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Andrew Gillum, Shevrin Jones lambaste charter school funding plan

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Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum on Wednesday called proposed House funding for charter schools “a giveaway to (House Republicans’) friends and family.” But Gillum at first wouldn’t answer whether he would veto such funding if he were governor, saying instead he would put a “premium” on fully funding the state’s public school system. A spokesman later said he would veto that kind of funding if elected, explaining Gillum “fundamentally believes the bill’s approach is wrong.” The mayor appeared with Democratic state…

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Can Susan Glickman ever shoot straight?

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The House of Representatives’ new lobbying registration regime has ensnared Susan Glickman, Florida director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. House Speaker Richard Corcoran now requires lobbyists to disclose every bill, amendment, and individual appropriation they are trying to influence. Go to the House website, and you’ll see Glickman is registered for four House bills. But not for a fifth that she also testified on recently. That would be HB 1043, which would allow Florida Power & Light the ability to pass…

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Alimony legislation dead for 2017, sponsor says

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Good news for opponents of this year’s alimony overhaul, and bad news for its supporters: The bills are dead for the year. Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, the Naples Republican who’s carrying the Senate version (SB 412), on Wednesday said the chair of its first committee of reference has refused to hear the bill. Rene Garcia chairs the Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs. “Chairman Garcia determined that he was not interested in hearing it and I respect that decision,”  Passidomo said. “I don’t think leadership…

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On so-called funding cuts, Adam Putnam doth protest too much

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Short take: Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is shocked — shocked — that the House flatlined funding for his department’s Rural and Family Lands Protection Program. He also was gobsmacked over what he called a “political assault” on Fresh From Florida. “Gutting the Fresh From Florida program will hurt Florida’s small farms the most, their ability to raise awareness for the high quality of their locally grown products and compete against lesser quality products from foreign countries,” Putnam said in a statement. And “zeroing…

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House trauma center bill clears first hurdle

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trauma centers

A limit on how many trauma centers can open in Florida would be erased under legislation that cleared its first committee Monday. The bill (HB 1077), sponsored by state Rep. Jay Trumbull, was OK’d on a 10-5 vote. Among other things, it also does away with the system of trauma service areas and regions, relieves the Florida Department of Health of setting standards for the centers, and would streamline the process for new ones to open. Trumbull, a Panama City…

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Report: Cary Pigman charged with early morning DUI

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State Rep. Cary Pigman, HD 55

State Rep. Cary Pigman faces a misdemeanor drunk-driving charge in St. Lucie County after a traffic stop late Thursday, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report. The FHP charged the Avon Park Republican as he was driving on Florida’s Turnpike. Pigman, first elected in 2012, is an emergency medicine physician and U.S. Army Reserve doctor who served in Iraq. He chairs the House Health Quality Subcommittee. The Legislature concluded the third week of its annual Session on Thursday.  The arrest report says a…

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Bill banning steroids for greyhounds headed to House

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A bill that would ban injecting racing greyhounds in Florida with anabolic steroids is heading to the House floor. The House’s Commerce Committee approved the bill (HB 743) on Tuesday. Florida is home to 12 of 19 tracks in the United States and one of the few places where the use of steroids is permitted. It’s banned in Great Britain and Australia, where the sport remains popular. State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith — the Orlando Democrat who is the bill…

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