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Awake the State

Protests at Marco Rubio’s office say focus is on access, not booting him

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio lost leases on his offices in Tampa and Jacksonville in part because of landlord’s impatience with the incessant barrage of protests out front. Is Orlando next? The plaza in front of the downtown Orlando office building housing Rubio’s Central Florida office was the site of another protest Tuesday, as it has been almost every Tuesday this year. This time, it was For Our Future and other groups pressing a combination of state, local and federal liberal…

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Advocates call on Legislature to focus on working Floridians during annual ‘Awake the State’ event

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State lawmakers aren’t looking out for everyday Floridians, an advocate for one of the state’s largest labor unions said Tuesday. “In 2010, Rick Scott said ‘let’s get to work.’ In 2014, he said ‘let’s keep working,’” said Rich Templin, the legislative and political director for the Florida AFL-CIO. “The problem is, Florida is not working for most of our families and nobody in the building is fighting for them.” Templin was one of several advocates who spoke out during the…

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Session openers: Rick Scott touts enviro spending, Steve Crisafulli warns against land-buying

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House and Senate leaders touted water policy during opening speeches of the legislative session while Gov. Rick Scott again said he’s proposing more than required under Amendment 1. And House Speaker Steve Crisafulli warned that he’s reluctant to support an increase in land-buying despite Amendment 1, the water and land conservation funding initiative approved by 75 percent of voters. The 2015 legislative session began with the usual pomp and glad-handing but somewhat quieter than in recent years in the social…

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2015 Awake the State rallies take on a quieter tone

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Progressive activists across the state are calling on the Florida Legislature to take up five key issues voted on by supporters of the group Progress Florida. During a rally at Spa Beach near the downtown St. Pete Pier, about 20 members of the community announced their agenda that includes raising the minimum wage, expanding health care and Medicaid, ensuring access to clean water and energy and reforming campaign finance laws. “We want to put the progressive agenda in the forefront,” said…

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