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2016 solar energy amendments

Appropriations Committee vote sends solar tax break bill to the Senate floor

in Statewide by

Senate implementing legislation for last year’s solar energy referendum passed its final committee test Thursday, when the Appropriations Committee voted its unanimous approval. The bill by St. Petersburg Sen. Jeff Brandes  would implement $54.5 million in annual solar breaks on local taxes, approved by Florida voters via Amendment 4 in August. SB 90, supported by environmental groups and solar panel installers, lacks the same safety standards and disclosure requirements found in the House version, HB 1351. Brandes said the House is moving…

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Jeff Brandes wants to keep renewable energy bill clean

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A Senate panel approved a bill by St. Petersburg Sen. Jeff Brandes that would implement solar tax breaks approved by Florida voters in last year. More than 70 percent of Florida voters backed Amendment 4 in August, which makes it so the increased value of a home due to renewable energy improvements such as solar panels can’t be included when assessing a property’s value for tax purposes. SB 90, which is supported by environmental groups and solar panel installers, doesn’t…

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Supreme Court reschedules oral argument for “Smart Solar” amendment

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday rescheduled oral arguments for a hotly contested proposed constitutional amendment on solar power. Arguments are now set for 11 a.m. on March 7, the court announced, with no more than 30 minutes allowed for each side. Among other requirements, proposed amendments to the state constitution must be OK’d by the court to ensure they cover only one subject and that their ballot title and summary aren’t misleading. The amendment in question, called “Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice,” is backed…

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Former lobbyist Jack Abramoff comes to Tallahassee to decry big money in solar fight

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Infamous former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff spoke in the state capital Tuesday morning, as he joined forces with fellow conservatives in support of lobbying and ethics reforms. Abramoff’s appearance came amid a heated battle between utilities and environmentalist groups over a pair of solar energy amendments set to appear on Florida ballots in 2016. Abramoff, who pled guilty in 2006 to conspiracy, fraud, and tax evasion in federal court over a scheme to defraud Native American-run casino interests, told reporters special interests are…

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