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Bill permitting Florida PSC to allow natural gas investments passes Senate committee

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A Florida Senate committee unanimously passed a proposal Tuesday giving electric utilities the opportunity to invest in natural-gas reserves and recoup money from customers. The legislation would allow any Florida power company using natural gas for 65 percent or more of its electricity generation to explore out-of-state for natural gas using residential ratepayer’s money. The bill from Fernandina Beach Republican Aaron Bean bill (SB 1238) is a response to the Florida Supreme Court’s rejection last May to Florida Power & Light’s program of investing ratepayers money…

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Report: Rick Scott committee releases robocall targeting Republicans who support killing Enterprise Florida

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Voters across the state will be getting robo-calls blasting their representative for voting for a bill to kill Enterprise Florida. POLITICO Florida reported that Let’s Get to Work, the political committee backing Gov. Rick Scott, has funded another round of robocalls hitting Republicans who voted for a bill (HB 7005) that would eliminate Enterprise Florida and a slew of other economic incentive programs. “Unfortunately, your state representative … is playing politics with Florida’s jobs,” the ad says, according to POLITICO…

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Autonomous vehicle bill advances in House Committee

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In just the past few years, Florida has emerged as a state willing to go all-in on autonomous vehicle technology. Legislation that removes a requirement that the person operating a vehicle in autonomous mode possess a valid driver’s license — and instead make the autonomous car itself the licensed entity — easily moved Tuesday through the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “It clarifies when engaged, the autonomous technology installed on a vehicle, is deemed to be the operator of a vehicle,…

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Jason Brodeur introduces bill to protect local franchise owners

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Legislation to protect owners of franchise establishments — like McDonalds and 7-Eleven — has been introduced in the Florida House. Sponsored by Sanford Republican Jason Brodeur, HB 1069 would prohibit a franchiser from refusing to renew a franchise unless specific criteria have been met. A group of 7-Eleven franchise owners made their case for such a bill at a Pasco County Legislative Delegation last month, calling for legislation to protect them from having their businesses ripped out from underneath them by their corporate owners.…

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House panel weighs in on nursing home reimbursement proposal

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The House Health Care Appropriation Subcommittee got the ball rolling on discussions about whether the state should change the way it pays nursing homes that accept Medicaid, with some members of the committee expressing concerns about parts of the plan. During the two-hour committee meeting Wednesday, the panel heard from Navigant officials about their proposed Medicaid nursing facility prospective payment system. Under the Navigant plan, nursing homes would be reimbursed using a per diem rate calculated based on four components,…

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House panel approves changes to state employee health insurance program

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A House panel OK’d a proposed committee bill Tuesday aimed at tweaking the state-employee health insurance program. The House Health & Human Services Committee approved the bill (PCB HHS 17-01), which, among other things, would lead to the state plan offering four different levels by 2020. The idea, said Rep. Jason Brodeur, is similar to one that has been heard at some point over the seven different legislative sessions. “It’s a way to return some consumerism to health care, which…

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Jack Latvala, Jason Brodeur aim to protect franchisees

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Legislation that would protect small business owners who enter into franchise agreements was filed Tuesday in the Florida Legislature. State Sen. Jack Latvala and Rep. Jason Brodeur announced their support of the “Protect Florida Small Business Act” (SB 750). The bill’s intent “is to promote fair business relations between franchisees and franchisors and to protect franchisees against unfair treatment by franchisors,” it says. “Therefore, it is necessary to regulate the conduct of franchisors and their representatives in order to prevent fraud, unfair business practices,…

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