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Highlights from Florida’s new $82.3 billion budget

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The Florida Legislature is expected on Friday to approve a more than $82.3 billion budget for 2016-17 that is roughly 5 percent larger than this year’s budget. Here are a few key items you should know about: – EDUCATION: The new budget increases day-to-day public school spending by $458 million, which translates into a 1 percent increase. The per pupil spending amount would be $7,178.49, which is less than Gov. Rick Scott recommended. Legislators also agreed to spend more than…

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Rick Scott signs death penalty overhaul into law

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Gov. Rick Scott has signed into law a measure that overhauls Florida’s death penalty by requiring that at least 10 out of 12 jurors recommend an execution for it to be ordered. Scott approved the bill (HB 7101) on Monday, according to a statement from his office. Florida previously only required that a majority of jurors recommend a death sentence but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the state’s sentencing law was unconstitutional. “It is my solemn duty to uphold the laws of…

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Is Rick Scott already getting cold feet on Seminole blackjack deal?

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Gov. Rick Scott has told reporters he’ll “respect the decision” of the Legislature about the deal he struck with the Seminole Tribe of Florida renewing exclusive rights to offer blackjack at its casinos in return for $3 billion over seven years. Scott briefly answered questions after this week’s Cabinet meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday morning. He and others spent months going back and forth on the terms, heralding the details Monday night with a statement that the new agreement is…

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Gov. Scott names 18, reappoints 12 to state regulatory boards

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On Friday, Gov. Rick Scott made a wave of 18 appointments and 12 reappointments to a variety of state regulatory boards. North Florida Community College District Board of Trustees Scott began with the naming of two appointments and two reappointments to the North Florida Community College District Board of Trustees. Jon Coker, 50, of Perry, is the president of J Travis Coker Consulting Inc. Coker fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term ending May 31, 2019. Alton…

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Gov. Scott announces TQL expansion will create 100 new jobs in Daytona Beach

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Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday that an Ohio-based logistics company will add 100 jobs and make $560,000 in capital investments in Volusia County. “TQL already employs approximately 450 Floridians and the creation of 100 additional jobs in Daytona Beach is exciting news. Since December 2010, Florida businesses have created more than 940,000 private-sector jobs,” Scott said in a news release. “We wish TQL the best as they continue to grow and create new opportunities for Florida families.” TQL, short for…

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Florida editorial roundup

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Recent editorials from Florida newspapers: Daytona Beach News-Journal on funding for state’s park system: Florida’s parks have been recognized three times — in 1999, 2005 and 2013 — as the nation’s best park system. No other state has earned that many honors. Last year they attracted more than 27 million visitors. But that’s not good enough for Florida officials, who are concerned that too many parks generate insufficient revenues for management. Jon Steverson, the recently confirmed head of the Department…

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Mitch Perry Report for 3.23.15 — Ted Cruz & Patrick Murphy declare for 2016

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

It’s late March of 2015, but it’s all about 2016 for a couple of politicians in the news today. One is South Florida-based Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, who is officially running for the U.S. Senate next year. You can read our interview with the young Democrat (he’s just 31) that we conducted with him last night. But the big news nationally is Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s announcement in a few hours that he will be running for president in 2016. Unlike Jeb…

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