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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

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With a tip of the hat to Legislative IQ powered by LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round. Off: Shirley Proctor is no longer administrative assistant to the Senate Committee on Judiciary. On: Joyce Butler has become the new administrative assistant for Judiciary. Off & On: Ned Luczynski has become policy chief for the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee after leaving his role as policy chief for the House Business & Professions Subcommittee. Off: Tom Cooper is no longer policy chief…

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Today on Context Florida: GOP flips the bird, Baltimore, Earth Day and tainted FBI testimony

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Today on Context Florida: With nearly four days left in the Florida Legislature’s regular session, Speaker Steve Crisafulli and House Republicans essentially flipped us the bird and flew home, says Daniel Tilson. The political class in Tallahassee likes to call such adjournment of each year’s session by its traditional Latin name, Sine Die. But given the shocking way it went down, no such lofty labels are in order. Steven Kurlander says the lessons of Baltimore are that Americans need to wake…

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Florida Legislature passes expanded access to overdose treatment drug

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Florida lawmakers approved a medication that could save lives during a drug overdose, with a bill now awaiting Gov. Rick Scott’s signature. On Tuesday, the Legislature passed SB 758/HB 751, known as the Emergency Treatment for Opioid Overdose Act, which increases availability of Naloxone, a drug that immediately reverses effects of opioids — prescription painkillers, heroin and the like — in the event of an overdose. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 44,000 people lost their lives to…

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Bill delay septic waste ban passes House with calls for study, springs protection

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A bill that delays a ban on the disposal of septic tank waste on farm fields across the state passed the House in anticipation of a state study of the waste disposal practice. Florida has 2.6 million septic tanks scattered across the state that annually produce 100 million gallons of waste, called septage, when they are pumped out. About 40 percent is spread at 88 land application sites across the state, according to the Florida Department of Health. In 2010,…

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Jim Waldman lends himself $200k to jump start Senate campaign

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Former Coconut Creek city commissioner and former state Rep. Jim Waldman has kicked in $200,000 of his own money to his bid to succeed Margate state Sen. Jeremy Ring in the state Senate, according to recent filings with the Division of Elections. Waldman is putting his money where his mouth is with a substantial personal investment in taking over for the term-limited Ring, who like Waldman is known as a well-heeled Democrat capable of bringing home the bacon, both personally and in the…

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Kristin Jacobs joins NICHI to oversee leadership training on water issues

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State Rep. Kristin Jacobs has joined the National Institute for Coastal & Harbor Infrastructure (NICHI) as national director of leadership development. The Coconut Creek Democrat is a former Broward County mayor and currently represents House District 96, which covers the cities of Coconut Creek and Margate. Jacobs’ water management experience includes a key role in the 2011 Broward Leaders Water Academy, a panel that addressed several water-related issues in South Florida and specifically Broward County. In 2013, President Barack Obama…

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Tampa Bay Times finally arrives at the kratom party

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Somebody has to be first, right? Last month, Florida Politics reported on the surge of kratom, a plant-based product used as a homeopathic medicine that has begun to concern Florida authorities. Traditionally, kratom leaves — an herb indigenous to Thailand and Malaysia — are chewed to treat a variety of ailments: reducing pain, an anti-diarrhea agent, and to reduce dependence on opiates. Kratom is also thought to give users energy and decrease symptoms of opiate withdrawal, as well as (allegedly) extending…

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