State News

BUDGET ON TRACK FOR MONDAY APPROVAL

By BRANDON LARRABEE
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, May 3, 2017......... Lawmakers closed in on an elusive budget deal Wednesday, even as Gov. Rick Scott ramped up criticism of the spending plan as he toured the state.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, and Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, announced Wednesday morning that the two chambers have agreed in principle on how to spend nearly $83 billion in the year that begins July 1.

DEADLY FENTANYL TOUCHES OFF SENATE DEBATE

By JIM SAUNDERS
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, May 2, 2017......... Grappling with a deadly drug scourge across the state, Florida senators Tuesday had an impassioned debate about whether the state should require mandatory-minimum prison sentences for fentanyl trafficking.

The debate came as senators considered a bill that would impose tough criminal penalties on people who sell fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid often mixed with other drugs, such as heroin. Its potency has led to overdose deaths across Florida --- and the country.

TESTING BILL SHAPES UP AS EDUCATION TRAIN

By BRANDON LARRABEE
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, April 19, 2017 .......... A bill aimed at scaling back the number of standardized tests administered in Florida passed its final Senate committee on Wednesday after picking up amendments dealing with recess and other education issues.

The growth of the measure (SB 926) quickly drew complaints, even from some supporters, that it was becoming an unwieldy "train," a term for late-session bills that glom together different proposals in order to ease passage for one or more of the ideas.

HOUSE MOVES FORWARD IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FEUD

By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, February 8, 2017.......... A House proposal that would kill Gov. Rick Scott's prized economic-development and tourism agencies began moving forward Wednesday over Scott's growing public objections.

The House Careers & Competition Subcommittee voted 10-5 to back a 172-page proposal (PCB CCS 17-01) that would eliminate the public-private Enterprise Florida and tourism marketer Visit Florida, along with a lengthy list of tax-credit and grant programs designed to attract companies to relocate and build in the state.

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