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Category archives for: Florida Legislature

Florida Picks 5 Nurseries to Grow and Distribute Medical Marijuana for Select Patients

| November 25, 2015

Parents of children with severe epilepsy pushed for a 2014 law to legalize the purportedly non-euphoric marijuana — low in THC, high in CBD — as it can end or dramatically reduce life-threatening seizures.

Scott’s $79.3 Billion Budget Proposal Draws Criticism for Gimmickry and $250 Million Fund

| November 23, 2015

The budget would cut taxes $1 billion, create a business fund and raise per-student funding but would still be $1,284 per student below the 2006, inflation-adjusted level.

Conservatives Should Be Leading the Charge to Accept Syrian Refugees. We Have No Choice.

| November 21, 2015

Doesn’t American exceptionalism demand that we lead where others have neither the will nor the courage? We have no choice. America gives sanctuary to those fleeing persecution, argues Nancy Smith. This is what we do and who we are. We’re the good guys.

Measure Allowing Guns on Florida College Campuses Heads for Likely House Passage

| November 19, 2015

But the fate of the NRA-supported gun measure, vehemently opposed by university officials, still hangs in the Senate, where passage is less certain.

In Rare Defeat for NRA in Florida, Lawmakers Kill Broader Stand Your Ground Measure

| November 17, 2015

A National Rifle Association-backed measure that could have made it easier legally for people to claim self-defense in shooting incidents failed to get through its first House committee on Tuesday.

Legislature on Defensive After Congressional Redistricting Fight Reaches Supreme Court

| November 10, 2015

A key Florida Supreme Court justice sounded skeptical Tuesday about the Legislature’s proposal for a contested South Florida district in a battle over the map for the state’s congressional delegation.

3rd Special Session Implodes as Senate Kills Redistricting Plan and Blames Fair Law

| November 6, 2015

This time, instead of blaming each other, GOP leaders blamed a pair of voter-approved constitutional amendments that ban political gerrymandering in legislative and congressional redistricting.

Campus Gun Bill Advances in House While Opponents Pitch More Police Funding

| November 4, 2015

If the aim of more guns is to prevent more rapes on campus, one opponent of the legislation said more police officers would provide better protection.

Angry With Liberal Court, Florida Lawmakers Propose Judicial Term Limits

| November 3, 2015

The proposal comes after years of rising anger in the Legislature at members of the Supreme Court. With its more-liberal majority, the state’s highest court has emerged as the only major hurdle in Tallahassee to Republicans’ conservative agenda.

House Pitches New Redistricting Senate Map, But Hutson’s District Would Still Shift South

| October 31, 2015

Rep. Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, said in a memo to House members that his proposal for the 40 state Senate districts was inspired in part by a plan floated by the League of Women Voters of Florida and Common Cause Florida.

Name-Calling on Florida Senate Floor Further Divides Republicans Over Leadership

| October 29, 2015

Referring to Sen. Jack Latvala, Sen. Don Gaetz said, “when a bully throws a sucker punch, you hit back and never give in.” The fight is over the Senate’s helm.

Hutson’s District Boundaries Would Shed Putnam for Daytona But Leave Flagler and St. Johns Whole

| October 28, 2015

Even Senate supporters of the map say they aren’t sure whether House leaders will accept the proposal before a redistricting special session ends next week.

Senate Bill Would Overhaul Florida’s Foster-Care Placements to Child-Centered Approach

| October 27, 2015

The bill, aimed at reducing instability for foster children, would match children with their best placement options — rather than, as critics charge, the first beds that are handy.

Supreme Court Clears Floridians for Solar Choice’s Ballot Initiative, Setting Up Battle With Utilities

| October 23, 2015

The initiative has drawn opposition from a coalition including major electric utilities and has spawned a competing solar ballot proposal. That proposal, spearheaded by the group Consumers for Smart Solar, is awaiting a review by the Supreme Court.

NFL’s Dolphins Want $3 Million a Year in Taxpayer Subsidies, Daytona Speedway May Be Next

| October 22, 2015

The Legislature created a new funding method for professional stadiums in 2014 in an attempt to reduce the lobbying from prior years for state money.

