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Category archives for: Florida Legislature

State Education Board’s “Historic” Funding Proposal Is Still $1,000 Per Student Below 2006 Level

| August 26, 2015

In inflation adjusted dollars, current spending on public education is $1,100-per-student less than it was in 2007, and would still be $1,000 less if the Legislature goes along with a state board of education proposal.

Lawmakers and Judge Turn to Supreme Court to Break Congressional Map Stalemate

| August 25, 2015

A Leon County judge will ask the Florida Supreme Court how to move forward with a redistricting lawsuit after the Legislature failed to draw new congressional lines in a special session that collapsed last week.

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Circuit Judge Terry Lewis told lawyers for the House and Senate at a conference Tuesday that he […]

Lawmakers Can’t Get It Done: Redistricting Session Collapses, Leaving It Up to Courts

| August 21, 2015

The end of the session without agreement on the shape of Florida’s 27 congressional districts likely means the final decision will be made by the courts, though some lawmakers held out slim hopes for a resolution in the coming days that could avoid such an outcome.

House and Senate at Odds Over Congressional Map, But No Disagreement Over Flagler District

| August 20, 2015

The 6th Congressional District would be redrawn southward, losing most of St. Johns County and all of Putnam, and taking on all of Volusia and a segment of Lake, thus pushing the district more to the center than it’s been.

Despite Same-Sex Marriage Ruling, Gay Adoption Rights Remain Restricted in Florida

| August 19, 2015

While same-sex couples have long been able to adopt from private, gay-friendly adoption agencies, adopting children from the foster care system has proved more difficult in some states, among them Florida.

Clashing Again, Florida House and Senate Are on Collision Course Over Redistricting

| August 17, 2015

The House and Senate seemed unconcerned about whether they could reconcile their differences before the scheduled conclusion of the special session on Friday. They all but ruled out forming a joint House-Senate conference committee to hammer out a compromise.

Florida’s Tax Revenue Expected to Grow by Modest $462 Million By June 2017

| August 14, 2015

At least some of the extra money is likely to be eaten up by increasing enrollment in the state’s public schools, changes to health-care spending and the like.

House Committee Approves District Joining Flagler, Volusia, Drips of Lake and St. Johns

| August 13, 2015

The shift may be reflective of the weakness of the region’s legislative delegation: neither Sen. Travis Hutson nor Paul Renner, rookies both, has pull in his respective house, neither has bargaining chips to deal with.

New Congressional Maps Proposed in Face of Criticism, One Restoring Flagler’s Right Tilt

| August 12, 2015

Changes to a proposed map of Florida’s 27 congressional districts emerged Wednesday, a day before key hearings in the House and Senate about how to comply with a court order finding the current map violates the anti-gerrymandering “Fair Districts” requirements.

Florida League of Women Voters Targeting New Campus Concealed Weapons Bills

| August 11, 2015

The goal is to make the opposition stronger than during the 2015 session, by uniting with students, professors, administrators and the national organization Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus.

GOP Opens Special Session With Complaints That Fair Districts Infringe on Free Speech

| August 10, 2015

Senators scolded the Florida Supreme Court for trampling on their First Amendment rights as lawmakers began a special session Monday aimed at redrawing congressional districts the court said were gerrymandered to help the Republican Party.

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown Goes to Court
To Stop Her District From Heading West

| August 7, 2015

Brown is hoping to intervene in the lawsuit and get judges to order the Legislature not to reorient the district, which currently ambles from Jacksonville to Orlando.

In Latest Fallout from Factious Weeks Era, Hutson Files Bill to Clarify Attorney Role on Canvassing Boards

| August 4, 2015

The Hutson bill would designate the county attorney as the canvassing board’s counsel absent a two-third vote by the board to appoint a different attorney.

Lawmakers Reload to Allow Students to Carry Concealed Weapons on Florida Campuses

| August 4, 2015

The proposal drew heavy debate during the 2015 legislative session, with gun-rights advocates supporting the idea and many university-system leaders opposing it.

Rethinking Restrictions on Food Stamps and Welfare Benefits for Drug Felons

| August 3, 2015

The bans on welfare and food stamps assistance apply only to drug felons, in accordance with a 1996 federal law, unless states choose to waive them.

