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Florida Legislature

Florida’s cost for losing lawsuits keeps growing

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida’s price tag for losing legal battles – which has included courtroom fights over drug testing, voting rights and gay marriage – continues to grow under Gov. Rick Scott. Scott recently agreed to pay $1.1 million to cover the legal bills of physicians and medical organizations in their successful challenge of a law that restricted doctors’ ability to talk to patients about guns. The law had been pushed through the Florida Legislature at the urging of the National Rifle Association.

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Squeezed: Supreme Court denies challenge of citrus veto

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Florida Supreme Court Thursday dismissed a challenge of Gov. Rick Scott‘s veto of reimbursements to homeowners whose healthy citrus trees were torn down by the state. The homeowners had asked the court to undo Scott’s veto of more than $37 million by filing a petition for writ of mandamus, an order to an elected official to perform a certain action. In a 6-1 decision, the court declined, mentioning lower court actions that had been filed.

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Leslie Waters: ‘Home rule matters’

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

It was my honor to be elected to the Florida Legislature from 1998 to 2006. Currently, I serve proudly as the mayor of the city of Seminole. The 2017 Florida Legislature blatantly conducted a ‘war on cities.’ The home rule provision in the Florida Constitution was ignored, stomped on, mocked, and decimated. It was shocking and egregious! Home rule is the right of local self-government, including the powers to regulate for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare;…

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Legislative leaders announce committee week schedule

in 2017 by

Florida lawmakers will head back to Tallahassee in mid-September to kick-off the 2018 Legislative Session. Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran outlined the interim committee week schedule in memos to their respective members Thursday. The schedule, as it stands right now, includes one week in September, two weeks in October and November, and one in December. The first week of committee meetings begins on or after 1 p.m. on Sept. 12. Members will then return for meetings…

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Jose Javier Rodriguez: We’re being called back to bless backroom deal

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Democrats staked out their contempt for the stated purpose of the Legislature’s Special Session today with state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriquez saying lawmakers are being called in to bless a backroom deal to give the governor a slush fund. Rodriguez, of Miami, and state Rep. Shevrin Jones of West Park decried what they described as a cynical process for Gov. Rick Scott and Republican legislative leaders to get what they want in exchange for $2015 million in education funding that…

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Split appeal court upholds Rick Scott’s 2015 veto of firefighters’ $2,000 raise

in Statewide by

The governor’s constitutional authority to veto budget line items trumps a state law requiring him to bow to the Legislature when it resolves labor collective bargaining impasses, a divided 1st District Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. The majority conceded that, under the state Labor Code, “any actions taken by the Legislature shall bind the parties” — meaning a public employee union and the governor. “Based primarily on a statute, appellant asks us to recognize a limitation on the governor’s constitutional…

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Carlos Guillermo Smith, Amy Mercado say special session needed to end cannabis legal limbo

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Saying that the current limbo of law is bad for doctors and patients, Democratic state Reps. Carlos Guillermo Smith and Amy Mercado pleaded with Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Legislature leaders to call a special session to deal with medical marijuana. “We are here because 71 percent of Florida voters approved the constitutional right to medical cannabis. But we also are here because unfortunately once again Tallahassee politicians have thwarted the will of the people and they have refused to…

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