Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has already made clear he is not running for governor.
But on Tuesday during a brief appearance in Tallahassee, he sounded like he is still struggling with having passed up a chance to run.
“I’m built for a good fight,” Buckhorn said....
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is calling on the Florida Legislature to not just restore all funding for Visit Florida, but also give the embattled agency another $24 million for next year.
"My goal is to spend $100 million to market our state," Scott said with Visit Florida CEO Ken Lawson standing at his side. "When we invest in Visit Florida it helps us grow our economy."
If the state spends that much money, Scott predicted the state would have another record tourism year. Scott's call for more spending comes a day after he called for $200 million for repairs to the dike around Lake Okeechobee. Last week the federal government announced it would send the state $1.5 billion additionally for hospitals to handle low-income care costs. That funding could free up state funding for other priorities like what Scott outlined over the last two days....
The Florida Legislature is supposed to pass a budget and wrap up their annual spring session on May 5.
But given the number of major unresolved issues, many have wondered if the Legislature will have to either extend this year's session or maybe even have to come back for a special session as they had to two years ago to finish the budget.
The Buzz asked Senate President Joe Negron if he has any doubt the Legislature will finish on time....
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry was in Tallahassee today meeting with Gov. Rick Scott, but he made clear that it has nothing to do with the potential of Scott considering him for the soon-to-be vacant chief financial officer position.
“I love being mayor of Jacksonville,” Curry said when we asked him if he is interested in being CFO. “I’m over here today talking to the governor about Jacksonville issues.”...
A conservative political action committee is trying to rally national support around U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis in hopes he will run for governor of Florida in 2018.
The Madison Project, which backed DeSantis's brief 2016 U.S. Senate campaign, put out a statement on a popular conservative website telling readers that DeSantis should run.
"He's not just a regional candidate - Ron is a Congressman who has worked hard to represent the entire state of Florida," the statement attributed to Madison Project president Jim Ryun says. "Running for governor is a no brainer for him."...
04/14/17 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE —Tax cuts are coming. Again.
For the past two decades, the Florida Legislature has slashed taxes almost every year. The pricey ritual is justified by lawmakers as a way to stimulate the economy.
What remains unclear is how much this year's cuts will cost and who stands to benefit.
"There's a lot of things on the table," said Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, who heads the Senate's tax plan....
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a Republican most expected to run for governor in 2018, is inviting his supporters to a BBQ in his hometown, just five days after the Legislature is expected to wrap up its annual spring session.
"We are having our Florida Grown Hometown BBQ on Wednesday, May 10th, and I wanted to make sure you got an invitation," Putnam said in a email blast sent to supporters....
Major reforms to Florida’s auto insurance industry would likely not produce much savings for drivers under a plan that cleared its first Senate committee on Thursday.
State Sen. Tom Lee, a Hillsborough County Republican, acknowledged his effort isn’t as much about cutting auto insurance rates as it is making sure more people have adequate coverage should they get in an accident....
Americans for Prosperity’s Florida chapter is out with a new video on the web lending support to Republicans in the Florida House who want to end two of Gov. Rick Scott’s most cherished job incentive programs.
In the 1 minute and 4 second video, a narrator slams government incentive programs.
“It’s called corporate welfare and it hasn’t paid out,” the video proclaims....
It was already pretty clear politically that the Florida Legislature wasn't much in the mood to expand Medicaid, especially while national Republicans have been try to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. For two years the Florida Senate has considered the idea, only to see the Florida House block them each year.
But there were Democrats in the Florida Senate on Wednesday giving it one more effort to convince Republicans who control the Legislature to once again pass an expansion of Medicaid to cover 800,000 Floridians that currently don’t have health care coverage. As the Senate began debate on a more than $83 billion budget, Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon, from Miami Gardens, took to the floor and offered up an amendment to expand Medicaid....
As budget negotiations heat up in the Florida Legislature, Gov. Rick Scott continues to make his case for the Florida Senate and House to both fully fund Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida.
On Wednesday Scott started his day with another Jobs Roundtable, this time in Orlando, expressing frustration at the House for considering big cuts to both programs. Scott has now held 20 roundtable events since the start of the year calling on people in the business community to pressure the Legislature to keep both Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida fully funded....
The application process still has two weeks to go, but the resumes are piling up from candidates wanting to be Florida’s next leader of the Department of Environmental Protection.
Already 99 people have applied to replace Jon Steverson, the head of DEP who resigned suddenly in January, according to the Florida Cabinet which has posted the names of all 99....
The insurance industry isn’t happy.
For the last two years, the industry has pressed the Florida Legislature to pass legislation aimed at curbing a spike in lawsuits over disputed water claims from homeowners, particularly in South Florida. But House and Senate versions of what to do are dramatically different, raising the possibility that nothing will ultimately pass this year to address what one Miami area insurance agent called a “growing cancer.”...
The men who survived years of beatings and torture at a reform school in north Florida when they were children are finally on the cusp of getting a formal apology from the state for what they went through.
But even as House and Senate leaders were celebrating the progress of legislation that will formally apologize for what happened at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, made clear the fight to honor the victims - both living and dead - isn’t over at least for him....
If it is a fight the insurance industry wants, State Sen. Anitere Flores let it be known she’s ready to take them on.
“The insurance industry is smearing someone who has always fought for consumers because she won’t just do what they say,” the Miami Republican said in an unusually sharply worded statement after the committee she leads voted for a bill that the industry mostly opposed....