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Category archives for: Florida

Legislature Tells Florida’s Horse Farmers to Find a New Business

| February 10, 2016

Florida horsemen are screwed, argues Nancy Smith: Only a miracle can save the $1.2 billion Florida horse racing industry they represent. Their bane: the Florida Legislature.  

More Public Record Exemptions For Gun Owners, This Time For Hunters and Fishermen

| February 10, 2016

People getting hunting, fishing and boating licenses and certificates from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission would be shielded from public record disclosures.

In a Decisive Shift, Palm Coast Will Oppose Fracking On and Offshore, Citing Environment

| February 9, 2016

Abandoning its silence and tacit nod to fracking, the Palm Coast City Council will forcefully oppose hydraulic fracturing in a resolution, citing water and environmental protection.

Bathroom Use By Transgenders Scuttles Bill Designed to End LGBT Discrimination

| February 9, 2016

The anti-discrimination bill is backed by big business such as Disnet and AT&T but opposed by social conservatives such as Florida Family Policy Council.

Florida’s Black Cowboys: An Exhibit Tours All Flagler Schools, Bucking Stereotypes

| February 8, 2016

The Florida Black Cowboys exhibit, produced by the Agriculture Museum, opens a window on a little-known part of Florida and American history. The exhibit will appear at every Flagler County school.

Chief Justice Jorge Labarga Will Serve Second Successive Term, a First Since 1865

| February 5, 2016

Chief justices preside over the Supreme Court and, more broadly, head the state’s judicial branch. In the broader role, Labarga has focused on taking steps to try to expand access to legal services for low-income people, creating a commission to work on the issue.

Measure Forbidding Local Governments From Using Red-Light Cameras Advances

| February 4, 2016

Sen. Jeff Brandes’ measure would repeal a law known as the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act of 2010 and, as a result, prevent local governments from using the cameras for traffic enforcement.

Family of Corey Jones, Killed by Cop, Calls For Regulation of Police Body Cameras

| February 3, 2016

A musician, Corey Jones was fatally shot by a plainclothes Palm Beach Gardens officer when his car broke down on Interstate 95 in the early morning after a gig. The officer, who was driving an unmarked van, has since been fired.

Florida Supreme Court Halts Executions Indefinitely; 389 Death Row Inmates In Limbo

| February 2, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Florida’s death-penalty sentencing scheme on Jan. 12, forcing the state to rewrite its law but also putting in question whether the new law must apply to all 489 death row inmates.

In “Fair Sentencing” Push, an Attempt to Reconsider Florida’s Get-Tough-On-Crime Laws

| February 1, 2016

Fair Sentencing seeks to change laws of the 1990s, such as 10-20-Life, mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and habitual-offender laws, as other states have done.

Florida’s “Pastor Protection Act” Seen as Defense of Clergy or Latest Bias Against LGBT

| January 31, 2016

The proposal, which was approved this week by a Senate committee, would prevent clergy members from being forced to perform marriage ceremonies contrary to their beliefs.

The Future Is Here: Florida Wants Welfare For the Rich While Punishing the Poor

| January 29, 2016

Four years ago Chris Timmons, now a columnist and fellow at a Florida think tank, lost his job and needed food stamps. “It did not make me feel like a moocher,” he writes. Yet Florida makes welfare recipients feel just that.

Open-Carry Allowance and Ban on Backyard Shooting Among Gun Bills Heading for a Vote

| January 29, 2016

Openly carried guns would have to be in a holster, case or bag, recreational shooting in certain residential areas would be banned, and the burden of proof in stand your ground cases would shift to defendants.

Conklin Will Lead Suicide Awareness Town Hall Sunday: #FlaglersuicideASK4HELP

| January 29, 2016

In the wake of two recent and related suicides in Palm Coast, the town hall will feature Barbara Coxwell, whose son took his life in 2013. The Legislature is considering bills related to increased suicide awareness.

Florida Lawmakers Urged to Require Unanimous Verdicts in Death Penalty Cases

| January 28, 2016

Florida is the only state in the nation where a simple jury majority is enough for a death penalty recommendation, one of several problems at odds with a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Florida’s capital punishment system.

