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Category archives for: Florida

Sen. Artiles Resigns as Senate Investigates Racist Insults to Black Colleagues and Others

| April 21, 2017

Sen. Frank Artiles called his presence a “distraction” days after apologizing for a public tirade that included racially charged and vulgar expletives directed at Sen. Audrey Gibson and others.

Hitting New Post-Recession Low of 4.8%, Flagler’s Unemployment Now Matches Florida’s

| April 21, 2017

The number of unemployed in Flagler county fell sharply in March, from 2,482 to 2,214, a drop of 268, an impressive 11 percent decline, with work activity especially pronounced in construction.

Lawmakers Set to Enact Long-Sought Solar Energy Tax Break, But Concerns Remain

| April 20, 2017

The House and Senate are working on the proposals to carry out a renewable-energy constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 4, that voters approved during August’s primary election.

Sen. Artiles Apologizes to Sen. Gibson After Cursing Her Out In Racist and Sexist Language

| April 19, 2017

Florida Sen. Artiles unleashed racial and sexist slurs at Sen. Audrey Gibson, who at one time represented parts of Flagler County, in a tirade at the Governors Club near the Capitol Monday night.

No Bong Hits or Joints as Florida Lawmakers Roll Up Medical Pot “Compromise”

| April 18, 2017

House and Senate refuse to allow marijuana products to be smoked despite repeated demands from patients, caregivers and others who insist that smoking provides some with the best type of treatment.

Governments Mull Way To Fight Prescription-Drug Crisis That Worked With Tobacco: Taxes

| April 17, 2017

California, Alaska and the US Congress are considering taxing prescription drugs to raise money for treatment and discourage their use, but the amounts of the taxes would be relatively small.

Florida Supreme Court Upholds Taxing Satellite TV at Nearly Twice the Rate of Cable

| April 14, 2017

Under state law, cable services are taxed at 4.92 percent, while satellite services are taxed at 9.07 percent, according to the Supreme Court ruling, which upheld the different rates.

With Rising Death Toll From Opioids, Florida Still Gropes For Effective Answers

| April 13, 2017

State officials have few responses as the death rate from synthetic opioids other than methadone increased 72.2 percent from 2014 to 2015, to 3,228 deaths by overdose in Florida.

With 3 Large Flagler Fires in 2 Months and 107 Burning in the State, Scott Declares Emergency

| April 12, 2017

Gov. Scott’s declaration of a wildfire emergency comes in the wake of several large fires in Flagler County and more than 100 ongoing fires elsewhere. It will allow for swifter sharing of firefighting resources, including the use of the National Guard.

Another Bear Hunt? Florida Fish and Wildlife Readies to Look at Latest Numbers

| April 11, 2017

Florida game officials are getting an update on the state’s growing black bear population, a discussion animal-rights supporters contend is a first step toward holding a hunt later this year.

Florida House and Senate In Duel Over Shifting Stand Your Ground Burden to Prosecution

| April 10, 2017

The two chambers have approved different versions of a proposal (SB 128) intended to shift a key burden of proof in “stand your ground” cases from defendants to prosecutors in pre-trial hearings.

Florida Senate Wants 81% Increase in Aid for Poorer College Students, and Boost For 1st-Gen

| April 9, 2017

Florida student assistance grants would grow by $121 million. Senators also want to double the state’s matching grants for “first generation” college and university students to a total of $10.6 million.

Cops Out in Force on I-95 Over the Weekend as Part of Drive to Save Lives Campaign

| April 8, 2017

Be warned: cops from Florida to Maine are out in force this weekend (April 8 and 9), pulling over, warning and ticketing speeders, careless, reckless and distracted drivers.

Florida Colleges Decry Legislature’s Budget Cuts of Up to $85 Million

| April 6, 2017

The Senate budget includes a $55 million reduction in remedial education funding and suspends $30 million in performance funding for the colleges. The House cuts similar amounts to other programs.

Education, Medical Pot, Guns, Death Penalty and Budget: Legislature Hedged at Midpoint

| April 5, 2017

Halfway through Florida’s 60-day legislative session, almost all major issues remain unresolved. That’s not unusual, but lawmakers are not going at a pace that suggests they’ll be done by the scheduled end of the session on May 5.

