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Category archives for: Florida Legislature

Continuing Series of Voting-Rights Decisions, Judge Rules Against State on Disputed Ballot Signatures

| October 17, 2016

The 30-page ruling Sunday by U.S. District Judge Mark Walker focused on situations in which voters’ signatures submitted with mail-in ballots do not appear to match signatures on file with county supervisors of elections. Under a 2004 law, such mail-in ballots are rejected.

Florida Supreme Court in Seminal Decision Rules Death Penalty Verdicts Must Be Unanimous

| October 14, 2016

The court’s 5-2 decision, which will immediately affect 40 inmates and many of the 385 others on death row, ends Florida’s status as an outlier state where non-unanimous death penalty recommendations were allowed.

An $18,400 Raise for Supervisor of Elections And Other New Laws Go Into Effect This Week

| September 26, 2016

County elections supervisors are up for pay raises, while penalties increase for trafficking in the modern version of food stamps and for stealing credit-card information at gas pumps, under new laws that go into effect Saturday.

Bright Futures Scholarships Could Expand to Summer to Speed Up Graduation Rates

| September 23, 2016

Only 44 percent of students graduated in four years at 11 state universities. Summer scholarships would encourage more students to attend summer classes, increasing the chances they can graduate more quickly.

Florida’s GOP Sen. Keith Perry Defends Himself After Hitting Another Man Over Campaign Sign

| September 16, 2016

Perry, a contractor first elected to the House in 2010, is going up against former state Sen. Rod Smith, D-Gainesville, for the open Senate District 8 seat. Smith is also a former Florida Democratic Party chairman and a former state attorney in the Gainesville area.

“Opt Out” Movement in the Balance as Judge Weighs Whether Tests Can Decide 3rd Grade Promotion

| August 23, 2016

The parents of the students involved in the case told their children to “minimally participate” in the Florida Standards Assessment for third grade by filling in their names, breaking the seals on the tests and then refusing to answer any questions.

State Revenue Cut By $132 Million This Year, and By $135 Million the Next

| August 15, 2016

State economists Monday shaved nearly $270 million off their estimate of what lawmakers will have to work with in next year’s budget process, even as election-year calls for extra spending continue and as a threat looms of a Zika hit to Florida’s economy.

Lawsuit Challenges Holding back Third Grade Students Over Standardized Tests

| August 10, 2016

At the heart of the lawsuit is a clash over whether students are required to take the Florida Standards Assessments before moving on from third grade. The “opt out” movement is part of a larger backlash against standardized testing, with many parents feeling that the state is subjecting students to too many exams.

Florida’s Only Openly Gay Lawmaker Describes a Rick Scott More Accepting of LGBT

| July 28, 2016

In the days after 49 people were killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Gov. Rick Scott privately expressed some support for gay rights to the state’s only openly gay state lawmaker, David Richardson.

Siding With Planned Parenthood, Federal Judge Blocks Florida’s New, Restrictive Abortion Law

| July 1, 2016

The law would have barred abortion providers from receiving public funds for other services and required a dramatic increase in inspections of abortion records by health officials.

159 New Laws Kick In Friday on Domestic Violence, Bullying, Same-Sex Marriage, Abortion, Hunting

| June 30, 2016

New laws include a minimum 30-day jail sentence in domestic violence crimes involving intentional injury, tax cuts, school choice, more benefits for veterans, a new Holocaust memorial, and many more.

Joe Negron’s Plan for Florida As Senate President in Next 2 Years: More Elite Universities

| June 29, 2016

Negron named the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan, among others, as examples he wants Florida’s universities to be like.

Florida Democrats Borrow a Page From D.C. Colleagues Hoping to Force Gun Control Vote

| June 28, 2016

However, it may be nearly impossible over the next week to gather enough Republican lawmakers willing to make the trek to humid Tallahassee in an election year to discuss a proposed prohibition on gun sales to people on federal terrorism watch lists.

Abortion Rights Mark Big Court Victory, But Effect on Florida Restrictions Unclear

| June 27, 2016

Florida supporters of recent laws requiring more stringent standards for abortion providers say the high court ruling should have no impact. Pending court challenges suggest otherwise.

Bowing to NRA, Scott Skips Over Court Pick Who’d Blocked “Stand Your Ground” Shift

| June 25, 2016

The bill Rep. Charles McBurney, R-Jacksonville, had opposed and that died during this year’s legislative session would have shifted the burden of proof in Stand Your Ground cases from the defense to the prosecution.

