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Category archives for: Florida Legislature

Florida’s Death Penalty Alive and Willed as Guzman Is Sentenced to Die For 3rd Time in Daytona

| May 3, 2016

A jury in Daytona Beach today voted 11-1 to recommend death for James “Chico” Guzman in the hacking to death of David Colvin, 48, at a motel on Ridgewood Avenue on Aug. 10, 1991.

Lawmakers Are Reducing Florida’s Public Schools To Factories of Failure and Inequity

| April 28, 2016

Time to take a good look at whether the changes we’ve endured — mass privatization, real-dollar funding decreases, high-stakes testing, and loss of local school board authority — gets us closer to carrying out our constitutional duty to our children.

In a Blow to Business, Supreme Court Bans Workers Comp Limits on Attorney’s Fees

| April 28, 2016

The ruling stemmed from a case in which an attorney was awarded the equivalent of $1.53 an hour in successfully pursuing a claim for benefits for a worker injured in Miami.

Sen. Travis Hutson Draws a Democratic Opponent in Palm Coast’s Curtis Ceballos

| April 27, 2016

Curtis Ceballos, 54, launched two technology startups in the past two years and intends to focus on technology jobs and vocational education in his campaign. He unsuccessfully ran for county commission in 2006.

In Florida, Court Rules, a 55-Year Prison Sentence For a Juvenile Is Not a Life Term

| April 25, 2016

Anthony Julian Collins was two months shy of 17 when he was committed an attempted second-degree murder, carjacking with a firearm and attempted armed robbery.

Florida Justices Block 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period Pending Review

| April 23, 2016

On a 5-2 vote, justices granted a stay of a lower court’s order allowing the 2015 law to take effect. The Supreme Court said it would keep the stay in place while it decides whether to review the decision by the 1st District Court of Appeal.

In a Rebuff to Florida, Federal Government Says New Abortion Law Can’t Block Clinic Funding

| April 19, 2016

A key federal health agency on Tuesday notified Florida and other states that they may not ban Medicaid funding for family-planning services at clinics that also offer elective abortions.

Zone-Busting School Bill That Allows Student Transfers Anywhere in the State Is Now Law

| April 18, 2016

The measure would allow parents to transfer their children to any public school in the state that isn’t at capacity through an “open enrollment” process, among many other provisions in the 160-page bill.

Citing Problematic Time-Sharing of Children, Gov. Scott Again Vetoes Alimony Reform Bill

| April 15, 2016

The plan became one of the most hotly contested issues of the 2016 legislative session when it was amended to include a child-sharing component that would have required judges to begin with a “premise” that children should split their time equally between parents.

Outside Gov. Scott’s Office, a Battle Over Alimony Bill’s Elevation of “Father’s Rights”

| April 12, 2016

The most contentious part of the measure involves not alimony but offspring. It would tell judges that, when determining child-custody arrangements, they should begin with a “premise” that children should split time equally between parents.

Rookies Hutson and Renner Sum Up Legislative Session as Veterans of Policy and Reforms

| April 7, 2016

First-year Sen. Travis Hutson and Rep. Paul Renner, whose districts include all of Flagler, spoke at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast this morning in a celebration of of the session they just completed, and promises to keep cutting taxes and reducing government regulation.

300,000 Floridians Could Lose Food Stamps as State Restores Work Obligations and Time Limits

| April 6, 2016

The requirement was suspended in the aftermath of the recession, but starting Jan. 1, all able-bodied, childless adults 18 to 49 were required to work, get job training or volunteer 20 hours a week to receive food stamps . Otherwise, they’re limited to three months of food assistance in each 36-month period.

Closer to Home: Gainesville’s San Felasco Nurseries Approved for Marijuana Growing

| April 5, 2016

San Felasco’s approval came after an administrative law judge ruled in February that health officials wrongly rejected the nursery’s application last year because of a decade-old drug crime.

Scrubbing Sexism: Scott Signs Bill Awarding Big Raise to Supervisors of Election

| March 30, 2016

The long-overdue raises, averaging 18 percent, redress salaries traditionally kept low because most supervisors were, and still are, women.

Florida Drops Planned Parenthood Case, Eliciting Charge of Political Motivation

| March 29, 2016

Barbara Zdravecky, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, blasted the state Agency for Health Care Administration for “political gamesmanship” in a statement.

