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Walton County

Breezing through committee: Welfare drug testing, DCF takes backseat in Walton County

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Two measures dealing with drug testing for certain public aid applicants and law enforcement taking over DCF’s role investigative role in another county met no resistance Tuesday. Among several bills heard by the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee were two dealing with applicants of temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) and child welfare investigations. With regard to TANF, Sen. Jack Latvala introduced SB 1392, a bill that would require applicants with felony drug convictions within 10 years from…

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Santa Rosa Beach no trespassing sign sparks Walton County free speech battle

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A First Amendment fight has broken out on the sugar-white sands of Santa Rosa Beach in Walton County. A retired couple, who own a 2,296-square-foot beachfront home, has filed a federal lawsuit, asserting that a new Walton County ordinance violates the U.S. Constitution because it prohibits the couple from posting no-trespassing signs on their privately owned property. The couple, Edward and DeLanie Goodwin, are represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative legal group that advocates for private property and…

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Amid legislative turnover, new House candidates reach for safe GOP seats

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As ever in the term limits era, the makeup of the Republican House majority is set to shift in terms of personnel, if not necessarily in degree of dominance. As the very House-inflected state Rep. Matt Gaetz seeks to take over his father state Sen. Don Gaetz‘s spot in the Legislature’s upper chamber, a Walton County commissioner has filed to replace him in his deeply conservative District 4 seat. Commissioner Wayne Harris filed paperwork to run on June 10, according to the Florida Division of Elections.…

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