Senator Bill Galvano

Florida Senate

Incoming Senate President Bill Galvano stands by his decision to keep funds in the so-called Guardian program.

This comes after Governor Rick Scott asked the Legislature to move the remaining funds to school districts so they can hire more officers.

Leon Evans, a former inmate, counts himself as a success of Transition House, a reentry program to help inmates have an easier time to transition back into society.
Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Some blame the state legislature for not fully funding Florida’s corrections budget. Prison officials say that led to them making some hard choices. Among those choices: cutting funding to programs helpful to inmates trying to transition back into society—as we hear in the last installment of Sascha Cordner’s two-part series.

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones meets with inmates at the Wakulla Correctional Institution, March 8, 2016.
Florida Department of Corrections facebook

The state budget officially went into effect earlier this month. That includes Florida’s prison budget, which led to prison officials cutting funding to programs helpful to inmates trying to transition back into society. While some blame the Florida legislature, others want to stop playing the blame game and move forward. In the first installment of her series, WFSU's Sascha Cordner digs into what led up to this point.

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The Florida House has now teed up gun safety legislation for a vote, in response to last month’s mass shooting at a South Florida high school. They agreed Tuesday to take up the Senate version of the bill that narrowly passed Monday. While language was stripped from that bill to exclude most classroom teachers, opponents argue the “compromise” could still arm school staff, like coaches.

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The Florida Senate has passed a school safety bill putting new restrictions on rifle sales and allowing some teachers to carry guns. It's dubbed the "Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act."

Florida Senate Tees Up Gun Safety Legislation For Monday Vote

Mar 3, 2018
Sen. Bill Galvano's twitter

The Florida Senate held a rare Saturday session, discussing legislation aimed at making schools safer, following the February 14th mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 14 students and three faculty members dead.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Some gun safety proposals passed their first Florida Senate committee without an assault weapons ban. While top GOP lawmakers are calling the effort bipartisan, some Democrats pushing for more gun reforms disagree.

Gov. Rick Scott, Broward Superintendent Rob Runcie and Broward Sheriff Scott Israel discuss Parkland school shooting.
PBS NewsHour screenshot

In the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting that left 17 people dead, politicians on the state and national level are weighing in on what can be done legislatively.

Lawmakers Debate University Performance Funding

Feb 13, 2018
Florida A&M University's Lee Hall
famunews.com

An education bill is sparking debate about how universities receive performance funding and lawmakers are facing an important decision about the future of the program.

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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.

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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
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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.