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Florida

Bill Cosby... Michael Jordan... Brad Pitt... President Clinton... Martin Sheen... Neil Diamond... Denzel Washington…

What do all of these people, and millions more throughout America, have in common? They are all alumni of Boys & Girls Clubs. While many Club alumni have achieved particular distinction in fields such as entertainment, business, politics and sports, the average alumnus is not famous. Most have achieved success by getting an education, raising a family, serving their country, pursuing a career or supporting the community.

Governor Rick Scott was joined by Senate President Don Gaetz, Speaker of the House Will Weatherford, Senator Rob Bradley, Representative Matt Gaetz and other members of the Florida Legislature, as well as victims, advocates, parents and law enforcement officials to sign Senate Bills 522, 524, 526 and 528 to protect vulnerable Floridians.

Governor Rick Scott was joined by Senate President Don Gaetz, Speaker of the House Will Weatherford and other members of Florida Legislature, as well as county tax collectors and business community leaders to sign Senate Bill 156 that cuts $400 million in annual vehicle registration fees for Florida families. Governor Scott also sent a letter to the tax collectors encouraging Floridians who require a registration renewal before September 1 to only register for one year.

Governor Rick Scott released the following statement about news outlets reporting the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is considering tying their employee bonuses to the number of tickets they issue to motorists:

“The idea that FHP would tie officer bonuses to the number of tickets they write is absolutely outrageous and wrong. All state worker bonuses should be based on better – not worse – outcomes for the people of Florida who pay the taxes to fund state government.

Governor Rick Scott highlighted the number of available job openings in Florida increased in February 2014 compared to the previous February by 9,727, or 3.6 percent, for a total of 278,717 openings (seasonally adjusted). These figures from Help Wanted Online are an all-time high in the data series, which began in May 2005. Job postings in Florida also increased over the month compared to January 2014 by 8,204 openings or 3.0 percent.

Governor Rick Scott was joined by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Secretary Herschel Vinyard today to announce the 11 wastewater and stormwater projects receiving more than $27 million in loan funding through the Department’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund program in Central Florida.

During Thursday’s meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Governor Rick Scott discussed the impacts of President Obama’s cuts to the Medicare Advantage program.

Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced that claim forms have been mailed to more than 17,000 Florida consumers who were allegedly billed for unauthorized charges on their telephone bills by DADATA, Inc., a Pinellas County-based company, and its client companies. In December, Attorney General Bondi announced a settlement with DADATA, Inc. and others resolving allegations that they charged customers' telephone bills for voicemail, e-fax, and other services without the customers’ consent.

Governor Rick Scott today announced that according to preliminary estimates* released today by VISIT FLORIDA – the state’s official tourism marketing corporation – 94.7 million visitors came to Florida in 2013, an increase of 3.5 percent over 2012.  This represents a record year for visitation to Florida, exceeding the previous high of 91.5 million in 2012.  The number of direct travel-related jobs in 2013 was also a record high, with 1,088,200 Floridians employed in the tourism industry – up 2.9 percent from 2012.

United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that William Benjamin Mejias (41, Orlando) today pleaded guilty to impersonating a Drug Enforcement Administration agent and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Mejias faces a maximum penalty of 13 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Marcus Dwayne Robertson (age 45) was found guilty yesterday of conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. This is Robertson’s second conviction in this District. On August 23, 2011, he was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and charged with being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Robertson pleaded guilty to that crime on January 5, 2012.

Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announced that a federal jury today found Dewarren Antoine Lewis, aka “Fella,” (28, Orlando), guilty of two counts of bank robbery with assault and two counts of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Lewis faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in federal prison on the bank robbery convictions, followed by a mandatory minimum consecutive penalty of 32 years in federal prison on the firearms convictions. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 4, 2013.

Governor Rick Scott awarded 14 Florida companies and business leaders with the Governor’s Business Ambassador Award during his business development mission to the Paris Air Show. Governor Scott presented the 14 awards during the Grand Opening of the Florida Pavilion. The Governor’s Business Ambassador Awards are presented to companies for their commitment to expanding business opportunities in Florida to create more jobs and opportunities for Florida families.

With hurricane season beginning on June 1, Attorney General Pam Bondi urges consumers to prepare for hurricane season and to be wary of companies that claim their window films protect against hurricane-force wind. The Attorney General’s Office is currently investigating companies across the state that have been advertising window films as a way to protect a house from hurricane-force winds and has entered eight settlement agreements, to date, to resolve these alleged practices. The Florida Building Commission has not approved window film as a form of hurricane protection; therefore, it cannot be advertised as offering hurricane protection.

Governor Rick Scott signed the following bills into law yesterday:

HB 21                         The bill requires the Department of Education to create a uniform, statewide photo identification badge signifying that a noninstructional contractor meets certain background screening and other requirements.

CS/SB 56                  The bill updates the protocols of the Department of Health and medical examiners when reporting and classifying the cause of death of an infant under one year of age who suddenly dies when in apparent good health....

The FBI has seen an increase in cyber criminals who use online photo-sharing programs to perpetrate scams and harm victims’ computers. These criminals advertise vehicles online but will not provide pictures in the advertisement. They will send photos on request. Sometimes the photo is a single file sent as an e-mail attachment, and sometimes the victim receives a link to an online photo gallery.

The bill signed today prohibits a person from manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols or other characters into a wireless communications device. This includes text messaging, emailing and instant messaging through smart phones.

Attorney General Pam Bondi and other attorneys general have called on Urban Outfitters to end its “Prescription Line” of glasses, drink holders, coasters and other items intended to look similar to prescription drug labels and pads.

Governor Rick Scott today announced Florida’s statewide unemployment rate for April 2013 was 7.2 percent, the lowest rate since September 2008. Down 0.3 percentage points from March’s rate of 7.5 percent, Florida’s unemployment rate continues to fall below the national average of 7.5 percent for April. Over the month, Florida added 16,700 private sectors jobs throughout the state.

Manatee, County authorities are looking for public assistance in locating Maritza Vasquez, a 15 year old Female, who was reported missing nearly a month ago.

Attorney General Pam Bondi today filed a lawsuit against BP and Halliburton over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The lawsuit was filed in the Panama City Division of the Northern District of Florida.

Attorney General Pam Bondi released the following statement on the passage of the Organized Retail Theft Bill, Senate Bill 1404, in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Attorney General Pam Bondi announced a $7 million multistate settlement with Google over its collection of data from unsecured wireless networks nationwide while taking photographs for its Street View service between 2008 and March 2010. Attorney General Bondi’s Office served on the executive committee that negotiated the agreement, which requires Google to destroy the data it gathered during that time period.

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