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Business Interests among Group Fighting Immigration Verification Proposal

April 12, 2018 - 6:15pm

A wide-ranging coalition that includes a major Republican donor, cruise-line officials, agricultural interests and former pro basketball players is seeking to halt a proposed constitutional amendment that would require Florida businesses to verify the immigration status of new employees.

Patronis, Shaw Reel in Money for Cabinet Races

April 11, 2018 - 1:15pm
State Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, the only Cabinet member able to run for another term in November, brought in nearly $500,000 in contributions last month as he waits to see if he will face a Republican primary challenge.
 
And four of the candidates seeking to replace term-limited Attorney General Pam Bondi recorded six-figure fundraising months in March, topped by Democrat Sean Shaw, a state House member from Tampa who raised more than $200,000.
 

Forecast a Glimmer of Good News for Citrus Growers

April 10, 2018 - 4:15pm

For the second time in a week, Florida citrus growers got what could be considered good news for the struggling industry.

A forecast Tuesday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed this season’s projected orange crop holding steady for the third consecutive month.

The estimate followed an announcement Friday by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue that anxiously awaited disaster-relief programs for farmers who suffered damages in Hurricane Irma will be in place by mid-July.

Trump Expected to Loom over Scott-Nelson Battle

April 9, 2018 - 5:45pm

More than $100 million will likely be spent during the next seven months as two of Florida’s top elected officials go head-to-head in the mid-term contest for a spot in the U.S. Senate.

The long-anticipated contest in which Gov. Rick Scott will try to unseat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson became official on Monday.

Key issues that could shape the contest include the mass shootings at Pulse nightclub in Orlando and at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Florida Republican Leaders: We Can Crash the Blue Wave

April 7, 2018 - 7:00pm

Florida Republican leaders who gathered this weekend in Tampa believe they can hold back a Democratic wave in November to keep the “Trump agenda alive.”

But to retain congressional and legislative majorities and to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, that means ramping up messaging about economic growth, boosting turnout, particularly among voters who request absentee ballots, and countering what the GOP describes as “mainstream media” narratives of looming Democratic victories.

Irma Agricultural Aid Slated to Start in Summer

April 6, 2018 - 6:45pm

A program to distribute federal disaster aid to Florida farmers hit by Hurricane Irma will be set up within the next 100 days, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Friday.

“USDA (the U.S. Department of Agriculture) is working as quickly as possible to develop procedures and a system by which affected producers can access disaster assistance,” Perdue said in a prepared statement.

The announcement added that “sign-up for the new program, authorized by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, will begin no later than July 16,” about 100 days from now.

Backroom Briefing: TaxWatch Trots out Turkeys

April 5, 2018 - 3:15pm

Gov. Rick Scott overlooked $109.2 million when making budget vetoes, according to Florida TaxWatch, which, for the second time in three years, was beaten to the punch by the governor in releasing its annual “Budget Turkey” list.

TaxWatch this week released a list of 87 projects --- collectively worth $147.5 million --- that were pushed by individual lawmakers and that the non-profit group argued should not have been included in the $88.7 billion state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Medical Marijuana Provider Going to Court over Limits on Dispensaries

April 3, 2018 - 6:45pm

Trulieve, Florida’s largest medical marijuana business, is asking a Tallahassee judge to strike down a state law that limits the number of dispensaries marijuana companies can operate, saying the restriction “arbitrarily impairs product availability and safety” and “unfairly penalizes” pot providers.

Gadsden County-based Trulieve is challenging the 25-dispensary limit established by state lawmakers last year, arguing the cap is two fewer than the company had applied for before the limit went into effect.

Backroom Briefing: Daylight Savings Isn't a Congressional Priority

March 29, 2018 - 11:15am

Florida’s push for year-round daylight-saving time may have a difficult time in Congress, as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio says federal lawmakers haven’t lined up in any typical partisan fashion.

Rubio, who is sponsoring the proposal in the Senate, said he’s gotten positive and negative reaction, but the split does not fall along “ideological lines.”

Marco Rubio: We Don't Have Enough Safeguards in Place to Protect Voter Databases

March 27, 2018 - 5:15pm

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio warned Tuesday of a “level of overconfidence” about the security of the nation’s election system heading into the 2018 midterm elections.

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