West Coast

St. Petersburg Times Bousquet column: No-party-affiliation voters surge in numbers across Florida

For a growing number of Florida voters, the party's over.

St. Petersburg Times DEO defends 'nightmare' unemployment website

TALLAHASSEE — Despite harsh reviews by the state's auditor general, Florida's $77 million unemployment website is working just fine according to agency officials in charge of the project.

St. Petersburg Times South Pasadena city commissioners table vote on firing mayor

SOUTH PASADENA — It didn't happen after all.

St. Petersburg Times Early voting begins in Tampa City Council runoff election

TAMPA — Early voting begins today in the sharply contested Tampa City Council runoff election between Jackie Toledo and Guido Maniscalco.

St. Petersburg Times PolitiFact Florida: Medicaid and the Florida budget

Counting state and federal dollars, it eats up 30 percent of state spending.

St. Petersburg Times Lawmakers propose more than 50 exceptions to state transparency laws

More than 50 would add new exceptions, creating a slippery slope for protections.

St. Petersburg Times Lawmakers put spotlight on film/TV incentives in Florida

Two bills would speed up the approval process and provide leeway to fund projects.

St. Petersburg Times PunditFact: Did media ignore a Bush email controversy?

Is the media unfairly targeting Hillary Clinton?

St. Petersburg Times Walker's plan to take on Rubio, Bush

MANCHESTER, N.H. — We sat down Friday with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is making his first New Hampshire campaign swing as a likely presidential candidate this weekend along with Jeb Bush. Naturally we asked him how he can compete against Bush, who appears to be raising immense sums of money, and about Marco …

St. Petersburg Times Relaxed Jeb Bush brings his A game to New Hampshire

DOVER, N.H. — Jeb Bush completed two jam-packed days of campaigning across New Hampshire on Saturday, making this abundantly clear: He's bringing his A game, and he will campaign for president on his own terms.

St. Petersburg Times For Florida GOP, medical marijuana question complicated by 2016 presidential politics

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St. Petersburg Times As Rubio nears presidential bid, experience question looms

Marco Rubio is the young, first-term senator eyeing the presidency this time. He hopes his version of change outweighs all those questions about his lack of experience.

St. Petersburg Times Final Obamacare special enrollment opens Sunday, runs through April 30

For consumers who chose to go without health insurance in 2014, income taxes this year came coupled with a new fee.

St. Petersburg Times Tampa attack ad hits business owned by candidate's grandmother

TAMPA — The latest mailer from the mysterious political committee Moving Tampa Forward arrived in City Council District 6 mailboxes this week claiming a business run by Guido Maniscalco has been a delinquent taxpayer — though Maniscalco said it's really an attack on his grandmother.

St. Petersburg Times Tampa pharma manufacturer Xcelience adds 100 jobs, keeps 100 more

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Xcelience is expanding its Tampa headquarters, creating 100 jobs while pledging to keep 100 current jobs.

St. Petersburg Times Latvala proposal to shield police officer data angers open government advocates

TALLAHASSEE -- The father-and-son lawmaking team of Sen. Jack Latvala and Rep. Chris Latvala has angered open government advocates by seeking to expand privacy protections for current and former police officers as well as their parents, siblings and even their girlfriends.

St. Petersburg Times House panel backs abortion waiting period

TALLAHASSEE — A House panel Thursday plunged into the legislative session's first abortion debate, approving a measure that would require a 24-hour waiting period after meeting with a physician before women could terminate pregnancies.

St. Petersburg Times State defense of Sunshine lawsuit could be a six-figure tab for taxpayers

TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Rick Scott and all three Cabinet members have assembled an army of legal firepower at taxpayer expense to defend themselves against charges they violated Florida's Sunshine law.

St. Petersburg Times Jeb Bush's emails detail communications with top donors

WASHINGTON — Among the many thousands of emails Jeb Bush received as Florida governor are a string of notes from campaign donors asking for favors and making suggestions.

St. Petersburg Times Kenneth City election results stands after recount

KENNETH CITY — The results of Kenneth City's council race remained the same Thursday after a recount. The recount was set in motion Tuesday by the close results between the third and fourth place finishers in the six-way race for the three open seats on the council. State law mandates a machine recount if the margin between candidates in …

St. Petersburg Times Florida school districts that require uniforms could get extra money from state

TALLAHASSEE — Florida school districts could earn extra money if they require students to wear uniforms.

St. Petersburg Times DeWitt: Bill to restore value of sinkhole homes has pros and cons

The winners of the Great Sinkhole Lottery could be in line to win again. And this round of payouts would be, at least in part, on you.

St. Petersburg Times The Buzz: House approves adoption bill on bipartisan vote

In a show of bipartisanship — although perhaps not unity — the Florida House on Wednesday approved a bill that leaders say is aimed at increasing adoptions in the state through incentives to community-based care agencies and state employees who adopt.

St. Petersburg Times Water bill splits House and Senate, but for how long?

TALLAHASSEE — The House and Senate are drafting drastically different plans on how to spend Amendment 1 money that could only complicate efforts to come up with a comprehensive water policy.

St. Petersburg Times Ban on term 'climate change' reported at other Florida agencies

No one told Bart Bibler not to use the terms "climate change" and "global warming" during his six months on the job at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Then, on March 4, he walked into a Florida Coastal Managers Forum, a teleconference with representatives from other state agencies.

St. Petersburg Times Florida House passes bill to move presidential primary

TALLAHASSEE — With Republican delegates at risk in the presidential primary, the Florida House voted Wednesday to move the primary election to the third Tuesday in March.

St. Petersburg Times Out-of-town law firm paid for attack mailers in Tampa council race

TAMPA — A Fort Myers law firm was the sole contributor to a political committee that mailed out fliers praising Tampa City Council candidate Jackie Toledo and attacking her opponents, according to a report filed with the state Division of Elections.

St. Petersburg Times Nearing presidential run, Jeb Bush severs ties with equity firm

WASHINGTON — In a final move to clear the way for a 2016 presidential campaign, Jeb Bush has sold his stake in a private equity firm and transferred ownership in a consulting business to one of his sons.

St. Petersburg Times House panel approves bill allowing armed teachers

TALLAHASSEE —Is the third time a charm for a proposal that would allow Florida teachers to pack heat?

St. Petersburg Times Hillsborough tax collector says he will run for one last term

TAMPA — Doug Belden said Wednesday he will seek just one more term as Hillsborough County tax collector.