House Speaker Richard Corcoran

FL House shortly before adjournment.
Nick Evans

The Florida Legislature has passed its budget and gone home.  But the manner in which lawmakers closed out this year’s session raises a number of questions about process, special session, and the veto pen.

From the left Appropriations Chairs Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Lutz, and Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, begin the compromise process as full conference committee met June 11, 2015, while finalizing key portions of the state's budget within Criminal and Civil Just
Mark Foley / Florida House of Representatives

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran says he supports a special session on medical marijuana. 

Florida Channel

The Florida Legislature may have sent an $82.4 billion dollar budget to Governor Rick Scott Monday, but Scott is still indicating he may veto it.

Florida Politics.com

The Legislature is leaving town without addressing a dramatic spike in workers’ compensation premiums, and House Speaker Richard Corcoran is blaming Senate Republicans.

Mayor Andrew Gillum
Nick Evans

Local control advocates said the Florida legislature has taken preempting home rule to a new level this session. The legislature wants to extend property tax breaks, regulate vacation rentals and community redevelopment agencies.

Nick Evans

The Florida Legislature will have to extend its regular meeting time or call a special session to reach an agreement on a spending plan for the coming year.

DXR via wikimedia commons

The full Florida Senate is preparing to take up a modified version of the House’s tax cut proposal.  But a property tax measure may be more important to House leaders.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran appears to be pulling the plug on a proposal by big power companies to invest in hydraulic fracturing operations in other states.

In Memory Of Nubia Barahona Facebook page

The case of a surviving abuse victim that led to the overhaul of Florida’s child welfare system may be close to reaching a resolution. While the claims bill to further compensate the victim has usually died in the past legislative sessions, it’s now headed to the Governor for final approval.

Holland & Knight's Florida Government Advocacy Team twitter

Last week, the Florida House formally apologized to the former wards of two now-closed reform schools for the abuse they say they suffered. Now, the Florida Senate is now doing the same.

Budget conference beginning.
Nick Evans

Budget talks have begun—or at least the public face of them have started.  Lawmakers are planning an extremely tight timeline.

Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater)
The Florida Channel

Florida Sen. Jack Latvala says he’s not ready to give up politics after he’s term limited in the Senate next year. But he won’t say what he’s eyeing next. Latvala spoke at the Tiger Bay Club in Tallahassee.

Florida Channel

Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is praising Republican Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran for leading legislative actions to address the infamous Dozier School for Boys in North Florida.

Sarah Mueller

The Florida House will vote this week to establish what members call “schools of hope.” Democratic lawmakers say Republicans want to spend more than a billion dollars over several years on charter schools while starving public schools of funding. But Republican lawmakers and charter advocates argue public schools are failing to educate students.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran.
Florida House of Representatives / Florida House of Representatives

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran is praising the state’s Supreme Court after it formally barred retired judges from weighing in on cases after new justices are appointed.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Two bills offering a formal apology to former wards who say they were abused in a Panhandle reform school and creates memorials for those buried on the property passed their first House committee Thursday. After hearing some horrific stories, some Florida lawmakers issued apologies of their own.

 The Army Corp of Engineers releases water from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River because of heavy rains.
Credit Dale/flickr / Flickr

House Speaker Richard Corcoran says changes to the Senate’s plan to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee make the proposal better, but he’s refusing to cave on one big issue: whether to borrow money to finance the system.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

The former wards of the now-closed Dozier School for Boys in Marianna are one step closer to receiving a formal apology by the state of Florida. That’s the Florida Panhandle school where alleged abuse occurred for several decades.

DXR via wikimedia commons

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran wants to divert almost $70 million from the state affordable housing trust fund to other issues. 

House Appropriations Chair Carlos Trujillo (R-Miami).
Florida Channel

Florida House lawmakers submitted more than 12-hundred individual project bills asking for $2.5 billion. But just 516 projects have made it through committee.

Sarah Mueller

Death penalty opponents rallied at Florida’s Capitol in support of Orlando State Attorney Aramis Ayala. Republican lawmakers are considering cutting her office’s budget due to her refusal to seek the death penalty in capital cases. But Ayala said a budget cut would hurt her office’s ability to prosecute crimes.

Rep. Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) on the House floor.
Florida House of Representatives

The House is proposing nearly $300 million in tax cuts.  The ways and means committee unveiled their ideas this week.

Sarah Mueller

Florida’s universities say they need more money to hire additional mental health counselors and law enforcement officers. University officials said they’re seeing a dramatic rise in students needing help coping with anxiety, depression and academic stress.

Nick Evans

House Speaker Richard Corcoran is doubling down on tough talk about Orange County State Attorney Aramis Ayala.  Corcoran says her blanket decision not to seek the death penalty crosses a line and he urges Florida Governor Rick Scott to suspend the prosecutor.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, who is widely believed to be eyeing a U.S. Senate seat, is taking to the airwaves next week to defend corporate incentives.

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