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Jim Turner

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

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Florida citrus growers could save more than $11 million in taxes they pay on boxes of oranges and grapefruit under a proposed Department of Citrus budget that would trim jobs to meet the demands of a troubled industry.

The department, which would see its staff shrink from 39 to 23, released a proposed $20.6 million budget Monday for next fiscal year. The proposed spending plan would be 31.9 percent below the current year's $30.3 million operating budget.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be asked next week to set a quota of 320 bears for a controversial hunt in October.

The hunt, the first in the state in more than 20 years, has already attracted 1,795 hunters who have purchased permits, according to the commission.

  A conservative-advocacy group is telling Gov. Rick Scott it'll have his back if he vetoes projects crammed into the state budget just before the nearly $80 billion package was completed last week.

"We are making everyone aware that we are not happy with the $301 million in last minute projects," Americans for Prosperity-Florida spokesman Andres Malave said Sunday. "AFP stands with Floridians who wouldn't be disappointed if the governor vetoed projects not beneficial to all taxpayers."

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