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Category archives for: Florida Legislature

Citing “Florida Exceptionalism,” Gov. Scott Calls for Tax Cuts and Education Spending in State of the State

| March 3, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott used the annual State of the State address Tuesday to try to reinvigorate his legislative agenda after a difficult opening to his second term.

Correctly Anticipating State Problems, Flagler Delayed School Testing Until Thursday

| March 3, 2015

Rarely in the spotlight, Shawn Schmidli, the Flagler school district’s assessment director, anticipated that state-issued computer tests would have problems, and delayed Flagler’s testing until Thursday.

The State of the State Floridians Should Hear

| March 1, 2015

With 3.2 million Florida households struggling every month to stretch paychecks to cover basic necessities, former Florida Sen. Dan Gelber outlines a State of the State Floridians swill not hear when the governor opens the Legislative session this week.

Bi-Partisan Lawmakers Looking to Expunge Criminal Records of Non-Violent Juveniles

| February 27, 2015

An Orlando Senator is sponsoring a bill that would allow the expunging of records for minors who commit nonviolent misdemeanors and go on to complete diversion programs.

Pot. Beer Wars. Gambling. Even Pension Reform. Sen. Rob Bradley Says Bring ‘Em On

| February 26, 2015

Many of this Florida legislative session’s thorniest issues — and more — rest in the hands of Sen. Rob Bradley, a laid-back junior legislator and chairman of a committee dubbed by Senate President Andy Gardiner as the “Thunderdome.”

2015 Legislative Session: 10 Issues To Watch

| February 23, 2015

Starting March 3, and for 60 days, the House and Senate will grapple with hot-button issues ranging from standardized testing in public schools to reforming the troubled prison system, plus the one must-pass bill of the session: a roughly $77 billion state budget.

Florida Ports Want Government Help Luring Shipping From New York, Georgia and Texas

| February 21, 2015

The Florida Ports Council calls for lawmakers to create an advertising effort to attract shipping, import-distribution centers as well as export-oriented manufacturing companies to Florida.

Lawmakers Punt to Full Legislature on Millions in Tax Subsidies for Speedway and Jaguars

| February 20, 2015

A process intended to reducing lobbying may do the opposite now that the Joint Legislative Budget Commission moved any funding decisions regarding the stadiums to the full Legislature.

Publix Doesn’t Want You To Buy Liquor In Grocery Stores. Wal-Mart and Target Do.

| February 18, 2015

A proposed law to end Florida’s 80-year-old prohibition on liquor in any but stand-alone stores cleared a House committee over the objections of Publix, some sheriffs and liquor store owners.

District Adopts School Calendar It Did Not Want, Starting Late and Shortening Thanksgiving Break

| February 17, 2015

The Flagler School Board wanted to start school in early August to give students more time to prepare for exams, but state law forbids it, forcing a calendar of its own on local districts.

Senate Panel Easily Clears Bill Granting Secrecy to Top College and University Job Applicants

| February 17, 2015

The Senate Higher Education Committee voted 7-2 to approve the measure (SB 182), which would exempt information about applicants for the jobs of president, provost or dean from the state’s open-records laws.

On Flagler Roads, Cyclists Share Some Blame For Wrecks; Legislator Files Protective Bill

| February 16, 2015

A proposed bill to strengthen protections for cyclists drew mixed reviews from a Flagler County commissioner and a Florida Highway Patrol homicide investigator, who both pointed at cyclists’ responsibilities on the road.

Guns on Florida Campuses: University System Says No, Citing Values and Protection

| February 14, 2015

Florida’s university system wants state lawmakers to holster the idea of allowing guns on campus, saying it would jeopardize providing a safe and secure learning environment.

Counties Withhold Payments to State as Dispute Over Juvenile Costs Flares Again

| February 13, 2015

After the failure of a legislative compromise last year, some counties are withholding their share of the costs from the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Gov. Scott Is Balancing State’s Budget With Money That May Not Exist

| February 13, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed budget for the new fiscal year includes $1.3 billion for Florida hospitals providing care to uninsured people. However, that pool of money might stop existing this summer.

Is Your Facebook Account Private After You Die? Senate Bill Says Not So Fast.

| February 12, 2015

Florida Sen. Dorothy Hukill wants to permit online account access after an account holder has died. The Act seeks to open the book on our digital lives, even after we have uploaded to the great cloud in the sky, writes Peter Schorsch.

