Posts Tagged ‘Rick Scott’

With help from investor-Gov. Scott, Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline looks to open in June

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

By Joseph A. Mann Jr.
FloridaBulldog.org
The Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline, a giant interstate project whose tail reaches over 268 miles into Florida, has generated fierce opposition as its construction moves through the state from Georgia to its end-point in Osceola County, where it is scheduled to link up to an existing gas pipeline in June.
The post With help from investor-Gov. Scott, Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline looks to open in June appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Rick Scott yanks cop-killer case from Aramis Ayala, reassigns it

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
Gov. Rick Scott has used an executive order to pull the prosecution of alleged cop-killer Markeith Loyd away from Orlando’s State Attorney Aramis Ayala and to reassign it to State Attorney Brad King in Lake County.
Scott’s unprecedented move comes hours after the unprecedented announcement by Ayala that she would not prosecute death penalty charges, including in the case of Loyd, charged with killing his pregnant girlfriend Sade Dixon last December and that of Orlando Police Master Sergeant Debra Clayton in January.
The move is the latest event in a day of uproar that began with reports that Ayala, a newly-elected state

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Florida House Democrats demand Rick Scott speak up on CBO’s scoring of GOP health care plan

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
Since the Congressional Budget Office said the Republican health care plan would raise the ranks of the uninsured by 14 million people next year earlier this week, Gov. Rick Scott has been silent.
Florida House Democrats are now calling him out for his sudden reluctance to weigh in on a subject he’s never been shy about talking about before.
The governor has been a major critic of the Affordable Care Act and traveled to Washington last week to meet with President Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio, and House Speaker Paul Ryan to discuss the American Health Care Act.
Scott told reporters later he was “encouraged” about the Act,

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Rick Scott launches TV ad taking aim at ‘politicians in Tallahassee’ over tourism, jobs

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
The fight between Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida House is continues to heat up, with the governor taking to the airwaves to bash “the politicians in Tallahassee.”
The Naples Republican released a 30-second advertisement Thursday. The ad — paid for by Let’s Get to Work, his political committee — is expected to air across the state beginning next week, according to Gary Fineout with The Associated Press.
The advertisement comes one week after the Florida House voted overwhelmingly to approve a bill to eliminate Enterprise Florida. The House also voted to approve a measure to slash Visit Florida funding.
“The politicians

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Pat Neal: Prosperity for our families and future

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Pat Neal
Thanks to the efforts of Governor Rick Scott and the state’s committed business leaders, Florida has one of the strongest economies in the country. With our unemployment rate under 5 percent, Florida continues to exceed the nation’s annual job growth rate and tourism, one of the state’s economic drivers remains strong, with just under 113 million visitors in 2016, an increase from just 86 million visitors just three years ago.
Much of this success has been a result of Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida.
Their contributions are critical to our state’s recovery and continue to be important drivers in Florida’s

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Joe Gruters says he’s a long shot for CFO position, but appreciates the mention

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017
Sarasota Republican Party Chairman and House District 73 Representative Joe Gruters said on Wednesday that he’d be a “long-shot” to be selected by Governor Rick Scott to succeed Jeff Atwater as Florida Chief Financial Officer once Atwater leaves the office in May.
Gruters appeared on Tampa Bay area radio station News Talk 820 WWBA on Wednesday afternoon with guest host David Jolly. The former CD 13 Representative said that Gruters had shown his loyalty to Scott and President Trump when he backed both candidates when both were considered outliers within the GOP, and that Scott would reward such loyalty by picking Gruters to succeed Atwater later this year.
“Well Congressman, that’s

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Sean Shaw and Darryl Rouson attempt to deal with Florida’s ban on voting rights for ex-felons on the front end

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017
Under current Florida law, those who are convicted of any felony lose the right to vote, the right to sit on a jury, the right to hold public office, and the right to possess a firearm, unless they are granted the restoration of their civil rights by the state Office of Executive Clemency.
Legislation being sponsored by Tampa Bay area Democrats Darryl Rouson and Sean Shaw would end the automatic suspension of civil rights for those convicted of a non-violent felony.
“Even if the sentence has been served, a felony conviction in the State of Florida is a lifelong punishment,” says House District 59 Representative Sean Shaw

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Joe Henderson: ‘Shy’ Rick Scott needs to pipe up on Medicaid expansion

