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The next redistricting fight: Who pays the attorneys?

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The Florida Legislature is continuing to oppose an effort by the plaintiffs’ attorneys to get their fees paid by state government now that the congressional redistricting case has been closed. Lawyers for House and Senate filed more legal authority with the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday to support their position that the opposing lawyers are “not entitled to an award of attorney’s fees.” Last month, the court gave its final OK to a redrawn version of the state’s 27 congressional districts, three years…

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Environmental community scores big in Florida House on Tuesday

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The Everglades Foundation, Audubon Florida, the Nature Conservancy, and the H2O Coalition of the Associated Industries of Florida. What do all of these political players have in common? They scored a massive victory Tuesday all thanks to the Florida House of Representatives. A loud symphony of applause came in the form of a three-page news release where countless groups praised and thanked House Speaker Steve Crisafulli for his support and commitment toward dedicating funding to “Legacy Florida,” a measure that includes cleanup for the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee, CERP and other…

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Corrine Brown lambastes state Supreme Court over congressional redistricting

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Despite questions on many parts of the map, the Florida Supreme Court Tuesday focused on South Florida during the final scheduled oral argument in an ongoing congressional redistricting challenge. That inflamed Democratic U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, whose north-south district had been ordered changed by the court to an east-west configuration. That district didn’t get a mention. Brown, wearing a University of Florida shawl, harangued reporters afterward on the courthouse steps. Her 5th Congressional District, called one of the most gerrymandered in the country, meanders…

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House lawyer: Congressional districts don’t need to be perfect

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The outside lawyer for the Florida House of Representatives argued in a legal brief against a set of suggested congressional district boundaries in part by saying there’s no legal requirement “to create the ‘best’ possible districts.” George Meros, a Tallahassee attorney who also represented then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential recount, says the court “should adopt the House Map.” Briefs were filed in advance for Tuesday afternoon’s oral arguments before the Florida Supreme Court in the congressional redistricting challenge. Meros’ brief criticizes…

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Mike Fasano op-ed on Richard Corcoran: ‘A finer public servant would be hard to find’

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My good friend Speaker-Designate Richard Corcoran is poised to take over the reins of the Florida House of Representatives for the 2016-2018 term. I’ve known Richard for more than 30 years. A finer public servant would be hard to find. He has the skills, abilities and Tallahassee “know-how” to be an effective leader. He knows how to “get the job done.” Richard is also a committed family man whose wife and six children are truly his pride and joy. His…

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Fla. Supreme Court says it will have final word on redistricting

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The Florida Supreme Court on Friday said it will have the last word on redrawing the state’s congressional district map. In a nine-page order, the court told Circuit Judge Terry Lewis to hear from all sides and “then make a recommendation to (this) Court … as to which map proposed by the parties – or which portions of each map – best fulfills the specific directions (of) the Court … and all constitutional requirements.” The justices made clear that its final decision on the map will be binding. “The Court notes that the judiciary…

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Recapping the 2015 Legislative Session with Reps. Chris Sprowls and James Grant

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

State Reps. Chris Sprowls and James “Jamie” Grant met with the public earlier this week for a wrap up on Florida’s 2015 Legislative Session. Topics ranged from education, redistricting and Medicaid expansion, to conservation, renewable energy and open source data. Last year, the same meeting, sponsored by the Council of North County Neighborhoods (CNCN), led to this year’s passage of House Bill 643 (sponsored by Sprowls and Grant )which deals with termination of a condominium association. “You have corporations that come in…

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