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Senate and House not that different, Joe Negron says

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Senate President Joe Negron said his approach to budgeting isn’t that different from fellow Republican and House Speaker Richard Corcoran. Negron met with reporters Tuesday after he officially became president during the Legislature’s biennial Organization Session. In sweeping changes to the House’s traditional way of doing business, Corcoran said senators would need House sponsors for special spending requests, such as hometown projects, often derided as “turkeys.” But Negron, who along with Corcoran is a former Appropriations chair, said he “would encourage senators…

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Joe Henderson: FBI may have cleared Hillary Clinton, still faces trial by electorate

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Much to the chagrin of Donald Trump and many hardened Republicans, Hillary Clinton won’t be going to jail over her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state. FBI Director James Comey all but assured that Tuesday when after investigating the matter he recommended no criminal charges be brought against her. He said no “reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” Attorney General Loretta Lynch previously said she would follow the FBI’s lead So that’s that?…

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Email Insights: Florida Hospital Association thanks lawmakers for transparency bill

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The Florida Hospital Association patted the Legislature on the back in a Friday email celebrating the passage of their preferred healthcare transparency bill. “The Legislature has demonstrated responsible leadership by passing House Bill 1175 to increase the availability and usefulness of information about health care prices and quality of care,” FHA President Bruce Rueben said. “This bill will help people make better informed health care decisions. We are proud to have worked with Senator Rob Bradley and Representative Chris Sprowls on the development and passing of…

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As Rick Scott travels to D.C. for hospital transparency talk, he again pushes price-fixing proposal at home

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Rick Scott is at it again, calling for more government meddling in health care, by featuring a plan for government-regulated prices on inpatient admissions, outpatient visits and other medical procedures. Scott may have consistently paid lip service to the idea of free-market competition, but in 2016, he has renewed a push for legislation that, if passed, could lead to “competition-killing price caps” on Florida hospitals. Coincidentally, the new effort comes just as the governor visits Washington D.C. this week to…

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Amid heated debate, FHA unveils new health care info site

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It’s no secret Gov. Rick Scott, former health care CEO, has a newfound zeal for protecting Floridians from mayhem wrought by allegedly out-of-control hospitals and providers. Scott insists on more regulations, disclosure, and even criminal penalties for providers who charge “unconscionable” rates. He has even gone so as far to say a bill towards that end currently circulating doesn’t go far enough. In a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning, Florida Hospital Association President Bruce Rueben begged to differ. FHA unveiled a new…

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Twitter #PAC to blaze transparency trail in 2016, offer full disclosure on donations

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Federal law permits a significant lag time for political action committees in reporting specific candidate donations, often with waits as long as weeks or even months to say exactly who they gave cash. According to reporting by the Center for Public Integrity, Twitter’s emerging PAC, which is just beginning to make federal contributions, wants to cut disclosure time down to about 48 hours. That speed mirrors the immediacy of Twitter’s core product. “Timely disclosure is something we could do. We…

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Jeff Atwater looks to computer hackers to provide more transparency in government

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Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater continued efforts to make government more transparent during a “hackathon” in Miami Saturday. Atwater challenged participants to find a way to improve the way governments provide public information and communicate with consumers. “Taxpayers should demand accountability from their government, and I’ve worked hard to present Florida’s financial information in a way that allows Floridians to become an auditing team of 19 million,” Atwater said. “But there are many meaningful ways to present our data…

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