FLORIDA POISED TO APPROVE A NEARLY $82.3 BILLION BUDGET
Lawmakers will vote on the budget Friday and then end their annual 60-day session on time. Unlike in past years, it appears that both Democrats and Republicans will support the spending plan. The vote is designed to “send a message” to Scott, who last year vetoed hundreds of millions from the state budget without giving prior warning to legislators.
FLORIDA GOP REP. JEFF MILLER TO RETIRE AFTER 8 TERMS
Miller has generally avoided the limelight over his House career, but he was catapulted two years ago into a high-pressure negotiation with Sen. Bernie Sanders over legislation to improve the veterans’ health care system in the wake of a scandal over long wait times for patients and by falsified records that covered up those delays.
HEALTH CARE TRANSPARENCY BILL PASSES FLORIDA SENATE
The bill, which passed 27-1, requires Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration to contract with a vendor for a website that will show cost and quality of care. A late amendment was added to allow for more vendors to be eligible to bid. This means the bill has to go back to the House before it can go to the governor.
GAWKER LAWYER CROSS-EXAMINES MEDIA PROFESSOR IN HULK HOGAN SEX TAPE TRIAL
Jurors in the sex video trial watched as Michael Sullivan grilled Mike Foley, a University of Florida journalism professor. Sullivan noted that even though some publications don’t meet Foley’s standards for “good” journalism, they are all covered under the First Amendment.
FLORIDA HAS NEW LAWS ON CONFEDERATE STATUE, GAY MARRIAGE
Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Thursday that calls for Smith’s statue in the National Statuary Hall to be replaced and another that puts into law language that clergy don’t have to marry same-sex couples — a right bill opponents said the state and federal constitutions already give them. The measures were among more than two dozen bills signed.