Posts Tagged ‘Anitere Flores’

School recess, in disarray statewide, to become uniform under Senate bill

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
In the decades before tablets and standardized testing wormed their way into primary and secondary schools, school playgrounds were a familiar place for children and adolescents.
Up to an hour a day was spent running around, throwing balls to, or at, one another.
But with all the technology and pressure to make the academic cut, with extracurriculars lumped in, recess somehow got lost in the mix.
However, one Florida state senator is looking to change that, even if only by setting a minimum standard for schools to follow.
Sen. Anitere Flores, vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, moved her proposal, SB 78,

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Committee hearing delayed on Anitere Flores’ tax swap legislation

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017
A committee test turned into an anticlimax Wednesday for a Senate bill that would trade a tax break for insurance companies for one to benefit phone, cable, and satellite communications customers.
The Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance and Tax adjourned abruptly after approving a bill making technical changes to align Florida’s corporate income tax to the federal tax code. The Legislature makes the adjustment every year.
Sen. Anitere Flores didn’t show up to present what was to have been the headliner bill — SB 378, repealing a $435 million salary tax credit for insurers to finance a nearly $231 million tax break

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Law enforcement officials say that Anitere Flores bill to mandate civil citations for juveniles still ‘a non-starter’ for them

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017
There are a number of bills floating in the Florida Legislature this year that deal with criminal justice reform, but one that has law enforcement completely flummoxed is a bill that would remove their discretion to charge a minor regarding a variety of first-time offenses.
Miami Republican Senator Anitere Flores bill (SB 196) requires a law enforcement officer to issue a civil citation or require the juvenile’s participation in a diversion program when that juvenile admits to committing certain first-time misdemeanor offenses.
Officials with the Florida Police Chiefs Association and the Florida Sheriffs Association are strongly opposed to bill, however, because it mandates

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Michael Carlson: Don’t trade a tax cut for a tax increase – preserve the salary tax credits for insurers

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Michael Carlson
For three decades, Florida has offered insurance companies a highly effective, performance-based tax credit that has resulted in tens of thousands of good jobs being created or imported to our state. Not only does this credit bolster our state’s economy in a transparent, accountable way, it also helps ensure insurance rates for Floridians stay as affordable as possible.
Senate Bill 378 by Sen. Anitere Flores would bring that to an unfortunate end. It would repeal tax credits available to insurers as a way to lower the communications services tax currently levied on telecommunications, video, cable and satellite television and

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Appropriations Committee approves bill removing police ‘discretion tool’ in first-time cases with juveniles

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
A bill introduced and passed unanimously in the Appropriations Committee on Criminal and Civil Justice Wednesday would take away a tool long since considered useful, but increasingly controversial – the power of discretion.
The measure – SB 196 — could drastically limit what those in the policing community could do when responding to calls involving minors, detractors at the meeting — which included representatives from the law enforcement associations — argued, as the bill’s sponsor, Miami Republican Sen. Anitere Flores looked on.
“We cannot agree to a bill that takes away from law enforcement discretion,” Matt Dunagan, executive director of the

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Bill to expand juvenile civil citations advances in Senate, law enforcement continues to resist

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
Legislation to create a statewide civil citation program for juveniles statewide advanced in a Florida Senate Committee Wednesday. but members of the police and sheriffs association continue to resist the bill as currently drawn up.
But members of the police and sheriffs association continue to resist the bill as currently drawn.
Miami Republican Senator Anitere Flores’ bill (SB 196) would mandate law enforcement officers to offer a civil citation for youths admitting to one of 11 separate misdemeanors: possession of alcohol beverages; battery; criminal mischief; trespassing; theft; retail and farm theft; riots; disorderly conduct; possession of cannabis or controlled substances; possession, manufacture, delivery, transportation, advertisement

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Mandatory recess bill sails through second Senate committee

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
Call it another small victory for recess.
The Senate PreK-12 Education Appropriations Subcommittee unanimously approved a bill (SB 78) requiring school districts to provide at least 100 minutes of supervised, unstructured free play each week — or 20 minutes of free play each week — to students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
While the bill received strong support from the committee, some members expressed concern they were issuing a mandate to local school districts.
“Who can be against recess? I loved it. It was one of my favorite portions of the day, and I was pretty good (at it),” said Sen. Doug Broxson.

