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Florida News

  1. Gov. Rick Scott delivers upbeat State of the State address

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The 2015 session of the Legislature began Tuesday with two starkly different visions of Florida, as Republicans and Democrats used the opening day to mark their political territory and set contrasting priorities for the next two months.

  2. House Republican leader Dana Young of Tampa pushes gambling overhaul bill

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — House Republican Leader Dana Young, R-Tampa, is pushing a sweeping overhaul that would expand gaming options at the Seminole Tribe's Tampa Bay operations and elsewhere statewide.

  3. Rep. Corrine Brown will boycott Netanyahu's speech to Congress

    National

    Only one Florida Democrat, Rep. Corrine Brown of Jacksonville, is confirmed to boycott today's speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, according to a survey by the Tampa Bay Times.

  4. As Florida's 2015 session begins: 5 people and 5 issues to watch

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — The 2015 session of the Florida Legislature begins Tuesday here with new leaders facing fresh challenges and competing demands for a projected $1 billion budget surplus.

    Traffic passes Florida’s historic Old Capitol building at the intersection of Monroe Street and Apalachee Parkway in Tallahassee on Saturday night. Behind it, the Capitol awaits Florida’s lawmakers, who begin their annual 60-day legislative session on Tuesday. 
  5. Chronic prison woes remain unresolved at start of Legislature session

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The two DVDs were only minutes long but they depicted deplorable conditions in the state's prison system: uninhabitable dorms, inmate-on-staff assaults and roofs that were so porous that prison staff rigged sheets of cardboard to serve as makeshift gutters.

    The Department of Corrections chief is seeking $15 million for repairs to facilities, including Lancaster Correctional Institution.
  6. State audit highly critical of Florida's unemployment system CONNECT

    Gubernatorial

    TALLAHASSEE — Ever since the troubled launch of the state's unemployment website in October 2013, Gov. Rick Scott and his team have staunchly defended the lifeline for hundreds of thousands of jobless Floridians.

  7. Florida's craft beer industry poised to win long-sought changes

    State Roundup

    ST. PETERSBURG — At 2 in the afternoon, Green Bench Brewing is empty but for a bearded bartender and a dark-brown dog named Porter. Within a few hours, though, this brewery transforms into a packed nightspot, with bartenders, over the din of a live band, serving pints and flights of craft brews made on-site.

    Nathan Stonecipher of Green Bench fights for growlers.
  8. Jeb Bush exploits non-candidate status to rewrite campaign finance playbook

    State Roundup

    WASHINGTON — As Jeb Bush continues a torrid fundraising schedule across the country, he is pushing new boundaries of campaign finance law, exploiting his status as a noncandidate to avoid contribution limits and amass a cash pile already in the tens of millions.

    Jeb Bush says he’s  merely ex-ploring a run for president.
  9. Falling prices, fewer workers have Florida strawberry farmers doubting future

    Agriculture

    PLANT CITY — Three aerial photographs hang on the wall of strawberry farmer Carl Grooms' office, each a testament to years of expansion.

    Farm worker Berna Venegas carries just picked strawberries on Fancy Farms in Plant City on Feb. 26. The berries will be sold under the Wish Farms label. [SKIP O'ROURKE  |   Times]
  10. Governor's budget cuts funding for hundreds of health care workers

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Nutritionists who advise poor families, health counselors and family support workers are among hundreds of health care positions that would be cut under Gov. Rick Scott's proposed budget.