Senate President Joe Negron

Nick Evans

With two members leaving in disgrace this year, the Florida Senate is facing a barrage of questions about sexual harassment policies in the Capitol. 

FL House shortly before adjournment.
Nick Evans

The Florida Legislature has passed its budget and gone home.  But the manner in which lawmakers closed out this year’s session raises a number of questions about process, special session, and the veto pen.

From the left Appropriations Chairs Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Lutz, and Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, begin the compromise process as full conference committee met June 11, 2015, while finalizing key portions of the state's budget within Criminal and Civil Just
Mark Foley / Florida House of Representatives

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran says he supports a special session on medical marijuana. 

Governor Rick Scott is approving a 1.5 billion-dollar reservoir South of Lake Okeechobee, much to the delight of Senate President Joe Negron.

Trulieve / http://trulieve.com/

Florida’s Senate President is considering bringing lawmakers back to Tallahassee to strike a deal on medical marijuana. A plan to roll out the state’s new rules unraveled at the end of session.

Nick Evans

The Florida Legislature will have to extend its regular meeting time or call a special session to reach an agreement on a spending plan for the coming year.

Lake Okeechobee and South Florida viewed from space.
public domain

The Florida House has signed off on Senate President Joe Negron’s top priority: a water reservoir South of Lake Okeechobee. After a quick stop and approval by the Senate, the measure is heading to Governor Rick Scott’s desk.

DXR via wikimedia commons

The full Florida Senate is preparing to take up a modified version of the House’s tax cut proposal.  But a property tax measure may be more important to House leaders.

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.

Budget conference beginning.
Nick Evans

Budget talks have begun—or at least the public face of them have started.  Lawmakers are planning an extremely tight timeline.

DXR via wikimedia commons

Spending offers are flying back and forth between House and Senate leaders.  But Nick Evans reports time is running short on this year’s legislative session.

The reductions under the second part of the House budget exercise.
Florida House Appropriations Committee / Florida House of Representatives

There’s no such thing as a continuation budget says Senate President Joe Negron. Talks stalled over the weekend between the two chambers after the House floated the idea of a continuation budget.

The Florida Channel

Senate President Joe Negron is washing his hands of outgoing Senator Frank Artiles.  

Sen. Joe Negron (R-Stuart) speaks to members of the Florida Board of Governors Tuesday, 6/21/16
Florida Channel

Florida Senate President Joe Negron said he appreciates Governor Rick Scott’s support for water storage south of Lake Okeechobee. But he’s concerned about Scott’s request to include $200 million to fix the Herbert Hoover dike. Negron said he doesn’t trust the federal government to reimburse the state for repairs to the federally-operated levee.

Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater)
The Florida Channel

Florida Sen. Jack Latvala says he’s not ready to give up politics after he’s term limited in the Senate next year. But he won’t say what he’s eyeing next. Latvala spoke at the Tiger Bay Club in Tallahassee.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

A group of military veterans are calling on Florida Senate leaders to hear a bill that would increase penalties for defacing any Veterans memorial across the state.

Walleigh via wikimedia commons

The infusion of 1.5 billion dollars in the state budget to help cover health care for low income Floridians could go a long way toward bridging the divide between the House and Senate spending plans. 

Senate Reservoir Measure Primed For The Floor

Apr 11, 2017
DXR via wikimedia commons

Senate President Joe Negron’s priority water project is heading for a floor vote.  After shifting and twisting through committees, the measure’s fate is uncertain.

Florida House of Representatives

By scaling back the cost and size of a proposed reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee, Senate President Joe Negron appears to be making progress with critics. But a deal seems far from certain.

Sarah Mueller

Legislators and community college presidents are pleading with leaders in the Florida House and Senate to spare community colleges from budget cuts. The House and Senate have very different budget proposals. But college presidents said they don’t like either one.

 The Army Corp of Engineers releases water from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River because of heavy rains.
Credit Dale/flickr / Flickr

House Speaker Richard Corcoran says changes to the Senate’s plan to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee make the proposal better, but he’s refusing to cave on one big issue: whether to borrow money to finance the system.

Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami)
Anitere Flores facebook

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.

In 2011, the Florida legislature passed a measure to convert Medicaid insurance into a managed care system. But Republican lawmakers now want to take the program away from “big businesses” and change it into a block grant system. But Medicaid providers said if that happens low income families will lose access to health care.

Environmental groups are raising concerns about the Senate’s dramatically expanded plan to fight massive toxic algae blooms carpeting South Florida waterways.

The crowd waiting for the hearing.
Nick Evans

One of the most controversial spending programs of this year’s session passed its second committee stop Wednesday.  The reservoir project championed by Senate President Joe Negron raises conflicting concerns with supporters and opponents.

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