Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about in Florida today.
Lawmakers reach late night deal on budget
A budget stalemate that lasted nearly three months is coming to an end. Florida lawmakers on Tuesday will have a nearly $80 billion budget delivered on their desk in advance of a final vote later this week. The spending plan born out of a contentious argument over health care spending does boost school funding and includes money set aside for tax cuts but not as much as Gov. Rick Scott wanted. State employees won’t get a raise, but their health insurance premiums will remain the same. Powerful legislative leaders, meanwhile, were able to stuff the budget with millions for hometown projects that were added late Monday night.
Seminole tribe wants to join legal fight over slot machines
The Seminole Tribe of Florida is saying a recent court decision on slot machines could cause “grave financial harm” to the tribe. Lawyers for the tribe filed court papers on Tuesday. They want the 1st District Court of Appeal to let the Seminoles weigh in on a far-reaching ruling that could lead to slot machines at several dog and horse tracks. Judges last month ordered state regulators to allow slot machines at a track in the north Florida town of Gretna. If left unchallenged, the decision could lead to slot machines in several other counties.
Miami nursing home to pay $17m in patient referral scam
A Miami home health company has agreed to pay $17 million for allegedly paying doctors to refer Medicare patients. Department of Justice officials said Tuesday that the settlement with Hebrew Homes Health Network Inc. is the largest involving alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute by skilled nursing facilities in the United States.
Largest Florida county proposes citations for pot possession
People caught with small amounts of marijuana could soon get a civil citation instead of a jail term in Florida’s largest county, which may become the first in the state to treat marijuana possession as a non-criminal act. The Miami-Dade County Commission is considering a proposal to let police issue $100 civil citations for possessing up to 20 grams of marijuana. The offense would no longer be a misdemeanor.
Man accused of shooting at Miami-Dade officers arrested
Police say a 19-year-old man turned himself in a week after shooting at two undercover officers after they made contact with him in a known drug-trafficking area. Jonathan Gilbert was arrested late Monday and is being held without bond. Gilbert is charged with two counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.