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017
Gov. Rick Scott hasn’t been shy about sharing his feelings on the Affordable Care Act. Like any good Republican, he hates it. He wants it to go away.
Now that Republicans have a legitimate proposal on the table to replace Obamacare, though, Scott has gone into stealth mode on the subject. In an Associated Press story, the governor did the Rick Scott Shuffle when asked for his reaction to the plan now being debated intensely in Washington.
Scott said he was glad there is “good conversation” happening on the subject. Not exactly a stop-the-presses comment.
He even met recently with House Speaker

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Florence Snyder: Ain’t no Sunshine where Scott’s gone

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
Just in time for Sunshine Week, Tampa Bay Times environmental reporter Craig Pittman reminds us how focused, how ruthless, how relentless Gov. Rick Scott’s flacks are in their taxpayer-financed efforts to keep information out of the hands of taxpayers.
Florida’s Ministries of Disinformation have been around since the Chiles administration, but “paranoia about the press” has ramped up significantly on Scott’s watch. Here’s how Connie Bersok, who devoted 30 years of her life to protecting Florida’s fragile wetlands, described current events at Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to Pittman and Times researcher Caryn Baird:
“When I first started, if the

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Despite lawsuit, Florida Lottery sees record sales; tops $100M for 2nd week

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
For a second consecutive week, the Florida Lottery broke its own record, with total sales of more than $141 million, the game’s chief announced Tuesday.
This record for the Sunshine State’s 29-year-old lottery comes despite a nasty lawsuit that pitted Florida Gov. Rick Scott against the state’s headstrong House Speaker, Rep. Richard Corcoran.
For the second successive week, the Florida Lottery’s contributions to the state’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF) exceeded $19 million from scratch-off sales alone.
Total scratch-off sales for the week reached $103.23 million, with overall sales hitting $141.28 million.
Additionally, this marks the second consecutive week in Florida Lottery history

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Senate committee recommends Glenn Sutphin for Veteran Affairs director

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

The Senate Committee on Military and Veteran’s Affairs, Space and Domestic Security recommended Glenn W. Sutphin, Jr. as the executive director of Florida’s Department of Veteran’s Affairs Tuesday.
Sutphin, a retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. and an appointee of Gov. Rick Scott and a retired, was voted to his post unanimously by the committee.
He joined the military June 6, 1969, serving 30 years in the U.S. Army. His family has history of military service. Having served under Gov. Jeb Bush, he helped to foster an environment in Florida for veterans to be welcome, he said at the committee hearing.
“One of

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Committee recommends Jeffrey Bragg for Secretary of Elder Affairs

Monday, March 13th, 2017

After a lengthy question and answer session, a Senate panel unanimously recommended to confirm Jeffrey Bragg as Florida’s Secretary of Elder Affairs Monday, an office that oversees a quarter of Florida’s 20 million residents.
The recommendation by the Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs will next go to the full chamber for a confirmation vote.
Last year Bragg was rejected as the state’s insurance commissioner. He was peppered with questions by the committee, but overall, the committee supported his appointment by Gov. Rick Scott.
From Palm Harbor in Pinellas County, the 67-year-old Bragg ran the nation’s terrorism risk insurance program from

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Lawsuit against Rick Scott and clemency board seeks to restore former felons’ voting rights

Monday, March 13th, 2017
A class action lawsuit filed on Monday aims to automatically restore former felons’ voting rights and eliminate Florida’s rights restoration process, considered one of the most onerous in the nation.
The lawsuit was filed by the Fair Elections Legal Network and the law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC on behalf of seven former felons. It targets all four members of the Cabinet, and six other state officials, including Secretary of State Ken Detzner and Dept. of Corrections head Julie Jones.
Florida is one of just a handful of states that does not automatically restore voting rights once a felon has paid his or her

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Rick Scott signs death penalty fix into law

Monday, March 13th, 2017
Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation Monday requiring a unanimous jury recommendation before the death penalty can be imposed.
Lawmakers passed the bill out of the House and Senate last week, rushing the measure through the process in hopes of fixing the state’s death penalty law. The House voted 112-3 to approve the measure Friday, one day after the Senate voted unanimously to approve it.
The U.S. Supreme Court in January 2016 declared the state’s death penalty was unconstitutional because it gave too much power to judges to make the ultimate decision. The ruling was based on a case where a judge

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Florida’s unemployment rate ticks up to 5% in January

Monday, March 13th, 2017
Florida’s unemployment rate ticked up in January, reaching 5 percent for the first time in a year.
The January unemployment rate marks a slight uptick from December, when state officials reported an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent. The statewide rate is higher than the national unemployment rate of 4.8 percent.
Despite the increase in the unemployment rate, Gov. Rick Scott lauded private sector employers Monday for creating more than 50,000 jobs in January.
The governor made the monthly jobs announcement at Herc Rentals in Bonita Springs, and used his appearance to once again take aim at lawmakers who voted to support a

