Gov. Rick Scott tempted the comedy gods with his latest choice of fundraisers.
And, as Sunday night’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” proved, the comedy gods show no mercy.
Not with the material Scott gave them Monday night.
07/08/14 State Roundup
In the state attorney general race, Democrats still must choose between George Sheldon and Perry Thurston in the Aug. 26 primary.
But nevermind that contest. For now at least, both candidates are focusing on the opponent who awaits — Attorney General Pam Bondi.
In the Florida Attorney General race, Democrats still must choose between George Sheldon and Perry Thurston in the Aug. 26 primary.
But nevermind that contest. For now at least, both candidates are focusing on the opponent who awaits -- Attorney General Pam Bondi.
On Tuesday, Thurston, who is the outgoing Minority Leader in the FLorida House as a representative from Fort Lauderdale, launched a new website: Bondi's Bungles....
TALLAHASSEE — While Gov. Rick Scott and his Democratic rival Charlie Crist have waged a bitter public relations battle over the release of their tax returns, both sides have been mum about one aspect of the documents:
They suggest that both candidates are philanthropic laggards compared with their well-heeled peers. The returns show no giving from Crist in recent years, and declining charity from Scott....
TALLAHASSEE — Millions of voters in Florida will get no vote in choosing who represents them in the Florida House and Senate next year. That's because the deadline for candidates expired at noon Friday with no challengers qualifying to run against a third of the state Legislature.
The lack of opposition means candidates for eight state Senate seats — all incumbent Republicans — and 38 House seats, all but one an incumbent, automatically won their seats despite no ballots being cast in those districts. That will make 2014 even less competitive than 2012, when 24 percent of lawmakers ran unopposed....
TALLAHASSEE — From pro sports to Pop-Tarts, Gov. Rick Scott signed dozens of new laws Friday, including two NRA-supported gun bills and an expansion of school vouchers.
The voucher program, part of a 140-page education bill (SB 850), expands the use of tax credit scholarships so that low-income children can attend private schools. It was a priority of House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, and was supported by former Gov. Jeb Bush's think tank, the Foundation for Florida's Future....
An investment in a French oil services company that drills in Florida poses a conflict of interest for Gov. Rick Scott, according to a complaint filed with the Commission on Ethics on Tuesday by a Broward County activist.
In the complaint, John Lundin alleges that Scott’s past $135,000 investment in Schlumberger LTD., once held in a blind trust, is grounds for a broader investigation into Scott’s portfolio. Lundin said he filed the complaint after reading about Scott’s investment in Schlumberger in the Times/Herald on Sunday....
TALLAHASSEE — Florida became the latest Republican-controlled state to pass new restrictions on abortion on Friday as Gov. Rick Scott signed 94 bills covering a wide range of topics.
House Bill 1047 bans abortions once a fetus is considered viable, which is typically at 23 weeks of gestation. The new law, which passed with a partisan vote in the Legislature, replaces Florida's existing ban on abortions starting in the third trimester, which is about two weeks after the new standard....
05/29/14 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — Florida Gov. Rick Scott's veto pen is looking more like a scalpel as signs point to him trimming a fraction of spending in a record-high $77.1 billion election-year budget.
Scott is expected to sign the budget by Tuesday, and it will be an opportunity to express his fiscal values as he seeks a second term.
His line-item vetoes are highly anticipated because Scott is running as a fiscal conservative and careful steward of tax dollars, but the budget on his desk is loaded with hundreds of millions in discretionary spending in every part of the state. Most projects were championed by Republicans whose support Scott will need on the campaign trail....
05/23/14 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — Florida TaxWatch released its annual list of budget "turkeys" on Friday, flagging $120 million in spending the group says was included by lawmakers without the proper public vetting, including large projects in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties.
Hillsborough County had 12 projects dubbed turkeys, including $12 million for a large crane at the Port of Tampa Bay, $5 million for a new building at the University of South Florida's Morsani College of Medicine, $3 million for the Florida Conservation and Technology Center in Apollo Beach and $2.5 million for the Museum of Science and Industry....
Florida TaxWatch released its annual list of budget “turkeys” on Friday, flagging $120 million in spending the group says was included by lawmakers without the proper public vetting, including large projects in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Miami-Dade and Pasco counties.
Hillsborough County had 12 projects flagged: $12 million on the Port of Tampa Bay’s Gantry Crane; $5 million on the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine; $3 million for the Florida Conservation and Technology Center in Apollo Beach; and $2.5 million for the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)....
05/22/14 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — An architect of Florida's 2005 "stand your ground" law says a bill passed by lawmakers this session is too confusing and could prevent people in their homes or vehicles from legally defending themselves.
"Unfortunately, in attempting to improve this excellent law, HB 89 inadvertently creates ambiguities and potentially reduces important protections for Florida's citizens," said Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs. ...
05/20/14 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — When lawmakers passed the "warning shot" bill during the 2014 session, a key selling point was that it would prevent cases like that of Marissa Alexander, a Jacksonville woman sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a shot to ward off her estranged husband.
But the 26-page bill, awaiting action by Gov. Rick Scott, not only wouldn't prevent future cases like Alexander's, it seems to shrink — not expand — the protections of Florida's "stand your ground" law. ...
Gov. Rick Scott won't have any shortage of line items to veto as he peruses the proposed $77.1 billion budget, which landed on his desk Tuesday.
But a surefire leading candidate is $750,000 for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to "directly contract with appropriate counsel to defend the state in litigation related to the suit filed by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in the U.S. Distrct Court for the Northern District of Florida in Tallahassee (Case No. 4:08-cv-00555-MCR-CAS)."...
05/16/14 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — Just as prescription drug abuse appears to be on the wane, Florida — like the rest of the nation — is facing a new addiction crisis: heroin.
The state's medical examiners reported 68 heroin deaths in the first half of 2013 — more than double from the same period in 2012, and nearly four times higher than 2011, according to a soon-to-be released report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement....