Politics

Kate Payne via WFSU

City and county officials are butting heads over how to respond to violent crime in Leon County. The area has seen a spate of killings recently, and it’s not clear how local governments will respond.

Ludovic Bertron via wikimedia commons

Florida’s cities are making strides in protecting lesbian gay bisexual and transgender rights while state efforts falter according to the Human Rights Campaign.  The national LGBT group is releasing its sixth annual municipal equality index.

Attorney General Pam Bondi (left) and Governor Rick Scott (third from left) spoke about an Alachua County emergency declaration after the Florida Cabinet meeting Tuesday.
Brittany Clark / Florida Governor's Office

Florida Governor Rick Scott is declaring a state of emergency ahead of a white supremacist speech at the University of Florida in Gainesville.  Richard Spencer will speak at the University of Florida Thursday.

Tampa Gator via Wikimedia Commons

It’s that time of year when agencies lay out their plans for the coming year—and more importantly—how much those plans will cost.  Two of them are looking to hand out raises.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection / https://www.flsenate.gov/PublishedContent/Committees/2016-2018/AEN/MeetingRecords/MeetingPacket_3946.pdf

Florida’s beaches are in constant need of restoration, to truck in sand that the sea washes away. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, miles of critically eroded beaches are in even more danger. Now a powerful lawmaker is once again trying to get funding to replenish the shorelines.

Nick Evans

Hurricane Irma is throwing a wrench in Florida’s budget for the coming year.  Lawmakers were already facing a daunting challenge crafting a balanced budget.

Federal Highway Administration / http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/byways/photos/75957

Every session, Florida lawmakers fight over funding for a river, storm water system or sewage plant in their district. But an environmentalist wants to change that process.

Ulrich Joho via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/30963112@N02/4084144518/

A Florida lawmaker is calling on the state to overhaul regulations for nursing homes. The push comes after 14 patients died from overheating due to a power outage at an assisted living facility.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

Florida lawmakers are heading back to the state capitol Monday. They’ll discuss some of the issues expected to dominate the 2018 legislative session.

jvoves/ flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jvoves/

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, shutting down the island’s roads and power systems, leaving many isolated and in the dark. Now thousands are evacuating the U.S. territory for the mainland. Many may settle in Florida’s purple counties ahead of the 2018 elections.

Jose Diaz presiding in the Florida House.
Mark Foley via FL House website

The Constitution Revision Commission may consider changing residency requirements to run for state office.

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

One Florida lawmaker believes workers who evacuate because of an emergency don’t deserve to lose their jobs. A new bill would give the state’s employees more protections.

Bryan Jones via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bwjones/

A member of the state Constitution Revision Commission wants to open up Florida’s primary elections, at least somewhat. The proposal would close the state’s loophole for write-in candidates.

Left to right: Brad Ashwell, Ben Wilcox and Alan Stonecipher.
Nick Evans

Government watchdog group Integrity Florida says the fox is guarding the henhouse when it comes to Florida’s utilities and their regulators.  The group wants to insulate the Public Service Commission from the political fray in the state Legislature.

U.S. Army / https://www.army.mil

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio wants the military to take charge of Puerto Rico’s hurricane response. He says the storm’s effects are hamstringing the island’s supply chain.

Beshears (left) and Montford at the Wakulla County Commission Chambers.
Nick Evans

People in Wakulla County want to see education and environmental legislation when lawmakers get back to work next month.

redjar via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/redjar/

Floridians can file petitions to amend the constitution, but not to rewrite state statutes. A legal expert wants politicos to consider changing that.

Kelsey L. Adams via U.S. Navy / U.S. Navy

Hurricane Irma forced hundreds of thousands of Floridians from their homes, including residents at military bases. Key West and Jacksonville saw some of the worst effects of the storm, and are also home to major military installations. But now the bases are returning to normal.

US Department of Agriculture

Hurricane Irma hung over an annual gathering of state and industry officials discussing water policy.

Master Sgt Jerry Morrison via Department of Defense / https://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter

Some of Florida’s military supporters are lining up behind the state’s land acquisition program. Unlikely allies are joining forces to defend Florida Forever.

Bill Nelson youtube / Bill Nelson's youtube channel

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is pushing the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to extend a housing assistance program.

Liammolina via wikimedia commons

Clearwater Republican Senator Jack Latvala wants Florida’s utility companies to stop contributing to campaigns this election cycle and invest in improving equipment instead.

Historic Capitol
Tom Flanigan / WFSU News

A Florida lawmaker is once again trying to reform the state’s community redevelopment agencies. The taxpayer-funded programs would have to meet stricter reporting and ethics requirements.

The Loggerhead Sea Turtle is Florida's official salt water reptile.
T. Moore and NOAA via wikimedia commons / NOAA

A state legislator wants to reaffirm Florida’s commitment—to a horse and a turtle.

DXR via wikimedia commons

The outlook is grim again for Florida’s budget drafters—and that’s before considering the cost of Hurricane Irma.  State forecasters are warning the coffers are nearly empty for the third year running.

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