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Senate committee OK’s 3 bills: job protection, veteran IDs, emergency management

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Three bills were passed unanimously Tuesday by members of the Senate Military and Veteran’s Affairs, Space and Domestic Security Committee as legislators shuffled back into the state capital following a long holiday weekend. Gulf Breeze Republican Doug Broxson, the committee’s vice-chair, led the 45-minute meeting. SB 370, introduced by Lakeland Republican Kelli Stargel, requires certain public and private employers to provide up to 15 days “of unpaid leave to an employee engaged in a Civil Air Patrol mission, or training,” prohibiting…

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Tallahassee entrepreneur Rick Kearney boosts Florida Competes campaign with $100K

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Florida’s effort to create statewide anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity received a substantial boost. On Thursday, Tallahassee tech entrepreneur and philanthropist Rick Kearney gave $100,000 to Florida Competes, the coalition of businesses working to pass the Florida Competitive Workforce Act. Kearney’s check is the largest single donation to Florida Competes so far. The bipartisan Workforce Act is once again in the Florida Legislature, filed earlier this month in the House (HB 623) by Democrat Ben Diamond…

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Jeff Clemens bullish on Senate Democrats chances in 2018

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Although Florida Democrats failed to improve their numbers in the state Senate in 2016, Jeff Clemens is very optimistic that in two years their power will increase. “It just so happens that the way it plays out, the Democrats that are up for election in 2018 are in safe Democratic seats, so with the Republicans having to go defend as many as eight seats, there are opportunities,” the Lake Worth Democrat said Thursday night in St. Petersburg. “Whether it’s the two seats in Pinellas,…

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Emily Slosberg at odds with Palm Beach legislative delegation over local texting while driving bills

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Rep. Emily Slosberg is following in her father’s footsteps, and that might not be a good thing. Slosberg, a Boca Raton Democrat, appears to already be at odds with members of the Palm Beach County legislative delegation after a kerfuffle during the recent delegation meeting. At issue: Local bills that would have allowed Palm Beach County Commission to institute stricter texting while driving laws than elsewhere in the state. Slosberg, who said she was denied the chance to put her…

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Jeff Brandes files computer coding as foreign language bill

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Florida lawmakers could once again consider whether computer coding classes should be counted as a foreign language credit. Sen. Jeff Brandes filed legislation Monday to allow Florida high schools to offer computer coding classes that “along with the earning of a related industry certification satisfies two credits of sequential foreign language instruction.” Senate Bill 104 also requires the state college and university system to recognize the credits as foreign language credits. “Software development and coding is one of the largest…

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Mitch Perry Report for 12.5.16 – David Petraeus, another disaffected voter?

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Among the nuggets of information procured by watching the Sunday morning public affairs shows was that David Petraeus was one of the 93 million Americans who didn’t vote for president last month. “I don’t vote,” the retired four-star Army general told George Stephanopolous in ABC’s This Week when asked who he backed for president. “So that’s an easy answer. And I also did not support him nor did I oppose him, nor did I support or oppose any other candidate.” There were reports that…

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Jeff Clemens proposes automatic voter registration bill in Florida

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Palm Beach County state Senator Jeff Clemens filed legislation this week (SB 72) that would automatically register Floridians to vote when they apply for or renew their driver’s license. “The reason is pretty simple – nobody should have to jump through an extra hoop to exercise their constitutional rights,” says Clemens, who edged out Irv Slosberg in a fiercely combative primary in the Democratic-leaning Senate District 31 in August. Clemens says this is either the third or fourth time he’s proposed such…

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