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The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is marking its 50th year in existence. In 1967, the Florida legislature merged the duties and responsibilities of several state criminal justice organizations to create the Bureau of Law Enforcement—its former name. FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen says at the time, the agency had more than 90 members and a budget of $1.5 million.

Governor Rick Scott's twitter

The Florida Cabinet commemorated Disability Employment Awareness Month at its Tuesday meeting.

Attorney General Pam Bondi (left) and Governor Rick Scott (third from left) spoke about an Alachua County emergency declaration after the Florida Cabinet meeting Tuesday.
Brittany Clark / Florida Governor's Office

Florida Governor Rick Scott is declaring a state of emergency ahead of a white supremacist speech at the University of Florida in Gainesville.  Richard Spencer will speak at the University of Florida Thursday.

DXR via wikimedia commons

Florida Governor Rick Scott’s response to the state’s opioid crisis is taking shape in the House.

Tampa Gator via Wikimedia Commons

It’s that time of year when agencies lay out their plans for the coming year—and more importantly—how much those plans will cost.  Two of them are looking to hand out raises.

David J. Phillip / AP Photo

With white nationalist Richard Spencer coming to speak at the University of Florida Thursday, Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency and issued an Executive Order. It allows law enforcement agencies from other areas to provide assistance to Gainesville, to prepare for any violent protests that could happen.

Florida Channel

Florida lawmakers are expected to soon take a deeper look into the Miami Herald investigative series, which detailed abuses within the state’s juvenile facilities. A panel of legislators this week gave the head of the Florida’s juvenile justice system a preview of what’s to come.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection / https://www.flsenate.gov/PublishedContent/Committees/2016-2018/AEN/MeetingRecords/MeetingPacket_3946.pdf

Florida’s beaches are in constant need of restoration, to truck in sand that the sea washes away. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, miles of critically eroded beaches are in even more danger. Now a powerful lawmaker is once again trying to get funding to replenish the shorelines.

iStockphoto

October is the Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This month, the Florida Department of Children and Families also received a grant to help support domestic violence victims.

Christine Cabalo via wikimedia commons

Substance abuse experts and law enforcement officers are calling on lawmakers to bolster access to treatment for people battling opioid addiction.  The biggest focus is on medication assisted treatments.

Florida Channel

Florida’s court system is asking the state legislature for more than $8.5 million to get more interpreters in the courtroom.

Nick Evans

Hurricane Irma is throwing a wrench in Florida’s budget for the coming year.  Lawmakers were already facing a daunting challenge crafting a balanced budget.

Adam Putnam via flickr / Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is predicting this year’s Florida citrus crop will be the smallest since the 1940s. The state is slated to produce 54 million boxes, down from nearly 300 million in the 2000s.

Florida Channel

The head of Florida’s juvenile justice system says a Miami Herald investigation detailing abuses within detention facilities does not tell the full story.

A group of state lawmakers is remembering a former North Florida colleague who recently died in a car wreck.  A House bill honoring former Sen. Greg Evers (R-Baker) passed its first committee Wednesday.

Federal Highway Administration / http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/byways/photos/75957

Every session, Florida lawmakers fight over funding for a river, storm water system or sewage plant in their district. But an environmentalist wants to change that process.

DXR via wikimedia commons

Florida House lawmakers are checking in on a 2016 measure meant to improve mental health and addiction treatment.

Sen. Dana Young (R-Tampa)
Nick Evans

State lawmakers are pushing to ban fracking in the sunshine state.  A similar effort last year failed, but Sen. Dana Young (R-Tampa) believes this year will be different.

Nick Evans

Florida’s law enforcement, emergency and mental health workers are struggling to cope with a rising tide of opioid overdoses.  Lawmakers are looking for solutions ahead of the coming year’s legislative session.

Ulrich Joho via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/30963112@N02/4084144518/

A Florida lawmaker is calling on the state to overhaul regulations for nursing homes. The push comes after 14 patients died from overheating due to a power outage at an assisted living facility.

Florida Channel

A bill aimed at teaching Florida students about the dangers of human trafficking passed its first Senate panel Monday.

The Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee with Sen. Rob Bradley presiding.
Nick Evans

A Senate panel has approved a plan to appropriate new dollars for the St. Johns River and Florida’s springs.  But the proposal could wind up vying for funding with a beach restoration measure.

Nick Evans

The medical marijuana company Surterra Therapeutics is urging state health regulators to take steps to allow edible cannabis treatments.  But the roll out for those rules could still be far off on the horizon.

Florida Channel

As Florida continues to work to combat human trafficking, some experts say working to make sure everyone recognizes the signs is important. But, equally important is going after the so-called “johns” themselves.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

Florida lawmakers are heading back to the state capitol Monday. They’ll discuss some of the issues expected to dominate the 2018 legislative session.

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