As Scott Signs Bill Stifling Abortion Clinics, Planned Parenthood Sees Danger and Cruelty

| March 28, 2016

The restriction means low-income Floridians could lose access to the organization’s health-care and family-planning services. Planned Parenthood said it has more than 67,000 patients in Florida annually.

Scott Signs Medical Marijuana Bill for Terminally Ill, Enabling Experimental Drugs

| March 25, 2016

That law allows terminally ill patients to have access to experimental drugs that have not been approved for general use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Full Funding Restored to Flagler’s Adults With Disabilities Program, a Big Victory for District

| March 16, 2016

Intense lobbying by local school officials and their legislators helped restore the full $545,000 appropriation they’d lost last year, enabling the district to again double enrollment in the Adults with Disabilities’ Step Up program starting July 1.

Gov. Scott’s $256 Million in Vetoes Include Palm Coast’s $200,000 Wellfield Project

| March 16, 2016

The veto of Palm Coast’s funding and county government’s failure to secure various appropriations is a reflection of a somewhat weaker legislative delegation.

Where Florida’s Veto-Ready Pork Went: County Fairs, Gun Ranges, Oyster Farms, Space Tourism

| March 14, 2016

Throughout the record spending plan are hundreds of local and agency projects that some lawmakers argued will help the economy or Florida residents. Now, Gov. Rick Scott will use his veto pen to decide which projects survive in the budget that takes effect July 1.

How the Florida Legislature Turned Police Radios Into $7 Million in Rotten Sausages

| March 14, 2016

In a case with echoes in Flagler, experience pokes a hole in the Florida House speaker’s argument that first responders on the state system “need” radios, even though they didn’t ask for them.

3-Day School “Tax Holiday” Part of $129 Million Tax-Cut Package Nearing Approval

| March 11, 2016

The package is far short of the $1 billion in tax cuts that Gov. Rick Scott requested. The trimmed-down package is the result, at least in part, of lawmakers responding to state economists reducing revenue forecasts for the next couple of years.

Florida Lawmakers Unveil $82.3 Billion Budget That Abandons Scott’s Top Priorities

| March 8, 2016

Because Scott’s tax-cut proposal was sharply reduced and a $250 million package of business incentives was dropped entirely, the governor is expected to lean heavily on his line-item veto pen.

With $714 Million For School Construction, Lawmakers Close in on $80 Billion Deal

| March 6, 2016

Lawmakers have to agree on the roughly $80 billion overall spending plan by Tuesday for the legislative session to end on Friday, as scheduled.

Troubled Florida Department of Corrections Asks for 734 More Positions for Security. Lawmakers Say No.

| March 5, 2016

The department has been reeling from a series of reports about issues such as contraband smuggling and abuse of inmates. The new jobs were part of an effort by the department to have corrections officers work eight-hour shifts instead of 12-hour shifts.

Flagler’s Athletic Directors Concerned By Proposed Law Facilitating Student-Athletes’ Transfers

| March 4, 2016

The bill, SB 684, which has drawn little attention, would ease the path for student-athletes looking to transfer, which would benefit big schools at the expense of smaller schools.

Florida House Overwhelmingly Approves Use of Full-Strength Pot for Terminally Ill, 99-16

| March 4, 2016

The measure approved Thursday, in part, would likely lead to more licenses for nurseries that would be able to grow, process and distribute the full-strength and non-euphoric types of pot.

Gov. Scott Sought $1 Billion in Tax Cuts. Senate Cuts It Down to $129 Million.

| March 3, 2016

The new tax-cut package will combine with about $290 million earmarked to hold down local property taxes that would otherwise go into the state’s school-funding formula.

Supreme Court Halts Double Murderer James Asay’s Execution, 2nd Stay in 4 Weeks

| March 2, 2016

Hours after hearing arguments in the case, the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday indefinitely postponed the execution of Mark James Asay, a convicted double murderer scheduled to die on March 17.

Fiercely Opposed by Environmentalists, Bill To Ease Fracking in Florida Dies In the Senate

| March 1, 2016

The bill was backed by the Florida Petroleum Council, Associated Industries of Florida and the Florida Chamber of Commerce. It is opposed by environmental groups and dozens of local governments that have approved fracking bans.

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