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  1. Rick Scott eyes Patronis as CFO, but it may not help him in Panhandle

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott's expected pick of Jimmy Patronis as the state's next Chief Financial Officer would be a solid addition to the Republican Party ticket but may not do much to smooth some rough waters developing in the Panhandle over schools, area Republicans said this week.

    Former state Rep. Jimmy Patronis, left, is being considered by Gov. Rick Scott for the state's chief financial officer. Patronis, seen with Scott in 2011, is considered one of the governor's chief loyalists. 

  2. Security threats on voting system loom as Florida's elections officials gather in Polk County

    State Roundup

    DAVENPORT — Voting experts in Florida, the national epicenter of electoral suspense, have one concern above all others as they prepare for the 2018 election.

    Click. Cybersecurity.

    Ben Martin is chief operating officer of VR Systems, the Florida firm targeted by a Russian "phishing" attack in 2016. [Steve Bousquet | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Citing water losses, Citizens Property Insurance approves rate hikes targeting south Florida

    Banking

    MAITLAND — Florida's state-run property insurer is moving forward with a rate hike for 2018, but its 62,000 policyholders in Tampa Bay are largely being spared.

    Barry Gilway, CEO of Citizens Property Insurance Corp., said a hike in rates is necessary because the state Legislature did not address a crisis tied to non-weather related water claims. 
[AP file photo}
  4. PolitiFact Florida: Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum overstates campaign donors

    Gubernatorial

    Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum says he outperformed his rivals for Florida governor in a key fundraising metric despite having less name recognition and taking time off from the campaign.

    Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum speaks at the Capital Tiger Bay Club on  May 31.
  5. Legislature's most interesting man is also its most contradictory

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — If he were being cast for a television commercial, House Speaker Richard Corcoran would likely win the part this year as "the most interesting man in Tallahassee."

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times]
  6. Sneak peek: We rode SeaWorld's Kraken coaster while wearing virtual reality goggles

    Florida

    Even without virtual reality goggles, the Kraken rollercoaster at SeaWorld can be scary. It climbs to 150 feet, turns riders upside down seven times and reaches speeds of 65 mph.

    Riders use the VR goggles for SeaWorld's Kraken roller coaster. (Sharon Kennedy Wynne  |  Times)
  7. PolitiFact Florida: Sarah Palin's post about Paris accord uses 2011 photo of Florida House

    Legislature

    It's clear that Sarah Palin hates the Paris climate agreement.

    Sarah Palin shared a viral post about the Paris accord that uses an unrelated photo of Florida House members from 2011.
  8. When Legislature faltered, Rick Scott took advantage

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The midnight phone call to Senate President Joe Negron from Florida Gov. Rick Scott on June 1st was not unexpected.

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, addresses legislators and media at the end of the special session on Friday as Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, left, and Gov. Rick Scott look on. [AP | Steve Cannon]
  9. 'Hollow victory?' Some lawmakers say new K-12 spending isn't enough

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Some Democratic lawmakers on Friday criticized a new K-12 schools budget the Legislature approved for 2017-18 that would boost spending by $100 per student over this school year — calling the additional dollars a "hollow victory" and "not enough" to truly address public education.

    Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, debates the education portion of the budget bill during session on Friday. [AP Photo | Steve Cannon]
  10. Gov. Rick Scott says he will sign medical marijuana bill approved by lawmakers

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — More patients will soon be able to buy medical marijuana in Florida after state lawmakers passed legislation Friday putting into effect a constitutional amendment passed by 71 percent of voters.

    Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, right, answers questions on medical marijuana on the Senate floor during a special session of the legislature this week. [AP Photo | Mark Wallheiser]