Senator John Thrasher

students marching with signs
Lakey / FSU Progress Coalition

Florida State University student groups are hoping to get the state Board of Governors to block the presidential confirmation of state Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine). The groups and several faculty members have protested at every step of the search process this year, at one point leading to the resignation of the school’s original search consultant.

FSU Trustees Choose 'Lightning Rod' President In Thrasher

Sep 26, 2014
"Down with Thrasher" sign
Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

This week Florida State University picked Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine) as its next president. His selection follows months of discord as some FSU faculty and students demanded the role be filled by an academic instead. On Monday and Tuesday, those tensions boiled over at a turbulent final two search meetings. 

Who better to convey the drama of FSU’s presidential search than someone who masters dramatic flair for a living? Enter Matthew Lata.

FSU Names Sen. John Thrasher As Next President

Sep 23, 2014
Florida Senate

Florida State University has selected Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine) as its next president. Many on the FSU Board of Trustees say Thrasher is a proven fundraiser who loves the university.

Thrasher is also chairman of Gov. Rick Scott’s reelection campaign, a post the FSU trustees have asked him to resign immediately. Thrasher’s legislative connections and ability to raise money are what board members cited again and again Tuesday before voting for him 11-to-2.

Wheatly is one of four candidates to be FSU's next president.
West Virginia University

Former West Virginia University provost Michele Wheatly participated in a question and answer session Tuesday as part of Florida State University’s presidential search.  Wheatly is one of four remaining candidates for the position.

FSU’s presidential search has been the subject of criticism for months because of a perceived bias in favor of state Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine).  Wheatly’s reception in Tuesday’s hearings contrasted sharply with the tension in Thrasher’s meetings Monday.  Here’s part of what Wheatly had to say when asked about supporting graduate programs.

Florida State University

Two of the most prominent candidates hoping to lead Florida State University, state Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine) and FSU Interim President Garnett Stokes took their turns in front of the presidential search committee Tuesday. But one of them hasn’t made it to the final list.

Florida Senate

Update 7:oo p.m.: Bill Funk has been called the “guru of higher education recruiting” by the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Florida State University has hired him to help find a new president. But Wednesday he told the university’s search committee the task has been made more complicated by the candidacy of Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine. 

“To be in the public with someone who cast such a long shadow over the process, really limited the interest of these individuals,” said Funk.

Getty Images / Getty Images

Overhauling the Florida Retirement System could be up in the air, after a procedural move in the Senate may have blocked that chamber from taking up a similar effort that merges both the state pension overhaul and a non-controversial effort to fix a troubled local pension system.

Sen. Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee)—who has the biggest number of public employees in his North Florida district—says he questions the need for an effort to overhaul the state’s pension system, which he says Legislature tries to do almost every year.

Sen. David Simmons' district facebook page

Is a measure aiming to tweak Florida’s Stand Your Ground law dead this year? While some believe that effort is over, others—including the law’s main author—don’t seem to think so.

Last month, a proposal aimed at tweaking the controversial law began to move again, when it passed the Senate Criminal Justice Committee—the bill’s second stop.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

A bill allowing someone to threaten to use force in a situation where they feel threatened without fear of prosecution is expected to be discussed on the Senate Floor this week.  And, the so-called “warning shot” bill that was modified at each committee stop may go through another change on the floor.

MGN Online

A measure inspired by the story of a Jacksonville woman who received a lengthy prison term for firing a warning shot unanimously cleared another Senate hurdle Tuesday. It’s the second time around for the so-called “Warning Shot” bill in that same committee.

Last month, the bill got held up after undergoing multiple changes and time ran out in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. So, on the first day of the 2014 Legislative Session, Baker Republican Senator Greg Evers got a second chance to vet his bill.

Susan Sermoneta

A bill that passed its first Senate hearing today aims to limit which parties can be brought to court in nursing home disputes.  Nursing home residents would only able to file initial complaints against the nursing home itself, the subcontractors they employ, and direct caregivers.  Under the bill, introduced by State Senator John Thrasher (R-St.Augustine), passive investors are less likely to face litigation, and Thrasher says this will encourage investment.

Wilfredo Lee / AP

Former House Majority Leader Carlos Lopez-Cantera has been hailed as a person who can help get Governor Rick Scott’s 2014 legislative agenda off the ground as Scott’s new Second-in-Command. But, it’s the fact he’ll be Florida’s first Hispanic Lieutenant Governor that has all sides talking.

MGN Online

Should Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law be tweaked?  A bipartisan proposal that would make some changes to the controversial measure passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 7-2 during this legislative committee week.  But, the bill has its share of critics, including a powerful House member who could hold the key to its survival.

Florida Channel

A bill that aims to clarify Florida’s Stand Your Ground law passed its first committee Tuesday. The Senate Judiciary Committee was initially set to consider two similar bills seeking to tweak the law.

Bill To Define Which Games Are 'Gambling' Moves To Senate Floor

Apr 2, 2013

When is a game won on skill? When is a game won by chance? The Florida Senate Rules Committee Tuesday furthered the gambling debate, passing a bill defining certain games of chance at the heart of the illegal gambling debate.

Not all students who have disabilities require specialized instruction. But for those who do need extra support, they get individual learning plans or IEP’s. The effort to give parents a greater say in those IEP’s is being led in the Senate by two lawmakers who take the issue personally.

 “We do a lot of things around here, but nothing as important as looking out for these kids with unique abilities," said Republican Senator John Thrasher, whose grandson has Down Syndrome.

After President Obama unveiled a sweeping proposal to curb gun violence, it received a swift rebuke from groups like the National Rifle Association and the Republican National Committee. Some Florida lawmakers offered their reactions to the news.

Among 23 executive actions, the president’s proposal calls for Congress to pass universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons. Republican Representative Dennis Baxley of Ocala sees the action as an assault on 2nd Amendment rights.

A Florida Senate Committee tackled a bill Tuesday to prohibit lawmakers from working for a state college or university.  Tom Flanigan reports the bill failed after much impassioned discussion

The bill was proposed by Jacksonville Republican John Thrasher.  It would set up rules for public officials to use blind trusts in the event their business or other activities might present a conflict of interest.  Thrasher’s bill would tighten financial reporting requirements.  And it would do one other thing…