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Florida Bar will focus on ‘protecting the courts’ during constitutional revision process

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The new president of The Florida Bar says the organization is standing by to offer “technical legal” support to the Constitution Revision Commission as it readies to amend the state’s governing document, which could include changes affecting the judicial branch. But Michael J. Higer, a partner in Berger Singerman’s Miami office, won’t say which public proposals already filed he favors—or fears. He assumed the Bar presidency on June 23. “It is too early in the process to focus on any…

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Jeb Bush foundation issues legislative grades; aces for Richard Corcoran, Joe Negron

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House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron aced the 2017 Legislative Session when it comes to school choice, said an organization founded by former Gov. Jeb Bush. Foundation for Florida’s Future gave both Republican lawmakers an “A+” this year and included both on their “honor roll,” which the group says, “recognizes the legislative leaders who championed bold education reforms that keep the promise of a quality education for each and every student.” “His determination to ensure every child,…

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On open records, half Florida’s legislators rate F or D

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Half of Florida’s legislators failed or nearly failed in a review of their support for public records and meetings given by Florida newspapers and an open-government group after this year’s legislative sessions. In a “scorecard” produced by the Florida Society of News Editors and based on information provided by Florida’s First Amendment Foundation — which tracked a priority list of public records exemptions — the 160 legislators totaled three Fs, 77 Ds, 71 Cs, and 9 Bs. Each year FSNE completes a project devoted to Sunshine…

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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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Rick Scott vetoes higher education bill, priority for Joe Negron

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Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a wide-sweeping higher education bill, saying the legislation “impedes the ability of state colleges to meet the needs of the communities and families they serve.” The bill (SB 374) was a top priority for Senate President Joe Negron, who has made improving the State University System a cornerstone of his term as Senate President. The bill, among other things, enhanced policy and funding options for state universities to “recruit and retain exemplary faculty, enhance the quality…

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Denise Grimsley, Kelli Stargel ask Joe Negron to support veto overrides of 2 budget line items

in 2017 by

Two senators have asked Senate President Joe Negron to support expanding the call for a special session to override two line-item vetoes. Sens. Denise Grimsley and Kelli Stargel sent a letter to Negron on Wednesday asking for his “assistant and support in expanding the call for Special Session 2017-A to include the veto override of two budget line items.” Grimsley and Stargel have asked for Negron’s support to override Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of $3 million for Polk State College…

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Lawmakers agree to tackle medical marijuana legislation during Special Session

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Lawmakers reached agreement early Wednesday, hours before the start of this week’s Special Session, to include medical marijuana implementation in the call. After FloridaPolitics.com broke this news, the Florida Senate announced that Sen. Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican, would “file legislation to implement Article X, section 29 of the Florida Constitution, which allows the use of marijuana by patients with debilitating medical conditions. The Senate will consider the bill during this week’s Special Session.” The agreement calls for 10 new…

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