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Rick Scott signs 13 more bills into law

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Gov. Rick Scott on Friday evening announced he had signed another 13 bills from the 2017 Legislative Session into law. Those bills include SB 118, which Scott’s office said would “prevent businesses that publish arrest photos from charging a fee to remove them if requested.” The measure was aimed at the growing number of websites that showcase booking mugshots and charge people who ask for their photos to be taken down. But the bill also includes a section on the “administrative sealing of…

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Rick Scott orders flags at half-staff for officer from Pinellas

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday ordered flags at half-staff to honor Pinellas County’s Joshua Albert Sanchez Montaad, an Agricultural Law Enforcement Officer who died in a wreck while on duty. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Montaad—a 25-year-old from Safety Harbor—was killed in a single car crash this Tuesday on U.S. 19 in Taylor County. “His patrol car left the roadway and struck a tree during a period of heavy rain,” the site said. His “vehicle caught fire and became engulfed in…

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Rick Scott asked to respond to judicial appointments lawsuit

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The Florida Supreme Court has asked Gov. Rick Scott to respond to a lawsuit claiming he doesn’t have authority to appoint three new justices on the last day of his term. The court on Friday gave Scott till July 5 to file a response, with the League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVF) and Common Cause having a July 17 deadline to reply to Scott’s filing. The organizations this week filed a petition for “writ of quo warranto,” a court action against government…

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Personnel note: Karl Rasmussen leaving Governor’s Office

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Karl Rasmussen, Gov. Rick Scott‘s deputy chief of staff, is departing the Governor’s Office for a lobbying job at the Meenan Law Firm, name partner Tim Meenan confirmed Friday. “Watching him from afar, I noticed he is one of the stars in the Capitol,” Meenan said in a phone interview. “He’s quiet, diligent and effective—the first thing you notice about him is his calm demeanor.” Rasmussen, a deputy chief of staff since late 2014, will focus his lobbying efforts in some of…

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Don’t estoppel believing: Now it’s a law

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After years of unsuccessfully fighting its way through the Legislature, the estoppel bill is now law. Gov. Rick Scott Tuesday signed the measure (SB 398), which overhauls the legal process of estoppel letters. It goes into effect July 1. “We are grateful for this compromise that will benefit Florida homeowners, associations, and taxpayers,” said Mark Anderson, Executive Director for Chief Executive Officers of Management Companies (CEOMC). “The Florida House, Senate, and Gov. Scott deserve credit for finally getting this across the finish line.” Estoppel letters, or…

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Rick Scott to sign controversial education policy bill

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Gov. Rick Scott will sign a contentious education policy bill that critics fear will hurt traditional public schools in favor of privately-managed charter schools. The Governor’s Office on Thursday morning announced he will approve “a major education bill” at Morning Star Catholic School in Orlando, “which serves many children who receive the Gardiner Scholarship,” one of the programs affected by the legislation. The bill signing is slated for 3:45 p.m., a press release said. It did not mention the bill by name or…

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Progressive groups sue over Rick Scott’s judicial appointment power

in 2017/Top Headlines by

When Gov. Rick Scott appointed a conservative jurist to the state’s Supreme Court in December, he made clear he wasn’t done. “I will appoint three more justices the morning I finish my term,” he said, referring to the mandatory retirement in early 2019 of the court’s liberal-leaning triumvirate of Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy A. Quince and R. Fred Lewis. Now, two progressive organizations are saying to Scott: Prove you can. They say he can’t. The League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVF)…

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