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Facing Harassment Charges and Damaging Reports, Florida Sen. Jack Latvala Resigns, Derisively Blaming “Political Correctness”

| December 20, 2017

Latvala devoted much of his resignation letter to contest the charges against him and went as far as claiming that the drive to oust him was a matter of opportunism even as a special master is recommending a criminal investigation.

Florida Senate Moves to Replace Tuition Billing By Credit Hour With Controversial Flat-Fee Plan

| February 3, 2017

The dilemma: how to move to a block-tuition system without financially penalizing students while at the same time providing incentives for them to take enough courses per semester to graduate in four years.

Scott’s Proposed Billion-Dollar Tax Cut and $250 Million For Job Subsidies Sets Up a Fight

| January 7, 2016

An election-year budget that includes huge tax cuts, record funding for public schools and a new initiative to bring jobs to Florida might be good politics for lawmakers. The question is whether they can afford it.

House Pitches New Redistricting Senate Map, But Hutson’s District Would Still Shift South

| October 31, 2015

Rep. Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, said in a memo to House members that his proposal for the 40 state Senate districts was inspired in part by a plan floated by the League of Women Voters of Florida and Common Cause Florida.

Name-Calling on Florida Senate Floor Further Divides Republicans Over Leadership

| October 29, 2015

Referring to Sen. Jack Latvala, Sen. Don Gaetz said, “when a bully throws a sucker punch, you hit back and never give in.” The fight is over the Senate’s helm.

Hutson’s District Boundaries Would Shed Putnam for Daytona But Leave Flagler and St. Johns Whole

| October 28, 2015

Even Senate supporters of the map say they aren’t sure whether House leaders will accept the proposal before a redistricting special session ends next week.

Clashing Again, Florida House and Senate Are on Collision Course Over Redistricting

| August 17, 2015

The House and Senate seemed unconcerned about whether they could reconcile their differences before the scheduled conclusion of the special session on Friday. They all but ruled out forming a joint House-Senate conference committee to hammer out a compromise.

Senate Leaders Propose Compromise in Budget Impasse, Gov. Scott and House Reject It

| May 26, 2015

Scott and House Republicans have repeatedly said they have no interest in using Medicaid expansion funds from Obamacare to close a $2.2 billion budget gap and insure more Floridians.

Florida Senate May Seek to Force House Back in Session in Clash’s Latest Escalation

| April 29, 2015

Florida Senate leaders are considering legal action to force the House to return to the Capitol to finish out the work week as the slow-motion collapse of the regular legislative session appeared to near its end Wednesday.

Rep. Ron DeSantis Makes It Semi-Official: He’s Considering a Run for Rubio’s Senate Seat

| April 15, 2015

DeSantis’s quick rise after his election to the House in 2012, his frequent presence on conservative talk shows and relentless criticism of the Obama administration has made him a favorite of tea party conservatives and some further to the right.

Far From Over, Florida’s Redistricting Wrangles Now Focus on State Senate Boundaries

| September 8, 2014

The case on redistricting State Senate boundaries is continuing, and could eventually lead to new districts for the 40-member upper chamber, which, like the state House, is currently dominated by Republicans.

Forget Vegas: Florida Senate Wants
You to Gamble in State’s Backyards

| February 24, 2014

The Florida Senate has released an ambitious gambling proposal that would authorize two Las Vegas-style casinos in South Florida, create a gambling commission and allow voters to decide if they want to control future gambling expansions.

In a Nod to Less Abrasive Republicans, Florida Senate Names Andy Gardiner Its Next President

| December 11, 2013

Andy Gardiner, The 44-year-old Orlando Republican, was lauded as a compassionate and temperate conservative as he laid out an agenda focused on the economy, water and natural resources and expanding educational and employment opportunities for disabled Floridians.

From Zimmerman Trial to Civil Disobedience: Five Questions for Sen. Arthenia Joyner

| June 11, 2013

The first time Sen. Arthenia Joyner demonstrated for civil rights, in 1960, she was in the 11th grade at Tampa’s Middleton High School. She went on to study law to follow in the footsteps of Thurgood Marshall, and will be the first black woman to serve as Senate Democratic leader in Florida. She is expected to start that role in November 2014.

