Politics

Political news

An attempt to restore felons’ voting rights in Florida is getting a national boost this week. Comedian Samantha Bee of the TBS show Full Frontal sat down with Desmond Meade of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. Meade is behind a proposed ballot initiative that would automatically restore civil rights to felons. Here’s a portion of Bee’s segment.

Trulieve / http://trulieve.com/

Florida’s Senate President is considering bringing lawmakers back to Tallahassee to strike a deal on medical marijuana. A plan to roll out the state’s new rules unraveled at the end of session.

Florida Public Employees Partnership. / http://floridapublicemployees.com/april-20-2015-legislative-calendar-florida-senate-and-house-of-representatives/

Florida lawmakers are on track to vote on the budget Monday. That makes Friday the last chance for them to get the remaining bills passed. Here's a rundown of some of the Senate’s 11th hour deliberations.

Tonichi Costas via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nichpics/8306111016/

After years of debate, the legislature is on the brink of deregulating a slate of professions. Cosmetologists to geologists to boxing announcers could have a better shot at starting a business. But some of those same workers have doubts about the reforms.

State Bar of Wisconsin / http://www.wisbar.org/NewsPublications/WisconsinLawyer/Pages/Article.aspx?Volume=86&Issue=3&ArticleID=10692

According to state law and conventional wisdom, sunshine is the best disinfectant for political corruption. Florida lawmakers agreed Tuesday. The House blocked a plan to let local officials keep some of their meetings in the dark.

Joe Gratz via Flickr

Florida lawmakers are considering letting local officials meet one on one, outside of the public eye. But a first amendment advocate says the change could encourage corruption.

smarterparenting.com / http://www.smarterparenting.com/blog/single/5-dos-and-donts-for-grieving-parents

Florida lawmakers want to issue special certificates to families who experience miscarriages. Supporters say the bill is meant to comfort grieving parents. But there are concerns the bill could affect access to abortions.

Michael via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/lostinangeles/

The Florida House has voted to tear down the so-called liquor wall by a razor-thin margin. It’s a rare issue that doesn’t fall along party lines, giving a brief glimpse into lawmakers’ individual beliefs.

Ep Jhu via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ep_jhu/

A bill aimed at criminalizing the deadly drug fentanyl is heading to the Senate floor. The measure comes as the Legislature is struggling to respond to the state’s opioid crisis. But the plan has lawmakers questioning whether they should combat addiction with punishment or treatment.

Jonathan Kos-Read via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathankosread/

Florida lawmakers want to preempt local ordinances for projects that get mostly state funding. Despite a litany of complaints from cities and counties, the bill is now heading to the Senate floor.

Uber / https://newsroom.uber.com

A plan to regulate ridesharing companies statewide is heading to the Governor’s desk. After years of debate, the bill flew through the Senate Wednesday with virtually no complaints.

Tony Vincelli via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/42957538@N03/

A slate of changes to Florida’s guardianship law is heading to the governor’s desk. The updates legislators want are meant to protect some of the state’s most vulnerable residents, but critics worry they're missing the mark.

Rep. Loranne Ausley (D-Tallahassee)
Florida House of Representatives

Florida House Representative Loranne Ausley is one of 14 people who have been selected to join a national network known for pushing progressive policies. 

Mary McLeod Bethune
Florida Memory / https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/152989

Florida lawmakers want to put a statue of Mary McLeod Bethune in the U.S. Capitol. But the internationally renowned educator and activist isn’t the only contender.

Christopher Schmidt via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/xmatic/

A top priority of Florida’s Senate President is now ready for a floor vote. But after some political maneuvering, the bill also contains a controversial amendment targeting the state Supreme Court. The change could challenge lawmakers’ loyalties.

Practical Defense Systems / http://pdsclasses.com/2010/12/shooting-classes/

Florida lawmakers are considering an update to the Stand Your Ground law. The state wants to make clear that residents won’t have to wait to be attacked in their homes before using deadly force. That has gun control advocates worried.

Sang You via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sangyou/

Florida counties are uniting to block what they say is an historic assault on home rule. This comes as state lawmakers consider legislation that would curb the power of local governments to regulate themselves.

Florida Memory / https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/31967

The Constitution Revision Commission will hold a public hearing in the state capital.

Gary Corsair via change.org / https://www.change.org/p/exonerate-the-groveland-four

A formal apology for the Groveland Four is gaining momentum in the Florida capitol. State lawmakers want to acknowledge the mistreatment of four black men who were denied fair trials.

BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig on fire in 2010.
US Coast Guard

Almost seven years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Florida lawmakers are finalizing a settlement plan. There’s still some distance between the house and senate versions, but top lawmakers say a compromise is on the way.

Florida Supreme Court / http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/justices/lawson.shtml

Florida’s Supreme Court marked the official installment of Justice Alan Lawson on Wednesday. The ceremony gave a rare glimpse into the most cloistered of our branches of government.

Matthew Paulson via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/matthewpaulson/

Florida lawmakers want to phase out community redevelopment agencies that combat blight and slums. Complaints of misuse of funds and corruption are plaguing CRAs. But local governments are fighting to save them.

Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala speaks with reporters about her decision to not pursue the death penalty during her administration.
Renata Sago / WMFE

Florida lawmakers are again urging the governor to suspend a prosecutor who won’t pursue the death penalty. But constitutional lawyers argue Aramis Ayala’s actions don’t warrant removal. 

Panda via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/106831113@N02/

Florida lawmakers are pressing pause on a bill that would pave the way for an elected sheriff in Miami-Dade County. The plan is forcing legislators to choose between empowering voters or stepping on the toes of local governments. 

Audubon of Florida / http://audubonoffloridanews.org/?p=11408

Florida Senate President Joe Negron is hopeful he’ll win support for a Lake Okeechobee reservoir. But his proposal still faces strong opposition from fellow lawmakers and residents south of the lake.

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