Representative Katie Edwards

A new legislative proposal could require Florida schools to distribute free or reduce-price meal applications to all students, not just those in need. The bill applies to schools in the national school lunch program or the breakfast program.

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Florida lawmakers are considering different ways to help the state’s juvenile offenders. The aim is to help them succeed in life and make sure they don’t head to the prison system.

Rep. Katie Edwards (D-Plantation) is moving forward with a needle exchange pilot program.
Kaytee Riek via Flickr

A Broward County lawmaker’s plans for a needle exchange program are gaining traction. The House Health Quality Subcommittee approved Representative Katie Edwards’ plan Tuesday for a pilot program at the University of Miami.

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Some Florida lawmakers are renewing a bipartisan effort making it easier to expunge the records of certain juvenile offenders.

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Florida’s criminal justice budget issues cover a broad spectrum of agencies from Florida’s troubled prison system to the state’s courts system. While some areas of the budget got funded, other areas seen as priorities were lacking.

myfloridahouse

A heated debate in the Florida House concerning terminally-ill patient care ended unfavorably to medical marijuana proponents Wednesday, but the issue continues to make waves in the legislature.

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A bill reforming the way state prosecutors can charge juveniles as adults is starting to move in both chambers of the Florida Legislature.

baby feet and stuffed bunny feet in photo
Alba Soler

Just days after the full Florida House approved a plan ceremoniously allowing LGBT couples to adopt, a house committee has passed a bill that would let state-funded adoption agencies deny adoptions to families who don’t abide the agency’s religious or moral beliefs. Activists say the measure is a clear attempt to block same sex families from adopting.

Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel-Vasilinda (D-Tallahassee)
The Florida Channel

To this point, Democrats in the Florida Legislature have presented a unified front in opposition to a bill allowing concealed weapons on public university and college campuses.  But Wednesday two Democratic House members broke with their caucus to support the plan.

MGN Online

A bipartisan bill that revises the penalties for trafficking certain prescription drugs cleared its first House committee Wednesday. But, some say the measure is too lenient.

Florida Channel

A huge goal of Florida lawmakers this year is to crack down on sexual predators who prey on children and the disabled. A couple of Senate panels earlier this week passed several measures, and one House committee took up another slew of bills aimed at clearing up loopholes in Florida’s current law and increase penalties in other areas for certain sex offenses.

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Making sure released inmates don’t come back to prison is a main goal for prison reform advocates not only on the federal level, but the state level as well. Florida, in recent years, has tried and failed to implement a series of prison reforms, particularly aimed at drug offenders.  But, that won’t deter those same advocates from bringing back those same reforms next year.

Mandatory Minimums

Rep. Katie Edwards
FloridaHouseDemocrats.com

The state continues its investigation into a South Florida juvenile psych facility where a girl’s alleged abuse was caught on camera. A Broward County state lawmaker is also calling for a legislative investigation into the facility. Rep. Katie Edwards (D-Plantation) says the incident is emblematic of the state’s failure to protect children in its care.

There’s now a bipartisan effort in the Florida Legislature to grant judges more flexibility when sentencing prescription drug offenders.  The measure passed through its first House Committee Tuesday, but attracted much opposition from state prosecutors and law enforcement officers. Bill supporters say it would allow people addicted to prescription drugs to get necessary drug treatment. But, others say the bill will roll back the progress made in recent years to halt the illegal flow of prescription drugs.

Fla. Bill Would Legalize, Regulate Medical Marijuana

Feb 28, 2013

A bill legalizing medical marijuana in Florida is up for consideration by the Legislature. The bill’s sponsors say it should create jobs, generate tax revenue and cut costs for law enforcement. But some drug policy experts continue opposing any legalization of smoked marijuana.