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Garret Richter

Senate bill amended to ban fracking during study, rule-making

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A bill that would regulate oil and gas hydraulic fracturing was amended by a Senate committee on Tuesday to place a moratorium on the activity until after a study is completed in 2016. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “high-pressure well-stimulation” or “fracking,” is a process involving the use of water, sand and chemicals to extract oil and gas from rock. Supporters say SB 1468 is needed to provide regulation for fracking like that which occurred in 2013 in Collier County. The Florida Department…

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Gov. Rick Scott mum on the hot issue of the 2015 session: Medicaid expansion

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As Medicaid expansion and healthcare access threatens to blow the 2015 legislative session sky high Florida Gov. Rick Scott has remained quiet on where he stands. And there are no signs so far that will change even though the ongoing stalemate over the budget could derail some of Scott’s top priorities for this year’s session. Scott’s press office did not comment on whether Scott supported a Medicaid expansion under the federal healthcare law or a modified Medicaid expansion as proposed…

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John Thrasher inaugurated as FSU president

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A handful of lawmakers broke away from the state Capitol Tuesday afternoon to attend the inauguration of John Thrasher as Florida State University’s 15th president. Thrasher earned two degrees from the university but his path to the presidency began in 1986 when he was elected to the Clay County School Board. From there Thrasher embarked on a career where he became one of the more powerful figures at the state Capitol. As speaker of the Florida House he worked with…

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