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Howard Holley Will Run for Flagler’s House Seat Against Paul Renner, Sullivan, O’Brien Teetering Out

| November 20, 2014

The special election to fill Travis Hutson’s Florida House seat in District 24, made up mostly of Flagler County, is turning into a combination of musical chairs band feeding frenzy.

Divided and Diminished, Florida Democrats Choose West Palm’s Pafford to Lead in House

| November 18, 2014

After Democrats lost six seats in elections earlier this month, some members pushed instead for Rep. Dwayne Taylor, D-Daytona Beach. Taylor pulled out of the race earlier Monday, saying he couldn’t work with the leadership of the state party.

Judge Throws Out Florida’s Medical Marijuana Rules, Calling Them Vague and “Unbridled”

| November 15, 2014

Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins sided with Miami-based Costa Farms and others that objected to the Department of Health’s use of a lottery to pick five licensees that will grow, process and distribute strains of non-euphoric marijuana authorized by the Legislature and approved by Gov. Rick Scott earlier this year.

Dave Sullivan Won’t Give Way to Trevor Tucker in Race for House as Hankerson Joins It; Democrats Are No-Shows

| November 11, 2014

Flagler School Board member Trevor Tucker said he was seriously thinking of running for an open Florida House seat in the Jan. 27 primary, but only if REC Chairman Dave Sullivan chose not to run, as Tucker doesn’t want to split the vote., Sullivan says he’s in it to stay.

UF and FSU Get New Presidents, Flagler Loses Sen. Thrasher, Special Election Next

| November 7, 2014

The Board of Governors unanimously ratified Thrasher’s and Kent Fuchs’s appointments. Thrasher’s resignation is expected to set off a feeding frenzy in a special election for what may turn into a Senate seat and two House seats.

Gail Wadsworth Will Not Seek to Resume Family Dynasty in Florida Legislature–For Now

| November 6, 2014

Despite getting ready to retire in two years and having three Wadsworths behind her who served in Tallahassee, Gail Wadsworth said the timing is not right for her to run in the special election soon to be announced for either a House or Senate seat representing Flagler.

As GOP Surges Over the Nation, Party Grabs Supermajority in Florida House

| November 5, 2014

The party retained two Republican-held seats where it faced serious challenges, while flipping six Democrat-held seats that were heavily contested in the Interstate 4 corridor.

Flagler GOP Chief Dave Sullivan Plans to Run for Hutson’s House Seat in Special Election

| November 4, 2014

Dave Sullivan, chairman of the Flagler County Republican Executive Committee, said he will make a run for the seat to ensure that it has a chance to be filled by someone from Flagler.

As Florida Bans Use of Biometric IDs in Schools, Other States Scale Back on Big Brother

| November 2, 2014

Laws cracking down on student-tracking technology reflect a growing sense of unease among parents over how biometrics are being used, what student data is being collected and stored and what security protects the information.

More Secrecy, Harsher Punishment for Pregnant-Women Beaters, Parasailing Regulations: 32 New Laws Go In Effect

| September 28, 2014

A number of the new Florida laws going in effect Wednesday involve public-records exemptions, including one to allow some university boards to meet in private to discuss donors and research funding.

Judge Throws Out Union’s Challenge of School Voucher Expansion, But Only on Technicality

| September 24, 2014

The judge gave opponents of the law 15 days to try to amend their complaint and come up with another way to challenge the legislation after ruling that the plaintiff in the challenge, teacher Tom Faasse, doesn’t have the legal right to file suit.

John Thrasher Is Named FSU’s Next President, Opening Big Void in Flagler’s Legislative Pull; Hutson Considering Run

| September 23, 2014

For Flagler County, Thrasher’s move is the second major blow to the county’s political pull, after losing John Mica in Congress to redistricting two years ago. Flagler had specific needs that may now go unfilled in Tallahassee.

Legislative Panel Joins Critics of Strict Proposals to Limit Legal Pot Access in Florida

| September 4, 2014

A 19-page letter from the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee to the Department of Health’s general counsel questions nearly every aspect of the proposed rule, beginning with who would be allowed to apply for one of five licenses to grow, manufacture and distribute a type of cannabis approved during this year’s legislative session.

