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Category archives for: Florida

Florida Justices Block 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period Pending Review

| April 23, 2016

On a 5-2 vote, justices granted a stay of a lower court’s order allowing the 2015 law to take effect. The Supreme Court said it would keep the stay in place while it decides whether to review the decision by the 1st District Court of Appeal.

Florida Justices: Cops May Not Keep Lawyer From Client Even in Voluntary Interviews

| April 22, 2016

While a murder suspect was being voluntarily interrogated before he confessed, his lawyer appeared at the sheriff’s office but cops wouldn’t let the lawyer see his client.

Court Deals Blow to FPL’s Already Leaky Nuclear Power Plans at Turkey Point

| April 20, 2016

An appeals court Wednesday overturned a decision by Gov. Rick Scott and the state Cabinet that could have helped clear the way for Florida Power & Light to add two nuclear reactors in Miami-Dade County.

In a Rebuff to Florida, Federal Government Says New Abortion Law Can’t Block Clinic Funding

| April 19, 2016

A key federal health agency on Tuesday notified Florida and other states that they may not ban Medicaid funding for family-planning services at clinics that also offer elective abortions.

Zone-Busting School Bill That Allows Student Transfers Anywhere in the State Is Now Law

| April 18, 2016

The measure would allow parents to transfer their children to any public school in the state that isn’t at capacity through an “open enrollment” process, among many other provisions in the 160-page bill.

Citing Problematic Time-Sharing of Children, Gov. Scott Again Vetoes Alimony Reform Bill

| April 15, 2016

The plan became one of the most hotly contested issues of the 2016 legislative session when it was amended to include a child-sharing component that would have required judges to begin with a “premise” that children should split their time equally between parents.

Ethics Commission Unanimously Approves $6,200 Fine Against Sheriff Manfre, and Public Censure

| April 15, 2016

State ethics commissioners voted without discussion to impose the fine and censure. Manfre has vowed to keep fighting the charges dating back to the early part of his tenure in 2013.

Public Agencies That Violate Sunshine Law Must Pay Attorney’s Fees, Supreme Court Rules

| April 14, 2016

Justices rejected arguments that agencies should be shielded from paying plaintiffs’ legal fees if public-records requests are handled in “good faith.”

Claiming “Robust” Bear Population, Florida Wildlife Commission Targets Another Hunt

| April 13, 2016

The commission in October 2015 held its first bear hunt in more than two decades as a means to slow the increase of black bears in the state and to reduce dangerous interactions between bears and humans. But the hunt was highly controversial, with opponents protesting in various parts of the state.

Outside Gov. Scott’s Office, a Battle Over Alimony Bill’s Elevation of “Father’s Rights”

| April 12, 2016

The most contentious part of the measure involves not alimony but offspring. It would tell judges that, when determining child-custody arrangements, they should begin with a “premise” that children should split time equally between parents.

What Cara Jennings and Black Lives Matter Protesters Don’t Get

| April 11, 2016

Progressive ideals and values are strong, they don’t need to be shouted or paired with epitaphs to pack a punch. Our jobs are already challenging, and you are making them worse, argues Catherine Durkin Robinson.

Rick Scott’s Shout Show

| April 11, 2016

To trade public punches with another politician or a media critic is an accepted part of the game. To defame a private citizen — one who wasn’t even responsible for publicizing the original incident — is out of bounds.

Bowing to Baptist and Catholic Pressure, DCF Backs Off Protecting LGBT Children from Discrimination

| April 9, 2016

Proposed language protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in a DCF rule was opposed by the Florida Baptist Children’s Home and the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, so it was deleted.

Rookies Hutson and Renner Sum Up Legislative Session as Veterans of Policy and Reforms

| April 7, 2016

First-year Sen. Travis Hutson and Rep. Paul Renner, whose districts include all of Flagler, spoke at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast this morning in a celebration of of the session they just completed, and promises to keep cutting taxes and reducing government regulation.

300,000 Floridians Could Lose Food Stamps as State Restores Work Obligations and Time Limits

| April 6, 2016

The requirement was suspended in the aftermath of the recession, but starting Jan. 1, all able-bodied, childless adults 18 to 49 were required to work, get job training or volunteer 20 hours a week to receive food stamps . Otherwise, they’re limited to three months of food assistance in each 36-month period.

