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2016 Legislative Food Fights: Legal, judicial reforms again on lawmakers’ to-do list

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They don’t get as much attention as policy debates that gum up and even fracture legislative sessions (think Medicaid expansion), but a slew of proposed legal-related changes will be before legislators this year – some new, some old standbys. For instance, the Legislature will try to overhaul Florida’s alimony law for at least the third time in recent years. The same sides have aligned against each other: Ex-spouses – largely men – who say “forever alimony” isn’t fair, and their former mates – mostly women…

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Miami senator aims to increase organ donations

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A Democratic state lawmaker has filed a bill designed to nudge Floridians toward greater participation in the state’s organ donor program. Miami Sen. Gwen Margolis filed SB 1066 Tuesday, a bill relating to “Anatomical Gifts,” a sincere kind of gift if there ever was one. Specifically, the bill leads drivers seeking to renew their licenses toward the option of becoming an organ donor. The bill has both online and a brick-and-mortar components. For those who re-up their licenses online, the user will be directed…

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Senate submits proposed redistricting map

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In the ongoing saga over state Senate redistricting, everything old is new again. The state Senate on Wednesday disclosed its proposed fix for its gerrymandered districts, a mash-up of two previous maps: One was passed by the Senate, another was drawn but not voted on in the recent Special Session. Because lawmakers couldn’t agree, it’s now up to Circuit Judge George Reynolds to recommend a map to the Florida Supreme Court for adoption. A trial is set for the week of Dec. 14.…

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More Senate district maps filed Monday

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State Sens. Gwen Margolis and Miguel Diaz de la Portilla have filed their own versions of state Senate district maps, according to the chamber’s redistricting website. Margolis, a Miami Democrat, and Diaz de la Portilla, a Coral Gables Republican, submitted maps on Monday afternoon. Margolis filed one; Diaz de la Portilla turned in four. For details on those maps, click here. Those maps are intended to contend with the map favored by Senate Reapportionment Committee Chairman Bill Galvano, and another five…

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Several NPA candidates file in South Florida races over Labor Day weekend

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In a flurry of political activity, several no-party-affiliated candidates filed in South Florida House and Senate seats over the long weekend. Each candidate is associated with a group pushing to reform the Department of Children and Families and the state’s family court system. Mercedes Cristian, the founder of Fundación Lideres de Paz, an organization that aims to help domestic and child abuse victims, filed for the District 35 Senate seat currently held by state Sen. Gwen Margolis on Sept. 3, with…

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David Richardson makes way for Gwen Margolis, will seek House seat in 2016

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State Rep. David Richardson ruffled more than a few Democratic feathers in Miami when he filed paperwork to replace state Sen. Gwen Margolis in Miami’s SD 35 before it was clear she wanted to leave it. Richardson’s new solution? Run for both. As first reported by Ladra in the Political Cortadito, Richardson has backed off his initial plans to run for the Senate in 2016 — before Margolis, a former Senate president and its longest-serving current member, is termed out — and instead…

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Campaigns for Florida Senate’s eight term-limited seats shift into gear

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As of June, none of the 12 Florida senators running for re-election is facing much of a challenge — Democratic state Sen. Jeff Clemens is the only incumbent to draw an opponent so far, but it won’t derail him from another term. District 29 looks set as well, with Democratic state Rep. Jim Waldman having a clear path to take over for outgoing state Sen. Jeremy Ring. The other open seats – Districts 1, 5, 13, 19, 23 and 31…

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