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Jimmy Patronis is sworn in as Chief Financial Officer

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Former state Rep. and Public Service Commissioner Jimmy Patronis was sworn in Friday morning as the state’s fourth Chief Financial Officer. Patronis took the oath of office in the Governor’s office, given by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga, and standing next to wife Katie and sons Theo and Johnny. “Thank you for allowing me to partake in this incredible honor,” the Panama City Republican told them. “I look forward to keeping up the same standards and values that CFO (Jeff) Atwater…

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Donald Trump auditions Cabinet prospects high above Manhattan

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Donald Trump held court from his perch high above Manhattan on Monday, receiving a line of former rivals, longtime allies and TV executives while overseeing a presidential transition that at times resembles a reality show like the one he once hosted. Trump met with nearly a dozen prospective hires, all of whom were paraded in front of the cameras set up in the Trump Tower lobby as they entered an elevator to see the president-elect. Out of public view himself,…

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Darryl Paulson: It’s time to let more felons vote in Florida

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Few things divide voters more than giving criminals the right to vote, even if they are former criminals. The issue will likely receive additional attention with the decision by Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe to use his executive power to extend voting rights to all 206,000 felons in his state. Even murderers, rapists and other violent felons will have their voting rights restored. Critics raise several objections. First, they say the governor, acting alone, does not have the authority to…

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Florida debt rises slightly after 4 years of decline

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Florida’s amount of debt is rising after dropping four straight years. That’s according to an annual report presented Tuesday to Gov. Rick Scott and members of the Cabinet. The new report shows that Florida’s overall debt stood at $25.7 billion at the end of June. That’s an increase of $1.5 billion over the previous fiscal year. The increase was primarily because of money borrowed to cover the expansion of Interstate 4 in Central Florida. Scott pointed out during the presentation…

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Environmental Secretary Jon Steverson reapplies for his job

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Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Jon Steverson has reapplied for his job, agency staff confirmed Friday night. Before being named Secretary by Gov. Rick Scott earlier this year, Steverson served as the executive director of the Northwest Florida Management District. Steverson previously worked for DEP 2011-2012 as special counsel and acting deputy secretary for water policy before being asked by Scott to serve as secretary during the governor’s second administration. Steverson is reapplying for the post amid a controversy surrounding…

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