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Category archives for: Florida Legislature

Flagler and St. Johns Untouched But District 6 Loses Much of Putnam in Redistricting

| August 12, 2014

Flagler County was unaffected, but District 6 had previously included most of Putnam County. It now includes only the southeastern quadrant of Putnam. The changes are not likely to change the ideological make-up of the district, which tilts Republican.

Warts and All, Obamacare Saved Me From Bankruptcy

| August 10, 2014

FlaglerLive Editor Pierre Tristam exposes his health care bills before and after Obamacare, and before and after cancer, to show how without the Affordable Care Act, he and his family would have face ruin.

Those Double-Digit Health Insurance Rate Hikes in Florida? Blame State GOP.

| August 7, 2014

Sen. Bill Nelson, once Florida’s insurance commissioner, reminds residents that it was the Republican state Legislature that stripped the office of insurance regulation of the authority to approve, modify or reject rate hikes by health insurance companies, thus leading to current, unacceptable rate hikes.

Sen. Sobel Calls for All Child Deaths, Not Just Those From Abuse, To Be Reported

| July 31, 2014

Florida just passed a law requiring the reporting of all child abuse deaths in an annual report. That’s not enough, Sen. Sobel says, proposing that all criminally-related child deaths, even in car wrecks, should be part of the report.

Florida’s “Docs vs. Glocks” Bill Wins Federal Appeals Court Approval in 2-1 Ruling

| July 25, 2014

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the state Legislature had the right to pass the NRA-backed law, which includes provisions restricting doctors and other medical providers from asking questions about gun ownership during medical visits.

Trial Judge Denies “Stand Your Ground” Immunity Hearing For Marissa Alexander

| July 21, 2014

The trial judge overseeing the case of Marissa Alexander, who faces 60 years in prison for firing a shot in a domestic dispute, has ruled that she is not entitled to a second immunity hearing under Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” self-defense law.

Florida’s Teachers Union Sues State Over “Sneaky” Last-Minute Voucher Expansion

| July 17, 2014

The voucher expansion had appeared dead in the Senate until getting approved in a broader bill in the waning hours of the 2014 legislative session. The Florida Education Association charges the state “log rolled” that and other education issues into a single bill.

Florida Inverse: 2nd Highest Level of Uninsured, Dead Last in Affordable Care Grants

| July 16, 2014

Judging by the grant totals of other states, Florida appears to have forfeited at least $100 million and possibly $300 million or more, not even including $51 billion the state is forfeiting by saying no to Medicaid expansion.

Regulators Draw Sharp Criticism Over Controls On Florida’s New Pot Industry

| July 7, 2014

At the top of the complaint list: concerns about a proposed lottery system to award five organizations the chance to grow, manufacture and dispense a type of medical marijuana approved by Florida’s Republican-dominated Legislature this spring.

Florida Giving Up 63,800 Jobs By Rejecting Federal Medicaid Expansion

| July 7, 2014

Florida has not accepted the offer of federal funds — estimated at $51 billion over a decade — provided in the Affordable Care Act to cover uninsured people who fall into a gap. Florida has about 850,000 of them.

Jose Manuel Godinez-Samperio, “Undocumented” Immigrant, Earns Florida Bar Recommendation To Be an Attorney

| July 2, 2014

The action benefiting Jose Manuel Godinez-Samperio, of Largo, came less than two months after Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill (HB 755) that allows “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, to be eligible for The Bar.

On Tuesday, 158 New Laws Go Into Effect in Florida. Here Are the Highlights.

| June 26, 2014

Here’s a run-down of the most important of the 158 new laws going into effect in Florida on Tuesday, from granting parents power to contest textbook selection to the “Florida GI Bill” which is intended to make Florida the most military-friendly state in the nation, to lowering college costs.

John Thrasher’s Quest for FSU Presidency Out of Special Treatment With New Consultant

| June 25, 2014

The search for Florida State University’s next president won’t be sidetracked again for a powerful state politician — or any other individual — who wants the job, the new consultant said.

Florida Supreme Court Upholds “Timely Justice” Law Fast-Tracking Executions

| June 12, 2014

In a concurring opinion of the unanimous decision, Justice Barbara Pariente emphasized that the law would not affect the Supreme Court’s “solemn responsibility” to block executions if needed to ensure that defendants’ rights have been protected.

Bright Spot in Florida’s Budget:
A Forward-Looking Agenda on Alzheimer’s

| June 9, 2014

Alzheimer’s is the most costly disease to Medicare and Medicaid — and for a state like Florida with high ratios of older residents, this spells an impending crisis for state budgets. Gov. Rick Scott signed a record-sized state budget that included record-sized wins for the Alzheimer’s community.

