Posts Tagged ‘Dane Eagle’

Mexico Consul, ACLU, Civil Rights groups blast immigrant crime bill

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

The Consul of the Mexican Consulate in Orlando and several groups blasted a Florida senate bill Wednesday that would make one set of criminal codes for undocumented immigrants and another for everyone else.
Mexico Consul Juan Sabines Guerrero called Senate Bill 120 “condemnable by society as a whole” as he and representatives of the ACLU and several Civil Rights organizations called, at the Mexican Consulate in Orlando, for the Florida Legislature to stop the bill.
SB 120, sponsored by Republican Travis Hutson of Palm Coast, would require that any criminal charges against undocumented immigrants be upgraded. A first-degree misdemeanor charge brought against someone who turned out to be an undocumented immigrant would be prosecuted as a third-degree felony; a third-degree felony charge would be prosecuted as a second-degree felony; etc.
Hutson was not immediately available to respond. He has promoted the bill by arguing that undocumented immigrants already have committed another offense by being in Florida illegally.
“Any legislation that forgets basic principles of law, disregards basic human rights, and forgets the contribution of immigrants is to be condemnable by society as a whole,” Sabines said.
Sabines and others, including activists Philip Arroyo and Lawanna Gelzer, argued that the proposed law clearly violates the equal protection principle of American justice, which has been established to say that immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, are to be treated in court like anyone else.
“We think it’s racist, it’s unconstitutional, it’s a violation of human rights, and as a law student I have to say I am disgusted and embarrassed,” said Arroyo, representing the ACLU of Central Florida and the Immigrant Rights Task Force.
Arroyo said the bill is unconstitutional and said, “If this passes, expect a legal battle.”
SB 120 has cleared both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice, by one vote in each panel. It

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House bill advances to give University of Florida $2.5M for medical marijuana study

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

The University of Florida would get about $2.5 million to study the effectiveness of medical marijuana under a bill that cleared the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee Tuesday.
HB 3159 by Cape Coral Republican Rep. Dane Eagle is aimed at the compassionate use bill lawmakers approved in 2014, which legalized low-THC, high-cannabidiol marijuana for the treatment of some diseases, such as epilepsy in children.
A similar, $1 million UF study was approved by the legislature back in 2015, with that money heading to a pediatric neurology lab.
Eagle’s budget request form for the bill lists UF Pharmacy professor Almut Winterstein as the requester. According to the document, about $1.2 million of the money will go to salaries and $654,000 for contracted services with most of the rest going toward data storage and travel expenses.
Since the 2014 law, the Legislature has approved full-THC marijuana for terminally ill patients and Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana for many other non-terminal medical conditions.
Stuart Republican Rep. Gayle Harrell said Eagle’s bill was a “key component” of the legislation lawmakers need to pass in order to put that constitutional amendment into action.
HB 3159 now moves on to the full Appropriations Committee, its final stop before it’s ready for a floor vote in the House.
The post House bill advances to give University of Florida $2.5M for medical marijuana study appeared first on Florida Politics.

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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round.
On: House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee has brought on budget analyst Bryan Mielke, formerly a legislative assistant for Sebring Republican Rep. Cary Pigman.
On: Brandon Miller is replacing Mielke as Pigman’s legislative assistant.
On: Daniel Brackett is a new attorney for the House Careers & Competition Subcommittee.
On: Angelique Rinaldi is the new legislative assistant for Port Orange Republican Sen. Dorothy Hukill.
On: Jervonte Edmonds is the new district secretary for West Palm Beach Democratic Rep. Al Jacquet.
Off: Andrew Green is no longer a district secretary for Orlando Republican Rep. Mike Miller.
On: Charles Martin is the news district secretary for St. Petersburg Democratic Rep. Wengay Newton.
Off: Nathan Klein is no longer a district secretary for Cape Coral Republican Rep. Dane Eagle.
On: Samantha Surdin is the new district secretary for Orlando Republican Rep. Eric Eisnaugle.
Off: Elizabeth Casimir is no longer a district secretary for Fort Lauderdale Democratic Rep. Patricia Williams.
The post Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round appeared first on Florida Politics.

