Governor RIck Scott

Florida Governor Rick Scott rejected a request from the Mayor of Tampa to let the city restrict guns during the Republican National Convention in August. A law passed by the legislature last year, prohibits cities from making their own rules about where guns are and aren’t allowed—now all local ordinances have to conform to the state’s laws. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, thought the governor might grant his city leniency during the Republican Nation Convention. But Scott has denied the request.

Governor Rick Scott has created a panel to examine Florida’s public universities.

The move comes after Scott vetoed a piece of legislation that would have allowed Florida State University and the University of Florida to charge higher tuition rates than other state universities. The measure also laid out a set of benchmarks for all schools to meet if they wanted the extra tuition authority.

The state’s university system saw its budget reduced by $300 million dollars this year, even as the state created a 12th public university.

Florida Senator Rene Garcia is asking the Senate President to look into whether the Governor’s claims that Garcia’s bill can’t be enforced are true. As Sascha Cordner reports, the Governor made those claims, after he signed the measure Tuesday regarding Cuba-Syria trade restrictions.

Ever wanted to know what Florida Governor Rick Scott writes in his e-mails? Now You can. Scott’s emails and those of 11 members of his  executive office are now available online. A new website called “Project Sunburst” archives most of the emails coming and going from the governor’s office.

Some Florida’s elections supervisors are protesting the governor’s efforts to rank them. Regan McCarthy reports the supervisors claim it feels to them like the governor is trying to take some control of the election process.

It’s been a rough week for a couple of Florida’s public universities Lynn Hatter reports fights over budget cuts and the future of a 12th state university have grabbed headlines around the state and the nation.  

University of Florida administrators are trying to cut about $40 million out of the school’s budget. Much of the focus has been on the school’s Computer Information Sciences program.  And students and faculty have been voicing their opinions on the issue…loudly.

The Palm Beach Post

Florida officials say they’re working to tackle drug abuse, but they’re going about it in several different ways. As Sascha Cordner reports, Attorney General Pam Bondi is renewing the focus on prescription drug abuse and its effects on babies. But, Governor Rick Scott has is continuing his effort to drug test thousands of state workers, despite a recent ruling by a federal judge.

Governor Rick Scott has vetoed a bill that would have allowed Florida State University and the University of Florida to raise their tuition above the state’s 15-percent a year cap.   Lynn Hatter reports, the two schools would have had to get those higher rates approved by the Florida Board of Governors.

A Miami federal judge has declared that Florida Governor Rick Scott’s executive order requiring drug testing for state employees is unconstitutional. Sascha Cordner has more.

U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro ruled Thursday that blanket testing of some 85,000 state workers violates the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. Scott’s order was challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union. Its spokesman Baylor Johnson says drug testing should only be done if there is a suspected problem:

This week is Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Florida Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi say it’s a time to recognize victims and the officers who protect them. Regan McCarthy has more.

Attorney General Pam Bondi says she knows as a prosecutor the impact that a crime has a victim’s life.

A decision to vote against a massive prison privatization effort might have cost one Senator’s son not to get reappointed to a state panel.  Sascha Cordner has more.

Just an hour before a vote came down in the Senate to decide the fate of an effort to privatize about 30 South Florida prisons, Governor Rick Scott asked Republican Senator Dennis Jones to meet with him, in hopes of convincing him to change his vote.

Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner and the head of the state’s Division of Forestry are warning Floridians to be aware of an increased risk of wildfire danger. As Sascha Cordner reports, all of Florida is now facing drought conditions.

During a wildfire update to Governor Rick Scott and his Cabinet, officials heard that Florida is at a huge risk for wildfires:

“100-percent of the state is in a drought, this is as about Thursday, Friday, and  twelve-percent of the state is in an exceptional drought.”

Governor Rick Scott says he thinks Florida’s new Polytechnic University will pay off in the long run. Lynn Hatter reports it was the Governor’s first public statements about the new school since approving its creation a few days ago.

The new Florida Polytechnic University comes at a time when the rest of the state’s universities are taking a $300 million dollar cut. Scott says it’s time for the universities to prioritize their programs and that the new university is part of that reorganization process.

