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In a Defeat For Non-English Speakers, Court Bars Entitlement to Spanish-Speaking Shrinks in Workers-Comp Claims

| June 3, 2014

In what could be a first-of-its-kind decision in Florida, an appeals court ruled Tuesday that a man suffering from head injuries was not entitled to treatment from a Spanish-speaking psychologist as part of a workers-compensation insurance claim.

U.S. Supreme Court Declares Florida’s Death Penalty Too Rigid in Low I.Q. Cases

| May 27, 2014

The court, in a 5-4 decision, said Florida’s use of an IQ score of 70 “creates an unacceptable risk that persons with intellectual disability will be executed, and thus is unconstitutional.” “Intellectual disability is a condition, not a number,” wrote Justice Kennedy for the majority.

Medical Marijuana Initiative Gets Needed Signature to Make November Ballot, Pending Court Clearance

| January 24, 2014

With 710,508 validated signatures statewide in Florida— 27, 359 more than the required 683,149 — and reaching signature requirements in the bare minimum of 14 congressional districts, People United for Medical Marijuana beat a Feb. 1 deadline for submitting petitions to the state.

Florida Is 7th Worst State For Lax Highway Safety Laws, Including Teen Protection

| January 23, 2014

Florida is “missing rear primary enforcement seat belt law, all-rider motorcycle helmet law, booster seat law, 4 of the 7 teen driving provisions, an ignition interlock law, and an all-driver text messaging restriction,” according to a new report.

As State Mulls Review, Christians and Atheists Agree: Keep Florida Capitol a Free Speech Zone

| January 7, 2014

The threat of a lawsuit is hovering over the state’s rejection of a satanic display, and the rotunda exhibit policy is set to undergo a staff review. But the prevailing view among those who have recently jumped at the chance to use the public floor space to express their beliefs is to simply let everyone have their say.

Specialty Tags Lose Their Gloss As Fewer People Are Willing to Pay Extra For Causes

| November 12, 2013

There’s been a noticeable decline in motorists willing to pay an extra $15 to $25 to let others know their college or sports preferences or that they support the troops, manatees or even trees, but advocates say reducing registration fees could reinvigorate the program, which helps raise $30 million a year for a wide range of causes.

Harsh Outlier: Florida’s Sentencing Laws Still Lock Up More Juveniles Than Any Other State

| October 17, 2013

As state legislators have tried and failed to craft a juvenile-sentencing law that conforms to landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings, a national advocacy group is calling Florida a “clear outlier” among states for its hard-line approach to trying juveniles as adults.

Forget Common Core: Here’s a Citizenship Test to Determine Who Can Survive In Florida

| October 16, 2013

Florida citizenship will be granted to all who live through the experience, don’t kill anyone else while doing it and swear to never, ever try to ride a manatee under any circumstances, writes Jim McLellan.

Let’s Holster Incendiary Rhetoric and Get Flagler Started on Meaningful Gun Talk

| January 18, 2013

Flagler County must have an honest, open dialogue about the place of guns in our community, Milissa Holland argues, but to do so the extremists on both sides must be willing to calm down and let reason facilitate the dialogue.

Bill Filed to Repeal Florida Prohibition On Doctors Asking Patients About Guns

| January 16, 2013

Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, filed the measure (SB 314) to repeal the 2011 “Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act,” which isn’t currently being enforced because a federal judge threw it out in July. The state, however, is appealing that ruling.

Florida’s Year in Review: New Districts, New Voting Problems, Renewed Economic Hope

| December 29, 2012

The biggest stories of 2012 ended up being an election and redistricting. A third ongoing story also pervaded the year’s news: The economy continued its long, slow rise from the ashes of the recession, and by year’s end the rebound – while facing the possible stomach-punch of a fiscal cliff setback – appeared to be solid.

What’s In Your Gun Closet? In Florida, a Doctor’s Right to Ask Is Under Threat

| November 28, 2012

Should doctors be able to ask patients or patients’ parents whether they own a gun? What about health insurers, employers or health-care officials implementing the federal health law? Can they ask about gun ownership? The issue is playing out in Florida, where lawmakers want to ban doctors from asking the questions.

Voting Time Again as State Asks Floridians To Click on Their Favorite License Plate

| November 26, 2012

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is asking Floridians to vote on one of four choices, online, starting today and until Dec. 14. The redesigned plate with the most votes replaces existing plates beginning in 2014.

A Few Florida Facts for Republican National Convention Delegates

| August 27, 2012

Florida under the leadership of Republican icons like Bush, Scott and Rubio, and supported by proud and unthinking GOP legislatures for the last 15 years, has happily served as the grow house for Republican policies. The results are stunning, writes former lawmaker Dan Gelber.

