Sunshine State News feed en Rick Scott Names Angela Cox to 4th Judicial Circuit <p>On Wednesday, Gov. Rick Scott named Duval County Court Judge Angela Cox to replace former Chief Judge Donald Moran on the 4th Judicial Circuit, covering Clay, Duval and Nassau counties.</p> <p>“As a county court judge, Judge Cox has demonstrated dedication to serving Florida families with dignity and integrity,” Scott said. “I am confident she will continue to honorably serve as a circuit court judge to families in the 4th Judicial Circuit.”</p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:02:35 +0000 Kevin Derby 5943940 at Clifford Wilson Taking Over on Interim Basis From Herschel Vinyard at DEP <p>Clifford Wilson will be interim secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as current Secretary Herschel Vinyard leaves his post on Dec. 1.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:26:52 +0000 Kevin Derby 5943895 at Saltwater License-Free Fishing Day in Florida Is Nov. 29 <p>Gov. Rick Scott and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced Tuesday a saltwater license-free fishing day for Nov. 29.<br /><br />On this day, Florida residents and visitors "can experience Florida’s unique saltwater fishing opportunities firsthand" without being required to have a recreational saltwater fishing license, according to a press statement from the governor's office.<br /></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 21:47:32 +0000 Nancy Smith 5943741 at Ron DeSantis Wants More Sanctions on Iran <p>U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called for more sanctions on Iran, even as the P5+1 extended talks with that nation on its nuclear program after Monday’s deadline passed.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:06:37 +0000 Kevin Derby 5943627 at Florida TaxWatch: Holiday Retail Sales on the Rise <p>Florida TaxWatch released an economic commentary on Tuesday showing holiday sales will be on the rise from last year but insisted online sales continue to hurt revenue.</p> <p>"Florida's retail industry is alive and well, producing more jobs and bolstering state revenues, which enables our elected officials to fund necessary programs that benefit all Floridians," said Dominic Calabro, the president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch on Tuesday.</p> <p>Jerry Parrish, the chief economist for Florida TaxWatch, said increased tourism will help Florida garner more revenue.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:33:47 +0000 Kevin Derby 5943599 at Jeff Miller Calls Sharon Helman Firing a 'Positive Step' <p>Phoenix VA Health Care System Director Sharon Helman was at the center of much of the firestorm that erupted after news emerged of altered waiting lists at VA medical centers across the nation. In Phoenix alone, at least 40 veterans on altered waitlists died while waiting for treatment.</p> <p>On Monday, the VA announced Helman had been fired, bringing some applause from U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:09:34 +0000 Kevin Derby 5943592 at Ander Crenshaw: Obama Should Act Fast to Replace Chuck Hagel <p>U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., a member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, urged President Barack Obama to quickly replace Chuck Hagel, who is on his way out as secretary of defense.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:00:43 +0000 Kevin Derby 5943591 at Tim Cannon Named Interim Secretary at Corrections <p>Gov. Rick Scott announced on Monday that Tim Cannon will lead the Florida Department of Corrections on an interim basis after Tim Crews resigned earlier in the day.</p> <p>“Sec. Crews has worked hard to make Florida communities safer, and we appreciate his service to the state,” Scott said. “Tim Cannon has served at the Department of Corrections for over two decades, and his experience will provide the Department with the leadership necessary for keeping families and our correctional officers safe.”</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 21:56:50 +0000 Kevin Derby 5943476 at Florida Congressmen Push Back Against CPP From EPA <p>U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led eight other Republican congressmen from Florida -- Ander Crenshaw, Ron DeSantis, Richard Nugent, Tom Rooney, Dennis Ross, Steve Southerland, Dan Webster and Ted Yoho -- in writing the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday. The congressmen took aim at proposed carbon emissions rules included in the Clean Power Plan (CPP) which, they insist, will lead to higher costs for Floridians. <br /> </p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 21:00:21 +0000 Kevin Derby 5943454 at Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Wants New Sanctions on Iran <p>From her perch as chairwoman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., is not happy that talks with Iran on its nuclear program have been extended past the Monday deadline. Ros-Lehtinen called for Congress to impose new sanctions on Iran when Republicans take control of the Senate in January.