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Hmmm… House’s whiskey & Wheaties bill stumbles in second committee

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017
The House version of the “whiskey and Wheaties” bill stumbled and then face planted in its second committee hearing Tuesday afternoon.
The Walmart-backed HB 81, sponsored by Hialeah Republican Rep. Bryan Avila, would allow grocery stores and other retailers to sell liquor, rather than keeping up the so-called “liquor wall.”
The issue is a top priority for Miami Republican Sen. Anitere Flores and a boatload of retailers, but conservatives in the House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee wanted nothing to do with it.
Their message to Walmart and Avila: no whiskey and Wheaties this year. Or vodka and veggies, or cachaça and chicken.
They were also

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Business groups oppose tax break swap

Monday, March 6th, 2017
A coalition of Florida business groups is giving the thumbs-down to state Sen. Anitere Flores’ proposal to pay for a cut in the state’s tax on mobile phone and satellite and cable TV service by repealing a tax break to insurers.
The legislation (SB 378) would swap the insurance break for a 2 percent reduction in the state’s communications services tax (CST). The proposal is a priority of Senate President Joe Negron, a Stuart Republican.
Negron earlier this year said he was looking to eliminate the insurance deal this year, a 15 percent tax credit on the salaries that insurers give their full-time workers here in the

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2017 Legislative Session preview: Oscar Braynon on juvenile justice, incentives and Chance the Rapper

Sunday, March 5th, 2017
This is the first legislative session that South Florida’s Oscar Braynon II will be the Senate’s Democratic Leader.
The 40-year-old, who succeeded term-limited former Leader Arthenia Joyner, was first elected in 2011 after serving in the House and on the Miami Gardens City Council before that.
Though he’s in the minority, Braynon has high hopes for legislative breakthroughs with the GOP majority under President Joe Negron. “We have a good personal relationship and we’ve helped each other before we were in leadership,” Braynon says.
That said, one issue he’s already behind on is “decoupling,” in which the state would

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Mystery website urges Scott to name Anitere Flores chief financial officer

Monday, February 27th, 2017
A privately registered website is urging Gov. Rick Scott to name Sen. Anitere Flores to replace Jeff Atwater when he resigns as the state’s chief financial offer at the end of the coming legislative session.
“Ask Gov. Scott to stand with working class Floridians and appoint Flores as our next CFO!” the site, http://www.flores4cfo.com, urges.
Flores told POLITICO Florida, first to report about the site, that she was surprised by the website and was focused on doing her existing job.
The Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers website lists the Flores website’s administrator as private.
Atwater announced on Feb. 10 that he

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Anitere Flores wants to replace one tax cut with another

Friday, February 24th, 2017
In a move sure to ire the insurance industry, state Sen. Anitere Flores is proposing a cut in the state tax on mobile phone and satellite and cable TV service by repealing a tax break to insurers.
Flores, the Senate President pro Tempore, on Friday said she was filing legislation (SB 378) to swap the insurance break for a 2 percent reduction in the state’s communications services tax (CST). The proposal is a priority of Senate President Joe Negron, a Stuart Republican.
The move also aligns with Gov. Rick Scott‘s and the Florida House’s appetite for continued tax relief. Flores’ proposal “could provide $300 million

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Bring on the orange juice: Denise Grimsley schedules breakfast fundraiser for March 7

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

It’s never too early in the day to start fundraising.
Sen. Denise Grimsley is scheduled to hold a fundraising reception for her 2018 bid for Agriculture Commissioner at 7:30 a.m. on March 7 at Florida Finance Strategies, 111-B East College Avenue in Tallahassee.
The reception, according to a copy of the invitation, is hosted by Sens. Aaron Bean, Dennis Baxley, Rob Bradley, Anitere Flores, George Gainer, Bill Galvano, Rene Garcia, Jack Latvala, Tom Lee, Debbie Mayfield, David Simmons, Wilton Simpson, Kelli Stargel, and Greg Steube.
The breakfast fundraiser comes just hours before the start of the 2017 Legislative Session.
A Sebring Republican, Grimsley

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VIDEO: Lawmakers, supporters speak out on school recess

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
Sen. Anitere Flores, Rep. Rene “Coach P” Plasencia, and a throng of “recess moms” spoke with reporters Thursday in support of legislation that would mandate school recess.
The Senate Education Committee this week voted unanimously to approve this year’s bill (SB 78). Its House companion (HB 67) has not yet heard a hearing.
It requires school districts to provide at least 20 minutes of recess each day to students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
This may well be the year the bill passes the Legislature. A version was OK’d by the House last year but died in the Senate because then-Sen. John Legg refused to

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Senate Appropriations votes 14-2 to OK gambling bill, now cleared for Senate floor

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
A wide-sweeping gambling bill is now ready to be heard by the full Senate when the 2017 Legislative Session kicks off next month, after it cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee this morning.
The bill (SB 8), sponsored by Sen. Bill Galvano, ratifies the 2015 Seminole Compact, subject to the approval of amendments to conform the agreement to provisions outlined in the bill and other actions to be taken by the Seminole Tribe and the state of Florida, and would expand the number of facilities where slot machines can be operated.
“Florida is a diverse state and our constituents have many different