Lobbyists, Lawyers and Investors Line Up to Cash in on Florida’s Nascent Pot Industry

| June 4, 2014

Lawmakers broadened eligibility for medical marijuana to include cancer patients as well as those suffering from severe muscle spasms or seizures, thereby opening up the market for potential sellers. The strain of marijuana is high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Ordered to Unseal Secret Redistricting Papers, GOP Operative Seeks High Court Intervention

| May 29, 2014

Pat Bainter on Wednesday asked U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to issue an emergency stay blocking an order by the Florida Supreme Court less than 24 hours earlier that granted permission for the documents to be used in an ongoing trial challenging the constitutionality of the congressional map approved by the Florida Legislature in 2012.

Florida TaxWatch Urges Gov. Scott to Veto $120 Million in Budget “Turkeys”; Flagler Is Spared

| May 23, 2014

A dog park in Jacksonville, a fountain in Palm Beach and money to help people get to the planned 1,000-foot-tall SkyRise Miami were among $121 million in budget projects that Florida TaxWatch says Gov. Rick Scott needs to strike with his line-item veto.

Florida State University’s Presidential Search Short-Listed to One: Sen. John Thrasher

| May 21, 2014

Thrasher, 70, whose senate district includes all of Flagler County, has long been an influential figure in state politics and serves as chairman of Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election campaign. He served as House speaker from 1998 to 2000 and currently is chairman of the Senate Rules Committee.

Florida’s Deepest Pockets: The Best Legislature Money Can Buy

| May 20, 2014

From blocking debate on equal pay for equal work for women, to a head-in-the-sand approach to protecting our environment, the list of issues ignored by this legislature is as long as it is indefensible, argues Mark Ferrulo.

Florida’s Record $77.1 Billion Budget, With a Few Perks for Flagler, Lands on Scott’s Desk

| May 20, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott and his staff have 15 days to scrutinize every line in the 431-page budget document, weighing legislators’ earmarks against the need to score political points in allowing individual items to remain or be vetoed.

Dispute Over State’s Shifting Juvenile Detention Costs to Counties Simmers Again

| May 19, 2014

The dispute goes back to 2004 and centers on DJJ’s handling of a law that requires counties help pay for “predisposition,” or the costs of detaining underage offenders before they are sentenced. It affects 38 counties. The 29 poorest counties in the state are considered “fiscally constrained” and aren’t part of the cost-sharing formula.

Satanic Temple, Come On Down: Florida Eases Holiday Display Bids at State Capitol

| May 14, 2014

Rather than institute a new policy that would limit displays as some expected, the state Department of Management Services is trying to make the application process easier for groups seeking to put up temporary displays in the Capitol complex. The Satanic Temple will give Florida another chance after being blocked from putting up a holiday display last year.

AAA To Scott: Veto 75 MPH Speed Limit

| May 11, 2014

AAA asked Scott more than a week ago for a sit-down to talk about the narrowly-approved measure that could see maximum speed limits hiked by 5 mph. The governor hasn’t made a decision on the bill. His aides are willing to discuss it.

Early Learning and KidCare Shortchanged as Children Take Back Seat in $77.1 Billion Budget

| May 9, 2014

Children’s issues were in the spotlight during the 2014 legislative session, frequently contentious and ultimately a very mixed bag. Given the size of the $77.1 billion budget — the largest in state history — many advocates said lawmakers could and should have done more for kids.

Dog Parks, Bungee Jumping, Bike Paths and Free OJ: Perks in State’s $77.1 Billion Budget

| May 6, 2014

But while much of the money in Florida’s 2014-15 budget went to must-have programs such as education, health care and prisons, smaller items are littered through the more-than-400-page document. Here are some examples.

Red-Light Cameras, Guns, Pot, Tax Cuts: Rating the 2014 Legislative Session

| May 5, 2014

Florida lawmakers ended the 2014 legislative session after passing a budget and a flurry of other bills dealing with issues such as child welfare and school vouchers. But hundreds of bills died as lawmakers headed home to gear up for re-election campaigns. Here are 10 issues that passed during the session and 10 issues that failed.

Legislature Approves Medical Marijuana Bill Narrowly Targeting Epilepsy and Other Seizures

| May 2, 2014

The proposal would make Florida one of a handful of states that allow “Charlotte’s Web,” a low-THC strain of marijuana that proponents say doesn’t get users high but can end or dramatically decrease potentially fatal seizures in children who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy that can cause hundreds of seizures a week. The allowance would extend to some forms of cancer and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Flagler Seeks, Flagler Wins: Bill Restoring Vacation-Rental Regulation Authority Passes House and Heads for Scott’s Desk

| May 1, 2014

The Flagler County Commission has been leading the fight to overturn a 2011 state law prohibiting the regulation of short-term rentals. Thursday morning, the Florida Senate voted 37-2 to give back some home-rule authority to local governments. The House approved the measure 90-27 on Wednesday, sealing a major victory for Flagler County.

75 MPH Speed Limit on Some Highways Nears Reality as Bill Goes to Gov. Scott

| May 1, 2014

After a sometimes-emotional debate, a divided Florida House on Wednesday gave final approval to a proposal that could lead to 75 mph speed limits on some highways. The House voted 58-56 to pass the bill (SB 392), which was backed by the Senate last week.

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