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Rich Templin

Advocates call on Legislature to focus on working Floridians during annual ‘Awake the State’ event

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State lawmakers aren’t looking out for everyday Floridians, an advocate for one of the state’s largest labor unions said Tuesday. “In 2010, Rick Scott said ‘let’s get to work.’ In 2014, he said ‘let’s keep working,’” said Rich Templin, the legislative and political director for the Florida AFL-CIO. “The problem is, Florida is not working for most of our families and nobody in the building is fighting for them.” Templin was one of several advocates who spoke out during the…

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Today on Context Florida: Fuzzy budget math, accounting tricks, Ben Carson and ending meetings on time

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Today on Context Florida: Once again, the media is abuzz and many in the Florida Legislature are absolutely giddy at the prospect of what they call a budget surplus this year. State fiscal analysts are predicting a surplus of about $635 million and the Governor’s Office, using what Rich Templin calls a bit of fuzzy math that no one outside of his administration can understand to project excess revenues of $1.3 billion. Frank Clemente says, surprisingly, Congress’s $680 billion holiday-season tax…

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Jack Latvala, Senate budget panel clash with DEO chief on unemployment

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Department of Economic Opportunity head Jesse Panuccio faced a battery of pointed questions and criticism over an executive branch battle with a labor union and the state’s beleaguered unemployment system in a Wednesday meeting of a Senate budget panel. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Tourism, Transportation and Economic Development Chairman Jack Latvala had originally requested the presence of Enterprise Florida CEO Bill Johnson, who was out of state drumming up business in New York. Panuccio gave a presentation that explained recent reports about discrepancies in…

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Local government labor contracts bill narrowly cheats death

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State Sen. Jeff Brandes‘ SB 934, which preempts local governments from creating labor agreements with contractors containing certain wage, residency or diversity requirements, found an unlikely “No” vote in Senate Community Affairs this afternoon: Brandes himself. The vote was part of a legislative maneuver undertaken by Brandes to bring his bill back from the dead. After the bill was voted down by the committee on a 6-1 vote — state Sen. Rob Bradley casting the lone “Yea” — Brandes asked for…

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