Kevin Derby's blog

A measure repealing the law passed last year establishing cameras on traffic lights passed the Senate Transportation Committee on Thursday morning. Supporters of the repeal bill argue that the measure passed last year was for government to increase revenue, while defenders of the current law maintain that it helps public safety, discouraging drivers from running red lights.

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Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Posey spoke before the House Budget Committee on Wednesday, demanding that NASA make manned space flight its top priority.

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Freshman Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent testified on seniors to the U.S. House Budget Committee on Wednesday, calling for the preservation of current benefits while lowering the deficit and national debt.

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Neoconservative pundit and editor William Kristol cheered the news that Florida Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio was calling for the removal of the Gadhafi government in Libya. Over at his blog at the Weekly Standard, Kristol sang Rubio’s praises.

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Florida Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio sent a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on Wednesday, asking for the Senate to take up a measure calling for the removal of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and backing President Barack Obama’s military actions against the government of that African nation.

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Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan introduced a federal balanced-budget amendment in the U.S. House on Wednesday, very similar to a measure being proposed by U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. The measure would also limit federal spending to 18 percent of the GDP and mandate that any measure to raise federal taxes be passed by supermajorities of both wings of Congress.

"We can’t wait any longer," said Buchanan. "The time is now for Washington to make the tough choices necessary to balance the budget for taxpayers today and for future generations.

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The House Appropriations Committee approved a measure reforming pension plans for state employees, backing a bill that requires government workers to contribute part of their annual salaries to the Florida Retirement System (FRS). The measure passed on a party lines vote with Republicans backing the reform and Democrats opposing it.

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A new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP), a firm with connections to Democrats, released a poll on Wednesday that showed that Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is in solid shape to win a third term in 2012.
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The 2011 Major League Baseball season kicks off on Thursday -- but fans of the two teams in the Sunshine State have to wait until Friday. While there are six games on Thursday, neither the Florida Marlins (who will be renamed the Miami Marlins after the season) and the Tampa Bay Rays will be playing ball on opening day.

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As the state continues to face a $3.75 billion shortfall, the House Appropriations Committee kicked off a marathon session on Wednesday as they grappled with the budget and passed the General Appropriations Act on a party lines vote to send it to the House floor.

Rep. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, carved out 10 hours for the committee to meet as they readied their proposed $66.5 billion budget.

“That may seem like a lot of time but we have a lot of bills to take up today,” said Grimsley at the start of the session.

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