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John Ruthell Henry Is Executed, 18th Inmate Put to Death on Rick Scott’s Watch

| June 19, 2014

No other first-term governor has signed the execution warrants of so many inmates since Florida re-instituted the death penalty in 1976. Since then, the state has executed 87 inmates. One in five of those has been executed on Scott’s watch, in less than four years.

Gov. Scott Punts on Proposed Land-Preservation Amendment

| June 17, 2014

When asked after the Cabinet meeting whether he would support or oppose an amendment in November that would cement funding for land conservation into Florida’s Constitution, Scott avoided directly answering the question.

Gov. Rick Scott’s Net Worth: $132.7 Million

| June 16, 2014

Among the details in Scott’s financial disclosure, his Naples home and boathouse are worth $13.2 million, he owns 60 acres in Montana worth $1.4 million, and $43 million of his investments are tied to family investment firm RLSI-CSP Capital Partners in Naples.

Florida Supreme Court Upholds “Timely Justice” Law Fast-Tracking Executions

| June 12, 2014

In a concurring opinion of the unanimous decision, Justice Barbara Pariente emphasized that the law would not affect the Supreme Court’s “solemn responsibility” to block executions if needed to ensure that defendants’ rights have been protected.

Scott and Crist Continue to Rake In Cash As Both Sides Step Up Nastier Ad War

| June 11, 2014

The money will help fuel what is expected to be an expensive — and nasty — race filled with negative ads. As a sign of what’s to come, the Let’s Get to Work committee reported spending about $3.1 million on advertising in May, after spending about $5.1 million on ads in April.

Bright Spot in Florida’s Budget:
A Forward-Looking Agenda on Alzheimer’s

| June 9, 2014

Alzheimer’s is the most costly disease to Medicare and Medicaid — and for a state like Florida with high ratios of older residents, this spells an impending crisis for state budgets. Gov. Rick Scott signed a record-sized state budget that included record-sized wins for the Alzheimer’s community.

As Expected, Scott Vetoes Higher Speed Limits, Citing Unacceptable Risk of More Crashes

| June 2, 2014

“Allowing for the possibility of faster driving on Florida’s roads and highways could ultimately and unacceptably increase the risk of serious accidents for Florida citizens and visitors,” Scott wrote in a veto message.

Seeking Unity, Florida GOP Elects Leslie Dougher Party Chairman in Split Vote

| May 31, 2014

With a 106-69 vote Saturday, GOP activists elected Clay County Realtor Leslie Dougher as chairwoman of the Republican Party of Florida to fill the remainder of the term of outgoing state party chief Lenny Curry. The split vote underscores challenges Gov. Rick Scott faces from within his own party in his re-election effort.

Angling For Military Vote, Rick Scott Looks to Sue Feds for Blocking VA Hospital Inspections

| May 28, 2014

The state Agency for Health Care Administration, at Scott’s urging, said Wednesday it will file a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs seeking to allow state inspectors access to Florida-based VA hospitals so they can determine if the health care needs of veterans are being met.

Florida TaxWatch Urges Gov. Scott to Veto $120 Million in Budget “Turkeys”; Flagler Is Spared

| May 23, 2014

A dog park in Jacksonville, a fountain in Palm Beach and money to help people get to the planned 1,000-foot-tall SkyRise Miami were among $121 million in budget projects that Florida TaxWatch says Gov. Rick Scott needs to strike with his line-item veto.

Florida Prisons Want To Slash Kosher Offerings; Justice Department Says It Would Be Illegal

| May 22, 2014

In a brief filed Monday, lawyers for the Department of Corrections argued that the law allows Florida to scrap the kosher meals because of the financial burden placed on the “cash-strapped agency.” The state has spent more than $200,000 on the lawsuit so far.

Florida’s Record $77.1 Billion Budget, With a Few Perks for Flagler, Lands on Scott’s Desk

| May 20, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott and his staff have 15 days to scrutinize every line in the 431-page budget document, weighing legislators’ earmarks against the need to score political points in allowing individual items to remain or be vetoed.

USTA Will Combine Its New York and Boca Raton Operations in Orlando

| May 14, 2014

The United States Tennis Association, in line for state and local incentives, plans to build a state-of-the-art facility at Lake Nona in Orlando that will consolidate divisions from New York and Boca Raton. Gov. Rick Scott and the non-profit USTA announced the $60 million, 63-acre, 106-court project today (May 14).

Scott Signs Tax Cut Package Rolling Back Car Registration Fees and Offering 2 Tax Holidays

| May 12, 2014

The hurricane sales-tax holiday runs from May 31 through June 8, the back-to-school holiday will run from Aug. 1 through Aug. 3, and vehicle registration fees have been scaled back to pre-2009 levels, among other measures Gov. Rick Scott signed into law.

AAA To Scott: Veto 75 MPH Speed Limit

| May 11, 2014

AAA asked Scott more than a week ago for a sit-down to talk about the narrowly-approved measure that could see maximum speed limits hiked by 5 mph. The governor hasn’t made a decision on the bill. His aides are willing to discuss it.

Gov. Scott Sticking By Lethal Injection Formula Despite Gruesome Execution in Oklahoma

| May 8, 2014

A new report issued by the Constitution Project on Wednesday recommends that states like Florida scrap the three-drug lethal injection cocktail that resulted in a botched execution in Oklahoma last week and switch to a single drug instead. But Gov. Rick Scott’s administration says it’s making no changes.

