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Posts tagged as: Florida Legislature

SLAPP This: Florida Scores a Big Free Speech Victory Against Intimidation Lawsuits

| August 27, 2015

It was a rare success in the last Florida Legislative session: a new law protecting the public from frivolous corporate or otherwise intimidating lawsuits intended to silence public expression in government issues.

State Education Board’s “Historic” Funding Proposal Is Still $1,000 Per Student Below 2006 Level

| August 26, 2015

In inflation adjusted dollars, current spending on public education is $1,100-per-student less than it was in 2007, and would still be $1,000 less if the Legislature goes along with a state board of education proposal.

Lawmakers Can’t Get It Done: Redistricting Session Collapses, Leaving It Up to Courts

| August 21, 2015

The end of the session without agreement on the shape of Florida’s 27 congressional districts likely means the final decision will be made by the courts, though some lawmakers held out slim hopes for a resolution in the coming days that could avoid such an outcome.

Bill Would Ban All Confederate Flags on Public Grounds as Question of “Security” Is Raised Over Ag Museum Civil War Reenactment

| August 21, 2015

Bill McGuire, a tourist council and Palm Coast City Council member, is concerned about the Confederate flag display at an upcoming Civil War reenactment at the Agricultural Museum. He spoke as a bill was introduced in Tallahassee to ban all such displays on public grounds.

House and Senate at Odds Over Congressional Map, But No Disagreement Over Flagler District

| August 20, 2015

The 6th Congressional District would be redrawn southward, losing most of St. Johns County and all of Putnam, and taking on all of Volusia and a segment of Lake, thus pushing the district more to the center than it’s been.

Clashing Again, Florida House and Senate Are on Collision Course Over Redistricting

| August 17, 2015

The House and Senate seemed unconcerned about whether they could reconcile their differences before the scheduled conclusion of the special session on Friday. They all but ruled out forming a joint House-Senate conference committee to hammer out a compromise.

House Committee Approves District Joining Flagler, Volusia, Drips of Lake and St. Johns

| August 13, 2015

The shift may be reflective of the weakness of the region’s legislative delegation: neither Sen. Travis Hutson nor Paul Renner, rookies both, has pull in his respective house, neither has bargaining chips to deal with.

Sen. Travis Hutson Joins Chorus of Opposition to New Congressional Map, Objecting to Split

| August 12, 2015

Sen. Travis Hutson opposes changes to the congressional district that include Flagler because they would split St. Johns, Hutson’s base, while taking in all of Volusia.

Florida League of Women Voters Targeting New Campus Concealed Weapons Bills

| August 11, 2015

The goal is to make the opposition stronger than during the 2015 session, by uniting with students, professors, administrators and the national organization Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus.

GOP Opens Special Session With Complaints That Fair Districts Infringe on Free Speech

| August 10, 2015

Senators scolded the Florida Supreme Court for trampling on their First Amendment rights as lawmakers began a special session Monday aimed at redrawing congressional districts the court said were gerrymandered to help the Republican Party.

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown Goes to Court
To Stop Her District From Heading West

| August 7, 2015

Brown is hoping to intervene in the lawsuit and get judges to order the Legislature not to reorient the district, which currently ambles from Jacksonville to Orlando.

Some of Your Privacy Rights Are Waived In Medical Malpractice Lawsuits, Court Rules

| July 21, 2015

The Florida court’s decision stemmed from a controversial 2013 law the Republican-controlled Legislature passed after a lobbying battle between groups such as doctors and plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Florida’s Impending “Pastor Protection Act” Weds Spurious Scenarios With Homophobia

| July 16, 2015

The proposal is aimed at safeguarding clergy members from being forced to perform gay-marriage ceremonies even though they’re categorically protected from doing so by the First Amendment.

Millionaires Make Up Nearly One-Third Of the Florida Legislature, More in Senate

| July 13, 2015

Almost half of the Florida Senate is in the millionaires club, and more than two dozen senators saw their net worths grow in the past year.

Supreme Court Declares Numerous Congressional Districts Corruptly Drawn, Forcing Another Special Session

| July 9, 2015

The court ruled the congressional map was corrupted by the efforts of Republican political consultants, violating an anti-gerrymandering constitutional amendment voters approved in 2010. The Legislature must draw new districts within 100 days.