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:30:26 +0000 Kevin Derby 5943447 at AFP Urges Florida Congressmen to Oppose Wind Subsidies <p>Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is calling on three Florida Republican congressmen -- Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan and John Mica -- to stand against increased wind subsidies. AFP is running ads in Florida newspapers urging the three congressmen to oppose these alternative energy subsidies.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 19:41:31 +0000 Kevin Derby 5943431 at Hillary Clinton Routing Democratic Primary Foes in Florida <p>Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton starts out 2016 as the favorite to win the Florida primary for the Democratic presidential nomination.</p> <p>Gravis Marketing unveiled a new poll this past weekend showing Clinton claiming 51 percent of Florida Democrats. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., stands in distant second with 18 percent followed by Vice President Joe Biden with 12 percent. Two governors -- Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Andrew Cuomo -- lag far behind. O’Malley takes 4 percent and Cuomo 2 percent.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:56:44 +0000 Kevin Derby 5943410 at Jeb Bush Leads 2016 GOP Pack in Florida <p>A poll released over the weekend shows former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., is the favorite son of Florida Republicans to be president in 2016.</p> <p>Gravis Marketing unveiled a poll on Sunday which shows Bush out front with 33 percent followed by fellow Florida Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio with 14 percent. Two Republican senators -- Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky -- are knotted up in third with 11 percent each.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:42:24 +0000 Kevin Derby 5943406 at Bill Nelson 'Saddened' to See Chuck Hagel Go <p>A senior member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said he was “saddened” that U.S. Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel is leaving the Obama administration.</p> <p>“Chuck Hagel is a great patriot,” Nelson said on Monday. “And I believe he has been a very good secretary of defense. I’m saddened that the White House was unable to keep him.”</p> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:04:13 +0000 Kevin Derby 5943394 at Marco Rubio Unhappy Iran Nuke Negotiations Extended <p>U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and a possible contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, slammed the news that efforts to reach a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program have been extended past its Monday deadline. <br /> </p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 17:50:15 +0000 Kevin Derby 5943388 at Florida TaxWatch Looks at What Thanksgiving Items Are Taxed <p>With Thanksgiving looming later this week, Florida TaxWatch noted on Monday that Floridians should give thanks for the Sunshine State not being one of 14 states taxing most groceries. Still, there are some grocery items which are taxed in the Sunshine State. Florida TaxWatch released a report on Monday showing which grocery goods -- from catered items to alcohol -- are taxed.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:33:06 +0000 Kevin Derby 5943368 at Hillary Adviser: Jeb Bush-Rob Portman Could Win for GOP in 2016 <p><br />Harold Ickes, a close adviser to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, spoke to the media on Friday and said if she runs for president in 2016, the Republican ticket that could give her the most problems would come from two perennial swing states: Florida and Ohio.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:56:58 +0000 Kevin Derby 5943330 at Jeb Bush a Contender in NH if Mitt Romney Doesn't Run <p>A new poll shows former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., is a contender in New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary, if former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., decides not to run for president in 2016.</p> <p>A Bloomberg/St. Anslem College poll released Monday shows Romney remains the favorite in New Hampshire, which he won in 2012, with 30 percent. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., places second with 11 percent, followed by Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., with 9 percent, Bush with 8 percent and a gaggle of candidates polling in low to mid single digits.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:39:41 +0000 Kevin Derby 5943328 at Gunman Kills One Leon County Sheriff's Deputy, Wounds Another <p>The Leon County Sheriff's Office is not yet releasing the name of a deputy ambushed, shot and killed while responding to a 10 a.m Saturday house fire at 3722 Caracus Court in Tallahassee.<br /><br />Lt. James McQuaig, LCSO spokesman, said the department will release tha information on Sunday.<br /><br />The gunman took the weapon from the deputy as he lay on the ground, then walked down the street firing it. In the process he shot and wounded another deputy.<br /></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Sat, 22 Nov 2014 22:08:45 +0000 Nancy Smith 5943084 at Dorothy Hukill Looking to Cut Taxes <p>Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, unveiled three bills to cut taxes on Friday.