Dog Parks, Bungee Jumping, Bike Paths and Free OJ: Perks in State’s $77.1 Billion Budget

| May 6, 2014

But while much of the money in Florida’s 2014-15 budget went to must-have programs such as education, health care and prisons, smaller items are littered through the more-than-400-page document. Here are some examples.

Legislature Approves Medical Marijuana Bill Narrowly Targeting Epilepsy and Other Seizures

| May 2, 2014

The proposal would make Florida one of a handful of states that allow “Charlotte’s Web,” a low-THC strain of marijuana that proponents say doesn’t get users high but can end or dramatically decrease potentially fatal seizures in children who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy that can cause hundreds of seizures a week. The allowance would extend to some forms of cancer and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Flagler Seeks, Flagler Wins: Bill Restoring Vacation-Rental Regulation Authority Passes House and Heads for Scott’s Desk

| May 1, 2014

The Flagler County Commission has been leading the fight to overturn a 2011 state law prohibiting the regulation of short-term rentals. Thursday morning, the Florida Senate voted 37-2 to give back some home-rule authority to local governments. The House approved the measure 90-27 on Wednesday, sealing a major victory for Flagler County.

Despite Scott’s Policy and PR Assault, Crist Maintains 10-Point Lead in Latest Poll

| April 30, 2014

Despite two months of high-profile policy initiatives designed to boost Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election campaign and sagging numbers against former Gov. Charlie Crist, the latest Quinnipiac University Poll shows Crist maintaining a healthy 10-point lead over the incumbent, a two-point improvement since late January, before the legislative session and Scott’s PR onslaught got under way. Crist’s lead is especially pronounced among Independents.

Late-Night Session Nears Agreement on $75 Billion Budget, Including Increase in Student Funding

| April 27, 2014

After two days of what appeared to be faltering negotiations the deals were a sign that lawmakers could finish the budget and have it on lawmakers’ desks by Tuesday. The legislative session is scheduled to end Friday, and lawmakers are required to wait 72 hours before voting on the completed budget.

In Clearest Pro-Immigrant Shift Yet, Gov. Scott Demands a Senate Vote on In-State Tuition for Undocumented

| April 23, 2014

The governor, who originally came to office threatening to crack down on undocumented immigrants, said Tuesday that his opinion on the issue was shaped by stories he’s heard from students who grew up in Florida and would benefit from being able to pay the cheaper, in-state tuition rates.

0-For-5: In latest Blow to Scott, U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Appeal on Drug-Testing State Workers

| April 21, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to take up the case means that the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling stands: Drug tests can’t be justified constitutionally for many of the 85,000 workers who would have been subject to Scott’s policy. The two sides continue to carry out a painstaking process of looking at different categories of workers to determine whether some could be subject to drug testing — a process stemming from the appeals court ruling.

House Balks at $2 Million-a-Year Tax Subsidy to Daytona Speedway as Other Breaks Advance

| April 15, 2014

Funding for Daytona International Speedway and a temporary tax break on gym memberships could be casualties when the House and Senate meet next week on their opposing packages to complete Gov. Rick Scott’s $500 million election-year tax cuts.

Scoring the Legislature at the Half-Way Mark

| April 5, 2014

With the two chambers working in tandem on most issues, Gov. Rick Scott was able to sign a series of bills into law this week. They included a bill, dubbed the “Florida GI Bill,” aimed at making the state more military friendly; a package of bills aimed at keeping sexually violent predators locked up; and a bill that will roll back motor-vehicle registration fees.

Senate Approves Proposed Constitutional Amendment Giving Scott Court-Packing Power

| April 4, 2014

The proposal, passed by the Senate in a 26-14 vote, would give the next governor the ability to pack the courts and is intended to give incumbent Gov. Rick Scott, who is seeking re-election, the ability to reshape the Florida Supreme Court.

Federal Appeals Court Declares Scott Administration’s 2012 Voter Purge Illegal

| April 2, 2014

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments from Rick Scott’s administration that the effort to remove suspected non-citizens from the voting rolls did not violate a federal law barring wide-ranging efforts to cleanse those rolls within 90 days of an election.

Rick Scott’s Dilemma: Helping Undocumented-Immigrant Students Or Sticking to His Base

| March 31, 2014

While Scott has repeatedly said he supports a proposal to end annual 15 percent tuition hikes, he’s remained mum about the portion of the bill that would grant in-state tuition to undocumented students, or Dreamers.

David Beckham Lobbies Tallahassee for Tax Breaks on a Soccer Stadium in Miami

| March 25, 2014

Elected officials — including Gov. Rick Scott — and staffers flooded Twitter with “selfies” alongside Beckham, who wants to bring a professional soccer team to Miami and has set his goal on the Port of Miami as a potential stadium site.

Al Sharpton Leads Call For Repeal of Stand Your Ground in Florida Capitol March

| March 10, 2014

Sharpton marched alongside the parents of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, two teens the marchers said were wrongly killed under Florida’s first-in-the-nation law, which allows people to use deadly force when they feel their lives are in danger and provides immunity from prosecution.

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