Amendment 5 and the Battle to Remake, And Subdue, the Florida Supreme Court

| October 1, 2012

Amendment 5 would subject all Supreme Court nominations to confirmation by the Florida Senate and lower the bar for the Legislature to overturn court rules and would give lawmakers access to the records of judicial investigations.

In Volusia Senate Fight Between Bruno and Hukill, a Bellwether of Republican Dominance

| September 19, 2012

Would voters be better off again electing a Republican to the GOP-dominated Senate? Or is it time for Democrats to claw back a seat in the newly-drawn, swing district? The Senate District 8 race between Democrat Frank Bruno and Republican Dorothy Hukill will answer the questions.

Thrasher Won’t Be Florida Senate President as Clearwater’s Latvala Lines Up Votes

| June 16, 2012

John Thrasher, the St. Augustine Republican, now represents all of Flagler County in a newly drawn senate district. Sen. Jack Latvala believes he has enough support to claim the 2016 Senate presidency.

Statewide, Democrats Fail to Run Candidates in 47 of 120 House Districts

| June 9, 2012

Republicans failed to field a candidate in 23 House races, leaving either Democrats or no party or third party candidates to win those seats. But Democrats didn’t field a candidate in 47 of the 120 House districts.

Senate’s New Redistricting Map: Flagler District Whole Again, With St. Johns and Putnam

| March 17, 2012

The chairman of the Senate Reapportionment Committee unveiled a new proposal for legislative districts Saturday to answer criticisms from the Florida Supreme Court. The plan creates a much more cohesive district for Flagler.

Special Session of the Legislature Begins Wednesday to Fix Senate’s Gerrymandering

| March 11, 2012

Citing gerrymandering, the Florida Supreme Court threw out eight of the 40 Senate districts, including Flagler County’s District 6, along with the numbering system, which means that most districts have to be redrawn as a special session begins Wednesday.

Florida Senate Passes $70.7 Billion Budget, Cutting Higher Education By $400 Million

| February 23, 2012

The Senate overwhelmingly approved a $70.7 billion spending plan for the coming budget year on Thursday, with a 33-6 vote, setting up a two-week window for negotiating with the House’s smaller budget.

Foreclosure Fast-Tracking Bill Has Homeowners Worried About Being Shoved Out

| February 20, 2012

A controversial bill backers say would speed up the foreclosure process and help jumpstart the economy made its Florida Senate debut Monday amid concerns that the measure could leave some homeowners unjustly out in the cold.

Florida Redistricting: More Transparent Than Fair

| January 20, 2012

Floridians truly have a meaningful voice in the actions taken by the Florida Senate? Paula Dockery, in her last term as a Republican Senator, thinks not, particularly when it comes to redistricting.

“It’s Messed Up”: Occupy Tallahassee Group Denied Access To Florida Senate Gallery

| January 10, 2012

Citing noise and chanting earlier in the day, the Florida Senate Sergeant at Arms on Tuesday denied Senate viewing gallery access to a group loosely defined as Occupy Tallahassee even though the group members intended only to watch and listen.

Florida House Releases Redistricting Lines Tuesday, Mapping Out Flagler’s Political Future

| December 5, 2011

The House of Representatives panel charged with redrawing the state’s political boundaries will unveil a slate of options for the state’s congressional and state House districts Tuesday, setting the stage for discussions that could affect the balance of power in Florida for a decade.

Audrey Gibson Wins Special Senate Election for Tony Hill’s Seat

| September 21, 2011

Audry Gibson, the former Florida House member, took 62 percent of the vote in the special election. The district includes a sliver of voters in Flagler County.

Despite 4 Million Uninsured, Florida Senate Approves Opt-Out Amendment on Health Law

| March 10, 2011

Senators voted 29-10 to approve the proposed constitutional amendment, which would allow people to opt out of the “individual mandate” requirement that they buy health insurance or face financial penalties.


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