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HB 7109

Business rent tax cuts still in play this Session

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Florida’s business rent tax is one of the outstanding issues at play as lawmakers crawl toward sine die of the 2017 Legislative Session, set for May 5. As the only state-sanctioned sales tax on commercial leases in the entire nation, a pair of bills now making way through the Florida Capitol that attempt to lighten the load on commercial businesses, which pay more than $1.7 billion in rent taxes every year. Included in the House’s tax package is HB 7109,…

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‘Year of water’ failed along with environmental bills, but some did pass

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Another legislative session dubbed the “year of water” failed to deliver in 2015 as the House went home early over a healthcare spending dispute with the Senate. HB 7003, a water bill that was a legislative priority of House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, passed the House by a 106-9 vote on the second day of session. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and industry groups supported the bill, which would have set milestones and timetables for cleaning up springs and other waterways. The Senate…

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Senate passes Duke/PSC bill after House rejected amendments

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The Senate on Wednesday voted to strip off amendments it passed to a bill involving Duke Energy Florida and financing for its Crystal River nuclear plant and sent the bill to the governor. HB 7109 would allow Duke Energy to issue bonds to cover $1.4 billion in operating costs prior to the shutdown of its Crystal River nuclear plant. Sen. Jack Latvala, sponsor of the Senate companion bill, said the legislation would save Duke customers $600 million over 20 years. But…

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Water, fracking bills die as Senate meets without House

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A House bill establishing comprehensive water policy was amended and passed by the Senate on Wednesday but was dead because the House had adjourned on Tuesday. And House bills dealing with hydraulic fracturing were not voted on in the Senate because their Senate sponsor said they lacked the two-thirds vote needed. The 2015 legislative session continued in an unusual atmosphere on Wednesday with the Senate taking up bills after the House adjourned amid a budget impasse over healthcare spending. A…

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PSC/Duke Energy bill teed up for Senate vote after amendment withdrawn

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A Senate bill amendment to bar legislators from serving on the Public Service Commission within two years of leaving office was withdrawn on Thursday. Stat Sen. John Legg, a Republican from Lutz, had filed the amendment to SB 288, a PSC bill that was brought up on second reading Thursday. The amendment was withdrawn because of a likely rule challenge because the language is contained in another bill SB 170, Legg said. The bill was never heard in a committee.…

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Amendment filed to prevent legislators from going straight to PSC

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State Sen. John Legg says he considers former state Rep. Jimmy Patronis to be a friend and a fine man, but he doesn’t think he should have gone so quickly from the Legislature to the Public Service Commission. And Legg has filed a bill amendment he said is aimed at preventing that from happening in the future. Patronis, a Republican from Panama City, served in the House from 2006 to 2014, when he reached his term limits before being appointed by…

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