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Category archives for: Florida Legislature

House and Senate Far Apart on Budget as Health Care For Poor Becomes Bargaining Chip

| April 25, 2015

The Florida House had made a significant concession to the Senate on hospital funding — but said it would only follow through if the upper chamber dropped insistence on using Medicaid expansion dollars to help lower-income Floridians purchase private insurance.

Florida Senate Votes 26-13 For Abortion Waiting period, Sending Bill to Gov. Scott

| April 24, 2015

Lawmakers earlier this week approved adding exceptions for victims of rape, incest, domestic violence or human trafficking to the bill. However, those victims could only get waivers of the 24-hour waiting period if they can produce police reports, restraining orders, medical records or other documentation.

In Tallahassee, Lawmakers’ Power-Tripped Rudeness Toward the Public Is a Daily Cringe

| April 22, 2015

Committee chairmen having to assert their authority ad nauseum, forbidding members of the public from overstaying their welcome at the podium: it’s offensive to people who drive sometimes hundreds of miles to be heard for two or three minutes, writes Nancy Smith.

Florida House Passes 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period, Adding to Increasing Curbs

| April 22, 2015

The 24-year-old sponsor of the measure claims it “empowers” women, while opponents charged that it does the opposite, banning abortions for 24 hours.

Tennessee and Kansas Also Get Fed Warning to Florida: Expand Medicaid Or Risk Hospital Funds

| April 21, 2015

The federal government confirmed that it gave officials in those states the same message delivered to Texas and Florida about the risk to funding for so-called “uncompensated care pools” — Medicaid money that helps pay the cost of care for the uninsured.

Gov. Bizarre: Scott Suing Federal Government Over One Pot of Money Even As He Rejects Another

| April 18, 2015

The lawsuit plays into a heated battle over a Senate plan to use $2.8 billion in Medicaid expansion funding to help lower-income Floridians purchase private health insurance. But the House and Scott — who once favored straight-up Medicaid expansion — oppose that idea.

Online Voter Registration May Get Lawmakers’ Approval, But Scott Administration Is Opposed

| April 17, 2015

Secretary State Ken Detzner, who told the committee he knows what a “train wreck is and they’re not pretty,” expressed unease about having a deadline to implement the program before a plan is in place.

Proposal Allowing Concealed Guns in Schools, Largely Opposed By Flagler Board, Dies

| April 16, 2015

Bills that would lead to guns at schools have traditionally faced an uphill challenge in the Senate, which is more moderate on such issues than the House.

Special Session Ahead for Legislature as Lawmakers Fail To Resolve Budget Clash

| April 15, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott’s administration, federal officials and House and Senate leaders have waged a public war over health dollars, which President Obama’s administration declared Tuesday are tied to an expansion of Medicaid.

Rep. Jason Brodeur: My Religious Freedom Bill Will Encourage More Adoptions

| April 14, 2015

Rep. Jason Brodeur, the Sanford Republican, sponsored the controversial bill that would allow adoption agencies to discriminate in their decisions on whom to place where, even on behalf of the state’s foster system. Brodeur defends his bill.

Florida Lawmakers Float Measure to Regulate Drones Amid Buzz of Privacy Concerns

| April 14, 2015

The proposals prohibit the use of aerial drones to capture images that could infringe on the privacy of property owners or occupants but also give police some authority to use drones.

Rubio Joins Growing List of Presidential Hopefuls, Setting Up Showdown With Bush

| April 13, 2015

A primary showdown between Rubio and Bush could cause friction in Tallahassee, where the GOP dominates state government, and a scramble is expected for Rubio’s senate seat.

Ron DeSantis Considering Run For Rubio’s Senate Seat as Jeff Atwater Looks To 2018

| April 12, 2015

Ron DeSantis, the congressman representing the district that includes all of Flagler County, is “strongly considering” a Senate run, according to Politico, while Atwater’s decision not to run opens the way for many others.

