Florida Governor Rick Scott

Governor Rick Scott Vetoes Mental Health Bill

Jun 13, 2013

Florida Governor Rick Scott vetoed a bill Wednesday aimed at improving mental health care in the judicial system.  The bill would have simplified and streamlined the transfer process between different facilities. 

Scott, however, objected to a different provision in the bill that would have placed a three year limit on rehabilitation before the accused could stand trial.

Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a new anti-Human trafficking bill into law in St. Petersburg Thursday.  The law is aimed at helping survivors move on with their lives.

Giselle Rodriguez, of The Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking, said victims of human trafficking sometimes commit crimes, but often it’s a matter of life and death.  

“A lot of the clients that I have worked with firsthand have admitted to having to steal things such as food in order to survive,” Rodriguez said.

Gov. Rick Scott Threatens To Veto House, Senate Top Bills

Apr 23, 2013

In the last two weeks of Florida’s legislative session, there’s still plenty of time for the legislature to pass bills and the Governor to veto them. But with conflicting priorities between the two branches some of the most talked about bills may get never leave the Governor’s desk.

Governor Rick Scott and the legislature are headed toward a clash over teacher pay raises. Scott wants full-time teachers to get $2,500 across-the-board raises. But the legislature’s plans only get the Governor part of the way there, and he and teachers aren’t pleased.

Florida high school students took AP classes and passed Advanced Placement exams last year in greater numbers than ever before, according to a new national report.

Florida ranked fourth in the nation, up two places from last year, based on the percentage of its 2012 graduates who had passed at least one AP exam while in high school, according to the College Board’s 9th annual “AP Report to the Nation.” Florida Governor Rick Scott attributes the success to the state’s teachers.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has unveiled his proposal for the state’s budget in the coming fiscal year. He calls it the Florida Family First budget, but some worry it ignores the needs of average working class people.

Scott is proposing a $74.2 billion budget. His office said it’s the first time since fiscal year 2008/2009 that  that state hasn’t had a General Revenue budget gap to fill. And Scott said that means the state has a little cash to invest in its priorities.

After lawmakers passed a measure in 2011 that would require state employees to contribute three percent of their salary to their retirement, a number of groups launched an effort to get the law declared unconstitutional. But the Florida Supreme Court has upheld the law.  And Florida Education Association lawyer, Ron Meyer, said there's not further appeal possible.

In the battle over how Florida runs its elections, Republicans and Democrats have largely been on opposite sides. But lawmakers say, everyone’s getting on the same page as the governor releases his ideas for election reform this week.

The 2012 presidential election came after all House, Senate and Congressional districts had just been redrawn. It had Floridians voting on 12 constitutional amendments along with local, state and federal races. In the giant county of Miami-Dade, that meant voters had 139 ovals they could fill in on their ballots.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is proposing three changes he’d like to see in the laws governing how the state runs its elections. The changes reverse some of the election law reforms that Scott signed into law two years ago.

Scott’s office released a statement saying the proposed changes are meant to "restore Floridians' confidence in our election system."

Peter Brown Construction

The State of Florida has agreed to settle a long-running dispute with a Tallahassee art gallery over photos that were meant for the First District Court of Appeal's new building.

The lawsuit stemmed from the state's refusal to pay $390,000 to Signature Art Gallery, the business that received a contract from the Peter Brown Construction  which built the building.

FSU Student Group Rallies For Palestine

Nov 19, 2012
Steven Rodriguez / WFSU-FM

With Israeli tanks lining the Gaza border tensions are running high around the world.  A group called Students United for Justice in Palestine rallied in support of the region, in front of FSU’s Integration Statue and called for a deeper look into the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

An official-looking letter has shown up in mailboxes in more than 20 Florida counties. The letter challenges the recipients eligibility to vote in the upcoming election. But state officials say the mailers are a sham and target Republicans. Three of the fake mailers have turned up in Leon County.

Florida Supreme Court

Amendment five does three things. It gives the Senate a chance to confirm new Supreme Court Justices once they’ve been selected by a state judicial nominating committee and appointed by the governor. It makes it easier for the state to change rules about how the court functions and it gives the Speaker of the House access to documents from the judicial qualifications commission used in the review of a judge. The House already has the ability to investigate any charges against a judge.

