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Public defenders

House committee advances lobbying ban; impeachment power for attorneys, public defenders

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida lawmakers advanced two key pieces of legislation through the House Thursday, including one to lengthen the period before elected officials could begin lobbying after their time in office. The other bill would make state attorneys and public defenders in each judicial district eligible for impeachment under the governor’s power. In an overwhelming vote, the House Public Integrity and Ethics Committee passed PCB PIE 17-01 and HJR 999, though there was thorough debate by both the public and committee members on each measure.…

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Bill would let House impeach prosecutors, public defenders

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State Sen. Greg Steube wants to add prosecutors and public defenders to the list of officials that the House of Representatives can impeach. The Sarasota Republican’s measure (SJR 904), filed Monday, would require a constitutional amendment that has to be passed by 60 percent of voters statewide. The state constitution now authorizes the House to impeach the “governor, lieutenant governor, members of the cabinet, justices of the supreme court, judges of district courts of appeal, judges of circuit courts, and judges of…

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Public defender: Fees for pleas lead to unequal justice

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Criminal defendants in three central Florida counties often face a stark choice, a public defender says: Pay hundreds of dollars in fees that help fund the prosecutors’ office, as a condition of reaching a plea deal, or face trial and risk stiffer punishment. Now public defender Rex Dimmig says that the practice creates unequal treatment for the criminal justice system’s poorest defendants. “My office only represents indigent people, and they ought to be entitled to the same punishment for the…

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Statement from Rep. Darryl Rouson regarding budget vote

in Statewide/The Bay and the 'Burg by

Representative Darryl Rouson, (D) St. Petersburg, offers the following comments regarding his decision to vote in favor of the 2010-11 Florida budget: On the last day of a tumultuous 60 day session filled with highs and lows; filled with days of bad bills resurrecting and nights of good bills dying with very little rhyme or reason, I cast the lone Democratic vote in the Florida House in favor of the budget.  I did so with a heavy heart and a…

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