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Tampa Bay Water approves 2018 budget, without raising prices

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Florida’s largest wholesale water provider has approved a budget for next year, without raising prices to Tampa Bay-area consumers. Tampa Bay Water’s board of directors approved the agency’s fiscal year budget Tuesday, keeping its wholesale drinking water rate at $2.56 per 1,000 gallons, for the seventh consecutive year. “Tampa Bay Water’s board is committed to providing clean, safe and reliable water at an affordable price,” said TBW chief financial officer Christina Sackett. The company expects a 7.2 million gallon per…

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Gwen Graham touts endorsements from Jon Mills, environmental leaders

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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham has picked up endorsements from former House Speaker Jon Mills and two longtime environmental leaders, Nathaniel Reed, and Manley Fuller, all declaring confidence in her environmental protection policies. Graham has made environmental issues forefront in her campaign so far, picking up on a priority practiced by her father, former Gov. Bob Graham. “The love we all have for Florida would not be complete without our environment. Protecting our precious land and water used to be a…

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Guns, gambling and taxes: Legislators return to work

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Once the Florida Legislature kicks off its 60-day Session March 7, legislators are expected to pass, or kill, dozens of measures dealing with everything from abortion to gambling and the environment. So far, more than 2,000 bills have been filed, but in the end, legislators usually pass fewer than 300 pieces of legislation each year. Here’s a look at some of the top issues this Session: DEATH PENALTY: Florida legislators are expected to quickly pass a measure that would require…

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Hoping to curb pollution, Randy Fine bill would require inspection of septic tanks

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A new bill filed today by Rep. Randy Fine, who represents House District 53, would aim to solve the Indian River Lagoon’s septic tank crisis and help all of Florida’s water quality by requiring the inspection of septic tanks as part of home and other real estate sales. The Indian River Lagoon was revealed last year to have been polluted by human waste leaking from faulty septic tanks. The number of septic tanks in the area is unknown, but estimated to…

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Trial set to begin in Florida and Georgia’s fight over water

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Florida and Georgia this week are taking their long-standing fight over the supply of water in their shared watershed to court. Arguments are expected to last for weeks, and the result could affect millions of people and major industries in both states. The dispute centers on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. The watershed drains nearly 20,000 square miles in western Georgia, eastern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Florida claims that Atlanta and southwest Georgia farmers are using too much water and…

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Charlie Dean and Matt Caldwell: Criticism of new water law off-base

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Both the Florida House and Senate are off to a great start in the 2016 Session, having passed significant legislation expanding job and education opportunities for people with disabilities and approving a historic water bill. Thanks to Gov. Rick Scott, both of those bills are now law. The comprehensive water bill has been the subject of newspaper editorials around the state, and now that it’s the law, Floridians deserve to know the many benefits it will provide. During this policymaking…

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Are environmental groups becoming the new gaming interests?

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Industry “food fights” are nothing new, with a few running battles that go on for so long, opponents forget what the fight was originally all about. What they know is they just don’t want the other guys to win. Disputes over the Seminole Compact (or other gaming bills for that matter) rarely pass the Legislature simply because one party doesn’t want the other to gain ground – even if they are forced to sacrifice something on their end. Joining gaming…

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