Federal Court Upholds Docs v. Glocks Law Forbidding Physicians From Asking About Guns

| July 30, 2015

The 2-1 decision by a panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was a victory for the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights advocates and a defeat for medical groups that argued, at least in part, that the law infringed on doctors’ First Amendment rights.

At Olustee State Park, Confederacy Wins One As Plan For Union Monument Is In Retreat

| July 27, 2015

Florida’s Olustee Battlefield State Park, site of the Civil War’s largest battle in the state, was to have a Union monument until opponents revived an old conflict.

Reporter Kicked Out: When Public Officials Abuse Florida’s Sunshine Law, With Lawmakers’ Blessing

| July 22, 2015

A “health district” run by public officials closes a public meeting under a bogus exemption to the Sunshine law, and gets a blank check to secretly talk about whatever it wishes, though it affects public policy.

Florida’s Impending “Pastor Protection Act” Weds Spurious Scenarios With Homophobia

| July 16, 2015

The proposal is aimed at safeguarding clergy members from being forced to perform gay-marriage ceremonies even though they’re categorically protected from doing so by the First Amendment.

Millionaires Make Up Nearly One-Third Of the Florida Legislature, More in Senate

| July 13, 2015

Almost half of the Florida Senate is in the millionaires club, and more than two dozen senators saw their net worths grow in the past year.

Supreme Court Declares Numerous Congressional Districts Corruptly Drawn, Forcing Another Special Session

| July 9, 2015

The court ruled the congressional map was corrupted by the efforts of Republican political consultants, violating an anti-gerrymandering constitutional amendment voters approved in 2010. The Legislature must draw new districts within 100 days.

Florida’s Lagging Early-Childhood Education Programs Again Fail to Win More Legislative Support

| July 8, 2015

Florida’s voluntary pre-kindergarten and school-readiness programs are funded below national averages. Advocates turn their hopes toward federal support.

Judge Halts Abortion Waiting Period Set to Start Wednesday, Pending ACLU Challenge

| June 30, 2015

But the appeal by Attorney General Pam Bondi triggered an automatic stay on Francis’ decision, which could allow the law to go into effect. The American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the initial case, immediately responded by asking for Francis to lift that stay.

New Laws Kick In This Week: Body Cameras, Drones, Abortion, Traffic Tickets, Secret Recordings, Flags

| June 28, 2015

Florida’s record-setting budget goes into effect on Wednesday, along with 130 other new laws that were produced by the Legislature this year in the regular and special sessions and signed by Gov. Rick Scott. Here’s a run-down.

Judge Considering Temporary Block of Florida’s New 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period

| June 24, 2015

A judge is considering halting the law from going in effect July 1 while a constitutional challenge goes forward. The challenge was filed by the Florida ACLU.

Scott’s Veto Pen Hits Flagler’s Top Priority, Sinking $600,000 For Malacompra Drainage

| June 24, 2015

The $600,000 appropriation for the Malacompra drainage project was among the 450 line-items and $461 million he vetoed as he approved a $78.2 billion budget.

Environmentalists Sue Florida Lawmakers Over Amendment 1, Claiming Misuse of Dollars

| June 23, 2015

The suit seeks a court declaration that money from the state’s Land Acquisition Trust Fund, which will handle all the Amendment 1 funding, may not be substituted for general-revenue funds or used to pay for other services and programs.

Lawmakers Again Refuse to Extend KidCare Coverage to Children of Legal Immigrants

| June 22, 2015

The proposal in the Florida Legislature would have eliminated a 5-year waiting period for lawful immigrants to qualify for the subsidized insurance program that serves children from low- and moderate-income families.

$780 Million More for Education in Florida, But a $500 Million Property Tax Increase

| June 22, 2015

The special session’s much-touted tax cut of $427 million is wiped out by a nearly $500 million tax increase to pay for education funding increases.

Just as Flagler County Resolves Against Fracking, Ratepayers Will Underwrite FPL’s Fracking Bills

| June 18, 2015

FPL can invest $500 million in fracking ventures at ratepayers’ expense, making it the first utility in the nation–according to an analysis by the Public Service Commission–to spend ratepayers dollars on “non-regulated risk.”

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