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Category archives for:Florida Legislature

Sen. Dorothy Hukill, Among Rare Moderate Republicans, Ends Campaign and Enters Hospice as Cancer Returns

| September 30, 2018

Hukill served as Education Committee chair and was one of four Republicans who earlier this year voted against a controversial measure (HB 7055) that included the use of sales-tax credits to help students attend private schools.

New Laws Benefiting First Responders With PTSD and Increasing Punishment for Animal Abuse Kick In

| September 24, 2018

The 21 laws taking effect Oct. 1 range from allowing credit cards to be used for background checks when firearms are purchased to doling out tougher punishment for people who steal bee colonies or trespass at airports.

State Education Board Wants a $200 Per-Student Increase and $100 Million More For Cops

| September 16, 2018

The budget proposal, which was approved by the Board of Education at a meeting in Naples, drew support from education advocates.

Supreme Court Asked To Block 6 Constitutional Amendments That Combine Multiple Issues

| August 14, 2018

The plaintiffs include a former Supreme Court Justice and take aim at proposed amendments that the Florida Constitution Revision Commission placed on the November ballot.

Spurred By Latest Dubious Shooting, Calls For Stand Your Ground Repeal Hit Capitol

| August 10, 2018

The July 19 shooting death of Markeis McGlockton, with his three young children nearby at a Circle K in Pinellas County is prompting the latest calls to repeal the 2005 law.

Union-Busting Bill Draws Lawsuit from Florida Education Association and Teachers

| July 3, 2018

Florida teachers and unions filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the constitutionality of a new law that requires local unions to represent 50 percent or more of instructional personnel.

There’s Always Room For a Confederate Statue in a Lake County Government Building

| June 28, 2018

A bronze statue of the Confederate general will be relocated from the National Statuary Hall in Washington to a museum housed in the same building as the Lake County Sheriff’s Office

More Than 100 New Laws Take Effect Sunday, as Does $88 Billion Budget

| June 27, 2018

New laws expanding education vouchers, prohibiting marriage for anyone younger than 18, and placing Florida on permanent daylight saving time–if Congress approves–all go into effect.

Flagler County Passes Precedent-Setting Ordinance Protecting Public Use of Private Beaches, But Its Future Is Uncertain

| June 21, 2018

Flagler’s customary-use ordinance forbids the walling off of private sections of beaches, though a new state law allows just such segregation from public use. Flagler expects its ordinance to be challenged.

Judge Says Legislature Illegally Spending Florida’s Land-Preservation Money on Operating Costs

| June 17, 2018

Striking a blow to the Legislature, a judge ruled lawmakers failed to comply with a voter-approved constitutional amendment to buy and preserve environmentally sensitive lands.

No Move to Plug Budget Despite Warnings About Cuts to Prisons’ Substance-Abuse Programs

| May 11, 2018

The Senate appropriations chairman said lawmakers aren’t planning to plug a $28 million budget gap at the Florida Department of Corrections until next year.

16-Member Commission Will ‘Investigate System Failures’ in Parkland School Massacre

| April 23, 2018

The commission will review Florida’s policies for dealing with “active assailants” on school campuses, with a comparison to “best practices” policies around the nation.

Judge Rejects Local Districts’ Challenge of Controversial Law Shifting Money To Charter Schools

| April 20, 2018

The controversy highlights continuing tensions between local school districts and the state about oversight and expansion of charter schools, which are public schools but are often run by private operators.

10 Florida Cities Challenge State Law Barring Local Governments From Passing Gun Ordinances

| April 3, 2018

Elected officials from 10 Florida cities are challenging an NRA-backed state law that imposes strict penalties on local lawmakers for enacting gun ordinances.

New Law Gives Property Owners Right to Restrict Beach Access. Flagler Working On Protecting Public’s “Customary Use”

| March 29, 2018

The new and unusual Florida law allows beachfront property owners the right to wall off or restrict dry-sand areas from public use, but Flagler government intends to protect that “customary use” despite the law.