Florida’s Lagging Early-Childhood Education Programs Again Fail to Win More Legislative Support

| July 8, 2015

Florida’s voluntary pre-kindergarten and school-readiness programs are funded below national averages. Advocates turn their hopes toward federal support.

With 11 Jobs and Life Skills for 85 Disabled Adults at Stake, School Board Scrambles for Lost Money

| June 29, 2015

The Flagler school board lost $535,000 for two essential programs for adults with disabilities when the Legislature slashed $10 million from its budget for that program. On Tuesday, board members will look for a patch on the way to a solution to keep the program from closing.

New Laws Kick In This Week: Body Cameras, Drones, Abortion, Traffic Tickets, Secret Recordings, Flags

| June 28, 2015

Florida’s record-setting budget goes into effect on Wednesday, along with 130 other new laws that were produced by the Legislature this year in the regular and special sessions and signed by Gov. Rick Scott. Here’s a run-down.

Judge Considering Temporary Block of Florida’s New 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period

| June 24, 2015

A judge is considering halting the law from going in effect July 1 while a constitutional challenge goes forward. The challenge was filed by the Florida ACLU.

Scott’s Veto Pen Hits Flagler’s Top Priority, Sinking $600,000 For Malacompra Drainage

| June 24, 2015

The $600,000 appropriation for the Malacompra drainage project was among the 450 line-items and $461 million he vetoed as he approved a $78.2 billion budget.

Environmentalists Sue Florida Lawmakers Over Amendment 1, Claiming Misuse of Dollars

| June 23, 2015

The suit seeks a court declaration that money from the state’s Land Acquisition Trust Fund, which will handle all the Amendment 1 funding, may not be substituted for general-revenue funds or used to pay for other services and programs.

Lawmakers Again Refuse to Extend KidCare Coverage to Children of Legal Immigrants

| June 22, 2015

The proposal in the Florida Legislature would have eliminated a 5-year waiting period for lawful immigrants to qualify for the subsidized insurance program that serves children from low- and moderate-income families.

$780 Million More for Education in Florida, But a $500 Million Property Tax Increase

| June 22, 2015

The special session’s much-touted tax cut of $427 million is wiped out by a nearly $500 million tax increase to pay for education funding increases.

Florida’s Nature Conservancy Gets It:
It’s About Land Management

| June 18, 2015

Most Florida environmental groups this special session made a lot of noise and spent a lot of money, but came away empty-handed and unhappy. Not The Nature Conservancy.

Gov. Scott Signs $429 Million Tax-Cut Package, Saving Average Floridians a Few Dollars a Year

| June 17, 2015

The tax savings are projected at less than $2 a month for people paying $100 a month for phone or TV services. The package reduces costs on cell-phone bills, cable TV bills, gun club memberships, college textbooks and luxury boat repairs.

ACLU and Women’s Health Center Sue Florida Over 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period

| June 12, 2015

The lawsuit contends that for women — especially low-income women who must arrange for child care, time off work and overnight travel — the law can push them past the time it is legal to have abortions.

The War on Women, Cont’d: Enough with Mandatory Vaginal Exams, Florida

| June 10, 2015

It’s not enough that in 2011 our Legislature passed a draconian law forcing women to schedule, pay for, and look at an ultrasound of their fetus if they choose to exercise their right to an abortion.

Citing “Competition,” Lawmakers Want Hospitals Deregulated. Hospitals Disagree.

| June 9, 2015

The measure would eliminate what is known as the hospital “certificate of need” process in Florida, which requires state review and approval of building new hospitals, replacing hospitals and offering certain complex, costly medical services such as organ transplants.

Senator Blasts “Hypocritical” House Over Rejecting Medicaid Money While Getting Set to Borrow

| June 8, 2015

Disagreements led Senate Appropriations Chairman Tom Lee, R-Brandon, to label the House as “hypocritical” for rejecting federal Medicaid expansion funding while being willing to issue bonds to pay for environmental projects.

In Breakthrough, Lawmakers Agree on Health Budget and “Significant” Increase for Education

| June 7, 2015

Florida House and the Senate reached tentative agreements Saturday on money to hospitals and providers for the poor, and a $207-per-pupil increase in education funding.

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