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Report: State workers to get pay raises, but changes to health benefits could be coming

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State workers could get a raise under a proposed budget deal being hashed out by state lawmakers, but it could come at a cost. The $82.9 billion budget deal is expected to provide an across-the-board raise for state workers — their first in about nine years, according to Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, for whom the raise was a priority. But according to POLITICO Florida, the Senate has agreed to changes to the state’s health insurance plan and pension plan in…

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Lawyers for the state tell Senate committee they need pay raises, too

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State attorneys and public defenders face off in court, but they agreed on one thing during a meeting Wednesday of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice: Their staff attorneys need pay raises. Trouble is, committee chairman Aaron Bean isn’t convinced there’ll be enough money to pay for that, as much as he sympathizes. “The secret is that there’s just not going to be enough money to cover everybody’s requests,” Bean said following the hearing. “That’s why we…

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Senate bill would shake up state worker health insurance plans

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Legislation filed in the Senate would let state employees decide between four levels of group health insurance coverage, so they could buy cheaper, stripped-down plans or pay for more comprehensive care. “Our current plan offers limited choices and lacks the price transparency needed for employees and their families to make cost-effective health care purchases,” bill sponsor Tom Lee said in a written statement. “This bill incorporates modern, innovative models for delivering high-quality health care at lower costs that will empower state employees…

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Rick Scott won’t give state workers extra day off

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott is ending a holiday tradition this year: Giving state workers an extra day off. A spokeswoman for Scott said Tuesday that the governor will not be closing state offices an additional day around the Christmas holiday. Scott for five straight years had ordered state offices to be closed an extra day in recognition of the hard work of state employees. Three times Scott had given state workers Christmas Eve off when it fell on a weekday.…

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Postcard from the center, which didn’t hold

in 2017/Top Headlines by

It’s Morning After in America, and the recriminations are well underway. Even with a crappy crystal ball like Larry Sabato‘s, you can predict the Democrats will assemble an Autopsy Committee like the one the Republicans did in 2012. Old habits die hard. Bleary-eyed pundits, pollsters, pols, and political reporters are crying into their beers and Bloody Marys on Twitter and on national television. They’re plenty worried about their credibility, and their fat paychecks, not necessarily in that order. The cluelessness…

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Rick Scott closes state offices in 51 counties as Hermine looms

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How serious is Tropical Storm Hermine? Gov. Rick Scott said the words “life threatening” five times Thursday during a 15-minute press briefing at the state’s Emergency Operations Center. He wanted, he said, to impress on Floridians jaded by a decade without major storms, or new to the state, or visiting, that this thing could kill you. “It’s going to impact us from Tampa Bay all the way to Pensacola,” Scott said. “We are going to have storm surge — three…

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Budget conferees agree on general gov’t and prison funding issues, bump state radios funds

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Senior budget writers met Sunday afternoon to continue hammering out differences in House and Senate appropriations proposals, still hundreds of millions of dollars apart. In keeping with their recent meetings since committee sub-chairs “bumped up” remaining budget issues to the at-large budget conference, Chair Rep. Richard Corcoran and Vice Chair Sen. Tom Lee – their respective chambers’ appropriations chiefs – made swift progress at the hearing, though a simmering industry “fist fight” over state police radios slowed down discussions over the weekend and prevented the panel…

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