Searching for a lottery ticket? Floridians will soon have more options, thanks to a measure signed Friday by Governor Rick Scott. Regan McCarthy reports the bill lets stores install vending machines that sell all kinds of lottery tickets including Powerball tickets, and others that were previously for sale only behind the counter.

A Polytech-U is born!

Apr 20, 2012

Governor Rick Scott has approved a bill that could create Florida’s 12 public state university. Lynn Hatter reports the governor signed off on the proposal Friday that lets the University of South Florida’s Polytechnic Campus become an independent school.

Governor Rick Scott signed a bill pushed by Senate budget chief JD Alexander that grants the polytechnic campus immediate independence from its parent-school, USF.  The move comes after months of contentious debate over the future of the campus, which will now be known as Florida Polytechnic University.

Included in the state’s new budget is extra money for education. That marks a shift for Governor Rick Scott after last year’s $1.3 billion dollar budget cut. Scott made education funding his legislative priority, but as Lynn Hatter reports, public school advocates and officials say the boost doesn’t go far enough.


Florida Governor Rick Scott is announcing a task force to look into the state’s “Stand Your Ground Law.” Regan McCarthy reports the task force is set to hold its first meeting in May. The formation of the task force comes after the shooting death of an unarmed teen back in February.

Rich ready to run

Apr 19, 2012

Florida’s Senate Democratic Leader has confirmed she’s running for Governor in the 2014 election. As Sascha Cordner reports, Nan Rich is the first to challenge Republican Governor Rick Scott.

Democratic Senator Nan Rich of Weston is term-limited out, but she now wants to extend her time in public office by running as the next head of state against Governor Rick Scott. Rich says it’s clear that she and Scott differ greatly on several different issues.

Governor Rick Scott has signed a budget that steers a billion more dollars into the state’s education system. Lynn Hatter reports the extra money for public schools marks a shift in policy for the governor after last year’s deep education spending cuts.  

State lawmakers steered an extra billion dollars to education this year, with money going to specific areas like merit pay for teachers and reading programs for low-performing students. Jaryn Emhof is the spokeswoman for the education reform group, the Foundation for Florida’s future.

Governor Rick Scott is in Jacksonville  where he’s expected to sign the state budget. This year’s spending plan is about four-billion dollars more than what the Governor approved last year, and as Lynn Hatter reports, Scott is also expected to hand down some vetoes.

This year Governor Rick Scott will sign the budget at Cunningham Creek Elementary School in St. Johns. The Governor promised to increase education spending by a billion dollars, and lawmakers helped him follow through on that promise.

Several groups have been lobbying Governor Rick Scott for weeks to either sign or veto an energy bill. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, the Governor took the third option, which was to allow the bill to become law without his official stamp of approval.

The bill had the backing of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and widespread bi-partisan support among the Florida Legislature with 156 out of 160 lawmakers voting in favor of the bill.

The Florida Association of Counties has officially announced it will soon challenge a new Medicaid law that is expected to cost taxpayers millions of dollars. As Sascha Cordner reports, while supporters of the law say the counties are just trying to avoid paying what they owe, the counties say they shouldn’t be forced to pay $300 million in disputed Medicaid bills due to mistakes in the state’s billing system.

Convicted Murderer David Allen Gore died by lethal injection Thursday after 28 years on death row. Regan McCarthy reports Gore is responsible for the murder of six women.

David Alan Gore was pronounced dead at 6:19 p.m. Thursday. Department of Corrections Spokeswoman Anne Howard says Gore requested fried chicken, French fries, butter pecan ice cream and a soft drink for his last meal. And she says he spent some time with his mother and ex-wife.

A bill that would help create the state’s 12th public university is now in the hands of Governor Rick Scott. As Sascha Cordner reports, the bill’s most influential backer made a trip to Tallahassee to petition the Governor to approve his bill.

Senate Budget chief JD Alexander says he feels good about the discussion he had with Governor Rick Scott Thursday regarding his bill, Senate Bill 1994.

Alexander has been a huge advocate of splitting University of South Florida from its Polytechnic Campus, thus creating the state’s next public university.

Two of the state’s top public universities lobbied the Governor for two hours Thursday to sign a bill that would allow them to raise tuition beyond what is normally allowed. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, Governor Rick Scott, who’s opposed to tuition increases, says he’s still not sure where he stands.