State

SCOTT SIGNS FIERCELY DEBATED EDUCATION BILL

BRANDON LARRABEE: THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, June 15, 2017......... Gov. Rick Scott signed a controversial and wide-ranging education bill Thursday, brushing aside nearly unanimous opposition from the state's major education organizations.

The 278-page measure (HB 7069), which didn't emerge in final form until the final days of the regular legislative session, deals with everything from school testing to recess.

Update on local state appropriation requests

(STAFF)

Two appropriation bills sponsored by Representative Ingoglia were vetoed by the Governor last week. A $425,000 appropriations request to help fund the construction of The Arc Nature Coast Life Skills Center on their Neff Lake Campus was vetoed along with The City of Brooksville’s $350,000 request to fund the Horselake Creek - Southeastern Branch Drainage Restoration Project.

Governor Scott also vetoed $4 million in funding for a wellness center for St. Leo University. The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Daniel Burgess.

SCOTT WIELDS VETO PEN ON NEW BUDGET

By JIM TURNER AND LLOYD DUNKELBERGER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, June 2, 2017......... Gov. Rick Scott on Friday used his veto pen to slash $410 million in legislative projects across the state, saying they failed to “provide a great return for Florida families.”

In signing the bulk of an $80 billion-plus budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, Scott told reporters the savings from vetoes will help cover a planned increase in public school funding, tourism marketing and economic-development efforts. Those issues will be a focus of a three-day special legislative session that will start Wednesday.

A review of legislation impacting Brooksville & Hernando County

(STAFF)

“Things aren’t as bad as when I was here last time. It was a tough session,” said Shawn Foster of Sunrise Consulting Group to the Brooksville City Council on May 15th.

Foster continued, “it was the most onslaught attack that I’d ever seen on local rule in 20 years as staff or as a lobbyist. I think it’ll be back… The leadership that was there, they’ll still be there next year and they’ll still be in charge.”

FAILED

NEW COLLEGE AWARDS FIRST GRADUATE DEGREES

By LLOYD DUNKELBERGER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

New College of Florida

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, May 25, 2017......... For the first time in its 57-year history, New College of Florida will award graduate degrees to students on Friday.

The Sarasota-based college announced that seven students will earn master's degrees as the class of 2017 participates in commencement ceremonies.

The students are earning their diplomas in New College's data-science program, which began in 2016 and represented the first time the small liberal arts honors college, which has about 875 students, had offered a graduate degree.

BUDGET TIDBITS GO FROM ALLIGATORS TO ZOOS

By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, May 10, 2017......... The more than 400-page state budget approved this week by Florida lawmakers goes beyond spending on high-profile issues such as education, prisons and health care.

The $82.4 billion spending plan, which is headed to Gov. Rick Scott, is sprinkled with numerous local projects that are priorities of individual lawmakers.

Scott in the coming weeks will be able to veto the entire budget, take out individual budget items or let the Legislature's spending decisions stand.

TEN BIG ISSUES OF THE 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

By JIM SAUNDERS
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, May 6, 2017......... Florida lawmakers will gather Monday at the Capitol to pass a new state budget. But for the most part, the annual legislative session ended Friday night when the House and Senate adjourned after a final round of negotiating and maneuvering.

As always, the Legislature considered hundreds of bills during the session, with many passing, many dying quietly and others flaming out because of disagreements between the House and Senate.

Here is a quick look at 10 big issues:

NEGOTIATORS NAIL DOWN $83 BILLION STATE BUDGET

By BRANDON LARRABEE
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, May 4, 2017......... Behind schedule and late in the evening, House and Senate negotiators agreed Thursday to an $83 billion spending plan for the year that begins July 1, setting up a delayed end to the legislative session.

The agreement provides for a modest increase in the main state formula for funding public education, cuts payments to hospitals by more than $500 million, and provides a raise to state employees for the first time since 2013.

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.

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