Senator Jeff Brandes

Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg)
Nick Evans

A bipartisan coalition of Florida lawmakers are pushing two criminal justice reforms meant to roll back mass incarceration.

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You haven’t done anything wrong, but you’re pulled over anyway. The law enforcement officer asks to search your car. Should that officer be required to tell you about your right to decline the search? Florida lawmakers have started discussions about that very topic for the 2018 legislative session.

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Florida lawmakers are expected to soon take a deeper look into the Miami Herald investigative series, which detailed abuses within the state’s juvenile facilities. A panel of legislators this week gave the head of the Florida’s juvenile justice system a preview of what’s to come.

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Despite past failed legislative attempts, a bipartisan pair of lawmakers is vowing to continue their work on criminal justice reform—particularly within Florida’s prison system.

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A school bus safety bill is now heading to Governor Rick Scott, after passing the Senate this week. But, it not only received bipartisan support, but some bipartisan opposition as well.

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Senators spent Wednesday afternoon kicking the tires on a medical marijuana proposal backed by Fleming Island Republican Rob Bradley.

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A body cameras bill is starting to move through the House and Senate. But,  some lawmakers want another measure to move forward that mandates officers use the cameras at all traffic stops, citing a high profile South Florida death.

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A top priority for Senate President Joe Negron aimed at decriminalizing adolescence passed its first committee hearing Monday, but not without some concerns.

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A strong majority of Florida’s voters came together behind a constitutional amendment allowing medical marijuana.  Now Florida’s lawmakers have to come together to roll out the changes.

medical marijuana
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A Republican state lawmaker has come out in support of a medical marijuana ballot initiative.  Florida voters will decide on the measure this November.

Republican Senator Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg is a prime author of Amendment 4, the Legislature’s renewable energy tax cut proposal on the August 30 primary ballot. 

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The head of the Florida’s prison system says she already looking ahead to the next legislative session.

Florida Channel

A bill that enhances the penalties for passing a stopped school bus is heading to the Senate floor, after passing its last committee Monday. But, proponents of “Gabby’s Law” aren’t too happy with a recent change to the original bill.

It's assumed a conservative Republican Legislature could easily agree that less government is better. But that’s not the case when it comes to deregulation, even for professions like body wrapping and animal massage.

Florida Channel

A bill building on past reforms to Florida’s prison system is continuing to take shape.

Florida Channel

A bill allowing all sexual abuse victims to avoid going physically to court to give their testimony during a trial has passed its first Senate panel. But, not without some concerns.

Rep. Caldwell (left) and Sen. Brandes.
Nick Evans

Two Republican lawmakers are attempting to rein in a law enforcement practice called civil asset forfeiture.  It allows agencies to seize the property of people who they suspect are involved in criminal activity.

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Discharging a firearm for recreational purposes in residential neighborhoods could soon be illegal. Another Senate panel approved a measure Tuesday outlawing the act.

Drive Electric Florida Day at the Capitol on Thursday may have struck the right chord with the right lawmakers. This may be the year industry promoters get what they want in Tallahassee.

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A bill making it illegal to discharge a firearm for recreational purposes in residential neighborhoods cleared its first committees in the House and Senate Wednesday. But, it comes with some concerns.

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The “Right To Try Act” is set to go into effect next month. Governor Rick Scott recently approved the measure allowing terminally ill patients to have easier access to experimental drugs that don’t yet have full federal approval.

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Among the measures that did not die over the budget impasse between the House and Senate is a bill making it easier for terminally ill patients to have access to experimental drugs.

MGN Online

A bill allowing people to carry a firearm without a concealed carry permit during the evacuation of a declared state of emergency is now teed up for a vote in the Senate, despite opposition from several Democrats.

Florida legislation could impose greater state oversight on red light cameras.
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Using cameras to write tickets was greenlit years ago, but now a state lawmaker is calling for those green lights to turn yellow.  As Nick Evans reports, Senator Jeff Brandes is pushing for municipalities to report on existing red light cameras and try alternative measures before setting up more.

Despite strong campus opposition concealed carry is one step closer to Florida universities.
MGN Online

A controversial gun bill is turning out to be not so controversial anymore, after it got the approval of its main opponent—the Florida Sheriffs Association—Monday.

Last year, the NRA-backed measure allowing people to carry guns without a license during a state mandatory evacuation failed, after the Florida Sheriffs criticized the bill for being too loose. This year, bill sponsor  Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) is working to address that with a new change.

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