Florida Legislature

Gambling
8:54 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Casino Lobbyist Wants Gaming Committee To Consider Lower Tax Rates

Credit Wikipedia.org

  A lobbyist for an international casino operator that wants to expand into Florida called Monday for the state to create a strong gaming commission that would oversee all gambling --- including one destination resort casino in South Florida.

However, Nick Iarossi, the lobbyist for Las Vegas Sands Corps., told members of the Senate Gaming Committee that proposed sales tax rates suggested in a new study on the future of gaming in Florida could hinder the construction of such a world class complex.

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News
8:25 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

State Says Bug-Prone Unemployment System Is Improving

Jesse Panuccio is in his first year as executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The department oversees unemployment benefits.
Credit floridajobs.org

Florida’s new unemployment claims system isn’t perfect yet, but state leaders say it’s less bug-prone.

The Florida Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee got an update Monday on problems with the new system, which launched three weeks ago.

Executive Director Jesse Panuccio runs the Department of Economic Opportunity, which oversees the program for jobless benefits.

He says the kinks have mostly been worked out.

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News
6:04 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

State Working To Fix Glitch-Ridden Unemployment Website

Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity provides unemployment benefits worth up to $275 a week to more than 200,000 Floridians. But glitches in the new system are preventing thousands of people from signing up for benefits.
Credit Reilly Shiarella/flickr

Florida has a new website for unemployment claims, and much like the federal government’s health insurance website, it’s plagued with problems.

The Reemployment Assistance Connect System – known as CONNECT – is where jobless Floridians must go to file their claims. It’s overseen by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

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Politics
8:20 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Authors Of Florida Gambling Study To Appear At Senate Hearing Monday

Florida lawmakers are considering whether to allow destination resort casinos and other changes to state gambling law.
Credit Grant Cochrane/freedigitalphotos.net

A study measuring the potential economic impact of gambling casinos in Florida has been delayed a month. It was due October 1.

In a letter to legislative leaders, Spectrum Gaming Group requested a new deadline of November 1 to complete the study.

Their request came after state economists questioned the economic models used in the report.

RELATED: Florida Lawmakers Delay Highly Anticipated Gambling Study

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Economy
8:00 am
Wed October 2, 2013

How Incentives For Film, TV Production In Florida Are Drying Up

The final episode of Burn Notice being shot behind the former Miami Herald Building.
Miami-Dade Office of Film & Entertainment

Now that “Burn Notice” has wrapped up seven successful seasons, will a new show step in to send the world a postcard of Miami every week?

The USA Network production ended its run recently while ratings were still strong. Thanks to a worldwide audience, it’s likely to live for years in syndication.

But the end of the show, as well as A&E’s The Glades and Starz’ Magic City this summer, leaves a void in Miami’s economy. A lot of folks made money off these productions selling props, renting cars, catering food, cleaning costumes and working on-camera.

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Law
7:00 am
Mon September 16, 2013

How Florida Could Save The U.S. Equal Rights Amendment

Suffragist Alice Paul wrote the Equal Rights Amendment. It was introduced in every session of Congress from 1923 until 1972, when it finally passed.
Credit Network 355/flickr

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) may be making a comeback.

A proposed resolution filed in Tallahassee asks lawmakers to ratify a proposed U.S. constitutional amendment stating that civil rights may not be denied based on one's sex.

For now, the move is largely symbolic.

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Politics
8:00 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Florida To Replace 'Mental Retardation' With 'Intellectual Disability' Throughout State Law

Derrick Sneed asked the Florida Legislature to end use of the R word - “retardation” - in state law.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

Thirty-seven-year-old Derrick Sneed testified before Florida lawmakers last spring for a new law that removes all references to “mental retardation” in state law. 

“The more I learn about the R-word (the more I want) to get rid of this R-word and stop this R-word right now. It’s very important to me,” Sneed said. “People say retarded – and I said respect someone.”

