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Bill Calls for Creation of Inspector General at Citizens

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. President Barry Gilway has given his blessing to a bill by Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington, to create an inspector general position at the state-backed insurer.

Citizens is in full support of Senator Abruzzos good bill and welcomes the added oversight, Gilway stated in a release. We hope this extra layer of accountability will help to restore public trust and confidence in Citizens commitment to the highest levels of financial responsibility and corporate integrity.

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Don Gaetz Names Eleanor Sobel to Youth Cabinet

Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, has appointed Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, to the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet.

Senator Sobel has years of leadership experience in ensuring that our children grow up with the safety, stability and education they need to be successful, Gaetz stated in a release.

Her inspiring passion and extensive knowledge will facilitate policy decisions throughout Floridas government that protect Floridas children and youth.

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Bill Filed to Give State Workers 7 Percent Wage Increase

Florida Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, has filed a bill to give state workers who havent received any wage increases for several years an across-the-board 7 percent raise.

The bill, House Bill 289, has yet to receive a state analysis to estimate the fiscal impact.

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Dennis Ross Taking Advance Questions for Town Hall Meetings

U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, will be taking questions during town hall meetings next week in Lakeland and Temple Terrace.

Ross is taking questions in advance, of which he intends to answer three, before responding to questions from those attending the hour-long meetings.

Both meetings are set for Thursday, Jan. 24.

5-6 p.m., Lakeland City Hall, 228 S. Massachusetts Ave.

7-8 p.m., Temple Terrace City Hall, 11250 N. 56th St.

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Florida Unemployment at 8 Percent for December

Floridas unemployment hit 8 percent to end 2012, down 0.1 of a percentage point from November and 1.9 points from a year earlier, according to the state Department of Economic Opportunity.

Florida has now recorded job gains in 14 of the last 18 months, with the top gains coming in the fields that include hospitality, transportation, private education and health care.

The mark is the lowest for the state since November 2008, when it was 7.8 percent.

The state continues to lag behind the national mark of 7.8 percent.

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Governor's Office Unloads Comments Supporting Port Improvements

The governors office released a long list of support for the Gov. Rick Scotts fiscal support to build up Floridas ports, highlighted by $13 million for Port Everglades on Thursday and $36 million for JaxPort on Monday.

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Will Weatherford: Scott's Election Reform Proposals 'Realistic'

House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, called Scotts recommended election reforms realistic."

I applaud the governor for developing realistic solutions to fix a serious problem, Weatherford stated in a release.

The House will take a close look at these recommendations as we determine the best steps to take to resolve the issue.

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Rick Scott, Buddy Dyer Cut Ribbon on New Planet Hollywood HQ

Gov. Rick Scott and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer joined Planet Hollywood CEO David Crabtree to cut the ribbon for Planet Hollywood International's new headquarters in Orlando.

The company, which committed to creating 90 new Florida jobs as part of a grant agreement with the state when consolidating operations in Orlando last year, has already created more than half the number, the governors office reported.

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Board of Governors Names Seven Trustees for University System

The Florida Board of Governors made seven appointments to various university boards of trustees in the state system on Thursday

Thomas Workman Jr., president of Thomas Workman & Associates, Certified Public Accountants in Boca Raton, was reappointed to the Florida Atlantic University board of trustees for a term beginning Jan. 17, 2013, and ending Jan. 6, 2018.

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Governor’s Office: Rick Scott ‘Not Proposing Any Gun Law Changes’

The governors office released a statement Thursday noting Gov. Rick Scott is open to ideas about improving school safety, but will not make any recommendations to change existing gun laws.

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