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  1. A cruise with Pitbull? Family getaway a surprisingly good time


    My mom pitched the weekend getaway: a three-night cruise out of Miami with Pitbull.

    Pitbull gives a performance on the pool deck of the Norwegian Pearl on Sunday, March 12. It was his second performance during the cruise and pretty much a repeat of the first.
  2. So much for 'unprecedented openness' as Corcoran, Negron cut budget deal in secret


    TALLAHASSEE — After promising unprecedented openness, House Speaker Richard Corcoran has spent long days and nights negotiating an elaborate budget deal in secret with Senate counterpart Joe Negron, keeping most other lawmakers and the public in the dark.

    Florida's proposed budget is now in the hands of House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, and Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart. [SCOTT KEELER | TIMES]
  3. Work requirements for Florida Medicaid recipients move forward in House

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Some low-income people who rely on Medicaid may have to meet new work requirements to keep their health care under legislation passed by the Florida House on Wednesday.

    Rep. Travis Cummings, R-Orange Park. [Florida House of Representatives]
  4. Injured on the job? It might get harder in Florida to find a lawyer to take your case


    Florida is already one of the hardest states for workers seeking treatment or lost wages when injured on the job.

    Workers laying concrete blocks for a new home under construction in southern Hillsborough County. Those injured on the job could find it harder to seek court action when they feel they have been wrongly denied care or compensation by their employer's insurer, under bills that could cap attorneys fees in such cases.  [SKIP O'ROURKE | Times (2012)]
  5. State lawmakers end budget stalemate, but clash with Rick Scott looms

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — State lawmakers reached a tentative deal on an $83 billion budget Tuesday that could end the session on time but could put them on a collision course with Gov. Rick Scott.

    Florida's proposed budget is now in the hands of House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, and Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart. [SCOTT KEELER | TIMES]
  6. Senate advances bill to let FPL customers pay fracking costs

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida Power & Light's quest to have customers pay for natural gas fracking projects in other states overcame a key hurdle Tuesday as the Senate Rules Committee passed the controversial measure and overlooked opposition from residential and commercial customers.

    Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, had his bill on fracking advance in the Senate on Tuesday. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times]
  7. If Richard Corcoran is anti-hometown projects, why is this project earmarked for $4.3 million?

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Nothing is immune from the bruising budget battle between the House and Senate in Tallahassee — not even victims of unsolved murders.

    The Florida Institute for Forensic Anthropology & Applied Sciences, or IFAAS, would provide a range of services to law enforcement and medical examiners around the state. The current initiative is to create a physical space for indoor and outdoor facilities. This will include lab space for research, applied forensic services in case work, education in the areas of forensics, anthropology, geochemistry, legal medicine, forensic intelligence, aviation reconstruction and cyber forensics. [IFAAS]
  8. Aramis Ayala gets prominent backers in death penalty dispute with Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Ex-prosecutors, former state Supreme Court justices, civil rights organizations and families of homicide victims from across the country have filed briefs supporting embattled Central Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala in her legal battle with Gov. Rick Scott.

    Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala announced in March that her office will no longer pursue the death penalty as a sentence in any case brought before the 9th Judicial Circuit of Florida. [Orlando Sentinel via AP]
  9. As budget talks crash, Corcoran wants 'continuation' budget, no new spending

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A bitter stalemate over spending forced the Legislature to suspend work on a budget Monday, stirring more bad blood among Republicans and putting an on-time adjournment in doubt.

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes and Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, talk during a joint session of the Florida Legislature in March. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  10. Tampa Bay area business leaders lobby on contentious transit bill


    TALLAHASSEE — More than a dozen top business local executives went to Tallahassee with an appeal in the days following last week's political showdown between three GOP senators from Tampa Bay over a regional transit bill.

    Keep talking. Please.

    Rick Homans is president of the Tampa Bay Partnership.