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Agency for State Technology audit scrutinized by Florida House panel

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

On Wednesday, a Florida House panel took the baton from a Senate committee, addressing a problem-riddled Auditor General’s IT audit of the Agency for State Technology.
The House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee discussed a January Auditor General report about the Agency for State Technology and State Data Center operations.
Despite the findings of that report, which included issues with user access privileges, accounts kept active despite being unused, and other such seemingly-exploitable security glitches, the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee showed little interest in the kind of specific, drill-down inquiry about remedies for these issues one might have expected.
But Wednesday in the House was a different matter.
Arthur Hart, Audit Manager for Information Technology Audits in the Office of Auditor General, addressed the audit.
“I think there is reason for some concern about some findings in the audit,” Chairman Blaise Ingoglia said by way of introducing Hart.
Notable: a financial audit of AST is expected later this year.
Hart laid out the case, which had twelve parts total.
“AST,” Hart said, needed to “address its control weaknesses.”
When the chair asked who was using access that lacked authorization, Hart said “several state agency employees” had admin rights to their servers, but did not relinquish those rights when server content was centralized.
The same surplus of access was found among three AST employees, Hart added.
Service accounts, such as operations and scheduling accounts, were also an issue.
Some were kept active beyond the point where they were needed. Some had inappropriate logons.
These accounts, Hart said, were administrative, non-user accounts typically.
However, there are some accounts that allow, through a default setting, a log in.
Proper administrative procedure, said Hart, would disable that ability.
Reviews of access, intended to be conducted quarterly, were ignored — despite that being mandated in procedural documents.
AST, said Hart, is currently creating a process toward quarterly review, with implementation expected by the end of

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Mark Wilson calls House push to eliminate Enterprise Florida ‘a political conversation about ideology’

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Addressing what he called the “obvious elephant in the room,” Florida Chamber President Mark Wilson criticized Florida House members who backed an effort to end economic incentive programs, calling the move political.
“I want to be blunt for a few minutes,” said Wilson. “This is not a Legislature trying to seek how to diversify the economy and how to grow trade. This is a political conversation about an ideology that frankly is silly.”
Wilson made his comments during the 2017 International Days hosted by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. The annual event brings together policy experts and business leaders to talk about economic diversification and foreign investment, and comes as the Florida House is in the midst of discussions about whether to eliminate a slew of other economic incentive programs.
The House Careers & Competition Subcommittee last week voted 10-5 to approve a bill that would eliminate Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development organization; Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing agency, and a slew of economic incentive programs.
The proposal was backed by House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who has been a vocal opponent of incentives, equating them to corporate welfare and vowing they would not be in the House budget.
The Florida Chamber opposed the plan, and Wilson used introductory remarks to criticize members, many of whom the Chamber endorsed during the 2016 election cycle, for their decision. Wilson noted some of the members who said they “thought targeted incentives were important” during endorsements discussions, are now writing op-eds calling them immoral.
“The Florida Chamber scores votes by legislators,” he said. “We are scoring every one of the votes in the Legislature and it will be factored into endorsements. That doesn’t make a lot of friends, but (we’re) fighting for free enterprise.”
The Chamber endorsed Reps. Halsey Beshears, Randy Fine, Julio Gonzalez, Mike La Rosa, Alex Miller,

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Rick Scott talks Enterprise Florida, Visit Florida with SWFL business, community leaders

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott met with Lee County community and business leaders, holding the first in a series of round table discussions across the state meant to rally support for Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida funding.
“Right now, I’m going to fight every day to make sure we keep this funding because it’s good for your family,” said the Naples Republican. “It’s an investment. We make an investment and we get a return.”
Scott has requested $85 million for economic incentives for Enterprise Florida, making it one of his top priorities going into the 2017 Legislative Session. But the governor faces a big battle for the incentive dollars, with House Speaker Richard Corcoran saying the House budget will not include incentives. He’s been staunchly opposed to economic incentives, even equating them to corporate welfare.
And last week, the House took the first steps to not just defunding economic incentives, but to eliminate Enterprise Florida. The House Careers and Competition Subcommittee voted 10-5 to approve a committee bill to kill Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida, as well as a slew of other incentive programs.
Rep. Dane Eagle, a Cape Coral Republican and the House Majority Whip, was among those who voted in favor of the proposal. Eagle was appointed to the committee as an ex officio member, and is a member of the full House Commerce Committee.
Scott blasted Eagle for his vote, saying he was “very disappointed” and couldn’t imagine why he would vote to do end Enterprise Florida or Visit Florida. The Lee County event was held in Eagle’s district.
“Governor Scott can’t explain why the system should be rigged against hardworking taxpayers and small business owners of Florida,” said Andres Malave, a spokesman for Americans for Prosperity-Florida, in a statement. “Instead of advocating for a more competitive regulatory business climate, he is wrongly convinced that

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New video from Richard Corcoran boasts ‘We are One House’