Closer to Home: Gainesville’s San Felasco Nurseries Approved for Marijuana Growing

| April 5, 2016

San Felasco’s approval came after an administrative law judge ruled in February that health officials wrongly rejected the nursery’s application last year because of a decade-old drug crime.

Has Business Biased Florida’s Workers Comp Law Too Far Against Labor? Court Will Decide

| April 4, 2016

Plaintiffs argue that lawmakers have taken too many rights and benefits from people who get injured on the job, while business groups say a 2003 law kept costs from “spiraling.”

Declaring 2008 Amendment Unconstitutional, Judge Closes Book on Gay-Marriage Ban in Florida

| March 31, 2016

In a harshly worded ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle chastised state officials like Pam Bondi for reluctance in acknowledging that the Florida ban had been overturned

Scrubbing Sexism: Scott Signs Bill Awarding Big Raise to Supervisors of Election

| March 30, 2016

The long-overdue raises, averaging 18 percent, redress salaries traditionally kept low because most supervisors were, and still are, women.

Behind Florida’s Deceptively Low Unemployment Rate

| March 29, 2016

The labor force participation rate should always be taken into account when determining the overall state of the job market and the economy, and that rate has fallen significantly since the Great Recession, argues Dominic Calabro.

Florida Drops Planned Parenthood Case, Eliciting Charge of Political Motivation

| March 29, 2016

Barbara Zdravecky, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, blasted the state Agency for Health Care Administration for “political gamesmanship” in a statement.

As Scott Signs Bill Stifling Abortion Clinics, Planned Parenthood Sees Danger and Cruelty

| March 28, 2016

The restriction means low-income Floridians could lose access to the organization’s health-care and family-planning services. Planned Parenthood said it has more than 67,000 patients in Florida annually.

Scott Signs Medical Marijuana Bill for Terminally Ill, Enabling Experimental Drugs

| March 25, 2016

That law allows terminally ill patients to have access to experimental drugs that have not been approved for general use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Florida’s 4.9% Unemployment Rate Matches Nation’s, Flagler’s Nearly There, at 5.4%

| March 25, 2016

The number of Flagler County residents holding jobs surged by 472, one of the best single-month increases since the recession, lowering the county’s unemployment rate to its lowest level since 2007.

Florida Supreme Court Deals Another Blow to Tobacco Industry, Rejecting Disease Defense

| March 24, 2016

Justices, in a 5-2 ruling Thursday, rejected R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s arguments in a Broward County case stemming from the 2002 death of George Ciccone, who started smoking as a child.

Palm Coast’s Karl Westgate, 19, Dies in Prison 7 Weeks After Sentence for Child Rape

| March 24, 2016

Karl Westgate, sentenced last summer to 25 years for raping an 11-year-old girl, died in prison 48 days after his incarceration, and five weeks after writing a Flagler County judge to say that his plea had been coerced, and that he wanted his case re-opened.

Court Upholds Prohibition on Married Couple Claiming 2 Separate Homestead Exemptions

| March 23, 2016

Whether in state or out of state, the Florida appeals court found that the plain language of the law meant that only one homestead exemption was allowed, regardless of location.

No, Florida, You May Not Count Prisoners Who Can’t Vote in Redistricting Tallies

| March 22, 2016

A federal judge has struck down county commission districts in a rural North Florida county — a potentially precedent-setting decision that could play into a challenge of the state’s congressional lines.

Obama in Cuba:
The Limits of “Engagement”

| March 21, 2016

Indeed, if engagement is supposed to result in political change, US engagement with Cuba is most likely doomed to fail, writes Jorge G. Castañeda. After all, trade and investment have done nothing to bring about a democratic opening in Vietnam over the last 20 years.

Court Backs New Death Penalty Law But Asks Florida Supremes to Rule on Constitutionality

| March 18, 2016

The 5th District Court of Appeal today sided with the state in two death penalty cases, saying that blocking the executions “impermissibly invades” the discretion of the state to seek the sentence.

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