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House Roars on, Readying for Teacher Performance-Pay Vote

April 6, 2010 - 6:00pm

Despite a whopping eight-hour Educational Policy Council meeting Monday, the House committee came roaring back for more Wednesday -- including a lengthy discussion on teacher performance pay.

Speaker Larry Cretul, R-Ocala, tried to keep the focus on questioning and hold off debate until Thursday.

There has been lots of, lets just say, confusion about this bill, said Rep. John Legg, R-Port Richey, who introduced the performance pay measure in the House.

House Sets Stage to Conference with Senate

April 5, 2010 - 6:00pm

With both chambers of the Legislature passing their initial budgets last week, the House spent early Tuesday evening paving the way to meet with the Senate in conference to hammer out a final budget.

Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, said the House was following a procedural roadmap that would pave the way for conferencing with the Senate.

This will get us into a conference posture, he said.

That line was echoed several times as the House took up a number of bills from the Senate and quickly passed them with almost no debate.

House OKs Sales Tax Holiday

April 5, 2010 - 6:00pm

Having passed the first version of its budget last week, the Florida House met on Tuesday to tackle economic issues, including creating a sales tax holiday just in time for back-to-school shopping and forming an organization to invest in Floridas ports.

The House created a three-day sales tax holiday running from Aug. 13 until Aug. 15. During that period, books, clothes, shoes and book bags under $50 and school supplies under $10 would be exempt from sales tax.

Kottkamp Back on Track

April 1, 2010 - 6:00pm

When the fundraising figures for the last quarter of 2009 were released, conventional wisdom held that Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp was in severe trouble in his bid to be the states attorney general. News stories were already saying that Kottkamp was no longer the frontrunner in the race.

Kottkamps fundraising lagged behind his two chief rivals for the Republican nomination, former Agency for Health Care Administration secretary Holly Benson and Assistant State Attorney Pam Bondi. Kottkamps fundraising efforts also lagged behind the two Democratic candidates, Sen.

Political Bits and Pieces

March 31, 2010 - 6:00pm

Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp released his first-quarter fundraising numbers April 1. Kottkamp brought in $270,000 for his bid to become attorney general Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, was the first Democratic major statewide candidate for office to release his first-quarter fundraising for 2010.

Government Workers Largely Shielded from Job Losses

March 31, 2010 - 6:00pm

While Floridas unemployment rate has skyrocketed over the last three years, government workers have largely been spared the same pains faced by private-sector employees.

House Passes Budget on Party-Lines Vote

March 31, 2010 - 6:00pm

The Florida House held a marathon session to pass its budget on Thursday. Unlike the Senates $69.5 billion budget that passed unanimously on Wednesday, the House passed its $67.2 billion on a 74-44 partisan-lines vote.

House Hunkers Down for Thursday Budget Vote

March 30, 2010 - 6:00pm

The Florida House of Representatives spent Wednesday in a mammoth full session, preparing for debate and a vote on its initial budget on Thursday.

While the Senate passed its first budget without any opposition and adjourned for the Easter holiday, the House plowed through amendments, reports from appropriation committee chairs, conforming bills and second readings of appropriation bills.

Former RPOF Chair Jim Greer Under Criminal Investigation

March 30, 2010 - 6:00pm

Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer, whom Gov. Charlie Crist hand picked to lead the party, is the subject of a criminal investigation for authorizing a sweetheart deal between the party and a company in which he owned a majority interest.

On Tuesday, current RPOF Chairman Sen. John Thrasher, of Jacksonville, released an independent audit of the RPOF that he had ordered after taking over the state party.

Dems Squeeze Into Crowded Ag Commissioner Race

March 29, 2010 - 6:00pm

While Gov. Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio's battle for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination is grabbing headlines, other Florida primary fights are also shaping up. Four Democrats have already announced plans to run for commissioner of agriculture.



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