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Senate education committee approves mandatory recess bill

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
Mandatory recess could be on the horizon.
The Senate Education Committee voted 7-0 to approve a bill (SB 78) that requires school district across the state to provide at least 20 minutes of recess each day to students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Under the proposal, the master schedule at each school containing elementary grades would need to reflect the requirement for 20 consecutive minutes of daily recess.
“It’s time for recess,” said Sen. Anitere Flores, the bill’s sponsor.
The measure, which has bi-partisan support in the House and Senate, is similar to one that moved through the Legislature during the 2016

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New non profit report says incarcerating non-violent youth in Florida is costly and often ineffective

Monday, February 13th, 2017
A new report issued on Monday urges state lawmakers in Florida to expand initiatives in community-based treatment for wayward youth, saying it is less expensive and results in better outcomes than going through the incarceration route.
“Florida is spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to run state and county youth detention centers, while evidence shows that locking up Florida youth for non-serious or non-violent offenses does little to improve public safety,” said Joe Pennisi, executive director of the Florida Policy Institute. “These young people are better served in treatment facilities that are within their communities, where they can receive the assistance they

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“Whiskey and Wheaties” bill now cleared for Senate floor

Thursday, February 9th, 2017
A Senate bill to remove the “wall of separation” between hard liquor and other retail goods won approval from a second committee, clearing it to be considered by the full Senate.
The bill sparked an unexpected objection from National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer after an amendment came up banning liquor from being sold in the same store as guns and ammo.
The Rules Committee on Thursday OK’d the legislation (SB 106) by a 6-4 vote, with Democrats and prominent Republicans in opposition.
“I just don’t see the fervor,” said Sen. Jack Latvala, the Clearwater Republican who also chairs the Appropriations Committee. “This is not

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Amendment would slow down effect of ‘whiskey and Wheaties’ bill

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
State Sen. Bill Galvano Wednesday filed an amendment to this year’s “whiskey and Wheaties” legislation to “slow its implementation so it doesn’t come into the marketplace all at once.”
The bill (SB 106), filed for four years running, would repeal the Prohibition-era state law requiring businesses, such as grocery chains and big-box retailers, to have separate stores to sell liquor.
Beer and wine already are sold in grocery aisles in Florida.
Galvano, a Bradenton Republican expected to be Senate President in 2018-20, first filed a version of the bill in 2014. His amendment would phase in the integration of booze into general retail space over

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Capitol Reax: Tax cuts, certificates of need, whiskey and Wheaties, fracking

Friday, January 27th, 2017
Gov. Rick Scott proposed $618 million in tax cuts this week, which included four back to school holidays and reducing the commercial lease tax.
“Governor Scott’s ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ tax package includes a number of cuts which will significantly support Florida’s retailers, including a reduction in the business rent tax, cutting the business tax and including an expanded back-to-school sales tax holiday among others. FRF is excited about what the Governor’s tax cut package will mean for growing Sunshine State businesses, creating new jobs for Florida families and ensuring our state remains competitive.” – Randy Miller, president and CEO

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Anitere Flores: Gas stations will be carved out of ‘whiskey and Wheaties’ bill

Thursday, January 26th, 2017
Even though the bill sailed through its first committee, state Sen. Anitere Flores Thursday said she would tweak her “whiskey and Wheaties” legislation to make sure it wouldn’t apply to gas station convenience stories.
The Senate Regulated Industries committee cleared the bill (SB 106) to repeal the Prohibition-era state law requiring businesses, such as grocery chains and big-box retailers, to have separate stores to sell liquor.
After critics and committee members raised concerns, Flores – the Senate President pro tempore – said she wanted to make clear it wouldn’t apply to gas station stores, but ran out of time before Thursday’s hearing. This is

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Bill to expand juvenile civil citations raises questions on officer discretion

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

A bill to set up a civil citation program for juveniles statewide advanced Monday through a Florida Senate committee.
However, questions about removing officer discretion may need to be addressed before the proposal gets widespread support from lawmakers later this Session.
Miami Republican Senator Anitere Flores’ bill (SB 196) would mandate law enforcement officers to offer a civil citation for youths admitting to one of 11 separate misdemeanors: possession of alcohol beverages; battery; criminal mischief; trespassing; theft; retail and farm theft; riots; disorderly conduct; possession of cannabis or controlled substances; possession, manufacture, delivery, transportation, advertisement or retail sale of drug paraphernalia and resisting an officer

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Why I have second thoughts about tearing down the wall between the whiskey and the Wheaties

