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Category archives for: Florida Legislature

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.

In “Fair Sentencing” Push, an Attempt to Reconsider Florida’s Get-Tough-On-Crime Laws

| February 1, 2016

Fair Sentencing seeks to change laws of the 1990s, such as 10-20-Life, mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and habitual-offender laws, as other states have done.

Florida’s “Pastor Protection Act” Seen as Defense of Clergy or Latest Bias Against LGBT

| January 31, 2016

The proposal, which was approved this week by a Senate committee, would prevent clergy members from being forced to perform marriage ceremonies contrary to their beliefs.

The Future Is Here: Florida Wants Welfare For the Rich While Punishing the Poor

| January 29, 2016

Four years ago Chris Timmons, now a columnist and fellow at a Florida think tank, lost his job and needed food stamps. “It did not make me feel like a moocher,” he writes. Yet Florida makes welfare recipients feel just that.

Open-Carry Allowance and Ban on Backyard Shooting Among Gun Bills Heading for a Vote

| January 29, 2016

Openly carried guns would have to be in a holster, case or bag, recreational shooting in certain residential areas would be banned, and the burden of proof in stand your ground cases would shift to defendants.

Conklin Will Lead Suicide Awareness Town Hall Sunday: #FlaglersuicideASK4HELP

| January 29, 2016

In the wake of two recent and related suicides in Palm Coast, the town hall will feature Barbara Coxwell, whose son took his life in 2013. The Legislature is considering bills related to increased suicide awareness.

Florida Lawmakers Urged to Require Unanimous Verdicts in Death Penalty Cases

| January 28, 2016

Florida is the only state in the nation where a simple jury majority is enough for a death penalty recommendation, one of several problems at odds with a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Florida’s capital punishment system.

Senate Looks to Boost Education Funding Beyond Scott Request, But Tax Burden Looms

| January 27, 2016

The Senate is proposing spending $7,249 a student, against Scott’s $7,220, but the increase relies on rising local property taxes, which are part of the state funding formula.

Term Limits for Supreme Court and Appellate Judges? Measure Moving Closer to Ballot

| January 24, 2016

Under the proposal, members of the Supreme Court and district courts of appeal would be limited to two full six-year terms. Judges currently have to retire in the election cycle after they turn 70 years old.

City School Districts? Lawmaker Mulling Proposed Constitutional Amendment

| January 21, 2016

The measure (HJR 539) would mark a dramatic change in how school districts are organized in Florida. The Constitution requires all districts to be made up of whole counties, though a handful of public schools are stand-alone.

Opposing Open Carry, Sheriffs Instead Propose Immunity for Accidental Display of Guns

| January 20, 2016

The Florida Sheriffs Association, which has opposed the open-carry measure, outlined proposed steps that would provide immunity to people who inadvertently or accidentally display firearms.

Florida Lawmakers Drilling the Way for Fracking Even as Need Is Questioned

| January 19, 2016

The assault on Florida’s environment continues as a Senate committee last week approved a bill that would make it easier for companies to use fracking technology to drill for oil and gas in the state.

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