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2016 state budget

Policy institute calls final state budget better than Rick Scott’s, but still lacking

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The Florida Policy Institute says the state’s new 2016 budget is better than Gov. Rick Scott’s initial proposal. The nonprofit’s report, though, says the spending plan still lacks adequate investment in health care, public education, prisons and other state services. The report praised the Legislature for killing Scott’s proposed $1 billion tax cut, saying it would just help businesses while reducing resources for urgent needs. It also criticized a tax cut for machinery and equipment the Legislature included, saying it…

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Former Democratic lawmaker Mike Clelland eyeing bid in Senate District 13

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Former Rep. Mike Clelland will pursue a return to Tallahassee in the open SD 13 seat vacated by term-limited Senate President Andy Gardiner, according to multiple Democratic operatives. The Morgan & Morgan attorney and former firefighter has made calls to past supporters to gauge interest in a bid for the Orlando-based Senate seat. One local Democrat told FloridaPolitics.com Clelland was encouraged to run by John Morgan himself, and that the 52-year-old is considering moving closer to the Orange County part of the SD 13, where most of the Democrats in the district…

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Pam Bondi wants to hire more attorneys

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Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says she needs to hire more attorneys to handle a growing number of cases. Bondi this week submitted her 2016 budget request to the Florida Legislature. It included a request to spend nearly $650,000 to hire six more senior attorneys in her criminal and capital appeals division. Under law, Bondi’s office is responsible for handling appeals of any criminal cases prosecuted across the state. The Department of Legal Affairs also represents the state in death…

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