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Gary Fineout - page 35

Gary Fineout has 257 articles published.

Rick Scott, in tough re-election fight, gets help

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Confronting a tough re-election fight Gov. Rick Scott came into his fourth legislative session as governor with a focused, but yet limited agenda that dealt primarily on tax cuts and spending priorities. By the time the Florida Legislature ended its 60-day session, Scott also had waded into a Republican fight over immigration and even tried to gauge support from legislators over a possible gambling deal with The Seminole Tribe of Florida. During his first three years in office Scott’s relationship…

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Legislature approves record $77 billion budget

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Flush with cash, Florida legislators ended their annual session Friday by approving a record state budget that increases money for everything from child welfare to schools to cleaning up water pollution. The Republican-controlled Legislature voted on the budget and then shut down the 60-day session late Friday night. The vote closed out a hectic final day that is expected to set the stage for a crucial election year when Gov. Rick Scott and most legislators will be on the ballot.…

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Legislature expands school voucher program

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Middle-income families in Florida would have a chance to receive a private-school voucher under a significant expansion of the state’s existing program approved Friday by the Florida Legislature. The $300 million program already serves nearly 60,000 families, but the bill would broaden who is eligible to receive the voucher, which is currently limited to low-income families. The vote in both the House and Senate split largely along partisan lines as Republicans defended giving more parents a choice to attend a…

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Florida, Seminole Tribe near new gambling deal

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Gov. Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe of Florida are close to reaching a new deal that could force legislators to once again consider the future of gambling in the state. So far there haven’t been any details released, but legislative leaders have confirmed that Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera met with them this week to let them know a deal with the Hard Rock hotel and casino owner could be reached soon. “We basically said, ‘When you have a deal,…

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Ex-LG Jennifer Carroll didn’t report income

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Former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll failed to report thousands of dollars she earned from a veterans charity that was accused of running an illegal gambling operation, newly released documents show. Carroll abruptly resigned in March 2013 after state investigators questioned the work she did for Allied Veterans of the World before she ran with Gov. Rick Scott. She denied any wrongdoing, but for more than a year there has been no public explanation of why she was initially interviewed by…

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Part of Fla. history — The Grove — to step back into spotlight

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Hidden behind live oaks and magnolias near the Florida Governor’s Mansion, a historic house that symbolizes much of the state’s terrible past and transformation will soon have its doors opened to the public. Crews and contractors are putting the final touches on a substantial renovation of the antebellum mansion known as the Grove just a few blocks north of the state Capitol. Built by one of Florida’s early territorial governors using slave labor, the Grove would later serve as home…

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Gov. Scott’s office: Ask employees for public records, not us

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The administration of Gov. Rick Scott is making a unique legal argument when it comes to handing over public records: Get it from the employees, not us. As part of a bitter ongoing legal battle, attorneys who work for the governor late last month declared that both current and former employees are the “custodians” of any text messages or emails done on personal accounts even if they cover state business. This is a turnabout from past practices in which the…

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