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Renee Garcia

The day that was in Florida politics — March 31

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This day at the state Capitol lawmakers continue to clear their desks of items before getting down to serious budget work. They dealt with the contentious issues of marijuana, abortion and fracking before having to deal with the $4.2 billion really contentious differences in the spending plans they are developing. State Sen. Garrett Richter’s fracking proposal drew guffaws from environmentalists in the audience when it was presented as a regulatory plan for an industry already active in the state. The…

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Five minutes with Tom Lee — Talk of playing cards while building a budget

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The Senate Appropriations chairman is drawing a line in the sand. State Sen. Tom Lee wants clarity on healthcare spending before moving forward on building a budget and both state Sens. Aaron Bean and Renee Garcia are looking for the money to help him produce a balanced spending plan. The federal Low Income Pool program expires in June and the more than billion dollars it funnels to safety net hospitals evaporates. Lee said that’s an “untenable proposition” for the Senate,…

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Capitol Preview: Money, press skits and the search for clarity

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This week politics at the state Capitol will be about money and a search for clarity. Legislators will get a better view of the hill they need to climb in building a state budget for the year beginning July 1. The Revenue Estimating Conference meets Tuesday and will count up how much tax money the state has collected so far and project how much more money will roll in by the end of June. These are the numbers lawmakers will use when…

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