republican told the Senate ethics committee that in the main he wants a fifth position on the Cabinet to avoid tie votes that require the governor to be on the prevailing side or…

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Jeff Atwater leaving office early to take job at Florida Atlantic University

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Jeff Atwater announced Friday that, following the conclusion of the 2017 legislative session, he would leave office to become vice president for strategic initiatives and chief financial officer at Florida Atlantic University. The move will allow Gov. Rick Scott and Atwater’s remaining Cabinet colleagues to name someone to fill the remainder of his second term as chief financial officer, which runs through early 2019. “I am honored to join FAU in such a significant capacity,” Atwater said in a written…

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Lobbying firms misreported income, ethics panel finds

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Three Florida lobbying concerns are being reported to Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet for incorrectly tallying their income, the Florida Commission on Ethics said Wednesday. In at least two of the cases, however, the errors were basic accounting mistakes. Lobbyists’ compensation is subject to random audits, some of which are reviewed by the commission. In a press release, the commission said it found probable cause to believe Dean Mead, a law firm with a lobbying practice, “inaccurately reported compensation received…

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Five nominees slated for Law Enforcement Hall of Fame

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As many as five people – including a former FDLE head and two late county sheriffs – will likely be added to the Florida Law Enforcement Officers’ Hall of Fame, according to documents filed for the next Cabinet meeting. Cabinet aides meet today to prepare for the next meeting, set for next Tuesday. Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen will present Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam with…

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State’s DHSMV seeking permission to use drones

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The state’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) will ask lawmakers next session to consider legislation to “allow law enforcement to use drones for traffic crash management.” The proposed bill is part of a “legislative concepts” package Executive Director Terry Rhodes plans to present at Tuesday’s Florida Cabinet meeting. The state law governing drones, the Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act, already includes an exception for “aerial mapping.” But a DHSMV spokeswoman says it doesn’t apply to the agency. The department reports to Gov.…

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