In Unprecedented Move, Gov. Scott Shifts 21 Death Cases Away From State Attorney Ayala

| April 4, 2017

Scott said he removed Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala “in the interest of justice” following her decision not to consider capital punishment in any case.

Vacation-Rental Bill Hearing Rescheduled Just as Key Senate Committee Begins Debate

| April 3, 2017

Sen. Tom Lee, the seasoned chairman of the Community Affairs Committee, didn’t ant the bill rushed through debate, as had been the case on a previous occasion before Sen. Travis Hutson.

Senate’s Spending Plan Is $2 Billion Higher Than House’s as Budget Negotiations Begin

| April 3, 2017

The $2 billion spending gap provides fresh reasons for skepticism that lawmakers will complete a spending plan by the scheduled May 5 end of the legislative session.

The Legislature’s Mullahs Threaten
Religious Freedom in Florida Schools

| March 31, 2017

The Florida Legislature is about to approve a bill that would give religion preferential treatment in public schools, destroying a balance between secular rights and already inviolate personal expression.

Florida House Votes Against Corporate Welfare For Stadiums Like Daytona Speedway

| March 30, 2017

The bill is part of an effort by House leaders to limit public assistance to private companies, reflecting a broader philosophical gulf from the Senate on business incentives.

House Panel Approves Restrictive Medical Marijuana Measure, Including Ban on Edibles

| March 29, 2017

The proposal would prohibit smoking of cannabis products, as well as edibles, and would ban all but terminally ill patients from using vaporizers to consume medical marijuana.

House Panel Votes 9-6 to End Vacation Rental Regulations in 3rd Straight Defeat for Flagler

| March 28, 2017

Flagler County government had staked its chances on killing the bill in this particular committee because Rep. Paul Renner, who represents Flagler, sits on the panel and had pledged to do what he could to halt the bill’s momentum.

For Florida’s Troubled Death Penalty, Prosecutor’s Refusal to Enforce It Is Latest Challenge

| March 27, 2017

Recent studies have provided additional evidence to bolster criticism of the death penalty in Florida, which leads the nation in Death Row exonerations.

GOP Rep. Cary Pigman, Chairman of House Health Subcommittee, Arrested for Drunk Driving

| March 25, 2017

With a blood-alcohol level nearly double the legal limit, state Rep. Cary Pigman was charged with drunken driving after a traffic stop on Florida’s Turnpike several hours after a House session Thursday.

Flagler Unemployment Down to 5.3% As 1,150 More Local Residents Gain Jobs in 2 Months

| March 24, 2017

Flagler County’s unemployment in February fell sharply again, to 5.3 percent from 6 percent the previous month, even as the labor force in the county surged for the second month in a row, to just under 46,000–a record–as did the number of residents holding jobs.

Bill Vastly Diminishing Separation of Church and School Passes Florida Senate, 23-13

| March 24, 2017

The proposal would allow religious speakers and messaging at school-sponsored events, and would allow students to engage in organized prayer groups during the school day and with the participation–though not the sponsorship–of school personnel.

Renner Seizes Reins for Flagler After Hutson’s Striking Disregard on Vacation Rentals

| March 23, 2017

Rep. Paul Renner and County Commissioner Greg Hansen are organizing a town hall meeting in the Hammock Saturday, hoping to rally support against a proposed legislative retreat on vacation-rental regulations.

7-3 Vote Loses Flagler Another Round on Vacation Rentals In Hurried Senate Hearing

| March 21, 2017

Flagler County government’s attempt to protect its vacation-rental regulations took another turn for the worse as a Senate committee today voted to advance a bill that would wipe out those regulations.

Ousted In Cop Case, Prosecutor Who Won’t Seek Death Penalty Challenges Scott

| March 21, 2017

State Attorney Aramis Ayala is accusing Gov. Scott of abusing his authority by ousting her as prosecutor in the case of alleged cop-killer Markeith Loyd.

In Stunning Move, State Attorney Ayala Won’t Pursue Death Sentences in Orange and Osceola

| March 16, 2017

Ayala’s decision infuriated Gov. Scott, Attorney General Bondi and police organizations, but drew praise from others who see the position more in line with a growing national trend by courts, some governors and legislatures.

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