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Seminole Tribe Challenges Water Standards

August 9, 2016 - 11:00pm

The Seminole Tribe of Florida has filed a legal challenge against controversial new state water-quality standards, arguing they don't adequately take into account the amount of fish and other wildlife eaten by tribal members.

Backroom Briefing: Tough Times for Alan Grayson

July 28, 2016 - 6:15pm
Alan Grayson

It has been a rough week for Congressman Alan Grayson in his bid for the U.S. Senate.

While thousands of Democrats rallied in Philadelphia during the party convention, Grayson was trying to fend off domestic-abuse allegations by his ex-wife.

Weekly Roundup: Not Quite a 'Conventional Convention'

July 22, 2016 - 8:45pm

It wasn't exactly a scripted lovefest. Unless the scripting was done by the folks who put on professional wrestling matches.

The Republican National Convention this week offered drama, shouting, villains and even a little suspected skullduggery. But in the end, Donald Trump was still standing.

Now, Trump faces the challenge of pulling together enough voters to wrest Florida and other critical states away from Democrat Hillary Clinton --- who, it almost goes without saying, was the villain of all villains during the convention in Cleveland.

Weekly Roundup: 'You Just Can't Imagine This Happening'

June 17, 2016 - 8:00pm

Terrorism hit home this week.

Floridians woke up Sunday morning to the unthinkable. On Saturday night, young people crowded into an Orlando club for music, dancing and the simple joys of being with friends. Hours later, 49 clubgoers were dead and dozens more were wounded.

Mayor Buddy Dyer described Sunday as "probably the most difficult day in the history of Orlando." For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Floridians, it carried the extra weight of knowing that a gay club had been targeted.

Indicted Lawmaker Argues Elections Office 'Not a Victim'

June 6, 2016 - 9:15pm
Reggie Fullwood

Facing wire-fraud and tax charges, state Rep. Reggie Fullwood is asking a federal judge to block prosecutors from arguing that the Florida Division of Elections is a victim of an alleged scheme to divert campaign funds to personal use.

Fullwood's attorney, Robert Willis, filed the request last week as he prepares to seek a dismissal of wire-fraud charges that are a major part of a federal indictment unsealed in April. Fullwood, a Jacksonville Democrat who has served in the House since 2010, was accused of illegally using campaign contributions to pay a wide range of expenses.

Workers Comp Rates Could Jump after Court Ruling

May 27, 2016 - 5:15pm

After a Florida Supreme Court ruling last month that struck down a limit on attorney's fees, workers-compensation insurance rates could go up an overall 17.1 percent, according to a proposal submitted Friday to state regulators.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance, which submits rate proposals for the workers-compensation insurance industry, said the hike should take effect Aug. 1. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation will decide whether to approve the proposal, a process that could lead to a different rate change.

Supreme Court Ready to Wade into Major Cases

May 25, 2016 - 8:45pm

For legal junkies, the Florida Supreme Court will be the best show in town during a three-day period in June.

Justices are poised to hear arguments on a series of high-profile issues, including gambling, the death penalty, guns and medical malpractice, according to a schedule released Wednesday.

Here are five cases to watch:

--- GAMBLING: Justices will take up a closely watched case about whether a pari-mutuel facility in rural Gadsden County should be able to offer slot machines --- a case that could have implications for five other counties across the state.

Lobbying Fees Pile Up in Early 2016

May 16, 2016 - 8:30pm

Lobbying firms pulled in more than $35 million during the first three months of the year for their work in the Legislature --- with five firms each earning at least $1 million, according to newly filed reports.

The fees came as lawmakers held an earlier-than-usual session that started in January and ended March 11. Firms faced a Sunday night deadline for filing reports that gave at least broad compensation totals for the first quarter, though in most cases the reports do not include exact amounts.

Tallahassee Players Funnel Money to Political Committees

April 13, 2016 - 10:00pm

Millions of dollars poured into Florida's political system during the first three months of 2016, with huge chunks coming from business groups and industries such as utilities and insurers.

But much of the money didn't go directly to candidates or to the state Republican or Democratic parties. Instead, it landed in the accounts of political committees --- often known by motherhood-and-apple-pie names --- that will play a major role this year as voters elect all 160 members of the Legislature and decide the fate of high-profile ballot initiatives.

Use of Retired Judges Draws Constitutional Questions

April 7, 2016 - 8:30pm

As Florida courts have struggled in recent years with a flood of foreclosure cases, retired judges have played a key role in reducing backlogs.

But a pair of Pinellas County lawyers this week filed a petition in the Florida Supreme Court arguing that the heavy reliance on retired --- or, as they are known, "senior" --- judges violates the state Constitution. The document asks the Supreme Court to curb the practice in the circuit that includes Pinellas and Pasco counties and, possibly, to review the use of senior judges statewide.

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