Sunshine State News feed en Rick Scott Urges Jeff Miller to Hold Field Hearings on VA Issues <p>Gov. Rick Scott sent a letter Wednesday to Jeff Miller, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Veterans Affairs, requesting that field hearings be held in Florida regarding allegations of neglect plaguing the federal VA facilities. <br /><br />The letter reads:  </p> <p><em>Dear Chairman Miller:</em></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:50:28 +0000 Allison Nielsen 5882313 at Marco Rubio Gets Little Backing in Florida for 2016 Bid <p>A new poll shows U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., does not garner much support in his home state of Florida if he runs for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.<br /></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:25:57 +0000 Kevin Derby 5882299 at New Study Shows How Renewable Fuels Shape Florida's Economy <p>The Fuels America coalition unveiled a study on Thursday by John Dunham &amp; Associates on how renewable fuels benefit Florida, leading to $4.4 billion, almost 20,100 jobs and $136.6 million in revenue for the state government.</p> <p>The report can be read<a href=""> here</a>.</p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:35:25 +0000 Kevin Derby 5882261 at Rick Perry Renews Debate Challenge to Andrew Cuomo, Praises Rick Scott <p>Appearing on “Your World” on Fox News on Wednesday, Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, weighed in on his challenge to debate Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., and offered praise to Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and other Republicans governors. Perry is in New York this week, promoting Texas’ business climate and encouraging businesses based in the Empire State to look at relocating. <br /> <br />“I am here to give people the opportunity to relocate or expand their business to the state of Texas,” Perry said.<br /></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:45:44 +0000 Kevin Derby 5882243 at Rick Scott Runs New TV Ad Hitting Charlie Crist <p>Let's Get To Work, a group affiliated with Gov. Rick Scott, unveiled a new television ad on Thursday, hitting former Gov. Charlie Crist the favorite for the Democratic nomination despite spending most of his political life with the GOP. The ad starts on Saturday and Let’s Get to Work is putting $2 million behind the buy.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:57:46 +0000 Kevin Derby 5882226 at Curt Clawson Renews Three-Point Challenge to Obama <p>After winning the Republican primary on Tuesday as he looks to replace former U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., in Congress, businessman Curt Clawson once again challenged President Barack Obama to a three-point contest. Clawson played basketball at Purdue.</p> <p>“If by any chance you catch this clip, it’s time to man up and accept the Three-Point Challenge," Clawson said. “My house or yours?”</p> <p> </p> <div class="pp_media alignnone"><img class="edit edit-node" src="" alt="" width="480" height="275" /></div> <p> </p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:31:23 +0000 Kevin Derby 5882216 at Florida TaxWatch: New Home Construction Bodes Well for Economy <p>On Thursday, Florida TaxWatch released a study which shows increased new home construction across the Sunshine State bodes well for the economy. <br /> </p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:08:19 +0000 Kevin Derby 5882205 at Rick Scott: Corps Civil Works Review Board Must Approve CEPP Now <p>After the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Review Board refused to approve the Central Everglades Planning Project, Gov. Rick Scott has stepped in and is calling for the board to immediately reconvene and approve the project. <br /><br />Prior to the vote, Scott sent the U.S. Army Corps <a href="" target="_blank">a letter</a> urging the board to adopt CEPP.  <br /></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:57:50 +0000 Allison Nielsen 5881990 at Florida Hits 43-Year Crime Low <div>Florida's crime rate reached a 43-year low in 2013, according to the Uniform Crime Report released Wednesday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.<br /><br />Gov. Rick Scott joined the FDLE to announce Florida’s crime rate dropped 4.7 percent compared to 2012. <br /><br />The total number of crimes fell 3.8 percent from last year, which translates into 27,380 fewer crimes in 2013. The number of violent crimes was also down 2.4 percent.<br /></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:56:23 +0000 Allison Nielsen 5881865 at Charlie Crist Launches Spanish Language Website <p>As he battles former Florida Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich for his party’s nomination to challenge Gov. Rick Scott in November, former Gov. Charlie Crist is launching a Spanish language website. Crist is the favorite for the Democratic nomination.<br /><br />The website, <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, was unveiled Wednesday.<br /></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:17:52 +0000 Kevin Derby 5881845 at Vern Buchanan Looks to Stop IRS from Collecting Old Overpayments <p>On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., said he would introduce a bill next week to ensure the federal government doesn’t go after Americans whose families received overpayments from Social Security and other programs over the last 50 years. Social Security estimates more than 400,000 Americans received overpayments of around $714 million.