Corey Jones Killing by Cop Triggers Black Lawmakers’ Calls for Independent Review

| October 21, 2015

Corey Jones, 31, a church musician whose car stalled on an Interstate 95 exit ramp early Sunday after a gig, was shot by a plainclothes officer in an unmarked car. Some lawmakers are calling for automatic reviews of all police-related shootings, among other safeguards.

Openly Displaying Handguns and Guns on Campus Bills Win Senate Panel Approval

| October 20, 2015

One of the Florida Senate committees also supported a measure that might make it easier for people to claim they have stood their ground in self-defense when shooting others.

Palm Coast Joins Local Governments in Opposition to Utilities’ Proposed Cost-Shifting

| October 15, 2015

Upending a century-long arrangement, utilities want local governments to pay for moving utility lines in public construction projects even though the lines use public right of ways at no cost to utilities.

Scott Wants Tax Cuts Larger Than Projected Surplus. Lawmakers Are More Prudent.

| October 14, 2015

Scott wants a larger tax-cut package in 2016 than the $673 million he sought this year, even though the state budget surplus is projected at $635.4 million, much of it one-time revenue that won;t recur in subsequent years.

Florida’s Clergy Did Not Need More Protection from Gays. They Don’t Bite.

| October 11, 2015

Florida lawmakers in each chamber are plowing ahead with bills to protect the religious freedoms of lawsuit-fearing clergy in case the U.S. Constitution doesn’t. It’s entirely unnecessary, argues Nancy Smith.

County Administrator Is “Chastised” Over Cryptic Handling of Question in Open Forum

| October 9, 2015

Flagler County Commissioner Barbara Revels said she felt treated like “a bad girl” speaking out of turn when this week when Administrator Coffey would not openly address a question she raised about legislative priorities. Coffey later explained he’d mishandled the matter.

Senate Panel Votes 11-0 to Remove
Confederate Flag From Official Seal

| October 9, 2015

In the latest sign of a backlash against the symbols of the Confederate South, the official insignia would still include other non-American flags that flew over Florida.

Florida Lawmakers Consider Dumping Property Tax and More Than Doubling Sales Tax

| October 8, 2015

If the state eliminated all property taxes, committee records indicate the state’s sales tax would have to go from 6 percent to 12.72 percent to cover existing state, local, school and special district expenses.

Proposed Florida Law Would Tell Employers to Butt Out of Employees’ Social Media Accounts

| October 6, 2015

The measure, which is filed for the 2016 legislative session, would prohibit employers from requesting access to private social media accounts, but pressure from business caused it to fail in two previous years.

Yet Another Sales Tax “Holiday” Proposal, For Two Months, This Time for Military Veterans

| October 5, 2015

The military veteran sales tax break would last from Nov. 1, 2016, through Dec. 31, 2016, just in time for the holidays, but competes with other breaks.

Florida Senate Will Consider Removing Confederate Flag From Its Seal

| October 1, 2015

It is the latest reflection of the persisting backlash against the presence of the Confederate flag in public spaces. Senate President Andy Gardiner and Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner pushed for the reconsideration. A committee will do so next week.

New Laws Next Week On Revenge Porn, Domestic Violence, Trafficking, Cop Funerals

| September 25, 2015

Among 27 new Florida laws starting next week, it’ll be illegal to post sexually explicit material without the knowledge of people identified in the images, criminal penalties will increase on sex trafficking, the state may spend $5,000 on cop funerals.

Doctors and Pharmacists Complain: Patients Aren’t Getting Their Pain Meds Fast Enough

| September 21, 2015

Pharmacists complain that distributors are limiting their supply of powerful narcotics, forcing the pharmacists to ration their limited stock to their regular patients.

Worrisome Study in Hand, Lawmakers Question Tying Teacher Salaries to Test Scores

| September 20, 2015

The study supported the use of the Florida Standards Assessment for school grades and teacher evaluations but said that “the FSA scores for some students will be suspect” because of the computer glitches.

John Thrasher on Campus Guns, FSU’s Alleged Inferiority and Marco Rubio’s Oats

| September 19, 2015

Florida State University President John Thrasher talks about Rubio trash-talking FSU, his opposition to guns on campus, academic freedom and having the time of his life.



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