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Posts tagged as: Florida Legislature

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.

Supreme Court Declares House Ploy Unconstitutional as Rep. Gaetz’s Racist Tweet Draws Apologies

| May 1, 2015

The Florida Supreme Court ruling concluded it was too late to reconvene the session, essentially ending it, and the lawsuit that prompted the ruling. Rep. Matt Gaetz described in racist terms the lawsuit filed by Democratic senators that led to the court’s action, though the suit itself was dismissed.

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.

“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.

Despite Pleading With State For Earlier Start Date, School Board Now Opts Against It

| April 21, 2015

After lobbying the state to let it start school on Aug. 10 instead of Aug. 24, the Flagler school board on Tuesday stuck with the Aug. 24 date even though a new law would have allowed the district to move up the calendar.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Rejoice, Students: There’ll Be Less Testing. But Not Much Less. House Approves Roll-Back.

| April 9, 2015

The bill puts a hold on the use of student test data for school grades, teacher evaluations and student promotion to fourth grade until the new Florida Standards Assessments can be independently validated.

Guess Who’s Rethinking Guns In Schools: Colleen Conklin May Not Oppose Designating Concealed Carriers, But She’s In a Minority

| April 9, 2015

Most Flagler County School Board members, the superintendent and the sheriff say school officers, not individuals carrying concealed weapons, can best address security needs in local schools. A bill making its way through the Legislature would allow school boards to designate employees or volunteers to carry concealed weapons.

Florida House Advances ‘Conscience Protection’ Bill That Discriminates Against Gay Adoptions

| April 8, 2015

Three hours of debate and numerous attempts to diminish the ability of private, religious adoption agencies to deny placement among gay couples failed as the bill now appears headed for approval Thursday.

Florida Senate Calls For Police Policies on Body Cameras, Addressing Privacy and Data

| April 7, 2015

Body cams are worn by deputies at the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Jim Manfre instituted the practice when he took office in 2013 and has been an ardent defender of the cameras.

Travis Hutson Wins Senate Seat, Paul Renner Wins House in Special Election

| April 7, 2015

Republicans Travis Hutson and Paul Renner have won the special election for Florida Senate District 6 and House District 24, respectively. Hutson defeated Democrat David Cox. Renner defeated Adam Morley.

As Expected, GOP’s Renner and Hutson Reel In Big Dollars, Opponents Don’t

| April 4, 2015

In all, Paul Renner raised $294,340 and had spent $261,748 for the election Tuesday in a district that includes Flagler County and parts of St. Johns and Volusia counties.

Indiana and Arkansas Retreat From Hate Laws. Florida Plows Ahead.

| April 3, 2015

Between Sen. Frank Artiles’ war on transgender people and a House bill protecting discrimination against gay parents, Florida verges on making bigotry state policy again, harkening back to Jim Crow days, but against the LGBT community.

Florida Lawmakers OK Discriminating Against Gay Adoptions on “Religious” Grounds

| April 3, 2015

Despite warnings that Florida would follow Indiana into a controversy with statewide economic implications, the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would allow private adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples.

Daytona State College May Have To Drop “State” From Name and Limit 4-Year Degrees

| April 1, 2015

A Florida Senate proposal would forbid community colleges from using the word “state” in their name and cap at 5 percent the share of a college’s enrollment that could be made up of students pursuing baccalaureate, or four-year, degrees.

Guns and Ammo Included In Sales Tax Holiday Florida Lawmakers Are Set To Approve

| March 31, 2015

Guns and ammunition remain in a proposed Independence Day sales-tax holiday on hunting gear that is part of a wide-ranging tax cut package that advanced Tuesday in the House.

Three Weeks After ATF Approves Powdered Alcohol, Florida Senate Votes To Ban It

| March 30, 2015

Though federally approved, under Florida’s bill a person selling powdered alcohol would face a first-degree misdemeanor. A second violation within five years would carry a third-degree felony.

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