State News

WLRN.org

Florida’s top leadership offices are up for grabs this year and one of the largest jobs is overseeing the state’s multi-billion dollar agriculture and consumer services industries. There are seven candidates vying to succeed Adam Putnam as Agriculture Commissioner. Five of them recently appeared before several South Florida editorial boards to make their cases to voters. 

A decision on the fate of an education amendment to Florida’s constitution could arrive as soon as Monday.

Courtesy Holland & Knight Law

A lawsuit in Florida’s Supreme Court filed by a former justice seeks to get most of the Constitution Revision Commission’s proposed amendments off the ballot before November. Harry Lee Anstead retired as chief justice in 2009. Anstead takes issue with six amendments and their combining proposed changes, claiming it will leave voters unable to cast votes on individual ideas.

Martha Barnett is an attorney who served on the last CRC in 1998. She served on its Style and Drafting Committee, which determines how amendments are combined and presented on the ballot. Barnett recently spoke with WFSU’s Ryan Dailey about her experience on the Commission, and gave her take on the most recent amendments.

Collier Co. School Board and Constitution Revision Commission Member Erika Donalds promotes Amendment Eight during a 4th of July parade in Naples. Donalds is the architect of the multi-tiered proposal.
Erika Donalds / facebook

The League of Women Voters of Florida is hoping to persuade a Leon County Circuit judge today to strip a constitutional amendment proposal off the November ballot. The amendment in question is number eight, which combines several issues into one proposal like term limits for local school board, mandating civics be taught. But  the part the league takes issue with the section that deals with approving new charter schools.

An alligator
Karen Parker / FWC Flickr

The statewide recreational hunting of Florida’s alligators began Wednesday.

With Florida's 2018 general election just weeks away the race for U.S. Senate election officials are growing concerned about the potential for hacking. The issue is now playing a role in the U.S. Senate race, as Governor Rick Scott and Senator Bill Nelson spar over whether the state's  systems are secure.

Governor Rick Scott his defending is environmental policies amid a Red Tide that’s choking the state’s Southwest coast and resulting in massive fish and marine life kills. 

A toxic red tide algae bloom that’s been persisting in Southwest Florida for nearly a year is now making its way to the Tampa Bay area. It’s been most recently reported as far north as Pinellas County.

This past weekend, beachgoers on Anna Maria Island in Manatee County witnessed thousands of dead fish and other marine life wash ashore from red tide poisoning. 

Tom Flanigan

Florida has never allowed oil and natural gas drilling off its coasts. But a new national coalition thinks that needs to change.

August 14th marks the 83rd birthday of Social Security. The Florida Alliance for Retired Americans celebrated the anniversary at Tallahassee City Hall by calling on lawmakers to protect the program. 

There has been an arrest in the Clearwater 'stand your ground' case.

The State Attorney's office is charging Micheal Drejka with manslaughter in the death of Markeis McGlockton.

According to a press release, an arrest warrant was issued this Monday morning and Drejka is being booked into the Pinellas County Jail. His bond has been set at $100,000.

Joined by her Attorney Ben Crump and others, Brittany Jacobs speaks during a news conference inside a Tallahassee church prior to a march to the capitol Wednesday.
Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Last month’s killing of a man during a dispute over a parking space has revived the conversation about a repeal of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. The overall debate surrounding the controversial self defense law is also having an impact on Florida's elections.

Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll
Florida Channel

The head of Florida’s child welfare agency is stepping down.

Courtesy AECOM

Florida’s problem with algal blooms has taken center stage, and efforts to mitigate it are in high demand. A partnership between two engineering and bioplastics companies aims to bring a new type of solution to the market. One Florida county is already trying it out.

LockwoodLawFirm.com

Several legal actions happened this week involving medical marijuana in Florida.

One ruling found that the state can’t limit the number of medical marijuana treatment centers, known as MMTC’s. In other words, that means no caps on the number of dispensaries.

Courtesy Sean Shaw Campaign

Democratic Attorney General candidate Sean Shaw is promising if elected he’ll create a task force to deal with gun violence.

Tallahassee Attorney Ben Crump speaking during a news conference inside a Tallahassee church prior to marching to the capitol Wednesday.
Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Joined by the girlfriend of a black man who was shot dead by a white man over a disabled parking spot at a Clearwater convenience store, black pastors, civil rights leaders and politicians marched to Governor Rick Scott’s office Wednesday to demand a repeal of the state’s controversial “stand your ground law.”

A number of pill bottles
Florida Department of Health's Take Control Website

With a new opioid law in effect, Florida health officials are educating the public on some of the new changes through a new campaign.

A photo of wetlands, which will be the site of a future mall in Miami
Wilfredo Lee / AP Photo

Billionaire gubernatorial candidate Jeff Greene is taking aim at one of his competitors over what he calls a “MegaMall” development planned in South Florida. Gwen Graham was quick in firing back.

A child buckling their seatbelt
rawpixel.com / Pexels

August is Child Safety Awareness Month, and Florida officials are reminding motorists to always buckle up their kids.

Courtesy Ryan Torrens Campaign

Ryan Torrens is a candidate for Florida Attorney General running in the primary against Democratic Representative Sean Shaw. Recently, Shaw filed a lawsuit alleging Torrens didn’t properly qualify as a candidate, and violated campaign finance law. Torrens has come to his own defense by releasing a public rebuttal, and has filed a motion to dismiss the case. It is set to be heard on August 22, just six days before the primary election.

Torrens recently sat down with WFSU’s Ryan Dailey to give his side of the story.

Kaleigh Wright

The research group Integrity Florida is raising concern about what it sees as a lack of diversity in President Donald Trump’s judicial nominations. 

Back to school supplies, like pencils, pens, and notebooks
TicketToDream.org

Florida’s child welfare agency is partnering with other groups to hold its first ever “Back to School Supply Drive” for foster care kids.

CFO's Press Office

Florida’s pool and spa related deaths rose from 2016 to 2017. 

The "Liberator," an example of the 3D-printable gun.
Defense Distributed website

Blueprints on how to make a functional 3D printed gun at home are now available online. But, Florida’s U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is among several Democrats calling on President Trump to step in.

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