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Weatherford, Gaetz Release 5-Point Reform Agenda for 2013

Appearing together at the Associated Presss annual pre-legislative session gathering, Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, and House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, released a joint agenda that includes the revamping of how money is spent in campaigns and giving the state Commission on Ethics greater power to enforce and collect fines.

The agenda that the two expect both chambers to support focuses on ethics reform, campaign finance reform, higher education reform, pension reform and a review of the states election rules.

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Rick Scott to Push for $1.2 Billion Increase in K-12 Education

Gov. Rick Scott will propose a $1.2 billion increase to K-12 education when he releases his agenda for the 2013 legislative session on Thursday.

The funding request, which includes his pay hike of $2,500 per student, would boost per-student funding about $400, to around $6,800.

Scott, appearing before the media at the Capitol on Wednesday, credited budget and regulation cuts legislators have made in the past two years for the improved economy that should allow his request.

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FDOT Announcing Panhandle Road Projects on Thursday

Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, will take part in a trio of Florida Department of Transportation announcements coming Thursday on the Panhandle.

A release from the presidents office states the announcements will address a number of important roadway changes impacting each city.

Panama City

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Bill Prohibits Cuban-Trained Doctors from Practicing in Florida

Sen. Rene Garcia, R- Hialeah, and Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., R- Hialeah, have introduced companion bills in their chambers that would prohibit Cuban-trained physicians --particularly if a U.S. citizen --from practicing in the Sunshine State.

Senate Bill 456 and House Bill 517 would forbid U.S citizens or residents who travel to Cuba for the purpose of medical training or a medical degree from practicing in Florida.

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Jeff Brandes Files Bill to Expand Animal Abuse Prosecution

Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, has filed a bill, SB 504, intended to make it easier to prosecute those who abuse animals through animal fighting.

Violence against animals is a serious problem, and Im committed to ensuring that our law enforcement and prosecutors have the necessary tools to bring animal abusers to justice, Brandes stated in a release.

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Miami Heat Heading to the White House

The Miami Heat will be at the White House this afternoon to receive a Congressional Proclamation to honor their 2012 NBA Championship.

In anticipation of the appearance, U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens, who will attend the teams White House visit may have overstated the national sentiments.

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ESPN: South Florida is Baseball’s ‘Ground Zero’ for PEDs

After state officials have been cracking down the past couple of years on the explosion of South Florida clinics dubbed pills mills, where pain drugs were distributed with little regulation, the Miami to Boca Raton stretch has been listed as ground zero in another drug front.

Performance-enhancing drugs, or PEDs.

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Senate Launches Online ‘Intense Budget Review’

Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, and Appropriations Committee Chairman Joe Negron, R-Stuart, unveiled a new portion of the Senate website that consolidates budget documents and information.

The webpage is at:

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Carlos Trujillo: Every Floridian Affected by BP Spill Should File a Claim

House Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, implored individuals and business owners who believe they may be due some compensation from the Deepwater Horizon disaster to seek a claim.

Many Floridians are unaware that they possess a legal right to money held in an uncapped fund set up through the settlement process that followed the 2010 oil spill, Trujillo stated Friday in a release.

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Satan Day at the Old Capitol Draws More Media than Support

Somewhere I missed where Dantes tour of the seven cycles of hell with Virgil mentioned having to listen to a couple of lengthy diatribes about the wonders of Satanism on the steps of the Old Capitol in Tallahassee.

Just don't call them or the event a hoax.

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