Sen. Anitere Flores

Florida Channel

In the coming weeks, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice will be putting the finishing touches on a newly created office where juveniles and their families can raise concerns. That’s just one of the reforms the head of DJJ recently told a group of lawmakers, who had some suggestions of their own to address abuses within the system outlined in a Miami Herald investigative series.

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Governor Rick Scott has signed a claims bill into law to help further compensate a young abuse survivor who—along with his sister—suffered for years, while under the supervision of the state’s child welfare agency.

In Memory Of Nubia Barahona Facebook page

The case of a surviving abuse victim that led to the overhaul of Florida’s child welfare system may be close to reaching a resolution. While the claims bill to further compensate the victim has usually died in the past legislative sessions, it’s now headed to the Governor for final approval.

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The Florida Senate unanimously passed a bill approving the remaining payment of $3.75 million to the surviving victim in a child abuse case. 

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A number of claims bills which found Florida’s child welfare agency at fault are now heading to the House floor. Among them is a high profile bill involving twins that further compensates the surviving victim, in an abuse case that took his twin sister’s life.

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Senate Democrats are huddling to discuss proposed changes to nursing home funding.  Nick Evans reports the chamber’s spending plan alters the way Medicaid dollars flow to facilities.

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While several gun bills appeared stalled in the Florida Senate, a couple recently passed the House. One gives places of worship attached to a school the authority to allow guns on the property.

The Florida House and Senate are planning big cuts to Florida hospitals and those groups say it will hurt medical care access for the poor and disabled.

Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami)
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A decades old subsidy for the insurance industry is shedding light on differing approaches for cutting taxes in the state.  A Senate panel approved a plan to plow the money into reducing a business rent tax.

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A couple of juvenile justice-related bills are now moving in the Florida House and Senate.

Senate President Pro Tempore Anitere Flores
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Dozens of gun measures are likely dead this year in the legislature. A key Republican Senator says she won’t support measures like campus carry or guns in school zones.

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A bill further compensating a surviving child of an abusive adoptive home is starting to move in the Florida Senate.

Senate President Pro Tempore Anitere Flores
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Senate President Pro Tem Anitere Flores is proposing a tax cut on Floridians’ cable and cell phone bills.  But to pay for it, the Miami Republican’s plan would eliminate a tax break for the insurance industry.

The issue of hydraulic fracturing has long been highly controversial in Florida, and now it’s opening up a fissure in the Republican-led Senate. There are competing fracking bills, and the chamber's leader is staying mum on where he stands.

Senate President Pro Tempore Anitere Flores
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Senator Anitere Flores has spoken out against hydraulic fracturing in Florida, voted against it and written guest editorials. But the Miami Republican is sending her strongest message yet.

Florida Channel

Advocates of criminal justice reform in Florida hope the state legislature will address some of their top priorities in the upcoming legislative session. But a big push for structural changes to reduce the prison population are difficult because of a limited amount of money, resources and political will.

In Memory Of Nubia Barahona Facebook page

A Florida lawmaker is hoping a claims bill to further compensate a child abuse victim will pass the state legislature for 2017. This will be the fourth year the measure comes before lawmakers.

Senate leaders are promising to take a comprehensive approach to overhauling Florida’s workers’ compensation system as business groups rail against a pending 14.5 percent rate hike.

Sally Falko

David Beckham’s bid to extend a Florida sales tax rebate to his proposed Major League Soccer facility may be in jeopardy.  The Senate chose Thursday to delay a vote on the bill at the last minute.

Florida lawmakers feel sports facilities like stadiums have an important role to play in metropolitan environments.  Not only are they a significant source of tax revenue, but they can serve as a kind of hub supporting complimentary businesses like restaurants.