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Category archives for: Florida Legislature

House Ties Money to School Dress Codes, More Dollars for Charters, Fewer Class-Size Penalties

| March 29, 2015

Most of the school-related bills were passed in lopsided votes, though Democrats united to oppose a measure that could funnel local tax dollars to charter-school construction.

Florida House Votes To Require Flags Flown By Governments To Be Exclusively U.S.-Made

| March 27, 2015

If the Senate follows suit, Florida flags purchased by governments in Florida after Jan. 1, 2016 would have to be made from materials grown, produced and manufactured in the United States.

Scott’s Magical ‘Tax Cut Calculator’ Obscures Nation’s 2nd Most Unfair Tax System

| March 26, 2015

As Gov. Scott touts minor tax cuts for consumers, you could ask why that $43 a year saved on the cable bill compares so unfavorably with the $3-4 billion in corporate tax evasion he and his legislative allies let Florida’s biggest, most profitable businesses get away with each and every year, writes Daniel Tilson.

Proposal Would Suspend 3rd Grade Test Required For Promotion to 4th Grade This Year

| March 26, 2015

The proposal calls for suspending the language-arts test for 3rd graders until the state’s new Florida Standards Assessments are found to be valid by an independent examination.

Against Voter Wishes, Proposal Would Devote Just 1% of Available Cash to Land Preservation

| March 25, 2015

Sen. Alan Hays, a Umatilla Republican in charge of budget talks with the House–which is already resisting more money for land-buying–says Florida already has enough land in public hands.

Gutted Bill Restricting Red-Light Cameras Advances as Turn-On-Red Penalty Is Restored  

| March 24, 2015

While the restrictive proposal cleared its latest committee, 7-3, the bill’s only surviving measures would require cities to send our red-light camera notices by certified mail, and to use revenue for public safety programs.

Florida House Pushes $690 Million Tax-Cut Package, Exceeding Gov. Scott’s Request

| March 24, 2015

The proposed cuts include sales-tax holidays and eliminating taxes on gun-club memberships, college textbooks, materials purchased at book fairs and vehicles purchased overseas and brought to Florida by military members.

Florida Legislature to Voters For Amendment 1’s Water Protection: Drop Dead

| March 23, 2015

Even when expressed via an overwhelming majority “Yes” vote on a constitutional amendment, the Florida Legislature can and does subvert it, argues Daniel Tilson.

Obama Proposals Would End Tax-Subsidized Loans For Sports Stadiums

| March 22, 2015

The proposal comes as many team owners, including Florida, are pressing cities and states for new facilities, with some threatening to move elsewhere if they don’t get them.

Another Pot Grow House Busted in Palm Coast As Critics and Lawmakers Press Legalization

| March 20, 2015

Some 28 marijuana plants were seized at a house at 17 Rocking Lane in Palm Coast. As the Sheriff’s Office announced the seizure and arrest of the resident at the house, Ray Strack, a former federal narcotics interdiction agent, was speaking on WNZF about the inanity of the war on marijuana.

School Choice Bill That Vastly Increases Parental Control–And Undermines Educators’–Advances

| March 18, 2015

The measure gives parents the right to have their children attend any school in the state that hasn’t reached capacity and remove their child from one class to another under certain circumstances.

$772 Million Amendment 1 Spending Focuses More On Management and Water Projects Than Land Acquisition

| March 17, 2015

The plan drew mixed reviews from conservationists concerned that lawmakers disregarded the intent of voters who supported a constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 1, in November.

Bill Targeting Transgenders in Public Bathrooms Clears 2nd House Committee, 7-4

| March 17, 2015

The 7-4 vote of the Florida House Government Operations Subcommittee included one dissent from a Republican, though as the bill advances, its chances of becoming law increase.

Senate Panel Approves Communications Tax Cut That Could Net Floridians a $43-a-Year Saving

| March 16, 2015

The cut would lower the communications-services tax on cell-phone and cable TV from 6.65 percent to 3.05 percent and the tax rate on direct-to home satellite services from 10.8 percent to 7.2 percent. State economists estimate the cuts would eventually reduce state revenue by $470.9 million a year.

Plan to Extend Health Insurance to 800,000 Poor Floridians Crawls Against Steep Hurdles

| March 16, 2015

The new Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange Program, or FHIX, would assist Floridians not eligible for Medicaid in purchasing health benefits coverage and gaining access to health services.

