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Category archives for: Florida

Refinancing Pushes State Debt Down to $24.1 Billion, But Rising Interest Rates Loom

| December 5, 2016

State debt has declined since reaching a peak of $28.2 billion in 2010 due to several factors. Since taking office in 2011, Scott has remained largely opposed to borrowing money or issuing bonds.

Florida’s Death Penalty Law in Disarray, Supreme Court Throws Out Yet More Sentences

| December 2, 2016

Signaling how it is likely to handle scores of Death Row cases, a majority of the Florida Supreme Court threw out death sentences and ordered a new penalty proceeding for a convicted triple-murderer.

Not a Storm Too Soon, Worst Hurricane Season In 11 Years Ends as Flagler Continues Recovery

| December 1, 2016

Florida ended its 2016 hurricane season Wednesday, marking the first time in more than a decade that the Sunshine State was hit by a hurricane–and the closest Flagler County came to a direct hit in decades.

In Saint Augustine, A Dead Priest Pleads for the Life of His Killer

| November 30, 2016

Father Rene Robert, who was murdered, signed the Declaration of Life in 1995: it is wrong for the state to take the life of a convicted criminal, no matter how vile the crime, and no matter how innocent the victim.

New Florida Senator Files Bill To Scrap 2014 Law Granting In-State Tuition to Undocumented Immigrants

| November 30, 2016

The plan by Sen. Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican, repealing the in-state tuition exception, could alter the higher-education plans of many students who have spent much of their lives in Florida.

Electric Rates Will Go Up 8% on Jan. 1, and 13% by 2018 as Regulators Approve FPL Settlement

| November 30, 2016

FPL rates in Flagler County and across the state will go up substantially over the next three years, starting in January, as the Publci Service Commission approved an $800 million base-rate increase for the utility.

Nominating Commission Sends 3 Names to Scott for Next Supreme Court Appointment

| November 29, 2016

Fifth District Court of Appeal Chief Judge C. Alan Lawson, appellate Judge Wendy Berger and Orlando lawyer Dan Gerber made the final cut of the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission.

Florida Court Backs Notifying Minor’s Parent Before Abortion, But Waivers Are Easy Out

| November 28, 2016

Judges rarely turn down requests for waivers. The decision cites evidence that 89.5 percent of petitions were granted in 2013, 90.5 percent in 2014 and 94.7 percent in 2015.

Black and White: 11 Florida Supreme Court Applicants Contrast Starkly With Retiring James Perry

| November 23, 2016

The exit of the liberal Perry — one of five jurists who make up a liberal-leaning majority — gives Gov. Rick Scott his first opportunity to shape a bench that has repeatedly vexed the Republican chief executive and the GOP-dominated Legislature.

Democrats Try to Stay Relevant After Barely Adding to Their Diminished Numbers in Florida Legislature

| November 22, 2016

Democrats’ 41-member caucus faces a 79-member Republican majority in the Florida House, with 15 Democrats facing 25 Republicans in the Senate.

Despite Orlando Massacre and Zika Virus, Florida Tourism Draws Record 27 Million Visitors in 3 Summer Months

| November 21, 2016

The 5.1 percent increase from the same time last year came as Canadians, Florida’s top source of foreign tourism, have cut back on travel due to their nation’s weakened dollar.

Michael Dunn’s Conviction Upheld In Racial Murder of Jordan Davis in Jacksonville in 2012

| November 17, 2016

A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal said prosecutors presented sufficient evidence to rebut Michael Dunn’s claims of self-defense in the 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

Races Lost Across the State Again, Florida Democrats Look for Answers, and a Leader

| November 15, 2016

After losing the state’s presidential and U.S. Senate races and failing to make major gains in the Legislature, Florida Democrats are groping for a way forward as the 2018 elections loom with battles for governor and all three state Cabinet seats.

Gov. Scott’s Pick from Judges Applying to Replace Perry Will Shift Supreme Court Right

| November 14, 2016

The Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission plans to provide Scott a short list of six names, from 11 applicants, by Nov. 29, giving the governor plenty of time to make a decision before Justice James E.C. Perry’s resignation goes into effect Dec. 30.

A School Superintendent’s Message Home In Light of Trump’s Victory: Diversity Is Strength

| November 12, 2016

“First and foremost, we must reassure our staff and students that our school buildings are safe places where we truly value and respect every single individual and do not tolerate bullying or hate speech,” wrote Jack R. Smith in a letter to parents of children in Montgomery County public schools.