Friday, January 13th, 2017

A new video produced by the Florida House seeks to remind citizens of the Sunshine State that lawmakers, who will soon convene for the 2017 Legislative Session in March, are united in service to all Floridians.
In the clip from Speaker Richard Corcoran’s First Principles Production, group of Florida House members show that — despite political differences — “We are One House.”
The 90-second video — which begins with the passing of the gavel between former Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Corcoran — features a stream of House members such as Republican Reps. Jose Diaz (HD 116), Alexandra Miller (HD 72), Michael Grant (HD 75), Dane Eagle (HD 77) and Democrats Sean Shaw (HD 61) and Matt Willhite (HD 86) among others.
Each lawmaker talks about how the are representing all Floridians, first responders, seniors, veterans and those in need.
“I am so thankful to our colleagues who participated in our ‘One House’ project,” Corcoran said in a statement.  “With this video, we aimed to show the public, the press, and each other, that we share many broad goals and in the end, we are no different, and no more important than any of the people we collectively represent.
“Because, as the video says, ‘all of them, are all of us,’” he added.
Corcoran encourages everyone to watch, share, and participate in the next video, as well as “always remain honored — even when we disagree — to serve together.”
 The video is available on YouTube.

The post New video from Richard Corcoran boasts ‘We are One House’ appeared first on Florida Politics.

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New bill targets crimes from ‘violent illegal immigrants’

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

A bill filed for the 2017 Legislative Session by Sen. Travis Hutson and Rep. Dane Eagle seeks to enhance penalties for violent crimes from illegal immigrants.
“Reclassification of crimes” legislation would increase penalties for violent crimes committed by illegals by one degree from the baseline penalty.
A third degree misdemeanor would become a second degree misdemeanor, and so on, under this legislation, which sees escalations similar to current hate crimes legislation (a genre which will see expansion this session, via enhanced penalties for hate crimes against law enforcement.)
Hutson, who hails from St. Johns County, notes in a press release that he is “focused on going after violent illegal immigrants only” to “ensure that all people in Florida whether they be residents or visitors are protected from these violent actors.”
Eagle says the federal government has been “asleep at the wheel.”
While the state lacks the authority to deport these bad actors, Eagle adds that Florida can “prosecute them to the full extent of the law,” and make that law even “tougher.”

The post New bill targets crimes from ‘violent illegal immigrants’ appeared first on Florida Politics.

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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round.
Off: Mary Kassabaum is no longer legislative assistant for Trilby Republican state Sen. Wilton Simpson.
Off: Caroline Crow is no longer district secretary for Rockledge Republican state Sen. Thad Altman.
On: Matthew Hunter is returning as legislative assistant for Fort Myers Republican state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto.
Off: Sean Nixon is no longer legislative assistant for Cutler Bay Democratic state Sen. Dwight Bullard.
Off: Kyle Langan is no longer legislative assistant for Inverness Republican state Sen. Charlie Dean.
Off and on: Allison Hess Sitte is no longer legislative assistant for Niceville Republican state Sen. Don Gaetz. Sitte has moved to the president’s office to serve as director of scheduling for Senate President-designate Joe Negron, a Republican from Stuart.
Off: Nanci Cornwell and Anne-Marie Norman are no longer legislative assistants for Umatilla Republican state Sen. Alan Hays.
Off: Karol Molinares is no longer legislative assistant for North Miami Democratic state Sen. Gwen Margolis.
Off: Carolina Castillo and Alexandra Rueckner are no longer district secretaries for Miami Republican state Rep. Frank Artiles.
Off: Gabe Peters is no longer legislative assistant for Hialeah Republican state Rep. Bryan Avila.
Off and on: Lance Clemons is no longer district secretary for Monticello Republican state Rep. Halsey Beshears. He was replaced by Chris Kingry.
Off: Andrea Knowles is no longer legislative assistant for Deerfield Beach Democratic state Rep. Gwyndolen “Gwyn” Clarke-Reed.
On: Evelyn Haas is the new district secretary for Speaker-designate Richard Corcoran.
On: Beatriz Marte became district secretary for Kissimmee Democratic state Rep. John Cortes.
Off: Ashley Guinn is no longer legislative assistant for Speaker Steve Crisafulli.
Off: Christian Schultze is no longer district secretary for Tampa Democratic state Rep. Janet Cruz.
Off and on: Allison Hopkins is no longer district secretary for Eucheeanna Republican state Rep. Brad Drake. Ann McGraw, formerly with Baker Republican state Sen. Greg Evers, joins Rhonda Thomas as Drake’s legislative assistant.
On: Nathan Klein is a new district secretary for Cape Coral Republican state Rep. Dane Eagle.
On: Edward Metzger is a new legislative assistant for Fort Myers Republican state Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen.
Off and on:

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