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Category archives for: Florida Legislature

How the Florida Legislature Turned Police Radios Into $7 Million in Rotten Sausages

| March 14, 2016

In a case with echoes in Flagler, experience pokes a hole in the Florida House speaker’s argument that first responders on the state system “need” radios, even though they didn’t ask for them.

3-Day School “Tax Holiday” Part of $129 Million Tax-Cut Package Nearing Approval

| March 11, 2016

The package is far short of the $1 billion in tax cuts that Gov. Rick Scott requested. The trimmed-down package is the result, at least in part, of lawmakers responding to state economists reducing revenue forecasts for the next couple of years.

Florida Lawmakers Unveil $82.3 Billion Budget That Abandons Scott’s Top Priorities

| March 8, 2016

Because Scott’s tax-cut proposal was sharply reduced and a $250 million package of business incentives was dropped entirely, the governor is expected to lean heavily on his line-item veto pen.

With $714 Million For School Construction, Lawmakers Close in on $80 Billion Deal

| March 6, 2016

Lawmakers have to agree on the roughly $80 billion overall spending plan by Tuesday for the legislative session to end on Friday, as scheduled.

Troubled Florida Department of Corrections Asks for 734 More Positions for Security. Lawmakers Say No.

| March 5, 2016

The department has been reeling from a series of reports about issues such as contraband smuggling and abuse of inmates. The new jobs were part of an effort by the department to have corrections officers work eight-hour shifts instead of 12-hour shifts.

Flagler’s Athletic Directors Concerned By Proposed Law Facilitating Student-Athletes’ Transfers

| March 4, 2016

The bill, SB 684, which has drawn little attention, would ease the path for student-athletes looking to transfer, which would benefit big schools at the expense of smaller schools.

Florida House Overwhelmingly Approves Use of Full-Strength Pot for Terminally Ill, 99-16

| March 4, 2016

The measure approved Thursday, in part, would likely lead to more licenses for nurseries that would be able to grow, process and distribute the full-strength and non-euphoric types of pot.

Gov. Scott Sought $1 Billion in Tax Cuts. Senate Cuts It Down to $129 Million.

| March 3, 2016

The new tax-cut package will combine with about $290 million earmarked to hold down local property taxes that would otherwise go into the state’s school-funding formula.

Supreme Court Halts Double Murderer James Asay’s Execution, 2nd Stay in 4 Weeks

| March 2, 2016

Hours after hearing arguments in the case, the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday indefinitely postponed the execution of Mark James Asay, a convicted double murderer scheduled to die on March 17.

Fiercely Opposed by Environmentalists, Bill To Ease Fracking in Florida Dies In the Senate

| March 1, 2016

The bill was backed by the Florida Petroleum Council, Associated Industries of Florida and the Florida Chamber of Commerce. It is opposed by environmental groups and dozens of local governments that have approved fracking bans.

In Major Shift, Florida Senate Panel Approves Use of “Full-Strength” Pot for Terminally Ill

| March 1, 2016

The bill, in part, would likely lead to more licenses for nurseries that would be able to grow, process and distribute the full-strength and non-euphoric types of pot.

Florida Court Clears Way for 24-Hour Waiting Period Before an Abortion

| February 28, 2016

Florida joins 27 other states with waiting periods. Opponents say the law would impose hardships on women seeking abortions because it would force them to miss work, lose wages and pay for additional child care and travel.

Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants: Flagler Sheriff Says Yes, But Local Opinion Is Divided

| February 26, 2016

A dozen states have legalized issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, primarily as a safety measure, but Flagler officials reflect state opinion that has prevented such legalization from taking place in the Sunshine State.

Put Away Your Glocks, Backyardigans:
Gov. Scott Signs Bill Banning Urban Gun Play

| February 24, 2016

Scott’s signature Wednesday comes nearly five years after the governor signed into law a measure that voided all local firearms restrictions.

Too Many Questions Beg The Answer: End the Death Penalty in Florida

| February 24, 2016

Rick Scott shouldn’t plan on signing any more death warrants soon, if ever, argues Martin Dyckman, even as the Florida House “cured” what the U.S. Supreme Court specifically found wrong with Florida’s death penalty.