Gun Rights and Gun Control Measures Expected to Crowd Florida Legislature in Wake of Orlando

| June 15, 2016

Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday called for a special session to halt gun sales to people on federal watch lists and to impose new requirements for becoming a security guard. Republican legislative leaders say a special session isn’t needed.

Florida’s Political Landscape Riven By Orlando Massacre Even as Lasting Effects or Consequences Are Doubted

| June 14, 2016

Politicians and consultants are as divided as the electorate about how candidates should treat the tragedy, and the split carries over to those who think the tragedy will have dissipated by November as opposed to those who think it will impact the election.

NRA Pressuring Gov. Scott to Block Rep. Charles McBurney’s Bench Bid

| May 24, 2016

McBurney, R-Jacksonville, angered Second Amendment advocates during this year’s legislative session when his committee did not move forward with a measure tied to the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law.

Hundreds Of Thousands Lose Food Stamps In Florida as Work Requirements Kick In

| May 17, 2016

In Florida if you can’t show that you’re working or meet the work requirements some other way, you get penalized and lose your food stamps for the following month. If you fail to meet the requirements again, it’s a three-month sanction and then six months.

Florida’s Tortured Medical Pot Law Regulating Nurseries Keeps Drawing New Legal Challenges

| May 9, 2016

The state has spent nearly $500,000 on private lawyers to represent the Department of Health in legal challenges that have delayed implementation of a 2014 law that first opened the door for medical marijuana in Florida.

South Florida Judge Declares State’s New Death Penalty Law Unconstitutional

| May 9, 2016

While the decision is not necessarily controlling in Flagler County and the rest of Florida, it again muddies the fate of a law barely eight weeks old, and further sheds a harsh light on Florida’s outlier system of executions.

Volusia County Wants Out Of the Next Bear Hunt

| May 5, 2016

The Volusia County Council on Thursday unanimously approved a “symbolic” resolution urging the commission to reinstate a prohibition on hunting Florida black bears.

Florida’s Death Penalty Alive and Willed as Guzman Is Sentenced to Die For 3rd Time in Daytona

| May 3, 2016

A jury in Daytona Beach today voted 11-1 to recommend death for James “Chico” Guzman in the hacking to death of David Colvin, 48, at a motel on Ridgewood Avenue on Aug. 10, 1991.

Lawmakers Are Reducing Florida’s Public Schools To Factories of Failure and Inequity

| April 28, 2016

Time to take a good look at whether the changes we’ve endured — mass privatization, real-dollar funding decreases, high-stakes testing, and loss of local school board authority — gets us closer to carrying out our constitutional duty to our children.

In a Blow to Business, Supreme Court Bans Workers Comp Limits on Attorney’s Fees

| April 28, 2016

The ruling stemmed from a case in which an attorney was awarded the equivalent of $1.53 an hour in successfully pursuing a claim for benefits for a worker injured in Miami.

Sen. Travis Hutson Draws a Democratic Opponent in Palm Coast’s Curtis Ceballos

| April 27, 2016

Curtis Ceballos, 54, launched two technology startups in the past two years and intends to focus on technology jobs and vocational education in his campaign. He unsuccessfully ran for county commission in 2006.

In Florida, Court Rules, a 55-Year Prison Sentence For a Juvenile Is Not a Life Term

| April 25, 2016

Anthony Julian Collins was two months shy of 17 when he was committed an attempted second-degree murder, carjacking with a firearm and attempted armed robbery.

Florida Justices Block 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period Pending Review

| April 23, 2016

On a 5-2 vote, justices granted a stay of a lower court’s order allowing the 2015 law to take effect. The Supreme Court said it would keep the stay in place while it decides whether to review the decision by the 1st District Court of Appeal.

In a Rebuff to Florida, Federal Government Says New Abortion Law Can’t Block Clinic Funding

| April 19, 2016

A key federal health agency on Tuesday notified Florida and other states that they may not ban Medicaid funding for family-planning services at clinics that also offer elective abortions.

Zone-Busting School Bill That Allows Student Transfers Anywhere in the State Is Now Law

| April 18, 2016

The measure would allow parents to transfer their children to any public school in the state that isn’t at capacity through an “open enrollment” process, among many other provisions in the 160-page bill.



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