Jim Turner - News Service of Florida

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

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Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday downplayed growing concerns that President Donald Trump is putting Florida’s coastal waters back in play for oil exploration.

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The tourism industry pushed Wednesday to keep the doors open at the state’s tourism-marketing agency as House and Senate budget committees advanced competing spending plans for next year.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign vow to require Florida businesses to use federal “E-Verify” checks on the immigration status of new hires remains a tougher lift than his call for a sanctuary-city ban, which is speeding through the Legislature.

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Lawmakers are pushing forward with plans to continue carving up millions of dollars voters more than four years ago directed to be spent on land and water protection, despite environmentalists’ concerns about the way the money is being used to help the Indian River Lagoon and Apalachicola Bay.

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Florida’s latest attempt to draw more film production to the Sunshine State started rolling Tuesday in the Senate.

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Florida lawmakers are taking another run at eliminating an unused pool of sales-tax dollars intended for building and improving professional sports facilities.

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Florida took a step Tuesday in imposing economic sanctions on the popular home-sharing platform Airbnb because of a company decision against listing properties in the West Bank, an area that is a major flashpoint in Israeli-Palestinian relations.

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State ethics officials have found probable cause that former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who narrowly lost the governor’s race last year and continues to draw national political attention, violated Florida ethics laws by accepting gifts from lobbyists.

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A seemingly annual effort to turn off red-light traffic cameras – as Jacksonville has done - is again on the move in the Florida House.

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When Gov. Ron DeSantis makes his first international trip to Israel, he plans to tout Florida but also will have a chance to get a new supply of water --- and probably will do a better labeling job.

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Nikki Fried was sworn in last week as state agriculture commissioner, becoming the first woman elected to run the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. She also is the only Democrat holding statewide office and the first Democrat on the state Cabinet in eight years.

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A mechanical problem Friday with a seized drug plane being used to shuttle Gov. Ron DeSantis throughout the state has revived talk of new or improved air transportation for the governor and, maybe, members of the Florida Cabinet.

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Hurricane Michael, which pummeled 10 Panhandle counties and spurred evacuation orders for 375,000 Floridians in October, left nearly seven times the debris of Hurricane Irma, which barreled across 45 counties in 2017.

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A change in culture, with law enforcement handed more on-campus authority, is needed to improve school safety, members of a transition advisory panel for Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis said.

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Defending a 2017 law that set regulations for the state’s medical-marijuana industry, Florida Department of Health attorneys have asked an appeals court to overturn a circuit judge’s ruling that they say “injected confusion and uncertainty” into the licensing of marijuana firms.

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