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What's Going on the Week of Aug. 18

August 19, 2019 - 8:30am
Gary Ray Bowles

Barring a late legal reprieve, Gary Ray Bowles is slated Thursday to become the second Death Row inmate executed since Gov. Ron DeSantis took office in January.

In both cases, DeSantis has targeted men convicted of committing multiple murders.

In May, the state put to death Bobby Joe Long, who was sentenced to death in the May 1984 murder of Michelle Simms after picking her up on Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa. In 1985. Long also pleaded guilty to seven additional first-degree murder charges and numerous charges for sexual batteries and kidnappings in the Tampa Bay region.

What's Going on the Week of Aug. 11

August 12, 2019 - 8:00am

Follow the money.

A cliché? Sure. But in the world of Florida government and politics, it’s also a pretty good rule to follow.

That will be on display during the coming week when state political candidates and committees face a deadline for disclosing July financial information and lobbyists have to provide details about their compensation in the year’s second quarter.

Combined, the reports will show tens of millions of dollars flowing through the political system, often in large chunks from deep-pocketed donors.

What's Going on the Week of Aug. 4

August 5, 2019 - 7:15am
Scott Maddox and Andrew Gillum

After months of denying he did anything wrong, Scott Maddox, a former chairman of the Florida Democratic Party and veteran Tallahassee politico, will appear before a federal judge during the coming week and is expected to plead guilty to corruption-related charges.

What's Going on the Week of July 28

July 29, 2019 - 9:30am

It’s time for Florida’s blue-light special.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. Friday and lasting until 11:59 p.m. Aug. 6, shoppers will be able to buy clothes, shoes, school supplies and computer equipment without paying sales taxes --- otherwise known as a sales-tax “holiday.”

The holiday is billed as a back-to-school event. But it’s not only popular with parents looking for bargains as kids get ready for school. Retailers like the holiday as a marketing opportunity. And legislators love touting tax breaks for ordinary families.

What's Going on the Week of July 21

July 22, 2019 - 9:45am
Ronald Rubin and Jimmy Patronis

The Florida Office of Financial Regulation ordinarily draws little attention.

But for the past two months, it has been in the center of a controversy stemming from allegations of sexual harassment against Commissioner Ronald Rubin, who has been suspended from his job leading the agency.

The controversy could come to a head Thursday, when Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Cabinet discuss an inspector general report about the allegations. Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, who first released details of the sexual-harassment complaint, has called for replacing Rubin.

Paul Tudor Jones Digs Deep for DeSantis in First Half of July

July 18, 2019 - 8:30am
Paul Tudor Jones and Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ political committee reeled in $300,000 during the first half of July, nearly half of which came from a wealthy investor, according to the latest numbers reported on the committee’s website. 

Palm Beach billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, a co-founder of the Everglades Foundation, contributed nearly half of it -- $125,000 to the Friends of Ron DeSantis committee on July 8.

Nine other organizations and individuals contributed money to the Republican governor's political committee on the same day, signaling a possible fundraising event. 

What's Going on the Week of July 14

July 15, 2019 - 9:00am
Judge Mark E. Walker

An omnibus elections package passed by the Legislature in May includes a slew of issues proposed by county elections supervisors seeking fixes to voting problems that cropped up over the past few years. But those parts of the legislation have been overshadowed by a controversial last-minute addition aimed at carrying out a constitutional amendment that would restore voting rights to felons. 

Principal Reassigned after Questioning the Holocaust

July 9, 2019 - 7:30am
Reassigned Principal William Latson

A Boca Raton high school principal who came under fire for questioning whether the Holocaust occurred has been removed from his position, according to Palm Beach County school officials. 

“It is out of an abundance of concern and respect for the students and staff of Spanish River Community High School that school district administration has decided to reassign Principal William Latson effective immediately,” a statement from the school district, posted Monday on Twitter, said. 

What's Going on the Week of July 7

July 8, 2019 - 8:30am
Gov. Ron DeSantis, as he began his first term

After taking office in January, Gov. Ron DeSantis is still three years away from a potential re-election campaign.

But in politics, the money chase rarely ends.

So when DeSantis’ political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, files a finance report with the state in the coming days, it is expected to detail receiving more than $700,000 in contributions in June. The money, according to a list of contributions posted on the committee’s website, has come in chunks as large as $100,000.

The June haul comes on top of $430,000 that the committee raised in May.

Florida Ordered to Reimburse Feds for Erroneous Refugee Payments

July 3, 2019 - 7:00am

Florida made more than $114,000 in erroneous payments to refugees between 2015 and 2017 and needs to return the money to the federal government, an audit released Monday shows. 

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