Senator Bill Galvano

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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.

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.

Peeking at cards during a poker game
Michał Parzuchowski / https://unsplash.com/@mparzuchowski

Florida Senators have teed their gambling overhaul bill up for a vote on the floor Thursday .

The full chamber discussed the measure Wednesday. Bradenton Republican Senator Bill Galvano is the bill sponsor. He says each of the provisions in the bill are contingent on one another as well as on the state’s ability to negotiate an agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

A Senate plan for changes to the state’s public colleges and universities sailed smoothly through its first panel hearing Monday. Questions mostly centered on how schools could implement block tuition and use a four-year graduation rate as part of the state’s higher ed accountability system.

A key lawmaker is promising to take action after regulators approved an estimated 500 million-dollar hike in workers compensation rates.

Citrus greening (Huanglongbing) is reeking havoc on Florida's citrus industry.
A. Barra via Wikimedia commons

Senator Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) wants to get rid of abandoned citrus groves, which he says can contribute to the spread of citrus greening.

Florida Senate

“Mission Creep” is a term used to describe the increase in community colleges offering four-year degrees. Critics say the idea started innocently but has grown out of control. Now, as Matthew Seeger reports, a deal between lawmakers and the colleges may be close.

Supermarket Liquor Bill Fizzles Out

Apr 10, 2014
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Thursday the Senate Regulated Industries Committee heard a bill that would allow supermarkets and big box stores to sell liquor. 

“Part of the bill are two components the first eliminates a state mandate on the separate location and entry for the sale of one class of alcoholic beverage,” says Sen. Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton). 

He says supermarkets shouldn’t need a separate establishment to shelve liquor.

Florida would be the 18th state to allow distilled spirits to be sold in grocery stores. At least one industry group views the proposal as a step forward.

Florida Senate

Florida’s community and state colleges say state lawmakers have their attention after proposals to stop the schools from creating new degree programs ended up in the Senate’s budget plan. The schools are now talking with lawmakers and the two sides have formed a sort of truce--for now.

Florida Senate

A planned expansion of the state’s school voucher program has been derailed in the early weeks of the legislative session. What was once billed as a top priority of legislative leaders appears to be going nowhere, to the disappointment of the program’s backers.

The state Board of Education has approved several new bachelor’s degree programs at what were formerly known as community colleges. The approval comes as some lawmakers look to restrict the board’s authority to approve those programs.

Florida Senate

Baccalaureate degree programs at Florida’s community colleges are under examination this year. The schools have been allowed to create advanced programs they say are aimed at meeting local workforce needs. But some lawmakers believe the schools have gone overboard.

Florida State Senator Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) has introduced a proposal that would take the approval of community college baccalaureate degrees away from the state board of education—and give it to the Legislature.

Florida Board of Governors

Whether Florida will have 11 or 12 public universities is up in the air after the state’s newest school was left out of the budget of the Senate committee overseeing education.

Florida Polytechnic University sprung from the University of South Florida’s polytech program over the opposition of that schools faculty, staff and students. Supporters of Polytech argued the school wouldn’t need any additional funding, but a few months ago Polytech officials floated the idea of requesting an extra $25 million, which was later pulled. 

The Florida Senate has outlined a $1.1 billion spending proposal for K-12th grade education that includes the $480 million Governor Rick Scott has called for to fund teacher pay raises.

Scott has said he wants to see every full-time Florida teacher get a salary increase, but the Senate Appropriations Sub-Committee has other ideas. Under an initial outline, the awarding of pay raises will be left to districts which will draw up plans for distributing the money and send those plans to the Florida Department of Education.