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Rick Roth

On open records, half Florida’s legislators rate F or D

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Half of Florida’s legislators failed or nearly failed in a review of their support for public records and meetings given by Florida newspapers and an open-government group after this year’s legislative sessions. In a “scorecard” produced by the Florida Society of News Editors and based on information provided by Florida’s First Amendment Foundation — which tracked a priority list of public records exemptions — the 160 legislators totaled three Fs, 77 Ds, 71 Cs, and 9 Bs. Each year FSNE completes a project devoted to Sunshine…

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Glades landowners double down on Joe Negron to reveal his ‘willing sellers’

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Joe Negron recently visited Pahokee High School for a town hall meeting to discuss his plans for taking farmland in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). During the meeting, the Senate President said he is in discussion with “many owners of land south of the lake” in the effort to acquire 153,000 acres of productive land to set up a reservoir for Lake Okeechobee runoff. That claim didn’t go over well with farmers and landowners. In a letter to Negron sent Monday,…

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Bill limiting property tax assessments ready for House floor

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A bill that would extend a constitutional amendment to stop large spikes a property’s taxable value is ready for a floor vote in the House. HJR 21 cleared the House Commerce Committee with a 24-2 vote, and previously made it through the House Ways and Means Committee with a 16-1 vote. Back in 2008, Florida voters approved an amendment that capped the increase in assessed value for non-homesteaded residential property at 10 percent a year, except when it comes to taxes…

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More than a dozen lawmakers file for re-election in 2018

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The number of lawmakers prepping for another run keeps on growing. State elections records show dozens of members of the state House and Senate have filed to run for re-election in 2018. Many of those are incumbents who faced little-to-no opposition in 2016, while others ran hard fought battles to win their spot in the Florida Legislature. Sen. Tom Lee filed to run for re-election in Senate District 20 on Dec. 29. The Brandon Republican was re-elected in June 2016,…

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