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Category archives for: Florida Legislature

Obama Proposals Would End Tax-Subsidized Loans For Sports Stadiums

| March 22, 2015

The proposal comes as many team owners, including Florida, are pressing cities and states for new facilities, with some threatening to move elsewhere if they don’t get them.

Another Pot Grow House Busted in Palm Coast As Critics and Lawmakers Press Legalization

| March 20, 2015

Some 28 marijuana plants were seized at a house at 17 Rocking Lane in Palm Coast. As the Sheriff’s Office announced the seizure and arrest of the resident at the house, Ray Strack, a former federal narcotics interdiction agent, was speaking on WNZF about the inanity of the war on marijuana.

School Choice Bill That Vastly Increases Parental Control–And Undermines Educators’–Advances

| March 18, 2015

The measure gives parents the right to have their children attend any school in the state that hasn’t reached capacity and remove their child from one class to another under certain circumstances.

$772 Million Amendment 1 Spending Focuses More On Management and Water Projects Than Land Acquisition

| March 17, 2015

The plan drew mixed reviews from conservationists concerned that lawmakers disregarded the intent of voters who supported a constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 1, in November.

Bill Targeting Transgenders in Public Bathrooms Clears 2nd House Committee, 7-4

| March 17, 2015

The 7-4 vote of the Florida House Government Operations Subcommittee included one dissent from a Republican, though as the bill advances, its chances of becoming law increase.

Senate Panel Approves Communications Tax Cut That Could Net Floridians a $43-a-Year Saving

| March 16, 2015

The cut would lower the communications-services tax on cell-phone and cable TV from 6.65 percent to 3.05 percent and the tax rate on direct-to home satellite services from 10.8 percent to 7.2 percent. State economists estimate the cuts would eventually reduce state revenue by $470.9 million a year.

Plan to Extend Health Insurance to 800,000 Poor Floridians Crawls Against Steep Hurdles

| March 16, 2015

The new Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange Program, or FHIX, would assist Floridians not eligible for Medicaid in purchasing health benefits coverage and gaining access to health services.

Favoring Flagler and Other Districts, Lawmakers May Move Up School Start Time to Aug. 10

| March 13, 2015

In the shadow of the state’s recent standardized-testing problems and proposals to curb the amount of time students spend on exams, lawmakers are considering moving up the start date of the school year.

24-Hour Waiting Period for Abortion Clears Florida House Panel in Partisan 9-4 Vote

| March 12, 2015

Under the bill, a woman seeking an abortion would be required to meet with a physician to get information and then wait at least 24 hours before the procedure could be performed.

Bill Banning Red-Light Camera Tickets for Right-Turn on Red Sails Through House Panel

| March 11, 2015

The proposal and one like it in the Senate would further complicate Palm Coast’s troubled red-light camera program and its relationship with ATS, the private company running the local scheme. Right-turn on red tickets generate the majority of revenue.

Fearing Loss of $1 Billion in Federal Aid, Senate Again Considers Medicaid Expansion

| March 11, 2015

Florida’s budget faces an unexpected deficit. Accepting the federal Medicaid money could potentially offset the loss of the Low-Income Pool Funds. But the plan faces stiff opposition.

Don’t Add Guns to “Toxic Mix” of Booze, Drugs and Academic Pressures on Campus, Opponents Say

| March 10, 2015

Members of Everytown for Gun Safety and the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America held a small rally on the steps of the Old Capitol Monday before meeting with mostly Democratic lawmakers.

Amendment 1 Money For Land Conservation: House Panel Says Buy Fewer Acres, Manage More

| March 7, 2015

Again seeming to counter voter intent, a Florida House committee crafting rules on spending voter-approved dollars for land conservation would limit new land to be bought under the program.

Lawmakers Looking to End Speed Traps and Limit Police Revenue From Speeding Tickets

| March 5, 2015

A Senate committee unanimously approved a bill banning police’s speeding-ticket quotas and limit law enforcement agencies’ revenue from tickets.

Bill Forbidding Local Government Protection for Transgenders In Public Bathrooms Advances

| March 5, 2015

A bill by Florida Rep. Frank Artiles that would overturn local government ordinances protecting transgender use of single-sex bathrooms passed 8-3 on a party-line vote Wednesday after an impassioned discussion in a House subcommittee.

I Am A Throw-Away Piece Of Trash In This Country of Freedom and Liberty and Respect

| March 5, 2015

Cindy Robert Sullivan, a transgender man transitioning to a woman, addressed Rep. Frank Artiles and a House committee before a 9-4 vote approving a bill forbidding certain protections for transgender people.

Bill Would Allow Gun-Carrying Without Concealed-Weapons Permit During Evacuations

| March 4, 2015

An NRA-supported measure that failed last year now has sheriffs’ backing, and would allow legal gun owners to carry their guns without licenses in the first 48 hours after emergency evacuation orders are given.

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.

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