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Gary Fineout - page 4

Gary Fineout has 257 articles published.

Legislature at stalemate over new state budget

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

With time running out in this year’s regular session, Florida’s legislative leaders are at a stalemate over a new state budget and are starting to lash out at one another over the breakdown. The first but crucial round of negotiations between the House and Senate fell apart on Sunday. The session is scheduled to end on May 5, but state law requires that all work on the budget be finished 72 hours ahead of a final vote. The lack of…

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House Speaker: Push for tougher ethics laws dead

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

State House Speaker Richard Corcoran says a push to give Florida some of the toughest ethics laws in the nation is dead for this year’s session, and he’s blaming Senate Republicans for showing “zero interest.” The Land O’Lakes Republican pushed to enact several far-reaching proposals, including one that would ban legislators and elected officials from lobbying state government for six years after leaving office. The House overwhelmingly passed them, but the legislation has not moved in the state Senate. The…

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Donald Trump taps lawyer involved with Trump U case for federal job

in 2017/Top Headlines by

As a top aide to Florida’s attorney general, Carlos G. Muniz helped defend the office’s decision to sit out legal action against Trump University. Now the president is naming him to be the top lawyer in the U.S. Education Department. President Donald Trump has announced his intent to nominate Muniz to serve as general counsel to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The Senate would then consider the nomination of the Republican lawyer. Emails reviewed by The Associated Press show that in…

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Florida may pay millions to homeowners for lost citrus trees

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Florida may end a long-running battle and pay millions to homeowners whose healthy citrus trees were torn down in a failed attempt to eradicate citrus canker. The Florida House has $66 million in its proposed budget to pay lawsuits filed on behalf of homeowners in Broward, Lee and Palm Beach counties. There are also lawsuits ongoing in Orange and Miami-Dade counties. Rep. Carlos Trujillo, the House budget chairman, said the payments should be made because courts have already ruled against…

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Divided over dollars: Florida legislators split on spending

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

With about a month left in the regular session, Florida’s Republican-controlled Legislature is on a major collision course over spending. This past week the House and Senate released rival budgets for the coming year that reveal a wide divide between the two chambers on everything from taxes to schools to state worker pay raises. The two sides don’t even have the same bottom line: The Senate’s overall budget is more than $85 billion, or roughly $4 billion more than the…

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Florida may shift students away from failing schools

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Calling it an “emergency,” Florida may agree to spend up to $200 million to shift students from chronically failing schools to charter schools run by private organizations. The idea crafted by House Speaker Richard Corcoran and other top Republicans in the Florida House is this: Offer up money to help build “Schools of Hope” in neighborhoods, many of them in urban and poor areas. The schools would be within 5 miles of or in the zones of existing traditional public…

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State paid law firm for meeting with House Speaker

in Statewide by

Blurring the lines between his role as an up-and-coming Republican legislator and his job as an attorney, the law firm of House Speaker Richard Corcoran once charged the state for a meeting with Corcoran in his capacity as a lawmaker. Newly-released billing records show that in October 2014 the firm of Broad and Cassel charged the state’s economic development agency ahead of a meeting between its affiliate, the state Division of Bond Finance, and Corcoran – putting the meeting in the crosshairs…

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