As Rideshare Apps Like Uber Build Up Fares, Florida Senate Taps Insurance Requirements

| April 11, 2015

As taxi and limo services call for stricter regulations on growing “transportation network companies,” the Senate has expanded an insurance measure to include a requirement for around-the-clock coverage on the vehicles of app-connected rideshare drivers.

Will Florida Senate Recognize That Every Child Has the Right To Be Loved?

| April 10, 2015

The choice is not whether church-sponsored agencies have a right to practice their religion. Of course they do. The issue is whether they have a right to enforce their beliefs against others when acting as agents of the state. They do not.

Rejoice, Students: There’ll Be Less Testing. But Not Much Less. House Approves Roll-Back.

| April 9, 2015

The bill puts a hold on the use of student test data for school grades, teacher evaluations and student promotion to fourth grade until the new Florida Standards Assessments can be independently validated.

Florida House Advances ‘Conscience Protection’ Bill That Discriminates Against Gay Adoptions

| April 8, 2015

Three hours of debate and numerous attempts to diminish the ability of private, religious adoption agencies to deny placement among gay couples failed as the bill now appears headed for approval Thursday.

Florida Senate Calls For Police Policies on Body Cameras, Addressing Privacy and Data

| April 7, 2015

Body cams are worn by deputies at the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Jim Manfre instituted the practice when he took office in 2013 and has been an ardent defender of the cameras.

Travis Hutson Wins Senate Seat, Paul Renner Wins House in Special Election

| April 7, 2015

Republicans Travis Hutson and Paul Renner have won the special election for Florida Senate District 6 and House District 24, respectively. Hutson defeated Democrat David Cox. Renner defeated Adam Morley.

In Reversal, Scott Opposes Expanding Poor’s Health Insurance and Opens $2.2 Billion Budget Hole

| April 6, 2015

Scott’s opposition means Florida would again forego $47 billion in federal aid over the next 10 years while fewer poor Floridians would have health coverage–and the state’s budget would lose $2.2 billion in current aid that federal officials will no longer provide to the state under its existing medicaid system, which falls short of federal standards.

As Expected, GOP’s Renner and Hutson Reel In Big Dollars, Opponents Don’t

| April 4, 2015

In all, Paul Renner raised $294,340 and had spent $261,748 for the election Tuesday in a district that includes Flagler County and parts of St. Johns and Volusia counties.

Indiana and Arkansas Retreat From Hate Laws. Florida Plows Ahead.

| April 3, 2015

Between Sen. Frank Artiles’ war on transgender people and a House bill protecting discrimination against gay parents, Florida verges on making bigotry state policy again, harkening back to Jim Crow days, but against the LGBT community.

Florida Lawmakers OK Discriminating Against Gay Adoptions on “Religious” Grounds

| April 3, 2015

Despite warnings that Florida would follow Indiana into a controversy with statewide economic implications, the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would allow private adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples.

Daytona State College May Have To Drop “State” From Name and Limit 4-Year Degrees

| April 1, 2015

A Florida Senate proposal would forbid community colleges from using the word “state” in their name and cap at 5 percent the share of a college’s enrollment that could be made up of students pursuing baccalaureate, or four-year, degrees.

Guns and Ammo Included In Sales Tax Holiday Florida Lawmakers Are Set To Approve

| March 31, 2015

Guns and ammunition remain in a proposed Independence Day sales-tax holiday on hunting gear that is part of a wide-ranging tax cut package that advanced Tuesday in the House.

Three Weeks After ATF Approves Powdered Alcohol, Florida Senate Votes To Ban It

| March 30, 2015

Though federally approved, under Florida’s bill a person selling powdered alcohol would face a first-degree misdemeanor. A second violation within five years would carry a third-degree felony.

An Arrest for Child Neglect and Battery; Shots on Old Dixie; $250,000 Yacht Burns on Cimarron Drive

| March 30, 2015

A 1-year-old child left unattended was rescued from choking on a cigarette butt; a suspected backyard gun range of the sort the Legislature just refused to let local governments regulate may have been the source of a “stray” bullet that found its way into a 67-year-old man’s residence off Old Dixie Highway.

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.

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