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Category archives for: Florida Legislature

Lawmakers File Bill to Ban AR-15-Like
Weapon Used in Orlando Massacre

| January 10, 2017

Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Fort Lauderdale, and Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, announced they are sponsoring a proposal (SB 254) that would ban so-called assault rifles and “large capacity” ammunition magazines.

School Board’s Trevor Tucker Mulls Run for Tax Collector, Nate McLaughlin Eyes House Seat

| January 4, 2017

School Board member Trevor Tucker confirmed he was considering a run for tax collector in four years, and if so would not run for school board again in 2018, while Commissioner Nate McLaughlin has his eyes on Paul Renner’s House seat in 2022.

Pot Amendment Goes Into Effect Amid Mass Confusion and “Dangerous Legal Area”

| January 4, 2017

Proponents of Amendment 2 as well as some marijuana operators are demanding that the state health department provide adequate guidance to the industry about the proposal approved by more than 70 percent of Floridians in November.

Eroding Florida’s Checks and Balances, One Bill at a Time

| December 31, 2016

A Florida Republican lawmaker’s proposal to give the Legislature the power to invalidate any court’s decision would upend centuries of precedent and make a mockery of a balance of powers, argues Ben Hogarth.

Controversial “Best and Brightest” Teacher Bonus Pay Program Heading for Revisions

| December 30, 2016

Under Best and Brightest, first approved by lawmakers in 2015, teachers who are highly rated and scored in the top fifth of the test results on the SAT or ACT, are eligible for bonuses of up to $10,000.

Striking at Balance of Powers, Florida Lawmaker Files Measures to Nullify Court Decisions

| December 28, 2016

Gonzalez’s bills are a reflection of the Legislature’s latest assault on judicial power. But taking aim at separation of powers considered fundamental, if not sacred, to American government may be more of a partisan than a realistic exercise.

Help With Beach Recovery and an Additional County Judge Dominate Requests to Flagler’s Lawmakers

| December 21, 2016

Post-Hurricane Matthew recovery occupied almost half the requests at the annual legislative delegation meeting Wednesday, when Flagler’s governments, non-profits, private associations and citizens submit wish lists to state lawmakers.

Palm Coast Council Talks As If It Wants To Be Pioneer in Medical Pot, But Post-Moratorium

| December 14, 2016

In a radical departure from its previous incarnations, the Palm Coast City Council discussed medical marijuana in terms of economic development potential for the city as well as in line with its purported humane benefits.

Unlikely Alliance of Clergy and Pro-Choice Advocates Sue to Block Florida’s Abortion Law

| December 14, 2016

Plaintiffs including rabbis, ministers and non-profits contend they don’t have medical training and aren’t qualified to offer information not spelled out in the abortion law.

Thrasher, at FSU, Pledges to Kill “Campus Carry” Gun Bill Again As He Did in 2011

| December 8, 2016

The so-called “campus carry” bill, which in the past has been approved by the House, has already re-emerged as an issue for the 2017 legislative session.

Refinancing Pushes State Debt Down to $24.1 Billion, But Rising Interest Rates Loom

| December 4, 2016

State debt has declined since reaching a peak of $28.2 billion in 2010 due to several factors. Since taking office in 2011, Scott has remained largely opposed to borrowing money or issuing bonds.

Florida’s Death Penalty Law in Disarray, Supreme Court Throws Out Yet More Sentences

| December 2, 2016

Signaling how it is likely to handle scores of Death Row cases, a majority of the Florida Supreme Court threw out death sentences and ordered a new penalty proceeding for a convicted triple-murderer.

New Florida Senator Files Bill To Scrap 2014 Law Granting In-State Tuition to Undocumented Immigrants

| November 30, 2016

The plan by Sen. Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican, repealing the in-state tuition exception, could alter the higher-education plans of many students who have spent much of their lives in Florida.

Democrats Try to Stay Relevant After Barely Adding to Their Diminished Numbers in Florida Legislature

| November 22, 2016

Democrats’ 41-member caucus faces a 79-member Republican majority in the Florida House, with 15 Democrats facing 25 Republicans in the Senate.

Races Lost Across the State Again, Florida Democrats Look for Answers, and a Leader

| November 15, 2016

After losing the state’s presidential and U.S. Senate races and failing to make major gains in the Legislature, Florida Democrats are groping for a way forward as the 2018 elections loom with battles for governor and all three state Cabinet seats.

