Representative Larry Metz

iStockphoto

Florida lawmakers are close to deciding on the state’s criminal justice budget. A large portion deals with the state’s prison agency.

MGN Online

The state’s court system will be a top priority next year in Florida’s criminal justice budget. That’s what a group of Florida lawmakers have vowed to do.

Getty Images

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.

BBC

Drones have become an ambitious new frontier, finding applications in the private and public sectors. But Florida lawmakers are still trying to stay ahead of curve by limiting the use of the flying technology.

MGN Online

Both chambers of the Florida Legislature laid out their criminal justice budgets Wednesday. The House and Senate spending plans are similar—driven by a goal of helping Florida’s troubled prison system.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

A comprehensive prison reform package is now headed to the Senate, but is the House getting ready to start making its own move to reform Florida’s troubled Department of Corrections?

Charles Lockwood's drone.
Nick Evans

Drones.  They’re getting cheaper and hobbyist pilots are finding more and more ways to use them.  Many see huge commercial potential, but state lawmakers are just as concerned about invasion of privacy

Florida Channel

In the coming weeks, a Senate panel is slated to take up a comprehensive prison reform proposal aimed at fixing Florida’s troubled prison system.

It’s been months since Senate President Andy Gardiner tasked Sen. Greg Evers (R-Baker)—the Senate Criminal Justice Committee chairman—with writing a comprehensive prison reform package to help fix a system plagued by inmate deaths and inmate abuse allegations. Gardiner says these are serious issues.  

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli (l) speaks to Senate President Andy Gardiner prior to the legislative session.
D.A. Robin / WFSU-FM

Florida lawmakers are expected to take up an omnibus bill next week in an effort to reform the state’s troubled prison system. The system—plagued by allegations of inmate abuse and inmate deaths—was also a topic of discussion Wednesday at the State Capitol.

Already, the Chairmen of the Criminal Justice committees in the House and Senate have conducted several surprise inspections of some correctional facilities.

And, a comprehensive bill looking to reform the system has been filed by Sen. Greg Evers (R-Baker) in his capacity as the chair of the Senate panel.

Opponents of a bill that would ban courts from making a decision on certain cases based on foreign law are trying a last ditch effort to get it voted down on the Senate Floor. As Sascha Cordner reports, while the bill’s sponsors say they’re trying to make Florida courts pure, others are calling it an attack on certain religions.

“It’s unacceptable for his Senate to be infested with this hate speech being distributed.”

Muslims from all over Florida rallied at the State Capitol Tuesday.  It’s become a regular event during the legislative session.  But Tom Flanigan reports the group actually had some hostile legislation to oppose this year….

More than a hundred people gathered on the steps of Florida’s Historic Old Capitol. This was the Fourth Annual Florida Muslim Capitol Day.  In past years, the event was a chance for members of the Islamic faith from different parts of the state to get together and make their presence known to lawmakers.  This year there was a more specific focus..