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Florida developers win again in this week’s Winner/Loser in politics

And should Rick Scott think more about his home state?
A dump truck emerges from behind a pile of dirt and sand Wednesday (3/27/13) at the Lago Verde sand mine in Spring Hill where cattle feed in open pastures surrounding the site. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times] [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD, DOUGLAS CLIFFORD | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Aug. 25
A dump truck emerges from behind a pile of dirt and sand Wednesday (3/27/13) at the Lago Verde sand mine in Spring Hill where cattle feed in open pastures surrounding the site. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times] [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD, DOUGLAS CLIFFORD | Tampa Bay Times]

Winner of the Week

Developers and large land owners: We already knew that Florida’s top officials are trying to open up vast swaths of rural land for development possibilities by laying down unwanted toll roads. Now another concession for land owners has emerged. Lawmakers passed House Bill 7103 earlier this year with little fanfare, but it’s quite the gift. The law requires those who sue projects and lose to pay the opposing party’s legal bills, pushing any meaningful challenge out of reach for most. It was reported last week that a group of Pasco residents dropped their challenge to a lime-rock mining operation because of the bill. “No average citizen can afford a lawsuit under this bill,” one deflated resident said.

Sen. Rick Scott visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem to pray for not Florida. [Twitter] [Twitter]

Loser of the Week

Rick Scott. The freshman senator from Florida visited Israel last week, praying at the Western Wall for “an end to Nicolás Maduro’s evil regime and genocide in #Venezuela.”

We’re old enough to remember when Florida officials would visit Jerusalem and pray for a safe hurricane season in their beloved state. What about it, Sen. Scott?


ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Richard Swearingen, Florida's Commissioner of the Department of Law Enforcement, testifies before state lawmakers on Monday. Florida Channel
    But law enforcement officials are getting behind a “threat assessment system.”
  2. Rep. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, urges the Florida Board of Education to hold schools accountable for teaching the Holocaust and African-American history, as required by lawmakers in 1994. The board was considering a rule on the matter at its Sept. 20, 2019, meeting in Jacksonville. The Florida Channel
    School districts will have to report how they are providing the instruction required in Florida law.
  3. The Mar-a-Lago Resort in Palm Beach. JOE RAEDLE  |  Getty Images
    It wasn’t immediately clear how much Mar-a-Lago would charge to host the Marine Corps Birthday Ball — or even if it might do so for free.
  4. In this March 24, 2018, file photo, crowds of people participate in the March for Our Lives rally in support of gun control in San Francisco. JOSH EDELSON  |  AP
    ‘Guns are always a volatile topic in the halls of the legislature,’ one Republican said.
  5. Pasco County school superintendent Kurt Browning says Fortify Florida, the new state-sponsored app that allows students to report potential threats, is "disrupting the education day" because the callers are anonymous, many of the tips are vague and there's no opportunity to get more information from tipsters. "I have an obligation to provide kids with a great education," Browning said. "I cannot do it with this tool, because kids are hiding behind Fortify Florida." JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |
    Vague and anonymous tips often waste law enforcement’s time and disrupt the school day, says Kurt Browning, president of Florida’s superintendents association.
  6. Tonight's LGBTQ Presidential Forum is hosted by Angelica Ross of FX's Pose. Twitter
    A live stream of the event and what to watch for as 10 candidates meet on stage in Iowa.
  7. In this April 11, 2018, file photo, a high school student uses a vaping device near a school campus in Cambridge, Mass.  [AP Photo | Steven Senne] STEVEN SENNE  |  AP
    "The department does not appear to have the authority to do anything.”
  8. Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos listens to a speaker share an opinion about a city matter during a city council meeting at Clearwater City Hall in Clearwater, Fla. on Thursday, April 20, 2017.  On Thursday, the Clearwater City Council rejected the mayor's resolution urging lawmakers to ban assault weapons.  [Times files] TIMES FILES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    However, the city did pass a resolution calling for more modest gun control measures.
  9. Maurice A. Ferré at his Miami home earlier this year. JOSE A. IGLESIAS  |  Miami Herald
    He served as mayor for 12 years and set the stage for Miami to become an international city.
  10. Rep. Susan Valdes, D-Tampa, during a Feb. 7, 2019, meeting of the House PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee. [The Florida Channel]
    ‘One test should not determine the rest of your life,’ Rep. Susan Valdes says.
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