</p> <p>Noting Florida was ranked as the fourth highest wireless taxes in the nation in a recent study from the Tax Foundation, Hukill is, like she did last year, looking to roll back communications taxes.<br /> <br />"These taxes are paid every month and when combined with federal taxes, are an extreme burden on Florida's families and businesses," Hukill said.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:40:38 +0000 Kevin Derby 5942837 at Rick Scott: Unemployment Rate Falls to 6 Percent <p>Gov. Rick Scott announced on Friday that the Sunshine State saw 32,000 new jobs in October as the state unemplyment rate dropped to 6 percent from 6.1 percent in September.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:10:52 +0000 Kevin Derby 5942790 at Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Hammers Obama's Handling of Iran <p>From her perch as chairwoman of the U.S. House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., held a hearing on “Examining What a Nuclear Iran Deal Means for Global Security" on Thursday. Ros-Lehtinen came out swinging at the hearing, insisting a nuclear deal for Iran would undermine security. The Florida Republican also hammered the Obama administration’s handling of Iran.</p> <p>Ros-Lehtinen said the following:</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:37:38 +0000 Kevin Derby 5942751 at Jim Webb Launches Presidential Exploratory Committee <p>Lost in the shuffle over President Barack Obama’s actions on immigration, this week, former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., announced he was forming an exploratory committee as he looks at running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. A graduate of the Navy Acaemy and a decorated Marine who saw service in Vietnam, Webb served as an assistant secretary of defense and as Navy secretary under President Ronald Reagan. Webb upset then-U.S. Sen. George Allen, R-Va., in 2006 but chose not to run for a second term.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:32:20 +0000 Kevin Derby 5942750 at Ted Yoho Offers Legislative Stop to Obama's Executive Order <p>U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., offered a bill on Thursday to prevent President Barack Obama from using an executive order to allow illegals a path to stay in the nation. Yoho insisted Obama was overstepping what the executive branch can do and hopes his “Executive Amnesty Prevention Act" will cut him off at the pass.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:03:43 +0000 Kevin Derby 5942742 at Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart Oppose Obama's Immigration Action <p>Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart have generally been supporters of immigration reform plans. Diaz-Balart has taken the lead in urging Republicans in the House to pass the “Gang of Eight’s" immigration reform bill that passed the Senate. But the two Republicans teamed up on Thursday night to release a statement, opposing President Barack Obama’s immigration actions. The statement is as follows:</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:56:25 +0000 Kevin Derby 5942741 at Marco Rubio Takes Aim at Obama's Immigration Plan <p>President Barack Obama unveiled a new proposal on Thursday night on immigration, giving around 5 million illegals a path to stay in the United States without fear of deportation.</p> <p>“Our immigration system is broken,” Obama said in a White House address on Thursday night. “Everybody knows it.”</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 02:08:39 +0000 Kevin Derby 5942680 at Rick Scott: 2014 On Pace for Tourism Record High <p>Gov. Rick Scott and Visit Florida announced on Thursday that 23.7 million tourists visited the Sunshine State during the third quarter of 2014, an increase of 3.5 percent from last year when 22.9 million tourists visited.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 23:08:42 +0000 Kevin Derby 5942617 at Marco Rubio Sponsors Ebola Travel Ban Bill <p>On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., unveiled the Keeping America Safe from Ebola Act of 2014 which would enact travel bans to nations the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) list as dealing with that disease. Rubio’s co-sponsors include fellow Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Pat Roberts of Kansas and John Thune of South Dakota. The House version is being backed by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:31:21 +0000 Kevin Derby 5942568 at Ander Crenshaw: Americans Stand Against Obama's Amnesty Plan <p>With President Barack Obama expected to announce on Thursday that he will executive power to grant amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., said the American people are against the idea.<br /> </p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:27:17 +0000 Kevin Derby 5942534 at Rick Scott: 'Pray for FSU Today. Pray for our State' <p>Gov. Rick Scott released a statement on Thursday following the shooting at the Florida State University (FSU) library in Tallahassee. Three students were wounded and police killed the gunmen.</p> <p>Scott’s statement:</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:12:12 +0000 Kevin Derby 5942506 at