Gov. Rick Scott and Florida lawmakers are struggling to find dollars to close a $3.6 billion budget shortfall, but a state agency is considering walking away from more than $300,000 in fines owed by almost 300 former public officials.
The Florida Senate’s political right turn was marked on its opening day by the occasional red light – with a dwindling number of Republican moderates voting ‘no’ on several veto overrides sought by leaders.
Hours after taking the reins, House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, and Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, led the Legislature during an abbreviated special session Tuesday in passing eight bills vetoed earlier in the year by outgoing Gov. Charlie Crist.
With the political wind at their backs, Florida Republicans increased their majority in the state Senate, claiming 28 of its 40 seats -- a very comfortable majority for incoming Gov. Rick Scott’s legislative agenda.
The state’s ethics commission is looking into the financial disclosure forms of incoming Senate President Mike Haridopolos, finding probable cause to investigate a Vero Beach man’s complaint that Haridopolos didn’t fully complete his forms.
Republicans and Democrats cast ballots in 10 state Senate districts across Florida Tuesday. While some incumbents faced primary challenges, all of them prevailed. And look for some different faces in the Senate -- even if they have familiar names.