FPL Reports Profits of $1.65 Billion for 2015 But Still Seeks 15% Rate Increase by 2019

| January 28, 2016

Despite the good news to FPL shareholders, FPL has asked for an $8.50-a-month rate increase in 2017, rising to $14-a-month by 2019. The Florida Public Service Commission must approve the rate increases after public hearings.

Senate Looks to Boost Education Funding Beyond Scott Request, But Tax Burden Looms

| January 27, 2016

The Senate is proposing spending $7,249 a student, against Scott’s $7,220, but the increase relies on rising local property taxes, which are part of the state funding formula.

Unfounded Threat Briefly Lifts Flagler Schools’ Status to Yellow, Increasing Cop Presence

| January 26, 2016

An unfounded threat reported third-hand to Flagler school officials this morning and mirroring a threat in Florida’s Panhandle prompted the district to raise its security status to yellow before reverting back to normal.

Failed Condo Project in Ft. Lauderdale Lands Donald Trump in Florida Appeals Court

| January 25, 2016

Investors have battled in court for years to get back hundreds of thousands of dollars in deposits from Donald Trump and associates. The 4th District Court of Appeal will hear arguments Tuesday in two lawsuits related to what was pitched as a swanky, Trump-branded hotel/condominium.

Term Limits for Supreme Court and Appellate Judges? Measure Moving Closer to Ballot

| January 24, 2016

Under the proposal, members of the Supreme Court and district courts of appeal would be limited to two full six-year terms. Judges currently have to retire in the election cycle after they turn 70 years old.

Lawyers for Condemned Florida Man Call for Halt To Execution in Light of “Tectonic Shift”

| January 22, 2016

Lawyers for Cary Michael Lambrix, who has been on Death Row for more than three decades, have asked the Florida Supreme Court to halt his execution in light of a U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring Florida’s court process unconstitutional in such cases.

Flagler’s Unemployment Rate Falls to New Post-Recession Low of 5.5%, Florida at 5%

| January 22, 2016

Flagler County’s rate is vastly improved since even a year ago, when it stood at 6.9 percent. There were 487,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 9.7 million.

City School Districts? Lawmaker Mulling Proposed Constitutional Amendment

| January 21, 2016

The measure (HJR 539) would mark a dramatic change in how school districts are organized in Florida. The Constitution requires all districts to be made up of whole counties, though a handful of public schools are stand-alone.

Opposing Open Carry, Sheriffs Instead Propose Immunity for Accidental Display of Guns

| January 20, 2016

The Florida Sheriffs Association, which has opposed the open-carry measure, outlined proposed steps that would provide immunity to people who inadvertently or accidentally display firearms.

Trump Surges to “Crushing” Lead in Florida While Clinton Begins to Strengthen Again

| January 20, 2016

The latest FAU poll has Trump surging to a 47.6 percent lead, with Ted Cruz, more than 30 points behind and Rubio and Bush hobbling in at 11.1 and 9.1 percent. Ben Carson has all but vanished at just over 3 percent.

Florida Lawmakers Drilling the Way for Fracking Even as Need Is Questioned

| January 19, 2016

The assault on Florida’s environment continues as a Senate committee last week approved a bill that would make it easier for companies to use fracking technology to drill for oil and gas in the state.

High Schools May Get Greater Autonomy From Florida Athletic Association Requirements

| January 19, 2016

The proposals would allow schools to join the FHSAA on a per-sport basis and limit how much can be charged for some association-sponsored competitions. Currently, a school that joins the FHSAA in any sport has to be a member in every sport.

Starting With $8.50 Increase Next Year, FPL Seeks Monthly Rate Increase of $14 By 2020

| January 17, 2016

The proposal would help cover the nearly $16 billion that the power company has been investing since 2014 to improve its electricity service.

Florida House May Back Scott’s $1 Billion Tax Cut, With Minor Differences

| January 15, 2016

The House intends to offer a $1 billion tax-cut package that includes Gov. Rick Scott’s call to reduce a tax on commercial leases and holding a back-to-school sales tax “holiday.”

Nurseries Will Start Growing Pot Despite Legal Challenges Threatening Their Licenses

| January 14, 2016

Five dispensing organizations selected by state officials promised lawmakers Wednesday they would meet a deadline next month to get medical-marijuana production off the ground, despite legal challenges that could threaten their licenses.

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