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Rick Scott: No hard feelings between him and Richard Corcoran

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Chalk it up to “passion.” Or politics. Gov. Rick Scott, speaking to reporters after a Wednesday bill signing, explained away the open tension between him and House Speaker Richard Corcoran after the House this year tried to gut VISIT FLORIDA and do away with economic development organization Enterprise Florida, his two favored state agencies. By the end of the recent Special Session, however, lawmakers agreed to the creation of an $85 million Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to be controlled by Scott,…

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Gary Farmer to Rick Scott: Veto ‘dreadful’ HB 7069

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A new state senator who is also a prominent trial attorney is telling Gov. Rick Scott to veto a contentious education policy bill, saying it’s a brew of “bad policy” and “a textbook example of a failure in government transparency.” Sen. Gary Farmer, a Parkland Democrat, wrote a 2-page letter to Scott Tuesday on HB 7069, which critics have said will benefit charter schools to the detriment of traditional public schools. “This dreadful piece of legislation, if signed into law,…

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Andrew Gillum takes a swipe at Rick Scott’s ‘victory tour’

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Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democratic candidate for governor in 2018, is slamming Gov. Rick Scott‘s and House Speaker Richard Corcoran‘s “victory tour.” Saying he’s standing up for public schools, Gillum released a statement Tuesday in the wake of Scott’s announcement of a five-city “Fighting for Florida’s Future Victory” tour to “celebrate the major wins for Florida families and students during last week’s legislative Special Session.” Corcoran plans to join him on some of the stops, set for Miami, West Palm Beach,…

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Legislature adjourns sometimes-bumpy special session in a burst of amity

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The Legislature concluded its special session with about an hour and 20 minutes to spare Friday, after voting to improve funding for public schools, colleges, and universities, and revamping the way the state encourages economic growth. While they were at it, the lawmakers passed an implementing bill for the medical marijuana constitutional amendment the voters approved last year. House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron gaveled their chambers into adjournment at around 4:40 p.m. — well in advance…

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We have a deal: Lawmakers agree to increase money for higher ed and Hoover dike

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Gov. Rick Scott expanded the call of the Legislature’s special session Friday to include money he wants to repair the Herbert Hoover Dike and higher education investments important to the Senate. House Speaker Richard Corcoran had proposed both items in a letter to Scott earlier in the day. Meanwhile, the Senate went into recess pending what President Joe Negron referred to as “an amendment being prepared based on current developments.” Corcoran posited the dam project as economic development spending, fully compatible…

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Joe Negron doubles down: He was not party to any special session deal

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Senate President Joe Negron insisted Thursday, for the second time in as many days, that he emphatically was not party to any deal between Gov. Rick Scott and the House over public education spending and economic incentives. Any suggestion otherwise, Negron told reporters following the day’s Senate session, is a “false narrative.” There is evidence, he said — absence of reference to him in the governor’s special session proclamation, and of any quote from a press release announcing the session. He…

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As Special Session opens, the Florida Senate asserts its prerogatives

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That deal everyone assumed Gov. Rick Scott struck with legislative leaders to ensure a smooth special session? It didn’t exist. At least, it didn’t include Senate President Joe Negron. Scott invited him to Friday’s press conference held to announce that he was calling a three-day special session on education, Visit Florida, and Enterprise Florida, Negron said Wednesday. He went out of respect for the governor, but there was no meeting of minds. “It was very clear to the governor, in my…

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