The candidate for a Florida Senate seat in Pinellas County, Chris Pennington, says there’s a high possibility non-citizens are influencing Florida’s state elections. Pennington says foreigners could create a company in Florida to donate to political campaigns. But he also believes Florida Governor Rick Scott has the power to stop the potential outside influence. When Pennington registered as a candidate he says he noticed a loop-hole in the donation election laws allowing for outsiders to sway American politics.

Palm Beach Post

In Apalachicola Bay, the shrimp population is almost non-existent, crabs are hard to find, and the oysters are approaching similar levels. The BP Oil Spill and droughts in Georgia, shrinking the rivers supplying the Bay with vital nutrients, are dealing a considerable blow to fishermen in Franklin County. Florida Governor Rick Scott declared the Bay a disaster area Thursday and requested aid from the U.S Secretary of Commerce.

Governor Rick Scott says Florida avoided major damage from Hurricane Isaac. But, he says the state now needs to focus on recovery.  The Governor is using the next few days to tour the state in the aftermath of Isaac, starting with Palm Beach County Wednesday.

Palm Beach County officials estimate the damage in the county at about 9-million dollars. And, early Wednesday, Governor Rick Scott flew over the county to assess the damage due to Isaac.

Governor Rick Scott has launched a new campaign video where he seems to agree with critics who say the state is testing too much.

WFSU

The United Way of Florida has received a $3 million multi-year grant to fund reading programs in some of the state’s lowest performing elementary schools.

Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott read to a group of pre-schoolers as an example of the United Way’s Reading Pal’s program. The program aims to get reading volunteers into public schools.

Governor's Office

Florida Education Chief Gerard Robinson has become the latest agency head to resign. Robinson had been on the job for only a year. He’s been under fire for his handling of changes to the state’s FCAT test that resulted in lower grades for students and schools. But his decision to step aside at the end of August is also raising questions about the state’s leadership under Governor Rick Scott—and why more than 10 agency heads have left their jobs.

Update 6:18 pm: The State Board of Education will meet Thursday morning to figure out how to move forward in the wake of the Resignation of State Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. The Board will meet via teleconference at 7 am.

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Gerard Robinson’s decision to step down at the end of August comes after a series of changes to the state FCAT test which led to a drop in scores, school grades and a public outcry.

Florida has until 2014 to implement some of the provisions in the Federal Affordable Care Act. Governor Rick Scott says the state won’t do it, but  some Florida lawmakers say it’s too early to start jumping to conclusions.

The Florida Supreme Court upheld most of the Federal Affordable Care Act, also called the healthcare overhaul law. But it left a few pieces up to the states, and Florida Governor Rick Scott said  he’s not implementing anything he can avoid.

“It’s very disappointing what the Supreme Court did. This is going to be devastating for patients," Scott said.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said the state won’t implement some of pieces of the Federal Affordable Care Act.  He said the provisions in the Federal Affordable Care act will hurt rather than help Floridians.

The governor made the rounds, talking to a number of national news stations Monday. He told Fox News he has no plans to implement optional provisions of the law like expanding the state’s Medicaid rolls, even though the federal government will cover most of the cost.

 

Florida Officials says the sunshine state is becoming a destination for the life sciences industry. The state is seeing an emergence in areas like biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

Enterprise Florida President Gray Swoope gave the governor and his cabinet an update Tuesday on his agency’s efforts to grow jobs. He said Florida ranks second now for growth in life sciences.

Florida Governor Rick Scott wants the state’s public universities to increase tuition ONLY  as a last resort. Yesterday he stressed affordability when he spoke to the  State University System Board of Governors. But today, the governor said he has no current plans to stop schools that do increase costs. 

Florida is now facing a third lawsuit challenging the Department of State’s efforts to purge ineligible voters from the rolls. A group of voter and civil rights organizations are filing a lawsuit alleging the purge is discriminatory.

Kathy Culliton-Gonzalez is with a group called “Advancement Project.” She said the organizations are the first to sue under Section Two of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It’s a move she said will give their suit staying power.

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