Jim Turner - News Service of Florida

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Jim Turner is a reporter for The News Service of Florida.

Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles / FLHSMV.gov

Lawmakers took steps Thursday that could cancel a fifth of the specialty license plates available in Florida but also advanced 26 more designs for motorists to pre-order.

House and Senate committees backed higher thresholds for plates to qualify to be produced and for the current 122 tags to remain on the road.

At the same time, the Senate Transportation and House Economic Affairs committees moved a wide range of tags toward pre-sale for Panhellenic organizations, non-profits, environmental endeavors and professional sports teams.

tax cut chart
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

House members backed Gov. Rick Scott's push to reduce taxes on cell-phone bills and pay TV on Tuesday.

And they bettered the governor, by $17 million, in rolling out a $690 million tax-reduction package that offers a slew of sales-tax holidays and eliminating taxes on gun-club memberships, college textbooks, materials purchased at book fairs and vehicles purchased overseas and brought to Florida by military members.

Daniel Lobo / Flickr

With the state's unemployment rate holding steady as Gov. Rick Scott's second term got underway, he focused Tuesday on private-sector job growth since he first took office.

The jobless rate stood at 5.7 percent in January, equaling a revised unemployment mark for December, the state Department of Economic Opportunity said Tuesday.

The December figure had initially been posted at 5.6 percent. The national unemployment rate stands at 5.5 percent.

The January figure represents approximately 551,000 Floridians qualifying as unemployed from a work force of 9.7 million.

Ines Hegedus-Garcia / Flickr

A plan that would make changes to the management of the state's natural springs and address drinking-water issues across Central Florida and the flow of pollution in and out of Lake Okeechobee was approved Thursday by the House on the third day of the legislative session.

Jacksonville Jaguars

A much-anticipated decision about divvying up sales-tax dollars to sports-stadium projects was handed-off to the full Legislature on Thursday.

And now, a process that was intended to reducing lobbying may do the opposite.

The Joint Legislative Budget Commission, comprised of seven senators and seven representatives, agreed to move any funding decisions regarding the stadiums --- Daytona International Speedway, the Miami Dolphins' home of Sun Life Stadium, EverBank Field in Jacksonville and a soccer stadium in Orlando --- to the regular legislative session.

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