State News

MGN Online

The costs to settle outstanding prison lawsuits could mean less money to spend on Florida Department of Corrections’ priorities. That’s the message from the new Florida Senate Budget chair.

Florida Supreme Court
Nick Evans

The Florida Supreme Court has tossed out a case challenging the governor's right to make last minute appointments. The justices say it’s too soon to review because the appointments haven't been made yet. Without a clear ruling, some are worried about a potential constitutional crisis. 

DXR via wikimedia commons

With the 2018 legislative session looming, state officials are doing their level best to defuse a widening sexual harassment scandal.  The governor is ordering new training at state agencies.

The Florida Supreme Court.
Nick Evans / WFSU News

Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga’s civil justice commission is unveiling a new mobile app to help people access the courts.  It’s called Florida Courts Help.

Deepwater Horizon drilling platform on fire in 2010.
US Coast Guard

Florida voters could be asked to ban oil drilling off Florida’s coasts. The proposal got the green-light Thursday before a Constitution Revision Commission Panel and there was little opposition.

MGN Online

The political battle around Obamacare doesn’t seem to be factoring into Floridians' decisions to sign up. Florida leads the nation in Obamacare enrollment. And the state’s residents are once again signing up for the program at a record rate. That’s despite Republicans’ efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

MGN Online

The repeal of “net neutrality” rules that allowed consumers to have equal access to the internet has upset Florida’s U.S. Democratic Senator.

Walleigh via wikimedia commons

Florida voters may get to decide whether to eliminate a healthcare permit called a certificate of need.  But some are questioning if the ballot is the right place to make that decision.

Josh O'Connor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast/

Florida’s top agriculture official wants more funding to fight wildfires. Firefighters worked hard to control this year’s burns, before heavy rainfall cut the season short. But winter weather conditions could fuel more fires in 2018. 

Pasco County Sheriff's Office

A bill funding a unique facility to help solve cold cases is starting to move forward in the Florida House.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott spoke about his executive order after December's Cabinet meeting.
Florida Cabinet

Florida Governor Rick Scott is ordering state agencies to develop training and reporting guidelines for sexual harassment.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Floridians could soon vote on a proposal to grant victims more rights during court proceedings. That matter will first go before the Florida Constitution Revision Commission—which meets every 20 years to revise the state’s constitution. Voters would later have their say on the 2018 ballot.

https://twitter.com/adamputnam
Adam Putnam via flickr / Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Florida’s projected orange crop is continuing to dwindle. The forecasted yield is down 80% from the record high of 244 million boxes 20 years ago. 

Rep. Evan Jenne (D-Dania Beach)
Mark Foley via FL House website

A Florida Democrat wants to impose the same fundraising restrictions legislators face each session on the state’s cabinet officials.

State Atty. Dave Aronberg
U.S. Congress, Energy and Commerce Committee

Two Palm Beach prosecutors are calling on Congress to outlaw the kickbacks some patient brokers receive for connecting people with drug treatment.  They believe those incentives encourage relapse rather than recovery.

Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg)
The Florida Channel

Florida levies a tax on communications services—things like cable and cell phones, but also streaming services.  Now one lawmaker wants to carve out internet video from the tax.

Three of Florida’s gubernatorial hopefuls got into a social media spat Thursday over immigration. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and House Speaker Richard Corcoran exchanged words over sanctuary city policies.

Ariel Dovas via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/eviloars/3596825553/in/photolist-6tQEVF-8URbcY-nBP92L-hX8nFM-dzZqZv-4ZJ2ky-oXmHrv-4X6aGF-8kErNQ-4X6aKt-dzZtdB-dL1No5-3RYGw5-8vMptT-4dAphj-8mqsHQ-RTzbX-5gJJMN-8iq3hr-en86kn-9DU4qw-8zjrD7-aE62qi-aCEBWy-3cDrcM-5ahWGB-HeukUX-Z9zp

First responders run towards crashes, emergencies and catastrophes, not away from them. And for some, their experiences are leading to post traumatic stress disorder. But in Florida, first responders who develop PTSD on the job don’t get compensated, unless they have a physical injury as well. Now there are efforts at the statehouse to change that. A note to listeners, the following story includes frank discussion of death and suicide.

MGN Online

The official start to the 2018 legislative session is about a month away, and already, some high profile gun bills appear to be dead. Discussion surrounding the proposals not only pit Republicans against one another, it’s led to sparring between gun rights groups as well.

Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater)
Nick Evans

Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, continues to fight against allegations of sexual harassment but there’s mounting evidence he is on the losing end. The state’s House Speaker said recently Latvala could end up being kicked out the Senate in January.

DXR via wikimedia commons

When the 2018 lawmaking session begins in January, Florida lawmakers will again wrestle with who we honor and how we memorialize them.  One measure would establish a monument—another would remove one.

The St. Johns River
FL Division of Tourism via Florida Memory

The Florida Senate is aiming to divvy up a pot of environmental money with large chunks earmarked for Florida’s springs and the St. Johns River. 

Florida Department of Education budget presentation 12/7/17.
Florida Department of Education

Governor Rick Scott wants Florida lawmakers to spend an extra $200 million to raise per-student spending to another record high. But in order to get there, much of the increase would come from local contributions, and the state’s top educator made the case for it Thursday.

Skitter Photo

Lawmakers are once again working to assure the 3-million Floridians who play fantasy sports with friends that they’re not breaking the law. A measure from Tampa Republican Senator Dana Young would clarify that playing fantasy sports does not constitute gambling. The Seminole Tribe of Florida has raised concerns about the legislation violating the tribe’s gambling exclusivity agreement with the state. But Young says she’s not worried.

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

A cold snap is bringing freezing temperatures to Florida this weekend. But one citrus scientist says the state’s embattled growers shouldn’t see much damage. 

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