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Joe Henderson: After Enterprise Florida fight, Rick Scott has little political capital left

Monday, March 13th, 2017
Rick Scott went to Tallahassee in 2011 as an outsider. He often has operated like one as well, and not always in a good way.
In a private company, stubborn employees can get fired for standing up to the boss. In politics, though, defiance can be considered a virtue. Eventually, people who vow to run government like a business learn you can’t just issue orders and expect things to get done.
Real democracy can be a free-for-all.
That brings us to the current state of affairs in the capitol city, a time that has the seen the governor behaving less like a

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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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Florence Snyder: Rick Swearingen plays J. Edgar Hoover while Broward burns

Friday, March 10th, 2017
While Bald Badasses Rick Scott and Rick (“We know the terrorists are here!”) Swearingen are busy playing dress-up like Jack Bauer and Jason Bourne, Florida’s criminal justice basics are increasingly under the command of the Keystone Kops.
The governor and FDLE commissioner are looking to raid state trust funds to “fight terrorism” by adding 46 new Counterterrorism Avengers to the payroll. It’s a good way to grab a cheap headline, and deflect attention from truly terrifying tales of our collapsing criminal justice infrastructure.
Speaking to a legislative committee this week, Swearingen had the gall to invoke the memory of the five

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Rick Scott: ‘Florida Lawmakers to vote on job killing legislation tomorrow’

Thursday, March 9th, 2017
Florida Gov. Rick Scott sounded the alarm Thursday evening — again — on a bill that is the bane of his existence this session: HB 7005.
“Tomorrow, members of the Florida House of Representatives will vote on HB 7005, a bill which eliminates a large majority of Florida’s economic development and jobs programs. The State of Florida relies heavily on these programs to diversify and strengthen our economy by attracting targeted industries and good, high-paying jobs that improve the lives of Florida families,” read a press release from his office.
Scott’s releases itemized the long list of incentive programs on the chopping block:

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Scott, Corcoran, Negron play Rochambeau with picks to the Constitution Revision Commission

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Rock breaks scissors, but scissors cut paper, which, of course, covers rock.
Neither Rick Scott, Richard Corcoran nor Joe Negron knew they were playing a game of Rochambeau when making their appointments to the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC).
But the way final picks played out, they may well have.
The CRC meets every 20 years to review and suggest changes to the state’s governing document. It has convened twice before, in 1977-78 and 1997-98, but this is the first to be selected by a majority of Republicans, virtually ensuring it will propose more conservative changes than previous panels.
Scott’s selections — just by the sheer fact that he had 6 more picks than

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Report: Richard Corcoran urges Democratic support of Enterprise Florida bill

Thursday, March 9th, 2017
House Speaker Richard Corcoran is asking for Democrats support to legislation that would abolish Enterprise Florida, saying if Democrats join the House will be able to override Gov. Rick Scott’s expected veto of the bill.
POLITICO Florida reported that Corcoran asked Democrats for their help to “get a veto-proof majority” during a House Democrats dinner.
The dinner came on the eve of the bill (HB 7005) first hearing by the full House. The House is also expected to discuss a bill (HB 9) today that would tighten restrictions on Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing agency, when it goes into session

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Florida doesn’t need an elected secretary of state, or agriculture commissioner

Thursday, March 9th, 2017
It would tax the imagination to come up with anything that Florida needs less than to elect a secretary of state once again. Why would the Legislature even consider that?
Sen. Aaron Bean, the sponsor, explained it the other day. As reported by FloridaPolitics.com, the Fernandina Beach Republican told the Senate ethics committee that in the main he wants a fifth position on the Cabinet to avoid tie votes that require the governor to be on the prevailing side or the motion fails.
Actually, he and nearly everyone else are incorrect when they refer to that group of four as “the

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State lawmakers applaud Florida TaxWatch during annual State of Taxpayer dinner

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
State lawmakers applauded Florida TaxWatch this week, hailing the organization for its role in the legislative process.
“The folks that formed Florida TaxWatch had a good focus in mind,” said Sen. Jack Latvala. “And as a result of Florida TaxWatch’s efforts, we’ve turned things around.”
The taxpayer advocacy group hosted its State of the Taxpayer dinner Wednesday. The annual event is meant to highlight issues affecting the average taxpayer, and features speeches from Latvala, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Rep. Jim Boyd and Rep. Manny Diaz. House Speaker Richard Corcoran was scheduled to attend, but was unable to

