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Group files to place menorah in Capitol rotunda

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A rainbow-colored pole with a disco ball on top may not be the only holiday display in the Florida Capitol rotunda this season. On Monday, a Department of Management Services spokeswoman said one other group had filed to place a display: Chabad Lubavitch of Tallahassee and FSU filed to place a 9-foot-tall menorah, representing the traditional nine-taper candle holder used during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. Hanukkah began Sunday evening and ends next Monday evening, Dec. 14. The application was not filed until this past Thursday and…

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Gay pride pole is only Capitol holiday display submitted so far

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T’is the season (almost), but so far the Gay Pride version of the Festivus pole is the only display to ask for placement in the Capitol Rotunda. As of Tuesday, South Florida blogger Chaz Stevens had submitted the only application for a holiday display, according to a spokeswoman for the Department of Management Services, the state’s real estate manager. Even then, there’s no guarantee his offering for this year — a rainbow-colored pole with a disco ball on top — will make it…

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Meet Marlene Williams, one of the ’30 under 30′ rising stars of Florida politics

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When General Motors needs the Legislature to know its concerns, it turns to Marlene Williams. She’s the Southeast Regional Manager of Government Relations for the auto company, responsible for Florida, Alabama, and South Carolina. Williams learned her trade in the capital, having been legislative affairs director for the Department of Management Services under Gov. Rick Scott. She began in lobbying at a private law firm. She and her husband, Andrew, live in Tallahassee with their daughter, Mae Marie. Here’s Williams in her own words: I am … 28…

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Out of AT&T vs. Harris, Florida sued once again over handling of public records

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Two telecommunications companies contend in a new lawsuit that the administration of Gov. Rick Scott is flouting the state’s public records law. The lawsuit is an outgrowth of a dispute over a nearly $400 million state contract the Scott administration recently awarded to a subsidiary of Florida-based Harris Corp. AT&T and a contractor working with them allege in the lawsuit filed late Thursday that the state agency handling the contract is refusing to turn over emails and documents provided to…

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State law enforcement radio money spared Gov. Scott’s veto ax

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Gov. Rick Scott vetoed more than $461 million in state spending this morning, or about six percent of all appropriations in the 2015-2016 budget. It was his second largest spilling of red ink over line items since acting on his first General Appropriations Act in office — when he nixed some $615 million in 2011’s $70 billion budget. Not on the chopping block: $7 million to replace state law enforcement radios that have “reached their end-of-life or end of support date,” to…

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Richard Corcoran swears he’ll ‘crack the status quo’ — even if it takes his last breath

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An overhaul of state group health insurance benefits moved one step closer to the floor on Tuesday with House Appropriations Chairman Richard Corcoran declaring that he’d spend his last breath as a legislator altering the healthcare program. Before passing the measure, HB 7097, the committee tagged on an amendment that bill sponsor state Rep. Jason Brodeur says “puts meat on the bones” with respect to a requirement effective next year that employees pay higher premiums if they enroll in the…

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