Pot Amendment’s Passage Creates a Green Rush in Nation’s 2nd Largest Marijuana Market

| November 10, 2016

Florida voters’ overwhelming approval of a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana for a broad swath of patients may have spurred a green rush into the state by investors eager to cash in.

Flagler’s 20-Point Margin For Trump a 28-Year High as Blue-Collar Counties Power Trump

| November 10, 2016

Not since George Bush defeated Michael Dukakis had a Republican presidential candidate performed so well in Flagler County, a stark difference reflected across many other, larger blue-collar counties.

Medical Marijuana Cruises to Reality in Florida With Healthy 71% Majority

| November 9, 2016

Stunning even some of the proposal’s most avid supporters, Florida voters Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana for patients with a broad swath of conditions.

Staly Is Flagler’s New Sheriff, Bexley New Court Clerk, Republicans Sweep County Commission, Klufas Wins Palm Coast Seat, Barbosa Wins School Board, Hutson, Renner Win

| November 8, 2016

Election results are showing the making of a historic Republican sweep in Flagler County as early but significant tallies show Rick Staly winning sheriff, Tom Bexley winning clerk of court, and all three Democrats in county commission races well behind.

Last Poll Before Election Day Has Clinton Maintaining Thinnest Lead, Rubio Well Ahead

| November 7, 2016

Clinton’s 46-45 advantage over Trump in the last Quinnipiac University poll before Election Day is the same lead she had a week ago, and is within the poll’s margin of error.

Gov. Scott on Frank Meeker’s Commission Seat Replacement: “We’re Working On It”

| November 7, 2016

Ten men, all Republicans, applied in the 107 days that have elapsed since Commissioner Frank meeker’s death. Rep. Paul Renner says he expects an appointment in late November or early December.

Clinton Holds Narrow Lead Over Trump in Florida, But Larger Leads in Early Votes

| November 2, 2016

In Florida, Quinnipiac found that she is ahead by a substantial 48-42 lead among voters who have already cast ballots. That lead grows to double digits among Ohio and North Carolina early voters.

Utilities Pour Millions Into Solar Amendment Clouded By Deceptive Intent and Opposed By Environmentalists

| November 1, 2016

The latest contributions, $2 million on Oct. 24 from FPL and $999,998 last Tuesday from Duke, brought to nearly $20.2 million the amount the state’s four largest private utilities have spent on the amendment.

In a Surprise Visit, Gov. Scott Tells Flagler Officials He’ll Expedite Regulatory Hold-Ups on Shore Repairs

| October 31, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott held a 25-minute closed-door meeting with county and city officials in Bunnell today to assess the response to Hurricane Matthew and assure officials that he’ll help them through regulatory hurdles in continuing recovery efforts, especially on the barrier island.

Hillary Clinton May or May Not Have Raped a Child

| October 29, 2016

The FBI director’s McCarthyist revelations of more Clinton emails will change the trajectory of the presidential race some even as it underscores the emptiness at the core of a manufactured scandal.

Florida’s Death Penalty On Hold: Supreme Court Halts Trial Pending Legislative Change

| October 28, 2016

The Florida Supreme Court on Friday stopped a Clearwater judge from proceeding with a death penalty case, signaling that courts might not be able to move forward with capital trials until the Legislature changes a law that justices earlier this month struck down as unconstitutional.

Rubio-Murphy’s 2nd Bout All About Trump, Kurdish Militias and Showing Up (Or Not)

| October 27, 2016

The debate marked one of Murphy’s highest-profile chances to take on Rubio. Most polls have shown the incumbent with a modest edge, usually inside the margin of error, though one released Wednesday by Bloomberg Politics showed Rubio with a hefty 10-point lead.

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

| October 27, 2016

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.

Clinton’s Lead in Florida Narrowing in Latest Poll, Rubio Up by 4 Over Murphy

| October 26, 2016

Clinton leads Trump by a margin of 46 percent to 43 percent in the poll, which was conducted from Friday to Sunday. That is down from a six-point lead in an FAU poll released Oct. 13. Trump was up by 2 percentage points in an August poll.

Pam Bondi on Donald Trump: “An Excellent Role Model”

| October 25, 2016

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said Tuesday she remains firmly in the Republican presidential candidate’s corner despite some of his controversial remarks.

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