government

Courtesy UWF

Florida’s Department of State has asked the one of the state’s universities for help in safeguarding the 2018 elections. Dr. Eman El-Sheikh directs University of West Florida’s Center for Cybersecurity. She has been essential in developing a curriculum that’s used to train Supervisors of Elections and their staffs. El Sheikh recently spoke with WFSU’s Ryan Dailey to talk about what went into developing that training, and what election cyber-threats look like in 2018.

sunpass.com

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) began upgrading its Sunpass toll system on June 1st. Since then, Sunpass users have been racking up charges but not getting the bill.

The Maryland-based company Conduent State & Local Solutions was scheduled to finish work on the system by June 11th. Yet more than a month later, it still isn’t fully operational.

Lydell Rawls / WFSUNews

No matter the victor, City Commission Seat 5 will be getting a new face this election. Four candidates vying for the seat are talking ethics, development, crime and law enforcement.

TalGov.com

Tallahassee’s Independent Ethics Board has drafted a notice warning against gift-giving between City employees and those who do business with the City. The board says what departments choose to do with the memorandum is up to them. 

TalGov.com

Tallahassee’s Independent Ethics Board plans to ask the City Commission for a wider jurisdiction. Statute governing the board prevents it from taking action against non-elected city employees.

[Left to Right] Tallahassee Commission Seat 3 candidates: Richard Garzola,  Lisa Brown, Bill Schack, Alexander Jordan and  Jeremy Matlow were on Tuesday's Political Perspectives.
Lydell Rawls / WFSU

Candidates for Tallahassee City Commission Seat 3 are weighing in on the FBI’s investigation involving city leaders and laying out how they’d improve trust in city hall, if elected.

leoncountyfl.gov

Developers are working on a plan to build out nearly 31 acres at Bannerman and Bull Headley roads in northeast Leon County.

The county commission recently approved rezoning there that was met with dozens of public comments like these: 

LWV Facebook Page

Recent media reports detailing mistakes by Florida’s Department of Agriculture in issuing firearm permits have some advocacy organizations calling for further investigation. The League of Women Voters is asking Attorney General Pam Bondi to conduct the probe.

President Trump chose Judge Brett Kavanaugh (far left) as his U.S. Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy. But, that decision is causing some mixed feelings.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders' twitter

President Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee is already causing partisan divides among Republicans and Democrats. That fight is also making its way to the Sunshine State.

Attorney Ron Meyer is representing the Florida Education Association and League of Women Voters in lawsuits
Meyers, Brooks Lawfirm

The League of Women Voters of Florida is suing to block a constitutional amendment that could pave the way for more charter schools. The League says the ballot summary-which voters see on the actual ballot—is different from the language in the amendment, and is vague and misleading.

Attorney Ron Meyer is representing the League in the lawsuit. He’s also representing the state teachers union in a case against a Florida that targets the Florida Education Association. Lynn Hatter spoke with Meyer about both lawsuits, starting with the case against Amendment Eight. It’s comprised of three proposals—term limits for local school board members, and mandatory civics education. But it’s the language regarding school district oversight of public schools, that’s triggered the suit.

Capital Tiger Bay Club Meeting Tallahassee Commission Seat 3 Forum
AnnMarie Welser / wfsu news

Candidates for City of Tallahassee Commission seat 3 discussed government funding, crime solutions and other key topics.

 

Ryan Dailey / WFSUNews

Progressive and civil rights organizations are speaking out against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Reproductive rights advocacy group Planned Parenthood is the latest to do so.

The 2018 local elections have set a county record for most qualified candidates in a midterm year. There are 55 people in the running.

[From left to right] Leon County Commission Candidates Rick Minor,  Emily Fritz, Kyle Frost, and Carlos Rey, with the exception of Rex Rekstis [missing from photo], appeared Tuesday on WFSU’s Perspectives show.
Lydell Rawls / WFSU

Growth, development and infrastructure are rising to the top of the priority list for the candidates who want to represent the Northwest corridor of Leon County. The County's Third District is up for grabs this year. 

Leon County Government

The Leon County Commission is following of the Community Redevelopment Agency’s plan for doling out more than $3-million for local arts and culture projects. The money is what’s left over from a tax meant for a performing arts center that was never built.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

Florida’s election supervisors are feeling the squeeze of a short deadline to submit an application for $19 million in federal cybersecurity funding. The applications are due to the Department of State by next Wednesday.

Jasmine Ali's campaign facebook page

If elected county commissioner, Jasmine Ali wants to focus on reducing crime and improving quality of life in Leon County’s first district. The 20-year-old FSU student feels it’s time for a fresh face in the seat long held by incumbent Bill Proctor.

LeMoyne Art Gallery
FloridaArtistGroup.org / LeMoyne Arts Facebook

Monday’s Community Redevelopment Board meeting divvied up $3 million  to three arts and cultural groups and a new program, not in the running last week, is now set to receive $1.8 million.

The Big Bend chapter of Florida’s Police Benevolent Association has announced its endorsements for some Leon County races. 

Alfonso Navarro / Unsplash

Thomasville, Georgia’s recycling center reopens Monday. The facility shut down for a few days to make changes to how it accepts paper and plastic.

Three Tallahassee-based arts and culture groups are getting closer to securing hundreds of thousands of dollars in local funding. The group doling out the money meets Monday. But there's controversy over whether the organizations that may get the awards are worthy.

Andre Francois

Seminole County is the first US government agency to accept cryptocurrency as payment for county services. And according to a coinmap.org study, Tampa and Miami are ranked in the top 10 bitcoin-friendly cities in the world. With cryptocurrency usage growing,  Florida’s Chief Financial Officer plans to regulate the industry.

Sons of Confederate Veterans
Kelly Crocker

A Department of State panel has agreed to allow a Confederate General statue currently in the U.S. Capitol to call a Florida museum its new home. But, that decision is receiving some pushback.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam
Florida Channel

Florida’s two Republican candidates for governor say they don’t want recreational marijuana in the state. Congressman Ron DeSantis and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam made their positions clear during their first debate of the race.

The statue of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith currently in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.
Architect of the Capitol

A Florida museum may be the new location for the statue of a Confederate General currently in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. On Thursday, a state panel approved the Lake County Historical Society and Museum’s application to become the new home of the likeness of Edmund Kirby Smith. Bob Grenier is the curator of the museum located in Tavares, which he says is a prime location for the statue.

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