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Karen Woodall

Anti-poverty lobbyist skeptical as 2017 Legislative Session opens in Tallahassee

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Poverty appeared to matter as the Florida Legislature opened its 2017 regular Session Tuesday. Gov. Rick Scott, during his State of the State speech, recalled his impoverished youth and the importance of jobs to lift Floridians out of economic despair. Surely, music to Karen Woodall‘s ears? Now at the Florida Center for Economic and Fiscal Policy, she’s spent 37 years lobbying in Tallahassee on behalf of the poor. In fact, she wasn’t impressed. We caught up with Woodall in the Capitol rotunda…

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Protesters ring rotunda for Rick Scott’s State of the State speech

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Nearly 200 protesters from South Florida jammed the Capitol’s fourth floor Rotunda as Gov. Rick Scott gave his State of the State address. The group, part of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, came up in buses and many are being hosted by the First Presbyterian Church downtown. Its pastor, the Rev. Brant Copeland, wrote in a recent newsletter that his church was “hosting 110 of these visitors on Tuesday and half are spending the night with us.” Copeland has long been a voice for those…

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House and Senate agree to pay more for lawyers to defend Medicaid lawsuits

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The House and Senate are $5 billion apart on Medicaid spending but they appear poised to give an additional $2.6 million to the state Agency for Health Care Administration to hire more attorneys. Both the House and Senate budgets contain $2.73 million to hire outside legal counsel in lawsuits. It was exactly what the agency requested. Budget documents show AHCA requested the money to cover an increase in expenses associated with the pediatric and dental lawsuit challenging Medicaid reimbursement rates…

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