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Category archives for: Florida

As Gov. Scott Touts Latest Increase in Tourists, Visit Florida Critics Still Pounce on Spending

| February 20, 2017

Visit Florida received $78 million from lawmakers for the current fiscal year that ends June 30. The Sunshine State attracted 112.8 million tourists in 2016. He credited the 5.86 percent increase from the prior year.

1st Amendment Trumps 2nd: Court Says Doctors Have Right To Ask About Guns at Home

| February 17, 2017

Major portions of a controversial Florida law restricting physicians and other health-care providers from asking patients about guns is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled.

Florida House Moves to End Participation In Federal Refugee Resettlement Program

| February 16, 2017

The bill sponsor acknowledged there is no evidence terrorists have used the refugee program to enter Florida and that the withdrawal wouldn’t halt the federal government from locating refugees in the state.

Lawmakers File Bill to Limits Testing Time in Schools and Speed Up Turnaround on Scores

| February 15, 2017

The proposal would require the state’s language arts and math tests to be administered in the last three weeks of a school year, with the exception of the 3rd-grade reading exam.

Palm Coast, Flagler Beach and Bunnell Officials May Face Stronger Financial Disclosure Requirements

| February 15, 2017

Financial disclosure forms filed by elected city officials are cursory compared to the detailed forms filed by county and other officials. That may soon change as the Legislature considers extending the stricter requirements.

Spate of Bills Would Allow Floridians to Carry Guns at Colleges, Airports, Bars, Courthouses, Stadiums

| February 14, 2017

One of the proposals would decriminalize the penalty for people who briefly display a firearm in public, others would allow concealed carry permit holders to carry guns in courthouses, jails and government meetings, among other places.

In Flagler Beach, Scott Attacks Renner Over Tourism and Economic Development Programs

| February 13, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott was in campaign mode in a visit to Flagler Beach Monday as he criticized Flagler’s Rep. Paul Renner, a fellow-Republican, for introducing a bill that would eliminate Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida.

Renner Is Right: Kill Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida, Twin Kleptos of Public Troth

| February 12, 2017

Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida are two tax-supported state agencies that act more like slush funds, wasting money behind secretive veils and returns on investment that have never lived up to the promise.

Judge Rules No Discrimination In Bakers’ Refusal to Call Gays “Abomination” on a Cake

| February 10, 2017

A customer had accused an Orlando bakery of religious discrimination when the owners refused to make a cake with the words “Homosexuality is an abomination unto the Lord.”

Three Ways Forward on Enacting Florida Voters’ Medical Marijuana Mandate

| February 9, 2017

Former Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre, just back from a state conference on medical marijuana, argues how and why to move ahead with consumer- and patient-centered regulation.

Against Counsel: House Panel Backs Term Limits for Supreme Court and Appeals Judges

| February 9, 2017

The proposal would revamp a decades-old system in which Supreme Court justices and appeals-court judges do not face term limits — though they are required to go before voters every six years for merit-retention.

Local Governments Nursing Headaches Over Legalized Pot as Health Department Holds Hearing Across Florida

| February 8, 2017

Palm Coast, Flagler Beach, Bunnell and County government joined two dozen counties and four dozen cities in enacting moratoriums temporarily banning medical marijuana dispensaries.

FPL Will Bill You an Extra $40 This Year For Restoring Power During Hurricane Matthew

| February 7, 2017

The state Public Service Commission approved a $318.5 million request by FPL to cover the costs of restoring power after the storm pummeled Flagler and other Florida counties.

Proposal to Require Unanimity from Florida Juries in Death Penalty Cases Advances

| February 6, 2017

But efforts to broaden the legislation to address other issues involved in a series of court rulings that prompted this year’s measure appear, at least for now, to be doomed.

Florida Senate Moves to Replace Tuition Billing By Credit Hour With Controversial Flat-Fee Plan

| February 3, 2017

The dilemma: how to move to a block-tuition system without financially penalizing students while at the same time providing incentives for them to take enough courses per semester to graduate in four years.

