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Category archives for: Florida

The Florida Legislature MessedUp. Ten Big Issues At Impasse and Beyond.

| May 3, 2015

Lawmakers will come back sometime in May or June for a special session to negotiate and pass a budget. But with the 60-day regular session formally ending Friday, here is where 10 major issues stand.

In a Surprise, U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Florida Ban on Judicial Candidates’ Fundraising

| April 30, 2015

The 5-4 decision, written by Chief Justice Roberts, upholds a ban in a case started by Lanell Williams-Yulee, who in 2009 sent out a mass mailing asking for campaign contributions during her bid for a Hillsborough County judgeship.

Florida Senate May Seek to Force House Back in Session in Clash’s Latest Escalation

| April 29, 2015

Florida Senate leaders are considering legal action to force the House to return to the Capitol to finish out the work week as the slow-motion collapse of the regular legislative session appeared to near its end Wednesday.

The FBI’s Hairy Evidence Sends Floridians to Prison on Unscientific Testimony

| April 29, 2015

At least 42 Floridians have gone to prison on tainted FBI evidence, including one who was executed and as many as nine who remain on death row, after trials in which FBI “experts” gave testimony that the agency concedes to have been unscientific.

“Instantaneous Death”: House Adjourns 3 Days Early in Huff Over Standoff With Senate

| April 28, 2015

The House’s premature departure wasn’t completely unpredictable given the intensifying acrimony between House and Senate Republican leaders during the past few weeks over a $4 billion budget impasse rooted in a philosophical rupture over health care for poor and uninsured Floridians.

Three Weeks After Winning House Seat From Flagler, Paul Renner Begins Re-Election Bid

| April 28, 2015

The GOP’s Paul Renner, whose house seat represents Flagler County, won election to his first public office exactly three weeks ago, outspending his combined opponents 33-to-1. On Tuesday, he filed for re-election.

Florida House Approves Some Fracking Regulations, But Critics Find Them Shallow

| April 27, 2015

Merely asking oil and gas companies what chemicals they’re injecting during fracking creates the appearance of government scrutiny, critics say, at the expense of the state’s groundwater at a time when lawmakers are looking to implement new water policies.

As Pro-Choice Republicans See It: Abortion Decisions Don’t Belong on a Legislative Agenda

| April 26, 2015

Doctors and patients, not politicians, should determine the course of medical treatment, even when the treatment is abortion, writes Nancy Smith, a card-carrying member of the Republican Majority for Choice.

House and Senate Far Apart on Budget as Health Care For Poor Becomes Bargaining Chip

| April 25, 2015

The Florida House had made a significant concession to the Senate on hospital funding — but said it would only follow through if the upper chamber dropped insistence on using Medicaid expansion dollars to help lower-income Floridians purchase private insurance.

Florida Senate Votes 26-13 For Abortion Waiting period, Sending Bill to Gov. Scott

| April 24, 2015

Lawmakers earlier this week approved adding exceptions for victims of rape, incest, domestic violence or human trafficking to the bill. However, those victims could only get waivers of the 24-hour waiting period if they can produce police reports, restraining orders, medical records or other documentation.

In Tallahassee, Lawmakers’ Power-Tripped Rudeness Toward the Public Is a Daily Cringe

| April 22, 2015

Committee chairmen having to assert their authority ad nauseum, forbidding members of the public from overstaying their welcome at the podium: it’s offensive to people who drive sometimes hundreds of miles to be heard for two or three minutes, writes Nancy Smith.

Florida House Passes 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period, Adding to Increasing Curbs

| April 22, 2015

The 24-year-old sponsor of the measure claims it “empowers” women, while opponents charged that it does the opposite, banning abortions for 24 hours.

Obama Comes to Everglades to Talk Climate Change. Gov. Scott Snubs Visit’s Theme.

| April 21, 2015

Obama is set to appear at Everglades National Park Wednesday to address the economic impact of climate change, a topic and phrase that was not mentioned in a release from the governor’s office Tuesday.

Tennessee and Kansas Also Get Fed Warning to Florida: Expand Medicaid Or Risk Hospital Funds

| April 21, 2015

The federal government confirmed that it gave officials in those states the same message delivered to Texas and Florida about the risk to funding for so-called “uncompensated care pools” — Medicaid money that helps pay the cost of care for the uninsured.

Gov. Scott Ends Worker Drug-Testing Crusade, Restricting Tests to Limited Job Classes

| April 20, 2015

Monday’s agreement, which still requires court approval, identified more than 100 job classes that Scott can test for drug or alcohol use. Workers in most of the positions deal with vulnerable children or adults, handle heavy equipment or are already required to undergo medical tests for other reasons.