The term “mental retardation” is being removed from more than 400 Florida statutes and being replaced with “intellectual disability.”

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Public Sector
7:00 am
Wed August 14, 2013

State Contractors Fret About New Public Records Requirements

Florida lawmakers passed a measure this year requiring a higher level of public record keeping by private companies that contract with the state.
Credit 401(K) 2013/flickr

Some state contractors are worried about new public records requirements that cost them money and put them at risk of legal trouble.

Vendors acting on behalf of state agencies are now subject to a higher level of record keeping because of a bill passed by the Florida Legislature this year.

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Politics
8:28 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Florida's Vetoed Alimony Bill Likely To Return In 2014

Rep. Ritch Workman (left) chats with Rep. Doug Broxson in the House chamber.
Credit Mark Foley/myfloridahouse.gov

A bill that would have ended permanent alimony in Florida was vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott a few months ago. But plans are already being made to bring it back next year.

Members of the group Family Law Reform will hold a summit and fundraiser in Orlando on August 17, focused on reforming what they say are outdated permanent alimony laws.

Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, told a House Committee last March it's not about getting rid of alimony – it's about being fair.

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Business
11:11 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Lawmakers Hope Sales Tax Cut Brings Manufacturing Boom

Florida ranks among the bottom states for the number of manufacturing jobs. Lawmakers eliminated the sales tax on manufacturing equipment, hoping to lure more companies.
Credit freedigitaldownloads.net/dan

Manufacturing isn't a booming industry in Florida, but many hope that will change thanks to a vote by the state Legislature.

Starting next spring, manufacturing companies will be able to buy equipment in Florida without paying sales tax on it.

That means less revenue initially for the state, but supporters say the move will help boost the industry and create jobs in Florida.

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Politics
1:50 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Here Are New Florida Laws Taking Effect July 1

Florida Capitol
Credit StateImpact Florida

The state's $74.1 billion budget, which will fund 114,481 positions, 3,955 more than in the current fiscal year, kicks in on Monday.

The fiscal package also includes the first raise those workers will see in seven year.

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Labor
8:00 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Critics Say Sick Leave Law Good For Corporations, Bad For Families

Under a law that takes effect next month, local governments no longer have the option of passing a paid sick leave ordinance.
Credit marin/freedigitalphotos.net

Gov. Rick Scott has signed a bill that prohibits local governments from crafting their own sick leave policies for private employers.

Supporters say the new law will prevent an array of ordinances that could be confusing for businesses.

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Immigration
6:00 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Why Gov. Scott's Latest Veto Might Alienate Latino Voters

Credit stateimpact.npr.org

When President Barack Obama adopted a policy last year aimed at allowing some young, undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States, he likely didn't know it would cause heartburn for Gov. Rick Scott about a year later.

The "deferred action" program didn't give citizenship or permanent-resident status to anyone living illegally in the country, but it did grant two-year non-deportation promises to undocumented immigrants under 30 who met certain conditions.

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Politics
2:59 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Gov. Scott Signs Florida Budget; Explains Vetoes

Gov. Rick Scott signs the 2013-14 state budget. He told reporters he vetoed a tuition hike because it will help Florida families.
Credit Tom Urban/News Service of Florida

Gov. Rick Scott signed the 2013-14 state budget into law today.

He also sent a letter to Secretary of State Ken Detzner explaining his decision to veto a tuition hike. “We are also holding the line on tuition by vetoing the Legislature’s recommended 3 percent tuition increase on our college and university students,” the governor wrote.

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Politics
8:02 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

Gov. Scott Vetoes Student Tuition Hike

Gov. Rick Scott of Florida
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed a $74.1 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 and vetoed $368 million in projects.


Scott vetoed 3 percent tuition increases for universities and state colleges and also rejected numerous spending proposals, including $14 million sought by Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, for a project at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City.


In a budget message, Scott touted that the spending plan includes $480 million to raise teacher pay.

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