Flagler and St. Johns Untouched But District 6 Loses Much of Putnam in Redistricting

| August 12, 2014

Flagler County was unaffected, but District 6 had previously included most of Putnam County. It now includes only the southeastern quadrant of Putnam. The changes are not likely to change the ideological make-up of the district, which tilts Republican.

Those Double-Digit Health Insurance Rate Hikes in Florida? Blame State GOP.

| August 7, 2014

Sen. Bill Nelson, once Florida’s insurance commissioner, reminds residents that it was the Republican state Legislature that stripped the office of insurance regulation of the authority to approve, modify or reject rate hikes by health insurance companies, thus leading to current, unacceptable rate hikes.

Sen. Sobel Calls for All Child Deaths, Not Just Those From Abuse, To Be Reported

| July 31, 2014

Florida just passed a law requiring the reporting of all child abuse deaths in an annual report. That’s not enough, Sen. Sobel says, proposing that all criminally-related child deaths, even in car wrecks, should be part of the report.

Florida’s “Docs vs. Glocks” Bill Wins Federal Appeals Court Approval in 2-1 Ruling

| July 25, 2014

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the state Legislature had the right to pass the NRA-backed law, which includes provisions restricting doctors and other medical providers from asking questions about gun ownership during medical visits.

Florida Inverse: 2nd Highest Level of Uninsured, Dead Last in Affordable Care Grants

| July 16, 2014

Judging by the grant totals of other states, Florida appears to have forfeited at least $100 million and possibly $300 million or more, not even including $51 billion the state is forfeiting by saying no to Medicaid expansion.

Regulators Draw Sharp Criticism Over Controls On Florida’s New Pot Industry

| July 7, 2014

At the top of the complaint list: concerns about a proposed lottery system to award five organizations the chance to grow, manufacture and dispense a type of medical marijuana approved by Florida’s Republican-dominated Legislature this spring.

Florida Giving Up 63,800 Jobs By Rejecting Federal Medicaid Expansion

| July 7, 2014

Florida has not accepted the offer of federal funds — estimated at $51 billion over a decade — provided in the Affordable Care Act to cover uninsured people who fall into a gap. Florida has about 850,000 of them.

Jose Manuel Godinez-Samperio, “Undocumented” Immigrant, Earns Florida Bar Recommendation To Be an Attorney

| July 2, 2014

The action benefiting Jose Manuel Godinez-Samperio, of Largo, came less than two months after Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill (HB 755) that allows “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, to be eligible for The Bar.

Impasse Developing Between State and Counties Over Juvenile Detention Costs

| June 9, 2014

A years-long dispute over how to split the costs of detaining youthful offenders appears no closer to being settled after the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice held a rule-making hearing Friday with representatives of more than three dozen Florida counties, including Flagler.

Lobbyists, Lawyers and Investors Line Up to Cash in on Florida’s Nascent Pot Industry

| June 4, 2014

Lawmakers broadened eligibility for medical marijuana to include cancer patients as well as those suffering from severe muscle spasms or seizures, thereby opening up the market for potential sellers. The strain of marijuana is high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

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.

Ordered to Unseal Secret Redistricting Papers, GOP Operative Seeks High Court Intervention

| May 29, 2014

Pat Bainter on Wednesday asked U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to issue an emergency stay blocking an order by the Florida Supreme Court less than 24 hours earlier that granted permission for the documents to be used in an ongoing trial challenging the constitutionality of the congressional map approved by the Florida Legislature in 2012.

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 State University’s Presidential Search Short-Listed to One: Sen. John Thrasher

| May 21, 2014

Thrasher, 70, whose senate district includes all of Flagler County, has long been an influential figure in state politics and serves as chairman of Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election campaign. He served as House speaker from 1998 to 2000 and currently is chairman of the Senate Rules Committee.

Florida’s Deepest Pockets: The Best Legislature Money Can Buy

| May 20, 2014

From blocking debate on equal pay for equal work for women, to a head-in-the-sand approach to protecting our environment, the list of issues ignored by this legislature is as long as it is indefensible, argues Mark Ferrulo.

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.

Dispute Over State’s Shifting Juvenile Detention Costs to Counties Simmers Again

| May 19, 2014

The dispute goes back to 2004 and centers on DJJ’s handling of a law that requires counties help pay for “predisposition,” or the costs of detaining underage offenders before they are sentenced. It affects 38 counties. The 29 poorest counties in the state are considered “fiscally constrained” and aren’t part of the cost-sharing formula.

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