Cops’ Dash-Cam Video Evidence Gets Big Boost in 5-2 Ruling By Florida Supreme Court

| February 1, 2017

“We cannot expect officers to retain information as if he or she were a computer,” the court ruled, granting power to judges to review video evidence when available.

Scott’s $83.5 Billion Budget Seeks 3% Boost in Per-Student Funding and $618 Million in Tax Cuts

| January 31, 2017

House Speaker Richard Corcoran has been a harsh critic of the governor’s plan to spend $85 million for business incentives and another $76 million to market the state’s tourism industry.

As Gov. Scott Announces His Budget, His Math Doesn’t Match Lawmakers’

| January 30, 2017

Scott’s $2.8 billion surplus estimate makes some unlikely assumptions about how lawmakers will act when they return to the Capitol for the legislative session that begins March 7.

Federal Judge Dubious of Florida Law Requiring Abortion Counselors To Register

| January 30, 2017

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle repeatedly challenged an attorney fpor Attorney general Pam Bondi over the seemingly prosecutorial intent of the law, which penalizes those who don’t register.

In Flagler Again, Gov. Scott Issues $15.8 Million For Beach Fix in 4 Counties, $5.4M for Flagler

| January 27, 2017

The $15.8 million is not necessarily new money but includes at least $5.3 million Flagler County has been lobbying for to rebuild dunes. Gov. Scott made the announcement at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park’s beach.

Florida House Democrats Walk Out on Immigration Leader Who Associates With White Nationalists

| January 26, 2017

Krikorian’s Center for Immigration Studies has been linked to the white nationalist movement and has been the target of criticism from the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that monitors hate groups.

Oil and Gas Lobby Fumes as Lawmakers Push for Total Fracking Ban in Florida

| January 25, 2017

The proposal to ban fracking follows a heavy debate during the 2016 session about a measure that would have created a regulatory framework for fracking in the state. Flagler County passed a resolution asking for a ban.

Proposal to Shift “Stand Your Ground” Burden of Proof to Prosecutors Advances

| January 24, 2017

The measure would shift the burden of proof from defendants to prosecutors during pre-trial evidentiary hearings in “stand your ground” cases.

Senate Bill Proposes Less Restrictive Approach to Florida’s Medical Marijuana Regulations

| January 23, 2017

Under Sen. Rob Bradley’s bill, the state would add 20 marijuana operators, eliminate the minimum 90-day treatment before doctors can prescribe marijuana, and extend allowances to 90-day supplies for patients.

Public Schools Dealt Blows in Pair of Court Decisions Favoring Vouchers and Charters

| January 20, 2017

One court decision upholds corporate tax vouchers for private schools, another diminishes the role of local school boards in deciding what charter schools may operate.

Continuing Year-Long See-Saw, Flagler Unemployment Dips Back Down to 5.4%

| January 20, 2017

For the past 13 months, Flagler County’s unemployment rate has been stuck within in narrow band in the mid-5.5 percent range, bottoming out at 4.9 percent last May and peaking at 5.7 percent three times along the way.

2016 Sets Global Heat Record For 3rd Straight Year, Raising Alarms of Irreparable Threats

| January 18, 2017

Central Florida felt the heat: Orlando’s temperature average for 2016 was 1.80 degrees above normal in 2016. From late November through December, it was 5, 6 and 7 degrees above normal day after day.

Stringent Rules By Florida Health Department Would Circumvent Medical Pot Amendment

| January 18, 2017

The proposed rules would maintain current vendors’ stranglehold on the medical marijuana industry and give authority to the Florida Board of Medicine, not individual doctors, to decide which patients qualify for marijuana treatment.

Gov. Scott Appoints Greg Hansen, Local GOP Activist, to Frank Meeker’s County Commission Seat

| January 13, 2017

Greg Hansen, 70, will fill the remaining year and a half on the late Frank Meeker’s term. He outflanked other local favorites who had included Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts and Larry Jones, an ally of County Administrator Craig Coffey.

Attention Florida Patients: You May Start Buying Your Pot Treatment in 90 Days

| January 11, 2017

Florida’s top pot cop said today it’s up to doctors to decide to order marijuana for patients with eligible conditions, months before new rules are expected to go into effect.

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