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

For the fourth year in a row, lawmakers will try to tear down the wall that separates tequila from tangelos.
Senate President pro tem Anitere Flores has a bill (SB 106) to repeal the Prohibition-era state law requiring businesses, such as grocery chains and big-box retailers, to have separate stores to sell liquor. State Rep. Bryan Avila, a Hialeah Republican, filed a companion bill in the House.
However, for the first time in four years, I’m not so sure about this legislation.
In Sessions past, I was among the most outspoken proponents of tearing down the wall between the whiskey and the Wheaties. I viewed the issue as one

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Push is on to decriminalize minor youth offenses

Friday, December 23rd, 2016
Let’s say you’re a teenager and you do something stupid. I know, hard to believe, right?
Maybe you get caught with a small amount of pot, or you’re in the wrong place when a fight breaks out. Maybe you’re out with the guys and ended up someplace you shouldn’t, or you committed a petty theft.
You’ve never broken the law before, but someone called the cops and soon you’re handcuffed in the back of a squad car with a record that will stick to you like gum on the bottom of your shoe. Potential employers, college admissions officers and just everyone

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Anitere Flores files bill aimed a decriminalizing youth

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016
Sen. Anitere Flores has filed a bill to decriminalize youthful transgressions, a top priority for Senate President Joe Negron.
Flores, a Miami Republican and the Senate President Pro Tempore, filed Senate Bill 196 on Tuesday. The measure allows law enforcement officers to issue juveniles who admit to committing a first-time misdemeanor a civil citation or require the child to participate in a diversion program.
Under the proposal, law enforcement officers could issue civil citations or require a juvenile to participate in a diversion program for several misdemeanor offenses, including possession of alcohol, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct.
According to a draft of

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At Senate Committee hearing, lawmakers get an earful of complaints about managed Medicaid system

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016
After years of Medicaid reform experiments, the state of Florida rolled out managed care for more than 3.6 million Floridians in the summer of 2014. But at a hearing of the Florida Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services on Wednesday, the reviews were poor from  long term health care providers about lengthy delays in receiving Medicaid payments.
“One of the issues we’ve experienced is just getting a straight answer as near as possible,” said Angel Pardo with the Doral-based Doctors Medical Rentals Corporation. “It takes us months to get paid.”
“We’ve also experience a number of challenges with payments, from having to manage multiple

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Trial bar allies turn guns on ratings council in workers’ comp hearing

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016
As debate opened Tuesday over Florida’s 14.5 percent increase in workers’ compensation premiums, trial attorneys on the Florida Senate’s Banking and Insurance Committee targeted the group that proposes insurance rates for carriers in the state.
Sens. Greg Steube and Gary Farmer Jr., both attorneys, endeavored to shift the focus from attorney fees — widely blamed for rising workers’ comp rates — and onto the need for carriers to compete rather than charge common rates.
“I support a competitive marketplace,” committee member Greg Steube said following the hearing. “That’s one of the things the committee and the Legislature should look at.”
Chairwoman Anitere

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It’s “whiskey and Wheaties” all over again

Monday, December 5th, 2016
For the fourth year in a row, lawmakers will try to tear down the wall that separates tequila from tangelos.
Senate President pro tem Anitere Flores on Monday filed a bill (SB 106) to repeal the Prohibition-era state law requiring businesses, such as grocery chains and big-box retailers, to have separate stores to sell liquor.
Beer and wine already are sold in grocery aisles in Florida.
“As legislators, we shouldn’t burden businesses with archaic regulations when they must be more innovative and forward thinking than ever to compete with the digital marketplace,” the Miami Republican said in a statement.
A companion bill will be filed in

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Jeff Brandes files computer coding as foreign language bill

Monday, December 5th, 2016
Florida lawmakers could once again consider whether computer coding classes should be counted as a foreign language credit.
Sen. Jeff Brandes filed legislation Monday to allow Florida high schools to offer computer coding classes that “along with the earning of a related industry certification satisfies two credits of sequential foreign language instruction.”
Senate Bill 104 also requires the state college and university system to recognize the credits as foreign language credits.
“Software development and coding is one of the largest skill gaps we have in Florida, said Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican. “We believe there is now, and will continue to be,

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Jeff Brandes files computer coding as foreign language bill

Monday, December 5th, 2016
Florida lawmakers could once again consider whether computer coding classes should be counted as a foreign language credit.
Sen. Jeff Brandes filed legislation Monday to allow Florida high schools to offer computer coding classes that “along with the earning of a related industry certification satisfies two credits of sequential foreign language instruction.”
Senate Bill 104 also requires the state college and university system to recognize the credits as foreign language credits.
“Software development and coding is one of the largest skill gaps we have in Florida, said Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican. “We believe there is now, and will continue to be,

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