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Category archives for:Florida Legislature

Renner Wants ‘Objectivity’ To Drive Felons’ Voter Restoration, But Hurdles Are Multiplying

| February 14, 2019

Elections officials could face a Herculean task trying to verify whether people who’ve registered to vote have met all the conditions required to make them eligible to cast ballots.

Lawmakers Approve Smokable Pot, But It Must be Pre-Rolled and Filtered

| February 12, 2019

The amendment also would require pre-rolled joints with filters. That was designed to address concerns about the negative health effects of smoking.

Senate Panel Weigh Watered Down ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Ban, Eliminating Sanctions on Local Governments

| February 11, 2019

The anti-sanctuary cities bill may be now more appealing to the Florida Senate, which is viewed as the more moderate chamber and has blocked similar proposals in the past.

State GOP Targets ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Even Though There Are None in Florida

| February 10, 2019

Critics of the bill argue efforts to outlaw “sanctuary cities” have more to do with partisanship than with thwarting an existing problem as there are no counties or cities in Florida that act as “sanctuaries” for undocumented immigrants.

Lawmakers Again Trying to Ban
Red-Light Cameras Across Florida

| January 24, 2019

As of December, 49 local governments in Florida had red-light cameras in operation, according to the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

2018 Roundup: For Florida, Another Massacre, Another Hurricane, Another Shift To the Right

| December 30, 2018

Florida was struck by a hurricane for the third year in a row, was the site of yet another mass shooting, saw the end of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing and the election of a Donald Trump acolyte as governor.

Hansen, Mullins Win County Commission, Howell and Branquinho Win Palm Coast, McDonald Re-Elected to School Board

| November 7, 2018

The races for Flagler County Commission and Palm Coast council were not close in a mid-term election that saw turnout rise to an astounding 64 percent.

A Few Big Legislative Races, Scattered Through Florida

| November 6, 2018

Donors, party leaders and political operatives don’t like to toss away money on lost causes. With that in mind, here are some of the races to watch Tuesday in various regions of the state.

Amendments 1, 2 and 5: Taking Aim at Taxes Through Homestead Exemption, a Cap and Supermajorities

| October 28, 2018

Three proposals on the November ballot that would make tax-related changes to the state Constitution have drawn conflicting views from the real-estate industry, local governments and other groups about the measures’ potential economic impacts.

Judge Clears Way For Local Governments to Challenge State Ban on Stricter Gun Restrictions

| October 23, 2018

Some 30 local Florida governments are challenging a state law that forbids cities and counties from passing stricter gun regulations than the state allows.

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.

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