Staly Is Flagler’s New Sheriff, Bexley New Court Clerk, Republicans Sweep County Commission, Klufas Wins Palm Coast Seat, Barbosa Wins School Board, Hutson, Renner Win

| November 8, 2016

Election results are showing the making of a historic Republican sweep in Flagler County as early but significant tallies show Rick Staly winning sheriff, Tom Bexley winning clerk of court, and all three Democrats in county commission races well behind.

Florida’s Death Penalty On Hold: Supreme Court Halts Trial Pending Legislative Change

| October 28, 2016

The Florida Supreme Court on Friday stopped a Clearwater judge from proceeding with a death penalty case, signaling that courts might not be able to move forward with capital trials until the Legislature changes a law that justices earlier this month struck down as unconstitutional.

Those Double-Digit Health Insurance Rate Hikes in Florida? Blame State GOP.

| October 27, 2016

Sen. Bill Nelson, once Florida’s insurance commissioner, reminds residents that it was the Republican state Legislature that stripped the office of insurance regulation of the authority to approve, modify or reject rate hikes by health insurance companies, thus leading to current, unacceptable rate hikes.

Continuing Series of Voting-Rights Decisions, Judge Rules Against State on Disputed Ballot Signatures

| October 17, 2016

The 30-page ruling Sunday by U.S. District Judge Mark Walker focused on situations in which voters’ signatures submitted with mail-in ballots do not appear to match signatures on file with county supervisors of elections. Under a 2004 law, such mail-in ballots are rejected.

Florida Supreme Court in Seminal Decision Rules Death Penalty Verdicts Must Be Unanimous

| October 14, 2016

The court’s 5-2 decision, which will immediately affect 40 inmates and many of the 385 others on death row, ends Florida’s status as an outlier state where non-unanimous death penalty recommendations were allowed.

An $18,400 Raise for Supervisor of Elections And Other New Laws Go Into Effect This Week

| September 26, 2016

County elections supervisors are up for pay raises, while penalties increase for trafficking in the modern version of food stamps and for stealing credit-card information at gas pumps, under new laws that go into effect Saturday.

Bright Futures Scholarships Could Expand to Summer to Speed Up Graduation Rates

| September 23, 2016

Only 44 percent of students graduated in four years at 11 state universities. Summer scholarships would encourage more students to attend summer classes, increasing the chances they can graduate more quickly.

Florida’s GOP Sen. Keith Perry Defends Himself After Hitting Another Man Over Campaign Sign

| September 16, 2016

Perry, a contractor first elected to the House in 2010, is going up against former state Sen. Rod Smith, D-Gainesville, for the open Senate District 8 seat. Smith is also a former Florida Democratic Party chairman and a former state attorney in the Gainesville area.

“Opt Out” Movement in the Balance as Judge Weighs Whether Tests Can Decide 3rd Grade Promotion

| August 23, 2016

The parents of the students involved in the case told their children to “minimally participate” in the Florida Standards Assessment for third grade by filling in their names, breaking the seals on the tests and then refusing to answer any questions.

State Revenue Cut By $132 Million This Year, and By $135 Million the Next

| August 15, 2016

State economists Monday shaved nearly $270 million off their estimate of what lawmakers will have to work with in next year’s budget process, even as election-year calls for extra spending continue and as a threat looms of a Zika hit to Florida’s economy.

Lawsuit Challenges Holding back Third Grade Students Over Standardized Tests

| August 10, 2016

At the heart of the lawsuit is a clash over whether students are required to take the Florida Standards Assessments before moving on from third grade. The “opt out” movement is part of a larger backlash against standardized testing, with many parents feeling that the state is subjecting students to too many exams.

Florida’s Only Openly Gay Lawmaker Describes a Rick Scott More Accepting of LGBT

| July 28, 2016

In the days after 49 people were killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Gov. Rick Scott privately expressed some support for gay rights to the state’s only openly gay state lawmaker, David Richardson.

Siding With Planned Parenthood, Federal Judge Blocks Florida’s New, Restrictive Abortion Law

| July 1, 2016

The law would have barred abortion providers from receiving public funds for other services and required a dramatic increase in inspections of abortion records by health officials.

159 New Laws Kick In Friday on Domestic Violence, Bullying, Same-Sex Marriage, Abortion, Hunting

| June 30, 2016

New laws include a minimum 30-day jail sentence in domestic violence crimes involving intentional injury, tax cuts, school choice, more benefits for veterans, a new Holocaust memorial, and many more.

Joe Negron’s Plan for Florida As Senate President in Next 2 Years: More Elite Universities

| June 29, 2016

Negron named the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan, among others, as examples he wants Florida’s universities to be like.

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