State

Florida Electors go for Trump amid protests

By BRANDON LARRABEE
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 19, 2016.......... With more attention than usual --- following the most-unusual presidential campaign in recent memory --- Florida's 29 electors met Monday to formally cast their votes to send Republican Donald Trump to the White House.

A last-ditch effort in Florida, and across the nation, tried to get members of the Electoral College to bolt from Trump and throw the election into the U.S. House, where supporters hoped that a more mainstream Republican could prevail.

TOURISM CHIEF OUT AFTER PITBULL CONTROVERSY

By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 16, 2016.......... Gov. Rick Scott on Friday requested the resignation of the state's tourism-marketing leader amid a controversy over an expired $1 million contract with a Miami hip-hop artist whom the governor praised for his "devotion to our great state."

Visit Florida President and CEO Will Seccombe agreed to resign from the $120,000-a-year position he's held since November 2012.

PITBULL RELEASES $1 MILLION DEAL WITH TOURISM AGENCY

By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 15, 2016.......... The Miami rapper Pitbull released details Thursday of a controversial $1 million deal to promote Florida, two days after the state House filed a lawsuit to try to get the information.

But while the House intends to end the lawsuit, House Speaker Richard Corcoran said lawmakers will continue their "dogged pursuit" of how government agencies spend taxpayers' money.

STATE LEADERS LOOK TO INCREASE GRADUATE DEGREES

By LLOYD DUNKELBERGER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 12, 2016.......... Although Florida's production of graduate degrees has stalled in the past few years, Senate President Joe Negron said Monday he wants to enhance the state's graduate and professional schools as part of a plan to improve the quality of the state's higher-education system.

Negron, R-Stuart, who wants to boost university system funding by $1 billion over the next two years, said one of the quickest ways to elevate the system is to enhance "our graduate programs, particularly law, business and medicine."

COUNTIES TO GET MONEY TO CURB BEAR CONFLICTS

By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

image by FWC

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 13, 2016.......... State money was spread across 12 counties on Tuesday to help reduce the potential for conflicts between Florida's bear and human populations.

Most of the $825,000 in "BearWise" program money will go to lower the cost of bear-resistant trash cans for residents, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a release announcing the grants.

THRASHER TAKES AIM AT GUNS ON CAMPUS

By LLOYD DUNKELBERGER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Landis Hall, FSU User:Chargarther

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 7, 2016.......... In his annual "state of the university" address on Wednesday, Florida State University President John Thrasher reiterated his strong opposition to allowing guns on university and college campuses.

As a member of the Florida Senate, Thrasher helped kill a bill in 2011 that would have allowed gun owners with concealed-weapons licenses to bring their firearms to Florida's university and state-college campuses.

THREE SUPREME COURT NOMINEES WOULD ADD CONSERVATIVE VOICE

By DARA KAM
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, November 29, 2016.......... Florida Supreme Court justices Charles Canady and Ricky Polston will almost certainly have a conservative colleague to join their frequent splits from the court's majority when Gov. Rick Scott appoints a replacement for Justice James E.C. Perry.

Perry's constitutionally mandated retirement gives Scott the opportunity to continue moving Florida's appellate courts to the right, and the three nominees to replace Perry left no doubt this week as to how they would rule if appointed to the state's highest court.

JUDGE HALTS WORKERS' COMP RATE HIKE OVER SUNSHINE ISSUES

By JIM SAUNDERS
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Judge Karen Gievers

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, November 23, 2016.......... Little more than a week before businesses were slated to get hit with increased workers' compensation insurance rates, a Leon County circuit judge Wednesday blocked the hike because of violations of Florida's Sunshine Law.

An organization that files workers' compensation rate proposals for insurers quickly said it would appeal.

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