Mike Haridopolos

Florida Senate

Florida Senate Minority leader Chris Smith says he’s not giving up on getting a bipartisan group of lawmakers to take a look at the state’s Stand Your Ground law, despite being turned down by the Senate President Tuesday. Smith wanted Don Gaetz to form a select committee, but Gaetz rejected that request.

Signature HealthCARE at Brookwood Gardens-Hall of Fame Cafe

Former Florida Senator Larcenia Bullard, who served in both chambers of the state Legislature for about 20 years, passed away over the weekend. She’s known as a lawmaker who was well-liked not only by her Democratic colleagues, but across the aisle as well. The following is a look back at one of her last days in the Florida Legislature when she bid farewell to the Florida Senate last year.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

The Republican Party of Florida and two lawmakers are asking a judge to throw out a lawsuit against them by former Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer. Greer is charged with fraud and money laundering for allegedly diverting $200,000 from the party, in another case. On Monday a Leon County circuit judge heard arguments for and against dismissing the civil suit.

Clergy Members Protest Amendment 3

Oct 1, 2012
R.Benk / WFSU

Opponents of Florida’s Amendment three marched from Bethel Missionary Baptist Church to the steps of Florida’s old capital building today. Amendment three, appearing on the November ballot, changes the way the state calculates its revenue cap.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed off on a measure to compensate a man who wrongfully spent 27 years in a Florida prison.  Regan McCarthy reports the governor signed bill just hours after it passed out of the Senate. 

 William Dillon spent almost three decades in a Florida prison for a murder he didn’t commit before he was exonerated by DNA evidence. Now he’s a singer song writer. He’s just released his first full length CD Black Robes and Lawyers.

Florida lawmakers Tuesday afternoon broke a stalemate over budget negotiations. James Call reports, after the House budget chief said talks had gone quiet and Senators displayed a united front, House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos reached an agreement on the budget’s bottom line.

As the prison privatization debate continues, among the proponents are jail chaplains. As Sascha Cordner reports, they say the legislation will provide an opportunity to expand the success of faith-and-character-based programs.

Faith-based and business leaders say privatizing about 30 South Florida prisons is the best way to accomplish what they call long-overdue reform. Claudio Perez is the President and CEO of South Florida Jail Ministries. He says the state is not doing enough for the faith-based programs, and a private company can do it better.

Does a bill to privatize about 30 South Florida prisons have enough traction in the Florida Senate? As Sascha Cordner reports, several senators weighed in on the future of the legislation.

Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich is among the opponents of the prison privatization bill that was expected to be taken up on the Senate Floor Wednesday.

“My understanding is the votes are not there and that’s why the bill is not upon the floor.”

Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos has stripped a veteran Republican lawmaker of his position on two budget panels. As Sascha Cordner reports, many believe the removal had something to do with his opposition to a prison privatization plan.

While Senate President Haridopolos is a huge supporter of privatizing about 30 south Florida prisons, Senator Mike Fasano has been an outspoken opponent.

A massive prison privatization effort is causing quite a stir among Florida lawmakers. That’s due to a move by Senate President Mike Haridopolos to vet a pair of prison privatization bills through two committees that are not prison-related. As Sascha Cordner reports, the bills now move on to one last committee stop, despite objection from some who feel the process is a sham.

Senate President Mike Haridopolos opened the 2012 legislative session by lowering expectations. James Call reports, Haridopolos greeted Senators with a speech praising their work during the last session and asking them to consider delaying passing a state budget with the hope that the economy will improve and lawmakers can avoid making billions of dollars in spending cuts.