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Ed Miyagishima to leave Port Tampa Bay

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
Ed Miyagishima, the VP of Communications and External Affairs at Port Tampa Bay and a senior adviser to CEO Paul Anderson, has announced that he is leaving the port after four years to “lead the charge” to have Tampa Bay host the 2019 Medal of Honor Convention.
He made the announcement on his Facebook page on Wednesday night.
“I’m humbled and excited for this new chapter which will allow me to represent and showcase the American heroes and military community I love and honor, in the city I’m proud to call home,” Miyagishima writes.
A longtime figure in Republican politics before coming to Port Tampa Bay in 2013,

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Report: Rick Scott committee releases robocall targeting Republicans who support killing Enterprise Florida

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
Voters across the state will be getting robo-calls blasting their representative for voting for a bill to kill Enterprise Florida.
POLITICO Florida reported that Let’s Get to Work, the political committee backing Gov. Rick Scott, has funded another round of robocalls hitting Republicans who voted for a bill (HB 7005) that would eliminate Enterprise Florida and a slew of other economic incentive programs.
“Unfortunately, your state representative … is playing politics with Florida’s jobs,” the ad says, according to POLITICO Florida. “He voted to decimate Florida’s tourism and jobs programs. And that will destroy our economy and lead to higher taxes.”
The

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Could anti-Donald Trump quotes hurt Pat Neal’s chances of becoming CFO?

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
Not surprisingly, Donald Trump hasn’t been too keen in hiring those associated with the “Never Trump” movement of conservative policy who surfaced in last year’s presidential campaign.
The most glaring example of that was the case of former State Department official Elliott Abrams. A meeting between the two last month reportedly went well, according to CNN.  Ultimately Trump opted not to hire Abrams for the job as deputy Secretary of State, however, once he learned that Abrams criticized him during his White House run.
Might strong GOP criticism of the president during the campaign turn off Rick Scott, a close ally of Trump’s, specifically when it comes to naming a

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Bill Galvano tells Seminole Tribe his gambling bill “will move forward”

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
Bill Galvano, the Florida Senate’s point man on gambling, has told the Seminole Tribe of Florida “inaction … is not an option” this year.
Galvano, the Bradenton Republican in line to be Senate President in 2018-20, responded this week to a letter sent by Tribal Chairman Marcellus Osceola to legislative leaders and Gov. Rick Scott.
Both chambers have gambling legislation filed this year with competing priorities, but both contemplate a new agreement, or “compact,” with the Tribe offering exclusive rights to keep offering blackjack in return for $3 billion in revenue share over seven years.
“Approval of a new, revised compact must occur

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Capitol Reax: Opening Day of the 2017 Legislative Session

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017
The 2017 Legislative Session kicked off Tuesday with Gov. Rick Scott’s penultimate “State of the State” address, and speeches from Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran.

“This session represents Florida’s best chance yet for solving an ongoing environmental catastrophe that affects millions of Floridians.
For nearly 20 years, scientists have agreed that a southern reservoir will reduce harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee to our coastal waterways, rehydrate America’s Everglades and Florida Bay, and help meet the growing water needs of 8 million Floridians in the years ahead.
Senate President Joe Negron, Senator Rob Bradley and Representative Thad Altman are to be congratulated for their leadership. We look forward to working

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Janet Cruz and Oscar Braynon slam quality of Rick Scott’s jobs

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017
Democratic leaders Janet Cruz of the House of Representatives and Oscar Braynon of the Florida Senate slammed Gov. Rick Scott‘s primary focal point — jobs creation — Tuesday by arguing that the jobs he’s attracting are low-wage, low-benefit.
Scott boasted that Florida “is on the verge of becoming the job creation capital of the world!” and cited the 1.26 million private sector jobs added since he was elected in 2010, including 237,000 last year, in his annual State of the State address Tuesday.
“But let’s talk about the kind of jobs the governor is focused on creating because that’s the dirty little

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Enterprise Florida names Mike Grissom interim CEO

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Enterprise Florida’s Executive Committee named Mike Grissom interim CEO Tuesday, a day after the embattled agency’s CEO abruptly resigned.
Former CEO Chris Hart IV resigned after serving only three months on the job.
Stan Connally, vice chairman of the Enterprise board of directors, hastily called the meeting Tuesday and nominated Grissom, who served as interim CEO last year. Grissom is the current executive vice president of the economic development agency.
“Mike Grissom served in the previous interim CEO role,” said Connally. “He has familiarity with the issues and it makes good logical sense to put him in that role again.”
Grissom served as

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