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Pam Bondi’s D.C. trip increases speculation she’s White House bound

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Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is D.C. bound this week, once again increasing speculation that she might be eyeing a job in the White House before her term ends in 2019. Bondi is scheduled to moderate a “women’s empowerment panel” Wednesday, featuring some of the top women in President Donald Trump’s administration. Panelists include Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.…

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Pam Bondi touts $165 million recovered by state’s Medicaid fraud unit

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Florida has proved to be one of the most effective states in the nation last year for recovering Medicaid fraud money. A report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services revealed Florida recovered more than $165 million in otherwise lost funds through fraudulent Medicaid cases during fiscal year 2015-2016, the state’s attorney general said in a statement Thursday. The report shows Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) is working, according to the Office of…

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State lawmakers applaud Florida TaxWatch during annual State of Taxpayer dinner

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State lawmakers applauded Florida TaxWatch this week, hailing the organization for its role in the legislative process. “The folks that formed Florida TaxWatch had a good focus in mind,” said Sen. Jack Latvala. “And as a result of Florida TaxWatch’s efforts, we’ve turned things around.” The taxpayer advocacy group hosted its State of the Taxpayer dinner Wednesday. The annual event is meant to highlight issues affecting the average taxpayer, and features speeches from Latvala, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Attorney General…

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Florida Supreme Court considers voting rights amendment

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The Florida Supreme Court is being asked to approve the wording of a proposed amendment that could allow convicted criminals to vote. Backers of the amendment went before the high court on Monday. Justices must decide whether the amendment is misleading. Florida’s constitution bars people convicted of felonies from being able to vote after they have left prison. Convicted felons must ask to have their voting rights restored. The amendment would allow most convicts to have their rights automatically restored…

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Richard Corcoran, Rick Scott still holding on constitutional panel picks

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With the 2017 Legislative Session fast approaching, House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Gov. Rick Scott still have not released their appointees for the upcoming Constitution Revision Commission. It’s the panel that meets every 20 years to suggest rewrites and additions to the state’s governing document. Chief Justice Jorge Labarga and Senate President Joe Negron have already announced their combined 12 picks. (Those appointments are here and here.) Corcoran last week said he planned to disclose his nine picks next Monday, the day…

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Florida prosecutors can seek death penalty despite questions

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Florida prosecutors can seek the death penalty in ongoing cases despite a state Supreme Court ruling that found a new death penalty law unconstitutional. The court ruled Monday that the death penalty can be applied as long as there is a unanimous jury recommendation. The court ruled last October that a new state law requiring at least a 10-2 jury recommendation is unconstitutional. But Monday it said other aspects of the law are constitutional and prosecutors can proceed in capital…

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Appeals court rules for Perry Thurston in matching funds case

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Perry Thurston Jr., now a state senator, has won the latest round in a court battle over state matching funds for his failed 2014 bid for Attorney General. A unanimous three-judge panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach Wednesday reversed a decision by the state’s Division of Elections, under Gov. Rick Scott, to deny Thurston matching funds for that race. Thurston, a former House Democratic Leader who was term limited in 2014, lost that year’s primary to…

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