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Justin Senior on the hot seat for AHCA’s negative analysis of Senate FHIX plan

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The Senate’s plan to expand access to healthcare access may not pass during the 2015A special session but the Florida Senate isn’t going down without a fight. The Senate Appropriations Committee members on Tuesday grilled Deputy Secretary for Medicaid Justin Senior for more than one hour, making it abundantly clear that the Senate did not appreciate what it considered to be political interference from the Agency for Health Care Administration and its Secretary Liz Dudek, whose boss is Gov. Rick…

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Patrick Murphy announces endorsements by almost half of Democratic state lawmakers

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U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy has been racking up major Democratic endorsements at a rapid clip since he launched his bid for the U.S. Senate back in late March. On Thursday he continued that trend, announcing via news release that he has secured the support of 25 sitting Florida state legislators. “From South Florida to Tampa, from Orlando to the Panhandle, people are joining this campaign to get Washington working for Florida,” said Murphy in a written statement.  He continued: “I am overwhelmed to…

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Senate panel approves abortion waiting-period

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State Sen. Anitere Flores’ bill requiring women seeking an abortion to wait 24 hours after a face-to-face meeting with their doctor is on its way to the Senate floor. The Fiscal Policy Committee approved SB 724 Monday on a party-line vote. Current law allows women to decline discussing the stage of fetal development and possible side effects of an abortion, but Flores’s proposal mandates a meeting take place before performing the abortion. State Sen. Gwen Margolis tried to amend Flores’ proposal…

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Gwen Margolis’ ‘palcohol’ ban progresses in Senate

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A bill to prohibit the sale of powdered alcohol — known in industry lingo as ‘palcohol’ — before it has even arrived at Florida retailers passed another test in the Senate on Thursday. The ban was unanimously approved by the Rules Committee. State Sen. Gwen Margolis’ SB 998 now awaits a vote by the full Senate. Brandon state Sen. Tom Lee spoke for a lot of casual observers as well as his panel-mates when he asked Margolis — like Lee, a former Senate president…

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The week ahead at the Florida Capitol

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This week at the Florida Capitol battle lines will be formally drawn for the 2015 state budget debate. Both the House and Senate will hold floor sessions to discuss their respective budgets. Each chamber could approve a state spending plan for next year by week’s end, and given that they are presently separated by $4.2 billion the two are poised to deliver to the other a bureaucratic slap-across- the-face challenge to a duel. The differences in the spending plans can…

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Andrew Korge kicks off state Senate campaign with pol-studded fundraiser

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In what is shaping up to be an expensive battle to succeed former Senate President Gwen Margolis in District 35, Andrew Korge starts his campaign with a fundraiser with an impressive roster of supporters filled with major Democratic contributors and elected officials from all over Miami-Dade. Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, Cutler Bay Mayor Peggy Bell, South Miami Mayor Phillip Stoddard and Palm Beach State Attorney Dave Aronberg are among the 25 current and former electeds on the host committee, which is still in formation. A copy of the invitation…

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Florida Senate passes concealed carry bill during emergencies

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Last year, a proposal in Tallahassee that would allow people to carry a concealed weapon without a license while evacuating an emergency was met with resistance from law enforcement, and didn’t come to pass. But after bill sponsor Jeff Brandes made some tweaks this year, the Florida Sheriffs Association endorsed it, and that seemed to be the difference at it cleared the Senate this morning on a 29-10 vote. The biggest change that Brandes made was limiting the time that…

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