Greg Evers

Before signing the new state budget into law, Governor Rick Scott vetoed about $8.2 million in spending for northwest Florida projects. And there’s talk about how some of the cuts may have been made, which is drawing fire from some lawmakers.

Scott signed the nearly $79 billion budget, which takes effect July 1, in his office on Tuesday. But prior to that, he unlimbered his line-item veto pen to the tune of $461 million; believed to be a record for budget vetoes.

Photo via Flickr//Utility, Inc. /

Legislation moving through the Florida Senate would require law enforcement agencies to set up guidelines for the use of body cameras. One local department appears to be ahead of the curve.

The measure, passed unanimously by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Tuesday, not only mandates policy, but also the training of personnel and the storing of the video. Baker State Senator Greg Evers, the committee chairman, says the recordings would only be used when officers are performing their duties.

Florida Department of Corrections

Florida’s new Secretary of Corrections is facing questions from state lawmakers concerning confidence, inmate deaths, and complaints of abuse from officers. The main question appears to center on the agency’s ability to police itself.

Julie Jones was named to the post on January 5. Two weeks later, she met with various legislators on her game plan to restore confidence and ease concerns.

“I’m a very plain-spoken honest person, and we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing in order to get this thing fixed,” said Jones.

A 12-member state panel will meet Thursday in Orlando to decide which candidates to interview for two spots on the Florida Public Service Commission, a former lawmaker from Pensacola is among the 32 applicants.

Dave Murzin served in the state House of Representatives from 2002 until he was term limited out of office in 2010. Since then, he has sought other elected positions, including the Florida Senate and Escambia County Commission.

Qualifying for state and local offices in Florida closed at noon on Friday, June 20. While Gov. Rick Scott and the three Republican members of the Cabinet all drew opponents, several incumbent members of the Florida Legislature were re-elected without opposition.

Two of them are in Northwest Florida.

Greg Evers of Baker is headed for a second and final four-year term in the Florida Senate, representing District 2.

It’s very humbling that folks thought enough of you that they were able to elect you without opposition.”