State

News stories impacting Florida.

tax cut chart
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is proposing to cut taxes on cell phone, cable and satellite services. The governor was at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce this morning to push for the cuts.

Under the governor's plan, a family with a $125 monthly cell phone bill would save just over $50 a year in taxes. Scott says the state can afford losing $470 million in telecom tax revenue because the property and sales tax bases are growing.

JAXPORT

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is inviting energy-industry workers laid off in other places to start new careers in Florida. 

Bloomberg News estimates more than 30,000 oil and gas industry workers have been let go as companies slash budgets amidst declining oil prices. Scott’s administration is posting an open invitation to those workers to come find a job in Florida. The state has created the website Fueling Florida Jobs.com, where job seekers can search openings available through the CareerSource Florida network.

Wikimedia Commons

For more than 20 years, the state of Florida and lawyers representing prisoners wrangled over inmates' health care, resulting in nearly a decade of federal-court oversight of health services in the Department of Corrections.

Now, lawyers who represented prisoners in the mid-1970s say conditions may be worse today than they were when attorneys for Michael Costello, an inmate at Florida State Prison, convinced a federal judge that inadequate health care amounted to a violation of Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is getting a federal grant to step up protection efforts for some of the state's threatened and endangered species.

The Commission wants to use the $370 million federal grant to target the gopher tortoise, Florida panther and Florida grasshopper sparrow.

The FWC project will help manage wildlife in Polk, Osceola, Okeechobee, Highlands, Hardee, Desoto and Glades counties. FWC Executive Director Nick Wiley says Florida wildlife is one of the biggest economic engines in the state.

The Republican Party of Florida has elected a new chair, state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill). That means Governor Rick Scott’s hand-picked chairwoman, Leslie Dougher is out.

Dougher was appointed by Scott in May. She replaced Lenny Curry, who resigned in order to run for Mayor of Jacksonville. Dougher led the party to victory during the recent election cycle—and Republicans won a super-majority in the Florida House, and secured all cabinet positions, including Governor Rick Scott’s re-election. She was campaigning for a two-year term.

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