Enough Abuse: Close Seaworld

| April 18, 2015

Nothing justifies Seaworld’s confinement of killer whales and Seaworld’s abusive treatment of the animals by way of exploitative shows and inhumane conditions. To treat orcas that way for human entertainment should elicit repugnance, not the buying of $75 tickets.

Gov. Bizarre: Scott Suing Federal Government Over One Pot of Money Even As He Rejects Another

| April 18, 2015

The lawsuit plays into a heated battle over a Senate plan to use $2.8 billion in Medicaid expansion funding to help lower-income Floridians purchase private health insurance. But the House and Scott — who once favored straight-up Medicaid expansion — oppose that idea.

Flagler Clerk’s 1-Day Amnesty on Overdue Fines Nets $25,000 and Restores 20 Licenses

| April 17, 2015

The amnesty, dubbed Operation Green Light, affected 7,000 cases in Flagler, totaling $1.9 million in overdue fines. The experiment was tried in most of the state’s counties for the first time this year.

Online Voter Registration May Get Lawmakers’ Approval, But Scott Administration Is Opposed

| April 17, 2015

Secretary State Ken Detzner, who told the committee he knows what a “train wreck is and they’re not pretty,” expressed unease about having a deadline to implement the program before a plan is in place.

Flagler-Palm Coast Added 12,300 Jobs in Last 5 Years, Powering Unemployment Down to 6.5%

| April 17, 2015

Unemployment figures released Friday show the solid, continued improvement of Flagler-Palm Coast’s economy, especially when compared to where the county was five years ago.

Proposal Allowing Concealed Guns in Schools, Largely Opposed By Flagler Board, Dies

| April 16, 2015

Bills that would lead to guns at schools have traditionally faced an uphill challenge in the Senate, which is more moderate on such issues than the House.

You May Soon Shoot Black Bears: FWC Will Set One Week in October For Hunting

| April 16, 2015

Hunting up to 200 black bears in Flagler and other parts of Florida would be allowed as part of a management plan as the state’s bear population of 2,500 is in increasing contact with its human population of nearly 20 million.

Special Session Ahead for Legislature as Lawmakers Fail To Resolve Budget Clash

| April 15, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott’s administration, federal officials and House and Senate leaders have waged a public war over health dollars, which President Obama’s administration declared Tuesday are tied to an expansion of Medicaid.

Rep. Ron DeSantis Makes It Semi-Official: He’s Considering a Run for Rubio’s Senate Seat

| April 15, 2015

DeSantis’s quick rise after his election to the House in 2012, his frequent presence on conservative talk shows and relentless criticism of the Obama administration has made him a favorite of tea party conservatives and some further to the right.

Rep. Jason Brodeur: My Religious Freedom Bill Will Encourage More Adoptions

| April 14, 2015

Rep. Jason Brodeur, the Sanford Republican, sponsored the controversial bill that would allow adoption agencies to discriminate in their decisions on whom to place where, even on behalf of the state’s foster system. Brodeur defends his bill.

Florida Lawmakers Float Measure to Regulate Drones Amid Buzz of Privacy Concerns

| April 14, 2015

The proposals prohibit the use of aerial drones to capture images that could infringe on the privacy of property owners or occupants but also give police some authority to use drones.

Rubio Joins Growing List of Presidential Hopefuls, Setting Up Showdown With Bush

| April 13, 2015

A primary showdown between Rubio and Bush could cause friction in Tallahassee, where the GOP dominates state government, and a scramble is expected for Rubio’s senate seat.

Ron DeSantis Considering Run For Rubio’s Senate Seat as Jeff Atwater Looks To 2018

| April 12, 2015

Ron DeSantis, the congressman representing the district that includes all of Flagler County, is “strongly considering” a Senate run, according to Politico, while Atwater’s decision not to run opens the way for many others.

As Rideshare Apps Like Uber Build Up Fares, Florida Senate Taps Insurance Requirements

| April 11, 2015

As taxi and limo services call for stricter regulations on growing “transportation network companies,” the Senate has expanded an insurance measure to include a requirement for around-the-clock coverage on the vehicles of app-connected rideshare drivers.

Will Florida Senate Recognize That Every Child Has the Right To Be Loved?

| April 10, 2015

The choice is not whether church-sponsored agencies have a right to practice their religion. Of course they do. The issue is whether they have a right to enforce their beliefs against others when acting as agents of the state. They do not.

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