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Take it to court: Florida Senate sued over doomed website

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Florida taxpayers have already spent $5 million on a state budget website that never went public. Now litigation over the failed project could cost another $200,000. The Florida Senate hired a Tallahassee-based contractor six years ago to create the website to help the public understand the state budget. Legislative officials say it didn’t work as intended and never went online.

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Jack Latvala: State needs to spend $20 million more on opioid crisis

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Republican candidate for governor Jack Latvala, who’s been aggressive in saying that Florida needs to do more to deal with the exploding opioid epidemic, on Monday called on Gov. Rick Scott to fund another $20 million to address the problem. Latvala, a Clearwater state senator and Appropriations Committee chair, also is calling on Scott to immediately extend the executive order he originally signed in May, declaring the opioid crisis to be a public health emergency in Florida.

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Richard Corcoran releases new committee assignments

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House Speaker Richard Corcoran released his committee assignments for the 2018 Legislative Session Thursday with just a few changes from 2017, notably some freshmen getting vice chairmanships and new chairs for the Ways and Means and Commerce Committees. Corcoran’s changes in committees look more like mid-term adjustments for the two-year term, rather than the wholesale reshuffling that Senate President Joe Negron announced earlier this week for that chamber’s committees.

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Lawmakers take aim at opioid crisis

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Senate Appropriations Chair Jack Latvala held a roundtable discussion Tuesday in Palm Beach County with lawmakers, local leaders and public-safety officials to address Florida’s opioid crisis.

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Personnel note: Joe Negron appoints Ken Kahn to EFI board

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Ken Kahn was appointed to the Enterprise Florida (EFI) Board of Directors, Senate President Joe Negron announced Monday. The appointment begins immediately and expires July 5, 2021. “Ken understands firsthand the opportunities available to businesses seeking to locate or expand here in Florida,” Negron said. “He has a strong educational background and the diverse business and community service experiences needed to excel in this position. I am confident Ken will be a strong advocate for Florida businesses, and I am grateful…

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Now cancer-free, Dorothy Hukill says, ‘I’m back’

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After being pronounced cancer-free earlier this year, state Sen. Dorothy Hukill says she “feel(s) great” and already is “excited” to return to Tallahassee for next year’s Legislative Session. She’s also back in the saddle in her district. The Port Orange Republican’s schedule is packed this week: There’s a grand-opening event for a Titusville space-supplies firm, a speech at the Titusville Chamber of Commerce, and post-Legislative Session round-ups before the Lake Helen City Commission and at the Daytona Regional Chamber of…

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Joe Negron’s personal wealth nears $1 million

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Senate President Joe Negron‘s net worth is now over $950,000, according to a financial disclosure filed last week with the Florida Commission on Ethics. Negron’s net worth as of Dec. 31, 2016 was $952,634, his filing shows. That’s up 15 percent from his 2015 reported worth of $828,646. As income, he listed $278,887 from the Gunster law firm and his $28,502 pay as a state lawmaker. In January, Negron—a Stuart Republican—quit Gunster, saying his decision was spurred by its representation of…

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