Sen. Kelli Stargel

The Florida Channel

The Florida Legislature is on track to make raising taxes more difficult. A measure proposing a boost in requirements for increasing taxes is on its way to the Senate floor.

Then Rep. Randolph Bracy (D-Ocoee) debating on the House floor.
Mark Foley via FL House website / Florida House of Representatives

Florida lawmakers are cracking down on the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Legislation punishing its possession is heading to the governor.

Nick Evans

Governor Rick Scott has approved a controversial bill restricting state funding to organizations that provide elective abortions. The measure is similar to a law in Texas pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Florida Senate

School choice opponents are lining up against a proposal giving students with disabilities additional funding. They say while the intent of the bill is noble, they fear it will lead to even greater segregation within Florida’s education system.

A bill giving parents more of a say in the fate of failing public schools has failed in the Senate on a dramatic, tied vote. It’s the second year in a row the Senate has killed the bill.

An amendment by Republican Senator David Simmons stayed intact, giving local school boards, not the state board of education, the final say on the fate of failing public schools. It was meant to ease concerns over a potential loss of local authority. But that wasn’t enough to sway bill opponents to vote for the bill.

The controversial “parent trigger” or "parent empowerment" bill, has cleared its final committee stop in the Senate with a major change. Opponents say an amendment tacked onto the bill Thursday makes the proposal much better, and  it also may have watered down the bill.


Efforts to legalize medical marijuana have gotten a lot of attention in Tallahassee this year.  But that hasn’t slowed down a bill to ban bongs and other devices used to consume pot and other mind-bending substances.  That bill is garnering overwhelming approval in the Florida Senate. 

Democratic Representative Darryl Rouson of St. Petersburg is the sponsor of the bill to outlaw the sale of certain smoking pipes and devices across Florida.

A bill giving parents a greater say in the fate of failing public schools is now moving though the Senate, having cleared a key education committee vote.

The proposal, sponsored by  Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) is also known as the parent empowerment bill to its supporters. But opponents say the problem with failing schools is deeper than just giving parents yet another option:

Florida Senate

Update 5:18 pm:   The so-called parent trigger bill is back again after a narrow defeat in the Florida Senate last year, when several Republicans joined with Democrats to vote against the measure, resulting in a tie.