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FL Blue Lobbyist Retires Amid Praise

The retirement of Florida Blue’s longtime lobbyist is generating accolades from everyone from Gov. Rick Scott to advocates for disabled children, the Florida Times-Unionreports.

Mike Hightower, Florida Blue’s vice president of government and legislative relations, is known as a rainmaker for state Republicans and is chairman of the powerful Associated Industries of Florida. But his philanthropic side is equally impressive, the Times-Union reports, having poured support toward groups such as the Children’s Resources Fund.

In other business news, the whistleblower in the $120 million Halifax Health lawsuit has officially left the hospital and has been awarded one year of severance, theDaytona Beach News-Journal reports.

Elin Baklid-Kunz, a compliance officer since 1994, will earn $92,081 in severance, the News-Journal reports. She is leaving to teach and serve as a consultant, according to the News-Journal.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.