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Author: News Service of Florida

Electric bills likely to increase in 2023

Florida residents and businesses likely will get hit with higher electric bills in 2023 as utilities continue to struggle with increased costs of natural gas.

Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Co. filed petitions Friday at the state Public Service Commission that detailed expected costs in 2023.

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State eyes shift on property insurer ratings

Angry at a ratings agency that raised the possibility of downgrading 17 Florida property insurers, state leaders could be poised to look for an alternative.

The Joint Legislative Budget Commission next week is expected to consider a proposal to spend $1.5 million to hire a consultant that would look at options for property insurers to get adequate financial ratings.

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New Laws: From big budget to strawberry shortcake

By Jim Turner

Nearly 150 laws that Florida legislators passed this year are set to hit the books Friday. The new laws range from a record $109.9 billion budget to naming a state dessert.

Some of the measures face legal challenges, such as a bill that would prevent abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and a bill that would restrict how race-related concepts are taught in schools and workplace training.

In all, lawmakers sent 280 bills to Gov. Ron DeSantis. Of that total, 149 that were signed or were awaiting signatures Monday had July 1 effective dates. Seventy-five took effect immediately when signed. Others are slated to take effect Oct. 1, Jan. 1 or at other times.

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Move Against Disney Shows DeSantis Clout

Bowing to Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Florida Legislature on Tuesday advanced two proposals aimed at punishing Walt Disney Co. for criticizing a controversial new law restricting instruction about gender identity and sexual orientation in public schools --- a measure critics have dubbed the “don’t say gay” bill.

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Democratic Protest Halts Redistricting Debate

A Florida House debate about congressional redistricting was suspended mid-day Thursday as a group of House Democrats protested a plan by Gov. Ron DeSantis that would cut the number of Black-held districts.

Democratic members chanted, “Stop the Black attack,” and sang, “We Shall Overcome,” with some sitting on a state seal at the front of the House chamber.

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