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Senate, House TED proposals inch closer, bump unresolved items to budget chiefs

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The Senate inched closer to the House Transportation and Economic Development budget Monday night with its third proposal, cutting the difference between the two chambers to a couple dozen line items and disagreements on funding sources. The House and Senate came to terms on the Department of Transportation budget earlier Monday, but still had a wide gulf between their respective plans for the Department of Economic Opportunity. The Senate made steps in closing that gap with it’s third offer, which matched the House position on…

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A squirrely FDOT procurement process gets even stranger

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As Florida Politics reported in April, an ongoing procurement process within the Department of Transportation over a contract worth hundreds of millions has taken some strange turns, including a $3.6 million settlement payment to a firm that was not only ranked third in a competitive bidding process, but also left the State of Florida in a lurch when it previously divested its tolling interests. Things seem to have gotten only more curious since this last report shed light on this high-stakes procurement. To briefly…

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Jeff Brandes makes another run at ending red-light cameras

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State Sen. Jeff Brandes has never been shy about his dislike of red-light cameras. Last year, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability released a stinging report on how local governments use the cameras. In response, Brandes filed legislation to rein in their use. “There are perverse incentives inherent in the red-light camera program,” he said at the time. Although the proposal did not make it in 2014, Brandes takes another run at the cameras Tuesday.  He seeks…

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Orlando City Soccer Club gets specialty license plate under proposed Senate bill

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There could be some purple and gold license plates in the greater Orlando area under a bill being proposed by the Florida Senate. Proposed committee bill 7072 authorizes 12 new specialty plates, including one for Orlando City Soccer Club, the state’s first Major League Soccer team. The plates would cost an additional $25 and the bill directs how that money should be spent. The proposed bill also eliminates from statutes speciaity plates previously authorized, including plates for Correction Foundation —…

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As Florida’s unemployment rate reaches highest level in 24 years, Charlie Crist is pictured at lunch at the ESPN Zone in Manhattan

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Check out this photo snapped on the iPhone of Florida Governor Charlie Crist lunching at the ESPN Zone in Midtown Manhattan. For a guy already under fire for taking 10 weeks off a year, it isn’t a very good “optic” for the Governor to be fundraising out-of-the-state the day after the latest unemployment figures show that Florida’s rate is at its highest in 24 years. Since it is such a pressing issue, should you be back in Florida instead of…

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