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Category archives for: Florida

New Legislation Adds to Early-Voting
Fight on Florida’s College Campuses

| June 18, 2019

A bill Gov. DeSantis is about to sign deals with a variety of elections issues, but a lawsuit is focused on a provision requiring early-voting sites to provide “nonpermitted parking,” which could exclude college campuses.

Denying Voting Rights to Felons Should Be Beneath Us

| June 17, 2019

Who gets to vote should be driven by citizenship, the spirit of the United States Constitution and all America stands for, not by blowhardism and dirty tricks, argues Nancy Smith.

‘Shared Savings’ By Shopping For Lower Health Care Costs? Ballyhooed Florida Plan a Bust

| June 17, 2019

The idea of Florida’s ballyhooed shared-savings programs is to give policyholders an incentive to look for cheaper health services. Early results show no such benefits.

Owners and Dealers of Anacondas Sue to Reverse Florida’s Broad Ban on Invasive Snake

| June 13, 2019

Owners and dealers of anacondas have launched a legal challenge after the state largely banned the snakes amid a struggle to control damaging invasive species.

DeSantis Signs Death Warrant of Homophobic Serial Killer Gary Bowles

| June 12, 2019

Gary Bowles murdered six people in 1994. He is serving life sentences in the murders of John Roberts in Daytona Beach and Albert Morris in Nassau County, and is being killed for the murder of Walter Hinton in Jacksonville.

Pete Buttigieg, Ahead of Miami Debate, Says No to Heavy-Handed Immigration Enforcement

| June 11, 2019

Pete Buttigieg says he would set aside politics and work with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to fund “good” environmental projects, while expressing his opposition to Florida’s “heavy-handed” approach to federal immigration enforcement and expansion of school voucher-type programs.

Plotting to Win Biggest Battleground State in 2020, Florida Democrats Can’t Get Around GOP-Controlled Legislature

| June 10, 2019

The Florida Democratic Party’s biggest event of the year wrapped up this weekend with a debate over Election Day voter registration, but any such changes would require GOP approval. That’s unlikely.

Attorney General Moody To Supreme Court on Death Row Inmates: Let ‘Em Die

| June 9, 2019

Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office is urging the Florida Supreme Court to reverse course on decisions that allowed dozens of convicted murderers to have their death sentences reconsidered.

Green New Deal Me In

| June 8, 2019

The Green New Deal may have a hoaky name but at least it’s a beginning, an attempt to push back against a republic of insects and grass, inviting debate in the face of indefensible Republican inaction.

Is State Law Restricting Local Governments’ Gun-Safety Ordinances Constitutional? Judge Hears Arguments.

| June 6, 2019

Florida since 1987 has barred cities and counties from passing regulations that are stricter than state firearms laws. But in 2011, lawmakers went further by approving a series of penalties that local governments and officials can face if they violate the prohibition.

Florida TaxWatch Calls For Eliminating $133 million in Budget ‘Turkeys’; Flagler Is Spared

| June 6, 2019

As of Wednesday afternoon, DeSantis had received 123 of the 174 bills approved by the Legislature during this year’s session. He’d signed 80 and vetoed two.

$100 Million Will Raise 91-Year-Old Tamiami Trail, Easing Everglades Flow

| June 4, 2019

Environmentalists say the Tamiami Trail, or U.S. 41, has dammed the natural flow of water from Lake Okeechobee through the Everglades to Florida Bay.

Flagler Braces for Hurricane Season as Florida Reels From 3-Year Streak of Landfalls

| June 3, 2019

Flagler County is still paying the millions in bills from Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, and the state is recovering from a direct hit from a Cat 5 last year, costing $26 billion, as the 2019 hurricane season begins.

Floridians Have a Right To Access Medical Malpractice Records. Shands Sues to Prevent That.

| May 30, 2019

Under Florida law, patients have the right to access adverse medical incident reports, which can play an important role in malpractice cases. UF Health Jacksonville says federal privacy law trumps Florida’s constitutional amendment.

Tax Holiday Begins Friday on Hurricane-Prep Supplies Ahead of Storm Season

| May 29, 2019

Floridians will have seven days to build a hurricane-season stockpile — including batteries, flashlights and radios — free of sales taxes, beginning Friday.

