State News

Bryan Jones via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bwjones/

As lawmakers return to Washington to debate healthcare, they’ll have new ways of communicating with voters back home, through Facebook. But it’s not yet clear how the social media giant’s new tools could affect the political conversation.

Todd Huffman via Wikimedia Commons

States across the country are struggling to hold off a rising tide of opioid abuse and Florida is no exception.  But the return of harsh penalties for possession—a hallmark of the war on drugs—is frustrating a broad spectrum of advocates and officials.

BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig on fire in 2010.
US Coast Guard

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council is unveiling its plan for 2017 and looking for public feedback.

FWC FWRI's Flickr

Florida wildlife officials say lionfish harvesters are crucial to getting rid of the invasive species. But, lionfish removal divers are urged to safely remove the fish without causing any natural habitat damage.

Florida Guardian Ad Litem Facebook

Florida’s Guardian ad Litem Program has received a $40,000 grant to help older youth aging out of foster care better transition into adulthood.

Nick Evans

There’s $85 million burning a hole in Florida Governor Rick Scott’s pocket and he’s looking for projects to spend it on.  The new Job Growth Grant Fund was part of a last minute budget compromise.

joelmckennzie via wikimedia

Bay County health officials are offering a two week immunization clinic ahead of students returning to school.  

Erik Hersman via Flickr

The American Civil Liberties Union is squaring off against Florida election officials and the Trump administration over voter information.

MGN Online

Next to home mortgages, student loans are America’s second highest amount of debt. Florida U.S Senator Bill Nelson wants to reduce that figure. Jocelyn Beever reports.

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.
Philip Levine Twitter

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine is launching a statewide bus tour.  The trip could set the stage for a rumored gubernatorial bid.

Cloneofsnake via wikimedia commons

Advocates are urging Florida wildlife officials to back federal legislation banning the sale of shark fins.  But some think prohibition could be counterproductive.

MGN Online

As both sides of the Stand Your Ground issue weigh in, what impact could a Florida judge calling legislative changes to the state’s Stand Your Ground law unconstitutional have statewide?

Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe of Florida have reached a settlement deal over the tribe’s ability to offer games like black jack in its casinos.

Regan McCarthy WFSU News

The FBI is investigating Tallahassee’s Community Redevelopment Agency, while questions of cronyism swirl around city hall. The state’s CRAs missed the chopping block this legislative session, despite previous reports of mismanagement. WFSU looks into how the agencies’ loose structure is fueling their current predicament.

Jaro Larnos via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jlarnos/

Floridians in need can now use a mobile app to locate food banks and support services across the state. 

Nick Evans

Local officials and cannabis advocates are chafing under Florida’s latest medical marijuana legislation.  But they’re reacting to the new regime in different ways.

Ammodramus via Wikimedia Commons

A justice watchdog group is calling on the Constitution revision commission to tweak the process that sends new judges to the bench.

MGN Online

Despite a very active wildfire season, Florida Forest Service Firefighters will now be helping other states battle their own blazes.

iStockphoto

A new Florida task force met for the first time this week to start looking into transportation issues people with developmental and intellectual disabilities face on a daily basis. The Task Force on Transportation Disadvantaged Services was created as part of a new law that just took effect.

Bryan Jones via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bwjones/albums

Florida’s Democratic lawmakers are joining the call to reject the president’s request for voter information. 

John Morgan
Nick Evans

Personal injury lawyer John Morgan is taking the state to court over its newly adopted marijuana law.  The outspoken medical cannabis advocate believes patients should be allowed to smoke the drug.

Nature Conservancy of Southwest Florida

The federal government is reviewing the status of the endangered Florida Panther, prompting some activists to worry the iconic species will lose protection.

Nick Evans

State officials are taking applications for a newly vacated seat on the Public Service Commission.

The Red Devils training at Tyndall Air Force Base.
Sgt. Gregory Moore / US Marine Corps

Florida Governor Rick Scott is signing off on nearly half a million dollars in grants aimed at insulating military bases from future closures.  The bulk of the money is headed for the panhandle.

Federal funding that provides insurance for nearly 340,000 Florida kids will expire in September unless Congress acts. It’s called the  Children’s Health Insurance Program and it supports kids who don’t qualify for Medicaid.

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