Scott Signs Bill Targeting Opioid Addiction, Imposing Limits on Prescriptions

| March 19, 2018

The bill is designed, at least in part, to prevent patients from getting addicted to prescription painkillers and then turning to street drugs such as heroin and fentanyl.

Are Drug Addicts Less Valuable Than Students? Florida Says Yes, Wrongly.

| March 18, 2018

Politically there may be a big difference between students’ safety and drug addicts. Ethically, there is none, and financially, addicts are being lethally short-changed.

As in Flagler, Few Districts Embrace Arming “Marshals,” So Money May Shift to School Cops

| March 18, 2018

In Flagler County, Superintendent Jim Tager and the school board said they would not support arming anyone who is not, in essence, as trained as school deputies must be to carry a weapon.

Post-Hurricane Initiatives Fall Short of Measures to Prevent Fuel Crises In Next Storms

| March 13, 2018

A strategic fuel-reserve task force and using rail-tank cars to bring fuel into evacuation areas to avoid a repeat of runs on gas stations were among initiatives that failed at this year’s legislative session.

From Guns To Opioids To Education, A Legislative Session That Got A Few Things Done

| March 12, 2018

The session became dominated in February by the aftermath of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County.

Lawmakers Pass $88.7 Billion Budget But With Few of Flagler’s or Local Cities’ Priorities

| March 12, 2018

Palm Coast and the county did not get any extra appropriations, nor did Flagler’s county court system get extra help for Judge Melissa Moore-Stens.

NRA Files Challenge Moments After Gov. Scott Signs School-Safety and Gun-Control Bill

| March 9, 2018

The new law raises the permissible age to buy rifles from 18 to 21 and imposes a three-day waiting period for the purchase of rifles and other long guns, among other provisions.

Florida Increases Per-Student Funding By $101, Much Of It For Security and Mental Health

| March 9, 2018

The annual school funding formula would include a new category for mental-health funding with $69 million and increase the school-coop pot by $97 million, to $162 million.

House Edges Closer to Vote on Bill Mixing Guns With School Safety and New Limits

| March 6, 2018

Those younger than 21 would be prohibited from buying rifles, others would have a 3-day waiting period. Coaches and others could be “deputized” as school marshals.

Another Exhausting But Short-Term Victory For Flagler Government as Vacation-Rental Deregulation Fails Again

| March 6, 2018

Flagler County government had staunchly opposed lawmakers’ attempts to eliminate local regulation of short-term vacation rentals, regulations crafted in 2014 largely at Flagler’s behest.

Senate Passes Safety Plan, Including Armed Teacher Program and $97 Million for More School Cops

| March 5, 2018

Flagler County would be in line for a substantial increase in dollars allocated for school resource deputies, and would have the authority to implement a school marshal program.

For Sheriff and Flagler Schools, Clear Accord: No to Arming Teachers, Yes to More Deputies

| March 5, 2018

At a joint news conference later this week, Sheriff Rick Staly and Superintendent Jim Tager will outline new security measures and initiatives and a plan for additional school deputies, but no weaponizing of teachers.

First Responders in Florida Aren’t Covered for PTSD. That May Change After Parkland.

| March 5, 2018

Like many states, Florida does not provide lost wages to first responders disabled with PTSD. A bill that would change that is now gaining momentum after 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month.

Florida Senate Backs Arming Teachers And Rejects Assault Weapons Ban

| March 4, 2018

The Senate plan and a similar House proposal would allow school boards to decide whether they want to implement a “marshal” proposal to arm certain teachers.

Gov. Scott Pleads For More Cops In Schools as Safety Plans Provoke Divisions

| March 2, 2018

Scott’s $500 million package would require, among other things, school boards to assign a law enforcement officer to each school and at least one resource officer for every 1,000 students.

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