Florida Politics

FWC's Flickr account / FWC's Flickr account

A state lawmaker is once again trying to expand protections for Florida’s black bears. The bill sponsor says the plan should benefit conservationists and hunters. 

Kate Payne via WFSU

The private board in charge of handing out funds from the BP oil spill is developing its application process. But sparsely populated Gulf Coast counties are worried they could lose out on some of the settlement money.

Volunteer Florida Facebook

The head of Volunteer Florida bid a final farewell to Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet Wednesday. Chester Spellman will be taking over a similar job in the Trump Administration.

Bryan Jones via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bwjones/albums

Florida’s campaign to restore voting rights to felons is gathering national media attention, and national financing. Now activists are trying to focus that energy to get the proposed constitutional amendment on the 2018 ballot. WFSU reports on the grassroots campaign to gather 1 million signatures before the end of the year.

Florida Highway Patrol & Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles / https://www.flhsmv.gov/florida-highway-patrol/troop-boundaries-information/troop-h/

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles says they are not running a ticket quota system. The statement comes after an officer told his troopers they’re not issuing enough speeding citations.

Howard Ignatius via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/howardignatius/

Florida is nominating 20 more exceptional service members to the state Veterans’ Hall of Fame. A Madison County man is at the top of a list of nominees. 

Bryan Jones via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bwjones/

As lawmakers return to Washington to debate healthcare, they’ll have new ways of communicating with voters back home, through Facebook. But it’s not yet clear how the social media giant’s new tools could affect the political conversation.

Jaro Larnos via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jlarnos/

Floridians in need can now use a mobile app to locate food banks and support services across the state. 

Bryan Jones via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bwjones/albums

Florida’s Democratic lawmakers are joining the call to reject the president’s request for voter information. 

Shelby U via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/heavyymetal/4539604112/

The deadline is approaching for Florida’s governor to sign off on a bill aimed at tracking the use of addictive prescription drugs. Some medical professionals see the measure as key to fighting the opioid epidemic.

National Association of Counties

A local commissioner is heading to the White House Thursday.

Historic Capitol
Tom Flanigan / WFSU News

This week’s special legislative session is expected to cost taxpayers more than $100,000. But the three-day long process could be a boon for Tallahassee’s local economy.

Sen. Jeremy Ring (D-Margate)
The Florida Channel

A Democratic former lawmaker is officially running to be the state’s next chief financial officer.

Nick Evans

A dire lack of funding for low cost legal services in Florida is spurring one man to run six marathons, back to back. Attorney Michael Freed is raising funds and awareness for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. He says since the Great Recession, the need for assistance has risen while funding continues to slip.

United Nations Photo via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/un_photo/31569587301/

Florida’s Haitian immigrants are getting a six month reprieve on deportation orders. Advocates are claiming a small victory, but the timeline falls short of what many hoped for. Some are worried the community’s special status may be coming to an end.

Tom Anderson via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/twic/

Hopes of restarting passenger rail service in North Florida could be doomed under the Trump Administration’s proposed budget. The plan would eliminate federal funding for Amtrak in the state. That’s a blow to local officials wanting to bring the service back to the Panhandle.

United Nations Development Programme via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/unitednationsdevelopmentprogramme/

A Florida lawmaker is criticizing the federal government’s temporary extension of special status for Haitian immigrants. After the 2010 earthquake, the federal government allowed thousands of Haitians to take refuge in the U.S. This week President Donald Trump extended those protections again, but by six months, not the eighteen months advocates hoped for.

The Village Square / http://tlh.villagesquare.us/

Tallahassee’s mayor has lost the endorsement of some of his colleagues in his race to be the state’s next governor. Leon County Commissioners John Dailey and Kristin Dozier are endorsing Democrat Gwen Graham for governor.

An attempt to restore felons’ voting rights in Florida is getting a national boost this week. Comedian Samantha Bee of the TBS show Full Frontal sat down with Desmond Meade of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. Meade is behind a proposed ballot initiative that would automatically restore civil rights to felons. Here’s a portion of Bee’s segment.

melystu via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/melystu/

The City of Tallahassee is beginning budget talks for the coming fiscal year. Commissioners want to contrast their spending process with that of state lawmakers, which primarily took place behind closed doors. The board wants to continue investing in infrastructure and public safety. Mayor Andrew Gillum says that could come in the form of social services.

Trulieve / http://trulieve.com/

Florida’s Senate President is considering bringing lawmakers back to Tallahassee to strike a deal on medical marijuana. A plan to roll out the state’s new rules unraveled at the end of session.

College of the Mainland Library / https://www.flickr.com/photos/comlibrary/

Florida lawmakers want to make it easier for parents and residents to challenge school textbooks. Depending on who you ask, the bill is a slippery slope towards book burning, or a step towards community control. But with just days left in the Session, lawmakers face a tight deadline to pass the measure. At the time of publishing, the Senate was scheduled to consider the measure, but had not yet taken it up.

Tonichi Costas via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nichpics/8306111016/

After years of debate, the legislature is on the brink of deregulating a slate of professions. Cosmetologists to geologists to boxing announcers could have a better shot at starting a business. But some of those same workers have doubts about the reforms.

Joe Gratz via Flickr

Florida lawmakers are considering letting local officials meet one on one, outside of the public eye. But a first amendment advocate says the change could encourage corruption.

smarterparenting.com / http://www.smarterparenting.com/blog/single/5-dos-and-donts-for-grieving-parents

Florida lawmakers want to issue special certificates to families who experience miscarriages. Supporters say the bill is meant to comfort grieving parents. But there are concerns the bill could affect access to abortions.

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