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Jon Steverson

Personnel note: Jonathan Kilman joins Hispanic Chamber board

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Foley & Lardner lobbyist and partner Jonathan Kilman has been appointed to the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce‘s Board of Governors and the its newly-formed Strategy Committee, the group announced Wednesday. “We did our homework and Jonathan is regarded as a widely respected and visionary leader who understands the intersection of business and policy in Florida,” said Julio Fuentes, President and CEO of the Chamber, in a statement. “FSHCC is proud to welcome Jonathan’s leadership.”

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Sources: Noah Valenstein set to become next DEP head

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Noah Valenstein, Gov. Rick Scott‘s former environmental policy coordinator, has the inside track to become the next secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, sources tell FloridaPolitics.com. Valenstein, now the executive director of the Suwannee River Water Management District, is the top pick over interim secretary Ryan Matthews. Scott and the Cabinet in February OK’d Matthews to serve as interim department head to fill in for departing secretary Jon Steverson. He quit in January to join the legal-lobbying firm of Foley & Lardner. Valenstein attended an August 2014 meeting in…

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DEP responds to House records request, defends payment of legal bills

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The state’s Department of Environmental Protection on Friday night released its response to the House of Representatives’ request for documentation of the legal billing in a longstanding river water use fight against Georgia. Interim DEP Secretary Ryan Matthews also sent a letter, saying his agency had “denied more than $3 million in expenses and hourly charges submitted by outside counsel.” A cursory review of the records shows not only invoices for legal fees but also, for example, a $272,000 contract between DEP…

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Richard Corcoran walks the walk, denies extra $13M for DEP water war

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His job as Florida House Speaker requires Richard Corcoran to make some tough calls, but this one had to be easy for a man whose stated mission is to clean up the way Tallahassee operates. While some politicians talk with a swagger (here’s looking at you, Marco Rubio) but don’t want the ball when the game is on the line, Corcoran has shown that his deeds match his words. He was at it again Monday when the Florida Department of…

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Rick Scott not bothered by Jon Steverson’s departure

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Gov. Rick Scott suggested he wasn’t bothered by one of his agency heads overseeing the flow of millions of dollars to a law firm that he’s now going to work for. Scott spoke to reporters after Tuesday’s Florida Cabinet meeting. “We have people that come to work for the state and they work hard,” Scott told reporters. “And (then) they find opportunities. That’s just part of the process.” Jon Steverson, secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, quit last Friday, reportedly…

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Richard Corcoran: House won’t OK legal money for DEP

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House Speaker Richard Corcoran late Monday said his chamber won’t agree to hand over any more money for the Department of Environmental Protection to pay its legal bills until the agency gives a full accounting of what’s already been spent. Corcoran was reacting to the DEP’s request to the Joint Legislative Budget Commission for an additional $13 million to pay outside legal counsel in an ongoing court fight between Georgia and Florida over water use. (Earlier story here.) The commission is scheduled to take up the request Tuesday. Coincidentally,…

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“Water war” could cost the state another $13M in legal fees

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water use

The state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has busted its outside legal expenses budget over the ongoing ‘water war’ between Georgia and Florida, legislative records show. It’s asking for an additional $13 million from the Joint Legislative Budget Commission, which meets Tuesday — and even that may not be enough. Gov. Rick Scott‘s office approved the request to the commission, made up of House and Senate members, for “litigation costs.” “This increase is necessary to meet projected expenditures for outside counsel as…

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