Citing Home Rule, Bunnell Opposes State Move Forcing Cities to Alter Election Schedules

| February 23, 2016

Voter turnout in Bunnell city elections has been notoriously low. A state proposal aims to change that by forcing cities like Bunnell to adopt different election schedules. The Bunnell City Commission is opposed.

Court Ruling Favoring Counties in Juvenile Detention Costs Could Send Flagler $300,000

| February 22, 2016

An appeals court ruling could mean the state owes more than $100 million to counties in a long-running dispute about who pays to detain juvenile offenders.

Florida Still Outlier as Death-Penalty Fix Falls Short of Requiring Unanimous Jury Verdicts

| February 19, 2016

The measure would require at least 10 jurors to recommend the death penalty for the sentence to be imposed and would empower juries to decide whether defendants should die or be imprisoned for life without the chance for parole.

Citing Overreach, Senate Kills Public Record Exemption for Hunters’ Personal Information

| February 18, 2016

Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, welcomed the defeat of the bill, which she labeled “the Ted Nugent Act” because of publicity surrounding a bear hunt last year.

Florida Senators Reject Weakening State’s Regulatory Power in Health Care Expansions

| February 17, 2016

The Senate on Wednesday listened to hospitals, nursing homes and hospice providers and killed a bill that would have weakened the “certificate of need” process that gives the state power to review and approval new health-care facilities.

Florida Senate’s Latest Bow to Guns: Allowing Them in Airport Terminals

| February 16, 2016

The measure would allow people to continue carrying sidearms in the areas of airports up to where passengers go through the security-screening process.

Beef Ads, Dolphin Pools, Farm Aid and Rodeos: Florida Lawmakers’ Pork Projects

| February 15, 2016

The legislature’s budget plans are filled with pork items for local groups, parks, theaters and museums that may be minor in the overall proposals but important to lawmakers who want to take home money for projects and programs.

Proposal Would End Local Districts’ Oversight of Charter Schools in Favor Of State Power

| February 11, 2016

The proposed constitutional amendment would set up a statewide entity with the power to approve charter schools anywhere in Florida, bypassing local school districts. The Legislature is expected to approve sending the proposal to the ballot.

Legislature Tells Florida’s Horse Farmers to Find a New Business

| February 10, 2016

Florida horsemen are screwed, argues Nancy Smith: Only a miracle can save the $1.2 billion Florida horse racing industry they represent. Their bane: the Florida Legislature.  

More Public Record Exemptions For Gun Owners, This Time For Hunters and Fishermen

| February 10, 2016

People getting hunting, fishing and boating licenses and certificates from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission would be shielded from public record disclosures.

In a Decisive Shift, Palm Coast Will Oppose Fracking On and Offshore, Citing Environment

| February 9, 2016

Abandoning its silence and tacit nod to fracking, the Palm Coast City Council will forcefully oppose hydraulic fracturing in a resolution, citing water and environmental protection.

Bathroom Use By Transgenders Scuttles Bill Designed to End LGBT Discrimination

| February 9, 2016

The anti-discrimination bill is backed by big business such as Disnet and AT&T but opposed by social conservatives such as Florida Family Policy Council.

Measure Forbidding Local Governments From Using Red-Light Cameras Advances

| February 4, 2016

Sen. Jeff Brandes’ measure would repeal a law known as the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act of 2010 and, as a result, prevent local governments from using the cameras for traffic enforcement.

Family of Corey Jones, Killed by Cop, Calls For Regulation of Police Body Cameras

| February 3, 2016

A musician, Corey Jones was fatally shot by a plainclothes Palm Beach Gardens officer when his car broke down on Interstate 95 in the early morning after a gig. The officer, who was driving an unmarked van, has since been fired.

Florida Supreme Court Halts Executions Indefinitely; 389 Death Row Inmates In Limbo

| February 2, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Florida’s death-penalty sentencing scheme on Jan. 12, forcing the state to rewrite its law but also putting in question whether the new law must apply to all 489 death row inmates.

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