Early Learning and Child Care Advocates Target Florida Legislature For More Money

| February 12, 2015

Advocates are looking for higher health and safety standards for providers, better training for teachers and new money to cut the waiting list of 63,000 children for slots in the school-readiness program, which provides subsidized child care to low-income working families.

Back In Tallahasee, Jeb Bush Gets a Taste of Push-Back Against His Education Legacy

| February 11, 2015

Appearing at an education Summit, Jeb Bush, who is preparing a run for the presidency, saw his common core, school voucher and high-stakes testing ideas challenged, as they would likely be on the campaign trail.

Prospects Dim For Medical Pot in Florida As Senate Committee Signals Rejection

| February 10, 2015

Proposals by two Republican lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana have a slim chance of passing this legislative session, based on the comments of a Senate committee chairman who helps control the fate of that chamber’s measure.

Parents Ask Judge To Disqualify Union From Challenging School Voucher Program

| February 9, 2015

Lawyers for the state and parents whose children use Florida’s de facto school-voucher program argued Monday that groups including the state’s largest teachers union don’t have the right to challenge the program in court.

24-Hour Waiting Period for Abortions and Repeal of Undocumented Immigrant Attorney Law Filed

| February 6, 2015

In a sign that hard-core Republican legislators intend to press their case at the Florida Legislature, lawmakers this week filed bills that would impose a 24-hour waiting period for abortions, and that would repeal the law adopted last year that enabled Jose Godinez-Samperio, an undocumented immigrant, to become a practicing lawyer.

A Strip-Club Sin Tax That Also Takes Names? This Conservative Says No And No.

| February 5, 2015

Florida lawmakers are considering a measure that would charge a $10 surtax on sex-club patrons and require the business to keep a database of customers. Nancy Smith says no.

Latest Rule Proposal Would Let Pot Growers Distribute Product Directly to Retailers

| February 5, 2015

The director of Florida Department of Health’s Office of Compassionate Use expects growers to be able to sell their product at storefronts, possibly in regions outside of where their nurseries exist.

Florida Lawmaker Proposes Capping All State and Local Testing at 5% of School Time

| February 3, 2015

The bill would authorize districts to use something other than tests to assess students in some courses, revamp laws tying teachers’ evaluations and pay more closely to student performance.

More States Lean Toward Medicaid Expansion, But Florida Remains a Holdout

| January 28, 2015

The biggest nonexpansion states are Florida and Texas, where expansion would add a total of 2.6 million uninsured residents to the Medicaid rolls. But both the Florida and Texas legislatures are dominated by Republicans, and expansion remains a long shot.

Florida Republican Files Bill to Extend Medical Pot Access to AIDS, Cancer and Other Ills

| January 26, 2015

The proposal (SB 528), filed by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, includes a detailed regulatory structure that would place requirements on patients, doctors, growers and retail stores. Patients could only get “medical-grade” marijuana if their physicians sign off on the need.

No Surprise: Florida’s Economic Development Agency Wants Tax Subsidies for Daytona Speedway, Jaguars and 2 Other Sports Venues

| January 25, 2015

Daytona International Speedway is seeking $3 million a year for 30 years to subsidize its operations, the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars have asked for $1 million a year for three decades.

8 Weeks After FSU Shooting, House Panel Approves Concealed Guns on Florida Campuses

| January 21, 2015

Currently, people are banned from carrying such weapons at Florida colleges and universities, with the exception of stun guns or similar devices. Data show that 246,632 Floridians between the ages of 21 and 35 have concealed carry permits.

Seeking $500 Million Cut, Scott Asks for Lower Taxes on Cell Phone, Satellite and Cable Bills

| January 20, 2015

The governor’s office said it would save about $43 a year for a family that spends $100 a month on cell-phone and cable services, though spending on such services varies widely by household.

Legal Aid For Poorer Floridians Diminishing, Commission Starts Work on Seeking Fair Fix

| January 18, 2015

With Gov. Scott opposed to moire funding, the 27-member Florida’s Commission on Access to Civil Justice will have to figure out how to provide additional funding for civil legal aid without simply asking for money from state legislators.

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