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Senate President Joe Negron

Dorothy Hukill, Travis Hutson K-12 funding formula study

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A pair of Republican state senators sent a letter to President Joe Negron Tuesday asking for a study of the funding formula for Florida’s K-12 schools. Dorothy Hukill of Port Orange and Travis Hutson of St. Augustine wrote that they see the District Cost Differential (DCD) as unfair to some school districts. That’s because the formula reduces some district allotments while increasing others, “as opposed to simply adding funds to districts that qualify for more money.” “Since the DCD is the last…

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Legislature adjourns sometimes-bumpy special session in a burst of amity

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The Legislature concluded its special session with about an hour and 20 minutes to spare Friday, after voting to improve funding for public schools, colleges, and universities, and revamping the way the state encourages economic growth. While they were at it, the lawmakers passed an implementing bill for the medical marijuana constitutional amendment the voters approved last year. House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron gaveled their chambers into adjournment at around 4:40 p.m. — well in advance…

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We have a deal: Lawmakers agree to increase money for higher ed and Hoover dike

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Gov. Rick Scott expanded the call of the Legislature’s special session Friday to include money he wants to repair the Herbert Hoover Dike and higher education investments important to the Senate. House Speaker Richard Corcoran had proposed both items in a letter to Scott earlier in the day. Meanwhile, the Senate went into recess pending what President Joe Negron referred to as “an amendment being prepared based on current developments.” Corcoran posited the dam project as economic development spending, fully compatible…

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Joe Negron doubles down: He was not party to any special session deal

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Senate President Joe Negron insisted Thursday, for the second time in as many days, that he emphatically was not party to any deal between Gov. Rick Scott and the House over public education spending and economic incentives. Any suggestion otherwise, Negron told reporters following the day’s Senate session, is a “false narrative.” There is evidence, he said — absence of reference to him in the governor’s special session proclamation, and of any quote from a press release announcing the session. He…

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As Special Session opens, the Florida Senate asserts its prerogatives

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That deal everyone assumed Gov. Rick Scott struck with legislative leaders to ensure a smooth special session? It didn’t exist. At least, it didn’t include Senate President Joe Negron. Scott invited him to Friday’s press conference held to announce that he was calling a three-day special session on education, Visit Florida, and Enterprise Florida, Negron said Wednesday. He went out of respect for the governor, but there was no meeting of minds. “It was very clear to the governor, in my…

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Carlos Guillermo Smith, Amy Mercado say special session needed to end cannabis legal limbo

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Saying that the current limbo of law is bad for doctors and patients, Democratic state Reps. Carlos Guillermo Smith and Amy Mercado pleaded with Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Legislature leaders to call a special session to deal with medical marijuana. “We are here because 71 percent of Florida voters approved the constitutional right to medical cannabis. But we also are here because unfortunately once again Tallahassee politicians have thwarted the will of the people and they have refused to…

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Rick Scott signs SB 10, the Lake Okeechobee restoration plan, into law

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Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation Tuesday pledging $800 million in bonds toward Senate President Joe Negron’s signature project — a $1.5 billion plan to restore Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades by building a reservoir south of the lake. Scott had signaled his intention to sign the legislation earlier in the week, calling Everglades restoration “a top priority.” SB 10 did not include Scott’s call to invest $200 million in the Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding the lake. Still, the governor said…

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