Voter ID Laws: Your Election-Year Guide to Disenfranchisement and Fraud

| July 23, 2012

Voter IDs laws in Florida and 29 other states are a political flashpoint in another close election year, pitting claims of fraud against claims of disenfranchisement. A step back to look at the facts behind the laws and issues at the heart of the debate.

As Florida and Other States Privatize Prison Health Services, Care Standards Suffer

| July 22, 2012

Florida and other states, in an attempt to cut costs, are increasingly outsourcing health care for inmates to for-profit companies, but the trend is raising concerns among unions and prisoners’ rights groups.

Florida Law Barring Doctors From Asking Patients About Guns at Home Ruled Invalid

| July 3, 2012

The law restricts doctors’ ability to provide truthful, non-misleading information to a patient, U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke ruled. The “docs-vs-glocks” law was backed by the NRA and signed by Gov. Rick Scott in 2011.

Romney, in Orlando, Plays Catch-up On Immigration By Promising More Green Cards

| June 21, 2012

Speaking to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Orlando, Romney spent most of his time talking about making it easier for legal immigrants to come to America.

Florida Is the Most Corrupt State in the Union, According to a Federal Tally of Convictions

| June 6, 2012

Based on U.S. Department of Justice data, Florida led the nation in the number of convictions between 2000 and 2010, according to data compiled by Integrity Florida, a non-profit research group founded earlier this year by former Florida Chamber spokesman Dan Krasner and former Common Cause Florida executive director Ben Wilcox.

When Elderly Is an Offensive Term

| May 28, 2012

The elderly are simultaneously the country’s most powerful single demographic and its least respected. But if the elderly don’t want to be infantilized, if they don’t want to be referred to as the elderly, it may be time to means-test the term and the literal benefits it entails.

Crime Falls, Cop-Killings Rise: Flagler Officers Honor the Fallen and Gauge a Disturbing Trend

| May 16, 2012

For the second year in a row, Florida led the nation in cops killed on the job. The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office held its annual ceremony for the fallen, and local top cops discussed the disturbing trend.

The Florida Family Association’s Un-Christian Jihad on TLC’s “All-American Muslim”

| January 6, 2012

In their war on TLC’s “All-American Muslim,” a few aberrant fools at the Florida Family Association are yearning for “No Muslims Allowed” signs everywhere and smearing this state’s reputation while drafting Lowe’s to their bigoted crusade.

Florida’s Latest Immigrants: Undocumented Workers Fleeing Alabama’s Harsh Vise

| November 10, 2011

Reversing Florida’s recent population loss, there’s been an influx of undocumented workers moving to Florida from Alabama as a result of a newly passed state law, the harshest immigration enforcement measure in the country.

Herman Cain? Seriously? He Wins Florida Straw Poll, Upending GOP Race

| September 26, 2011

Herman Cain, a pizza magnate seen as a minor candidate in a crowded field for the GOP nomination, scored an upset victory Saturday in the Republican Party of Florida’s Presidency 5 straw poll, raising questions about the standing of the two front-runners and the bellwether status of the fundraising event.

Snooping Security: “If You See Something, Say Something” Campaign Comes to Florida

| September 2, 2011

Gov. Rick Scott is welcoming the “If You See Something, Say Something Campaign,” which encourages callers to use a statewide toll-free telephone number to report suspicious activity. The program raises spying, profiling and other civil liberties concerns.

Florida Gun Nuts, Evils of Going Green, Blacks and Marriage, Allen West’s Idiocy: The Live Wire

| September 1, 2011

Florida law as a gun to local governments’ heads, when GIs executed children in Iraq, a sickness beyond Fox, Is Marriage for White People?, homeland security sex, Allen West’s stupid comments on the Arab Spring, and more.

Health Care Reform Ruling: 11th Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2-1 Decision

| August 14, 2011

Full text of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2-1 ruling on Aug. 12, 2011 overturning parts of the Obama administration’s health care reform law, in a case from Florida.

Foreclosures Down 59 Percent in April, But Don’t Celebrate Yet, Florida

| May 12, 2011

Longer processing times and the backlash against banks’ speed-dialed foreclosures have more to do with the brighter number than an actual recovery in the housing market.

Union-Busting Bill Narrowly Clears Hurdle and GOP Dissents Before Full Vote at Florida Legislature

| April 13, 2011

The proposed law forbids union deductions from public employees’ paychecks, essentially gutting unions. It passed a committee, 11-9, with three Republicans breaking rank to oppose it.

Gainesville’s Rogue Pastor And the Limits of Free Speech: A Dissent

| April 3, 2011

First Amendment rights have their limits, argues Thomas Brown: Gainesville’s Pastor Jones should have been stopped from burning the Koran, which can be viewed as an act of terrorism expressly and imminently inciting violence.

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