Don Gaetz

Local Manufacturing
4:06 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Major Investment For International Paper In Cantonment

This historic photo shows the original paper mill in Cantonment from the 1940s.
Credit Photo via Flickr//debra32514

International Paper plans to spend more $90 million to upgrade its Cantonment plant’s energy efficiency along with its production of containerboard and fluff pulp that’s used for packing materials.

According to a news release from IP, the five-year commitment will be supported by roughly $5 million in grants and infrastructure improvements. Currently, the plant,which opened in 1941 and was acquired by IP in 2000, has a workforce of about 400 and pumped about $330 million into the local economy last year.

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Military
5:15 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Defense Grants Benefit Local Military Bases

Flightline at NAS Pensacola
Credit Photo via Flickr//Jason Mitchell

Fourteen Florida counties will share $2.45 million from the state’s Defense Infrastructure and Reinvestment Grant Programs. The funding will provide support for community projects at 19 military installations.

Florida’s military and defense sector is responsible for almost 9.5% of the state’s economy. That translates to 758,000 direct and indirect jobs that represent $73 billion in spending.

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Election 2014
5:11 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Special Session On Redistricting Begins Thursday

Credit FLSenate.gov

Florida lawmakers are gearing up for a little overtime. The Legislature kicks off a special session on Thursday, to redraw congressional districts.

The memo was issued Sunday by Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford. It came two days after Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ordered lawmakers to redraw the districts of Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown of Jacksonville and Republican Congressman Dan Webster of Orlando, and submit a map to him by Aug. 15.  Gaetz – a Republican from Niceville -- says that’s not an unreasonable deadline.

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Fair Districting
6:00 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Gaetz: No Appeal Of Redistricting Ruling

Credit FLSenate.gov

There will be no appeal of last week’s ruling which struck down Florida’s congressional map that was drawn in 2012. The redistricting plan was declared unconstitutional by a judge in Tallahassee.

Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled that Districts 5 and 10 were drawn to benefit Republicans and need changing. Seven other districts that had been challenged do not need to be redrawn.

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Stormwater Grants
4:31 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Stormwater Grants Heading To NWFL

NEW ORLEANS - Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon April 21, 2010. A Coast Guard MH-65C dolphin rescue helicopter and crew document the fire aboard the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, while searching for survivors April 21, 2010. Multiple Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters responded to rescue the Deepwater Horizon's 126 person crew. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
Credit Photo via Flickr//EPI2oh

$10 million in State of Florida grant money is coming to the Panhandle, to help pay for upgrades in local storm water infrastructure. That word comes from state Senate President Don Gaetz.

The money is part of a $90 million settlement between the Department of Justice and MOEX Offshore – a co-owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded four years ago, causing the nation’s worst oil spill.

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Flood Recovery
2:47 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Governor, FEMA Come To Town

Gov Scott greets FEMA officials as he arrives at Piedmont Road in Pensacola
Bob Barrett WUWF News

Christy Ball's Piedmont Road home suffered major damage in last week's flood. She attracted a crowd as she talked to the Governor and other city and county officials about what she and many other Pensacola residents are up against. Ball said she's been spending thousands of dollars out of pocket just to begin repairs to her home.

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Legislative Session Update
3:14 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Gaetz Works Through Holiday; Seeks Feedback On Three Controversial Bills

Florida Senate President Don Gaetz
Credit Office of Don Gaetz

The Florida Legislature is taking a break this week in observance of the Passover and Easter holidays. But, Senate President Don Gaetz plans to remain in Tallahassee and work through the holiday week. In WUWF’s weekly update, Gaetz (R-Niceville) outlines the Senate’s approval of two education bills, extension of the historic ethics reform legislation that was passed last year, and the status of gaming legislation.

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Legislative Session Update
3:14 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Gaetz: 2014-15 Budget Negotiations

Florida Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville).
Credit Office of Don Gaetz

State lawmakers are beginning their sixth week of work during the 2014 Florida Legislative Session. During the session, WUWF is checking in with Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville).

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Legislative Update
3:58 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Gaetz: Florida GI Bill Signed Into Law

Credit Office of Don Gaetz

Governor Rick Scott signed the Florida GI Bill into law during a ceremony this Monday (March 31) morning in Panama City. Florida Senate President and House Speaker Will Weatherford were on hand for the bill signing, which kicked off week five of the 2014 legislative session.

President Gaetz and Speaker Weatherford put the Florida GI Bill atop their “Work Plan Florida 2014” legislative priority list and ensured that it passed on the House of Representatives on the first day of the session and by the Senate soon after.

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Legislative Session Update
1:10 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Gaetz: $74.9 Billion Budget Goes To Appropriations Panel

Credit Office of Don Gaetz

The Florida Legislature is entering the fourth week of the 2014 legislative session and will reach the half-way point on Wednesday, March 26. During the session, WUWF is checking in with Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville).

Before exploring what’s ahead, Sen. Gaetz reflects on third week highlights, which includes the Florida Senate’s budget proposal for Fiscal year 2014-2015.

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