<br /></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:36:54 +0000 Kevin Derby 5881831 at Pam Stewart: With Server Glitch Resolved, FCAT May Resume Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart sent an email to superintendents Wednesday addressing a server issue that plagued certain school districts on Tuesday, leaving many unable to take the FCAT.<br /><br />Stewart's email read:<br /><br /><em>"The department has been working with Pearson throughout the night and this morning on the issues that affected online testing in Florida yesterday. Pearson has put into place a mitigation strategy that includes redundancy in access to its production servers."</em><br /><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:41:06 +0000 Allison Nielsen 5881811 at Sorry, Everglades, Feds Postpone CEPP Money Approval <p>The Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Review Board, scheduled Tuesday to approve paying for half of the $1.9 billion Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP), instead postponed completing its review -- a needed step before it can get Congress's final funding approval.<br /></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:48:36 +0000 Nancy Smith 5881721 at Curt Clawson Wins Republican Primary in CD 19 <p>Republicans in Southwest Florida hit the polls on Tuesday to find a replacement for former U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., and selected businessman Curt Clawson who prevailed over Florida Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, former state Rep. Paige Kreegel and conservative activist Michael Dreikorn in the primary. Radel resigned earlier this year after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.<br /></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:57:52 +0000 Kevin Derby 5881656 at Nan Rich, Charlie Crist Headed for a July Debate? <p>All of a sudden Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist has the ideal occasion and opportunity to debate his primary opponent, Nan Rich. Will he do it?<br /><br />Rich said she accepted an invitation from the Florida Society of News Editors and the Florida Press Association to appear at a July 10 candidate forum co-hosted by the two organizations.<br /></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:26:23 +0000 Nancy Smith 5881528 at RPOF Criticizes Charlie Crist for Flip-Flopping on In-State Tuition The Republican Party of Florida is going after former Gov. Charlie Crist over changing his mind on offering in-state tuition rates for the children of undocumented immigrants. <br /><br />In 2006, Crist praised state lawmakers for rejecting a bill to offer in-state tuition rates to all Florida students. Now, running as a Democrat, Crist has switched his position on the issue and now supports legislation offering in-state tuition rates for Dreamers.<br /><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:04:39 +0000 Allison Nielsen 5881428 at Ron DeSantis Joins Ron Johnson's OPM Obamacare Challenge On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., announced he was backing a challenge from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Fla., against the Office of Personnel Management exempting members of Congress from being included in President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law. <br /><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:52:31 +0000 Kevin Derby 5881396 at Stetson Leads in February Bar Passage Rate Stetson Law School once again led Florida law schools with the highest percentage of its graduates passing the February bar exam.<br /><br />According to a report from the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, Stetson Law grads boasted the highest passage rate at 85 percent. <br /><br />Florida State University College of Law trailed behind Stetson, with 82 percent of its grads passing the exam. Florida International University College of Law had 81.3 percent of its grads pass the February exam.<br /><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:36:27 +0000 Allison Nielsen 5881388 at Rick Scott Launches Spanish Language Website Having launched a TV ad in Spanish earlier this week, Gov. Rick Scott’s team has unveiled a website in Spanish.<br /><br />The website, <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, went live Tuesday.<br /><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:28:46 +0000 Kevin Derby 5881384 at Server Issues Cause FCAT Problems <div>FCAT testing is under way for many students in the Sunshine State, but a number of schools are reporting problems with the computers used for the test.</div> <br />According to various reports, several school districts had problems with the computer systems, canceling testing altogether.<br /><br />According to MyFox Tampa Bay, Pasco County is recommending its schools pause FCAT testing because administrators are having trouble signing onto the FCAT system.<p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:42:49 +0000 Allison Nielsen 5881365 at Dane Eagle Arrested for DUI Rep. Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, was arrested Monday morning for driving under the influence, according to the Tallahassee Police Department. <br /><br />According to the probable cause affidavit, Eagle was pulled over around 1:50 a.m. after driving south across the westbound lanes of Tennessee St. The affidavit says Eagle struck a raised median while turning left and then turned back. <br /><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:58:41 +0000 Allison Nielsen 5881347 at JMI Makes the Case for Public Pension Reform On Tuesday, the James Madison Institute (JMI) released a study entitled “Florida Retirement System Reform: Why Now?”which argues that the current pension reforms in the Legislature are needed. <br /><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:23:21 +0000 Kevin Derby 5881334 at Bob Dole No Fan of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Maro Rubio in 2016 Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kansas, is not a fan of some of the leading Republican presidential possibilities in 2016. The <a href="">Huffington Post</a> is reporting that Dole thinks the likes of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who Dole called that “extreme-right-wing guy," don’t have enough experience to go toe-to-toe with former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016.<br /><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:13:21 +0000 Kevin Derby 5881329 at Gary Johnson Looks Ahead to 2016, Wants Third Parties in Debates Former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico, who was the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee in 2012, is looking ahead to 2016, calling for more inclusion for third party candidates in presidential campaigns, including being included in the debates. <br /><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:00:28 +0000 Kevin Derby 5881327 at Judiciary Committee Overwhelmingly Approves CBD Medical Marijuana Bill <p>With an overwhelming 15-3 vote Monday, the House Judiciary Committee kept the CBD medical marijuana ball rolling -- despite the "no" vote of Chairman Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala.<br /><br />Eric Eisnaugle, R-Orlando, began the discussion of CS/HB 843 by successfully adding an eleventh-hour "friendly amendment" to the bill that would make it a criminal misdemeanor for any doctor or patient to misrepresent the patient's condition.<br /></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 18:49:54 +0000 Nancy Smith 5881058 at Florida Congressmen Showcased for Standing Against Obama's Call to Gut Medicare Advantage The Coalition for Medicare Choices, which represents more than 121,000 Floridians, honored more than 20 members of Florida’s congressional delegation for opposing President Barack Obama’s call to take funds from Medicare Advantage to fund his health-care law. <br /><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 18:14:35 +0000 Kevin Derby 5881044 at Bill Posey: 'All Aboard Florida' More State than Federal Issue U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., offered his thoughts on public funding for All Aboard Florida (AAF) on Friday. While Posey said he did not back federal funding of All Aboard Florida, he said the U.S. Department of Transportation was ready to give them the green light and did not need additional congressional authorization. <br /><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 16:36:26 +0000 Kevin Derby 5880983 at Rick Scott Announces $2.1 Million Grant for Aid to Apalachicola Bay <p>On Monday, Gov. Rick Scott announced the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has received a $2.1 million supplemental National Emergency Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide training and other re-employment services to approximately 94 oystermen to prepare for careers in other industries. <br /><br />Workers eligible for these services must have participated in the temporary jobs component of this emergency grant, which was provided in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Debby in June 2012. <br /></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:47:01 +0000 Allison Nielsen 5880939 at Florida Marks Taxpayer Independence Day on Tuesday Florida will mark Taypayer Independence Day on Tuesday according to Florida TaxWatch. This means every cent Florida workers earned until Tuesday, on average, goes to pay taxes.  <br /><br />"This symbolic day puts taxpayers' responsibility in perspective, showing us how much of a presence government, at different levels, has in our lives." said Dominic Calabro, the president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch. "It has taken Florida taxpayers 111 days, or more than three and a half months, to finally stop paying off their 2014 tax burden."   <br /><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:46:49 +0000 Kevin Derby 5880938 at Rick Scott Announces DaVita Labs Expanding in DeLand On Monday, Gov. Rick Scott announced that DaVita Labs is expanding in DeLand, bringing 100 jobs and adding almost $32 million to Volusia County over the next five years. <br /><br />“This expansion will create 100 new jobs, which is important to families in DeLand,” Scott said. "By cutting taxes and empowering job creators, Florida’s statewide unemployment rate has been below the national unemployment rate since August 2013, and 540,700 private-sector jobs have been added since December 2010. Let’s keep working to make Florida the best state in the nation for business.” Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:04:46 +0000 Kevin Derby 5880918 at