Favoring Flagler and Other Districts, Lawmakers May Move Up School Start Time to Aug. 10

| March 13, 2015

In the shadow of the state’s recent standardized-testing problems and proposals to curb the amount of time students spend on exams, lawmakers are considering moving up the start date of the school year.

24-Hour Waiting Period for Abortion Clears Florida House Panel in Partisan 9-4 Vote

| March 12, 2015

Under the bill, a woman seeking an abortion would be required to meet with a physician to get information and then wait at least 24 hours before the procedure could be performed.

Bill Banning Red-Light Camera Tickets for Right-Turn on Red Sails Through House Panel

| March 11, 2015

The proposal and one like it in the Senate would further complicate Palm Coast’s troubled red-light camera program and its relationship with ATS, the private company running the local scheme. Right-turn on red tickets generate the majority of revenue.

Fearing Loss of $1 Billion in Federal Aid, Senate Again Considers Medicaid Expansion

| March 11, 2015

Florida’s budget faces an unexpected deficit. Accepting the federal Medicaid money could potentially offset the loss of the Low-Income Pool Funds. But the plan faces stiff opposition.

Don’t Add Guns to “Toxic Mix” of Booze, Drugs and Academic Pressures on Campus, Opponents Say

| March 10, 2015

Members of Everytown for Gun Safety and the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America held a small rally on the steps of the Old Capitol Monday before meeting with mostly Democratic lawmakers.

Amendment 1 Money For Land Conservation: House Panel Says Buy Fewer Acres, Manage More

| March 7, 2015

Again seeming to counter voter intent, a Florida House committee crafting rules on spending voter-approved dollars for land conservation would limit new land to be bought under the program.

Lawmakers Looking to End Speed Traps and Limit Police Revenue From Speeding Tickets

| March 5, 2015

A Senate committee unanimously approved a bill banning police’s speeding-ticket quotas and limit law enforcement agencies’ revenue from tickets.

Bill Forbidding Local Government Protection for Transgenders In Public Bathrooms Advances

| March 5, 2015

A bill by Florida Rep. Frank Artiles that would overturn local government ordinances protecting transgender use of single-sex bathrooms passed 8-3 on a party-line vote Wednesday after an impassioned discussion in a House subcommittee.

I Am A Throw-Away Piece Of Trash In This Country of Freedom and Liberty and Respect

| March 5, 2015

Cindy Robert Sullivan, a transgender man transitioning to a woman, addressed Rep. Frank Artiles and a House committee before a 9-4 vote approving a bill forbidding certain protections for transgender people.

Bill Would Allow Gun-Carrying Without Concealed-Weapons Permit During Evacuations

| March 4, 2015

An NRA-supported measure that failed last year now has sheriffs’ backing, and would allow legal gun owners to carry their guns without licenses in the first 48 hours after emergency evacuation orders are given.

Citing “Florida Exceptionalism,” Gov. Scott Calls for Tax Cuts and Education Spending in State of the State

| March 3, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott used the annual State of the State address Tuesday to try to reinvigorate his legislative agenda after a difficult opening to his second term.

Correctly Anticipating State Problems, Flagler Delayed School Testing Until Thursday

| March 3, 2015

Rarely in the spotlight, Shawn Schmidli, the Flagler school district’s assessment director, anticipated that state-issued computer tests would have problems, and delayed Flagler’s testing until Thursday.

The State of the State Floridians Should Hear

| March 1, 2015

With 3.2 million Florida households struggling every month to stretch paychecks to cover basic necessities, former Florida Sen. Dan Gelber outlines a State of the State Floridians swill not hear when the governor opens the Legislative session this week.

Bi-Partisan Lawmakers Looking to Expunge Criminal Records of Non-Violent Juveniles

| February 27, 2015

An Orlando Senator is sponsoring a bill that would allow the expunging of records for minors who commit nonviolent misdemeanors and go on to complete diversion programs.

Pot. Beer Wars. Gambling. Even Pension Reform. Sen. Rob Bradley Says Bring ‘Em On

| February 26, 2015

Many of this Florida legislative session’s thorniest issues — and more — rest in the hands of Sen. Rob Bradley, a laid-back junior legislator and chairman of a committee dubbed by Senate President Andy Gardiner as the “Thunderdome.”

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