FLORIDA ECONOMISTS TO DRAW UP NEW BUDGET FORECAST
State economists are drawing up new forecasts to predict how much the state will collect in taxes. Economists are scheduled to meet on Tuesday. The forecasts will be used by state legislators as they draw up this year’s budget. Late last year economists predicted the state’s main budget account would grow nearly 5 percent during the fiscal year that ends in June. Economists also predicted an additional 4 percent growth in the 2015-16 fiscal year. That growth gave legislators a budget windfall of about $1 billion.
NO CHARGES FOR ORANGE COUNTY CLERKS WHO TOOK PAYMENTS
No criminal charges will be filed against two former employees who claimed more than $250,000 in payments after Orange County Clerk Lydia Gardner died. State Attorney Jeff Ashton said Monday that the actions by Colleen Reilly and Stephan Carter didn’t rise to the level of criminal activity, although he said their claims to the payment may have been “tenuous.” Reilly had been Gardner’s second-in-command and was named interim clerk after her death in 2013. Carter was Gardner’s general counsel.
EX-BROWARD SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER’S HUSBAND IN CORRUPTION TRIAL
Trial has begun for a Broward County lobbyist accused of corruption for allegedly using his wife’s former position as a school board member to illegally save developers $500,000 on a 2007 project. Opening statements are expected Tuesday in the trial of Mitchell Kraft, who is charged with unlawful compensation, criminal conspiracy and bribery of a public servant.
MOTHER DUE IN COURT AFTER FLEEING WITH SON OVER CIRCUMCISION
A woman who fled with her son while fighting to prevent his circumcision is due in a Florida courtroom. Heather Hironimus has been ordered to appear Tuesday with her 4-year-old son before Circuit Judge Jeffrey Gillen in Delray Beach. Gillen found the woman in contempt after she missed a hearing Friday. He said she had until 2 p.m. Tuesday to return with the boy and consent to the procedure or she’ll face jail.
FAKE COUNTY WORKERS ROB, INJURE 85-YEAR-OLD WOMAN
Authorities say two men posing as water and sewer workers entered an 85-year-old woman’s home, stole various items and knocked her down when she tried to call a neighbor. The incident happened Monday afternoon in the Miami-Dade County. Police say a man knocked on the woman’s door and identified himself as a worker for the county’s water and sewer department. He told her he needed to do some work inside her house.