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking To Block Florida Cabinet From Meeting in Israel, Out of Sunshine

| May 28, 2019

The lawsuit, filed by the First Amendment Foundation and four major news organizations, accused the governor and Cabinet members of “willfully violating the law.”

Supreme Court Reverses Course on Expert Witnesses, Signaling Continued Shift Right

| May 26, 2019

In a move that left little doubt about the new direction of the Florida Supreme Court, justices on Thursday reversed a controversial 2017 decision about the testimony of expert witnesses in lawsuits.

400,000 Florida Children Need Mental Health Services. More Than Half Get None.

| May 23, 2019

220,000 children across the state, or about one child in every classroom, get no mental health treatment for lack of providers. Florida has one psychiatrist who treats children and adolescents for every 100,000 children.

Medicaid Expansion in Florida Would Improve Maternal and Child Health and Reduce Racial Disparities

| May 22, 2019

States like Florida that refuse to expand Medicaid are missing an opportunity to address racial disparities in maternal health and improve child health care, according to a report released Wednesday.

7 Ballot Proposals To Watch Even as Florida Law Makes Citizens’ Initiatives Harder

| May 21, 2019

Amid the likely changes, petition signatures have continued pouring into the state Division of Elections in recent weeks, with two initiatives ready for Supreme Court review and others nearing that initial threshold.

What Two Florida Counties’ Elections Supervisors Were Hacked by Russians? FBI Won’t Say, Upsetting Lawmakers.

| May 19, 2019

The FBI has maintained there is no evidence that votes or voter information were altered in the hacking. But such assurances have drawn questions.

DeSantis Says ‘We Don’t Want’ Migrants Federal Government Plans to Send to Florida

| May 17, 2019

U.S. Customs and Border Protection could start sending about 135 migrants awaiting asylum hearings twice a week to Palm Beach and Broward counties, to alleviate overcrowding in border facilities.

FPL Will Use Tax Savings To Cover Hurricane Repair Costs Rather Than Lower Customers’ Bills

| May 15, 2019

The issue involves hundreds of millions of dollars a year in savings from a federal tax overhaul and an estimated $1.3 billion in costs of restoring power after the 2017 hurricane.

Florida Considers Prison Guards as Immigration Enforcers; Counties May Be Next

| May 14, 2019

The state request to launch the federal immigration enforcement program, known as 287(g), came as Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed local governments to implement the program at county jails.

Siding With Environmentalists, DeSantis Vetoes Bill Prohibiting Bans on Plastic Straws

| May 12, 2019

In his first veto, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday rejected a bill that would have blocked local governments from banning plastic straws.

Florida Cities Sue State Over ‘Small Cell’ Wireless Law, Citing Home Rule Violation

| May 9, 2019

The Florida League of Cities and three cities contend the 2017 law infringes on home-rule powers and leads to an unconstitutional “taking” of city property to benefit wireless companies.

Federal Lawsuit Targets Florida Prisons Over ‘Deliberately Indifferent’ Use of Solitary Confinement

| May 8, 2019

Florida’s prison system is “widely overusing” the practice of solitary confinement to manage inmates, sometimes locking them up in cells that are no bigger than a parking spaces over often-minor infractions, according to a federal lawsuit.

DeSantis Will Sign Controversial Bill With Conditions on Felons’ Voting Rights

| May 7, 2019

Earlier in the day, the League of Women Voters of Florida held a conference call with reporters urging DeSantis to veto the Amendment 4 implementation bill.

From Vacation Rental Deregulation to School Board Term Limits: 11 Dead Issues from the 2019 Session

| May 6, 2019

When lawmakers hit the road Saturday after ending the 2019 legislative session, they left behind hundreds of bills and issues that did not pass. But there’s always the 2020 session, which will start in eight short months.

Lawmakers Approve Record $91.1 Billion Budget; 10 Big Issues from the 2019 Session

| May 5, 2019

The budget includes high-profile spending issues such as $680 million for the Everglades and other water projects; a $242-per-student increase in school funding; and $50 million to maintain for at least another year the state’s embattled tourism-marketing agency Visit Florida.

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