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Category archives for: Florida Legislature

Critics Urge Gov. Scott to Veto Massive Education Bill as Details of Legislation Emerge

| May 9, 2017

The bill was pushed by House Speaker Richard Corcoran, a Land O’ Lakes Republican who sparred with the governor throughout the session over economic-development incentives and tourism marketing.

Lawmakers Approve Budget With Tax Cuts, Severe Cuts to Medicaid, Minor Increase For Education and Big Boost to Charters

| May 8, 2017

The budget package includes a modest increase in per-student spending through the state’s main education formula, $521 million in Medicaid cuts for hospitals and far-reaching changes to education across the board.

Medical Pot Deal Collapses Over Dispensaries, Leaving Framework in Strict Regulators’ Hands

| May 6, 2017

Implementation of the voter-approved amendment now rests in the hands of state health officials, who have been harshly criticized by legislators, patients, vendors and judges.

House Approves Medical Pot Measure That Would Allow Unlimited Number of Retailers

| May 3, 2017

The measure would allow patients to use vaporizers or edibles, but would ban smoking of marijuana products, something critics complain violates the spirit of the constitutional amendment.

Senate Approves Constitutional Proposal That Would Increase Homestead Exemption to $75,000

| May 2, 2017

The homestead exemption proposal would go before voters as a constitutional amendment in 2018, would save homeowners money but cost local governments millions in revenue.

Senate Budget Details Yet to Emerge as House Pushes Potential $2.2 Billion Tax Cut

| April 26, 2017

Lawmakers pushed back against the idea that a deal that many believed had been sealed Tuesday had fallen apart, while House leaders placed tax cuts ahead of more money for per-student allocations.

House and Senate Move Close to Budget Deal But Visit Florida Would Be Cut

| April 25, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott’s request for $100 million for Visit Florida appears a long distance from the $25 million lawmakers were working toward, absent a change of heart, as budget negotiations continued.

Senate President Joe Negron’s Shabby Response to Repeat Offender Frank Artiles

| April 25, 2017

Even now Artiles doesn’t get it, and seemingly neither does Negron–they don’t understand how ugly racially charged language is to all people of good will, but especially when it comes from a state senator.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Flagler’s Hutson Files Amendment to Vacation-Rental Bill That Would “Eviscerate” Regulations

| March 16, 2017

Sen. Travis Hutson had supported the 2014 law enabling Flagler County to regulate vacation rentals. His amendment, which he calls a “compromise,” would scale that back even though he sees no problems with local regulations or short-term rentals.

Senate Approves Stand Your Ground Change To Make It Easier For Shooters To Use Defense

| March 15, 2017

The bill would shift the burden from defendants to prosecutors in the pre-trial hearings, vastly strengthening defendants’ ability to use the defense, but at significant cost to prosecutors.

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