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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.