Like the newly elected President and the future Congress, Florida’s future leaders will look pretty much the same. Still, while the Republican-led state legislature still continues to hold a majority, there were some upsets.
Researchers and environmentalists have picked up a major ally in their calls for water storage south of Lake Okeechobee. Incoming Senate President Joe Negron is vowing to make it a priority when the Legislature returns for session.
The number of people returning to prison based on technical violations has contributed to an uptick in this year’s new prison admissions. Looking for solutions to that problem came up during this year’s legislative session and is a priority for the head of the Florida Department of Corrections.
Incoming Senate President Joe Negron is pushing to improve four year graduation rates at Florida’s universities. He’s floating a policy known as block tuition on his tour of the state’s university system.
Bills creating statewide standards to help in the processing of Florida’s thousands of untested rape kits as well as future kits are now heading to the floors of the House and Senate, after passing their last committees Thursday.
Hundreds of thousands of Floridians are losing their licenses because they can’t afford their traffic fines. And courthouses across the state are cutting back hours and furloughing employees because of a massive budget deficit. Legislators are promising to solve both problems, but it won’t be easy.
To outsource or not to outsource…That’s the question facing Florida lawmakers this year, as they mull over whether the Florida Department of Law Enforcement should use outside help to take care of the state’s backlog of untested rape kits.
Florida State University President John Thrasher’s roots run deep in the Florida Legislature. With his friend and former Senate colleague Joe Negron slated to become the next Senate President, legislative stars could align for FSU.
Making sure former inmates have a fair shot when they leave the prison system could be a legislative goal in 2016. Some top Florida lawmakers say they’ve heard some horror stories of people getting sent back to prison over minor infractions.
Excessive use of force incidents are down, but officials say Florida’s troubled prison agency still needs more staff. Those are just some of the issues that came up during the prison chief’s initial Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement should test all of the state’s thousands of untested rape kits that are backlogged. That’s according to the head of a Senate budget panel who no longer wants the state to outsource that job.
Florida’s criminal justice budget issues cover a broad spectrum of agencies from Florida’s troubled prison system to the state’s courts system. While some areas of the budget got funded, other areas seen as priorities were lacking.
The head of Florida’s troubled prison system is optimistic as budget talks continue. The House and Senate have agreed, for the most part, on the funding, with a few things that still need to be ironed out.
According to recent national reports, there are thousands of untested rape kits around the U.S.—leading to a backlog of unsolved cases. The Florida Legislature is now considering putting thousands of dollars into a statewide rape kit assessment.
“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.
Both chambers of the Florida Legislature laid out their criminal justice budgets Wednesday. The House and Senate spending plans are similar—driven by a goal of helping Florida’s troubled prison system.
As the Florida Senate began to consider an omnibus bill to reform Florida’s troubled prison system, a Florida House committee has now also started to look into its own comprehensive reform package. But, there’s already one major difference between the two measures.
A comprehensive prison reform package cleared another Senate committee Wednesday. But, at the bill’s next stop, the measure may look a little different due to some bipartisan concerns with the omnibus bill.