State News

State News
6:22 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Bill To Raise Speed Limits, ‘Pop Tart’ Bill Among Measures Teed Up For Senate Votes

Credit Getty Images

The Florida Senate teed up several measures Wednesday, unanimously passed a number of measures, and sent some over to the Governor for his signature. That includes a bill addressing juvenile life sentencing, a pair of gun-related measures, and another increasing speed limits.

Speed Limit Bill

About 50 bills got teed up for a vote Wednesday, including a bipartisan bill allowing Florida Department of Transportation officials to change the speed limits on certain highways.

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State News
5:40 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Fla. Lawmaker Wants Alternative Energy, Nuclear Fee Repeal On Ballot

Dudley speaks on the Historic Capitol steps on April 23, 2014.
Credit Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

A state lawmaker whose energy policy proposals failed this year is hoping Floridians will get the chance to vote on them directly. Activists joined the representative Wednesday to push for constitutional amendments aimed at encouraging energy diversity and repealing a customer fee.

Florida for All, a progressive group partly funded by the Democratic Governors Association, held the press conference on the Historic Florida Capitol steps. At the event’s advertised time, three people had shown up: Rep. Dwight Dudley (D- St. Petersburg) and two sign-holding supporters.

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State News
7:14 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Senate Pension Reform Bill Now Heads To Floor, Still Differs From Merged House Bill

Credit Getty Images

The Senate’s pension reform proposal is now heading to the floor, after it passed its last committee Tuesday. But, tension surrounding the pension issue is mounting as those opposed say they’re tired of the legislature’s continual attacks on state workers.

Beverly Ledbetter is a longtime resident of Pasco County. She’s a former teacher who taught for 36 years, and she’s now receiving benefits under the Florida Retirement System’s defined benefit plan known as the traditional pension plan. But, she says it wasn’t always that way.

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State News
5:59 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

House Democrats' 'Unfinished Business' Unlikely To Be Finished

House Minority Leader Perry Thurston (D-Fort Lauderdale)
Credit Nick Evans

With Florida lawmakers returning from recess, House Democrats are highlighting what they see as missed opportunities.  They’re pushing a slate of what they call “Unfinished Business” - ignored legislation they hope can gain traction before the session ends.

“There are great things that need to be done that are not being done,” House Minority Leader Perry Thurston (D-Fort Lauderdale) says.  “There are a lot things that we need to get accomplished, and we’re spending the time squabbling back and forth and wasting good time that we could be helping Florida families.”

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Environment
5:36 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

On Earth Day, Environmentalists Optimistic About Fla. Legislative Session

Sustainable Big Bend volunteers plan for their April 26 Green Living Expo in Crawfordville's Hudson Park.
Credit Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

Today is Earth Day, the annual environmental-protection celebration now in its 44th year. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) noted the occasion with a climate change hearing in Miami Beach, while environmental advocates kept a close eye on the state Legislature.

On Tuesday morning, scientists and South Florida officials gathered in Miami to tell a congressional panel what the Sunshine State is doing to offset the effects of sea level rise. Nelson led the discussion.

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