In The News Today – March 3, 2016

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FLORIDA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES

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NJ.com: School agency spent lavishly on meals, travel and you picked up the bill

From mid-2012 to early 2015, however, more than $150,000 — all taxpayer money — went far afield: Gift shops and coffee shops. Country clubs and a liquor store. Restaurants from Applebee’s to Morton’s. An aquarium in Camden County and a ballpark in Philadelphia.

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NBC: Chorus grows for Chris Christie to serve N.J. or quit

… destitute, facial expressions as he stood beside Trump at a Floridarally. … the state’s property tax crisis, public employee pension and health …

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CBS: Lawmakers Ready To Sign Off On ‘Pastor Protection’ Bill

TALLAHASSEE (NSF) – Responding to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year, the Florida Legislature is poised to pass a controversial bill aimed at protecting clergy members who object to performing wedding ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples.

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Sun Sentinel: Don’t play politics with survivors

That’s the shameful scenario playing out in the state Capitol lately, after House Republican leaders rolled their own version of the Senate bill into a more contentious measure that would make broader changes in pension policy.

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Sun Sentinel: Broward Health employees urged to report wrongdoing

The chairman of Broward Health sent an email to all employees Wednesday urging them to report wrongdoing directly to outside investigative agencies and assuring them they could do so without informing their supervisors.

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HR BLR: 11th Circuit: Fired employee’s claim of transgender discrimination goes to jury

In one of the first decisions on this issue from the federal appeals court over Florida, a three-judge panel has ruled that an auto mechanic who told her employer in October that she was transitioning from male to female and was then fired in January for sleeping on the job presented enough evidence to have a jury decide her case.

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Tampa Bay Times: Florida Legislature approves Miami-Dade needle exchange, sends bill to Gov. Rick Scott

TALLAHASSEE — Determined to reduce the spiraling number of new HIV infections in South Florida, the Florida House sent a bill to the governor Wednesday that will create a pilot program in Miami-Dade County to allow drug addicts to exchange their dirty needs for free, clean needles and syringes.

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LA Times: Republican donors’ anti-Trump efforts ramp up, with an eye toward Florida

As voters in a large swath of the nation were delivering victories to Donald Trump in seven states this week, some of the wealthiest GOP donors gathered on a conference call with one goal: to stop the businessman from becoming the standard-bearer for the Republican Party.

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NBC: Slow-poke drivers could face fines in Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)— White sand, clear water and mild temperatures. It’s easy to see why spring breakers and snow birds flock down south when the mercury dips up north.

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Tampa Bay Times: An unapologetic Gov. Scott offers no regrets in his handling of Legislature

An unapologetic Gov. Rick Scott offered no regrets about how he has handled the Florida Legislature, even while lawmakers continued to butcher his legislative agenda on job creation programs and tax cuts.

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Tampa Ba Times: Florida House passes ‘free-market’ health care options

A series of free-market health care reform proposals passed the Florida House on Wednesday.

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Palm Beach Post:Bill to speed ‘rape kit’ testing in Florida goes to governor

TALLAHASSEE — State lawmakers Wednesday gave final approval to a bill that would establish time limits for DNA testing in suspected rape cases, following revelations that thousands of evidence kits remain untested statewide.

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Herald Tribune: Major changes near for Florida’s divorce laws

TALLAHASSEE -T he bill (SB 668), sponsored by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, will end permanent alimony and create a formula, based on the length of marriages, for alimony payments. It will allow alimony to be changed if a spouse retires, gets a pay raise or is supported by another partner.

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Orlando Sentinel: UCF wins approval for downtown Orlando campus

UCF’s plan to build a campus in downtown Orlando won a key approval Wednesday, a decision hailed as historic for the school and city.

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