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Scott Appoints Ward, Banner to Palm Beach Health Care District

Gov. Rick Scott appointed Philip H. Ward III and Nancy C. Banner to the Health Care District of Palm Beach County.

According to the release from the governor's office:

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Escambia County Judge Simon Promoted to Circuit Court

Gov. Rick Scott has appointment Judge John F. Simon Jr. of Pensacola to the 1st Judicial Circuit Court.

Simon, 46, has served as an Escambia County judge since 2009.

Having served as a county judge, prosecutor and practicing attorney, Judge Simon has gained a unique perspective that will allow him to serve as a qualified and capable circuit court judge, Scott stated in a release. His continued commitment to proper preparation and integrity enable him to make informed, fair and impartial decisions.

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Dockery Again Files Bill Requiring Legislative Disclosure

State Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, has again proposed a state law to prevent legislators from voting on issues that would personally benefit them or their relatives.

Given the publics justifiable lack of trust and confidence in elected officials throughout the country, it is imperative that reforms of this nature be enacted, Dockery stated in a release. The Florida Legislature must take action to ensure that our state is at the forefront of initiatives helping to restore citizens faith in government.

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Teamsters Claim Florida's Failing to Properly Pay Corrections Officers

The Teamsters Union has filed a federal labor complaint on behalf of corrections officers, claiming unpaid wage violations, as a vote looms with the police union over who will represent the officers.

The complaint alleges officers are not fairly paid for the time they begin to pick up equipment at the correctional institute to when they check in, which ranges from 15 to 30 minutes a day.

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House Bills Aim to Change Florida's Death Penalty

Two bills have been filed in the state House proposing vastly different futures for capital punishment in Florida.

One says the state shouldnt kill convicted murders. The other reduces the options for being put to death to either being strapped into 'Old Sparky' or facing a firing squad.

Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, has reintroduced her legislation to put down the death penalty in Florida.

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Citizens Hikes Standard and Sinkhole Coverage

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. board members on Wednesday boosted the standard coverage 6 percent for the majority of its nearly 1.5 million customers, while formally hiking sinkhole policies to a rate lowered last month by state regulators.

Sinkhole policies will still jump 32.8 percent, but the amount is down from the initial request from the state-backed Citizens that averaged 447 percent statewide.

The board had agreed to cap the sinkhole increase at 50 percent on the eve of an expected contentious public hearing in Tampa on Sept. 13.

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Scott Taps Floyd, Carroll as Court Appointments

Gov. Rick Scott has appointed Mose L. Floyd of Ponte Verde Beach to the Duval County Court and Kevin Carroll of Tallahassee to the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court.

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Scott Names Three to Environmental Regulation Commission

Gov. Rick Scott has appointed Adam R. Gelber and Susan C. Grandin to the Environmental Regulation Commission, while reappointing Dr. Joseph C. Joyce to the board.

Joyce, 62, of Gainesville, is the executive associate vice president of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. He is reappointed for a term beginning Oct. 10, 2011, and ending July 1, 2015.

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Bermuda Insurer Approved to Cover Foreign Nationals in Florida

Bermuda-based Best Doctors Insurance Ltd. has become the first international company to take advantage of the states new rule that allows international carriers to insure foreign nationals working in Florida.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation announced Wednesday the offshore insurer would operate a Miami office, offering insurance to people from Central and South American countries.

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Florida Revenue Conference Gives Bleak Budget Outlook

Floridas revenue forecast for the next budget year is bleak. And the outlook goes deeper into the red the following year.

The states revenue estimating conference is projecting that Floridas stalled economy will generate between $857 million and $1.2 billion less next year than initially projected.

The shortfall, due to vast drops in sales and document taxes, could grow to $1.5 billion in the following year.

A more set total is expected later this afternoon.

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