State News

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A bill seeking to make it easier for firearm dealers to pay for the criminal background checks has unanimously passed its first Senate committee.

Florida Capitol
Nick Evans / WFSU News

Tallahassee is not the only state capitol reeling from sexual harassment claims. Legislatures in California, Indiana, Missouri, Washington and at least seven others are also dealing with the issue.

Monroe County Board of County Commissioners via facebook

For years Floridians have been facing a growing need for affordable housing. This year’s hurricanes are making the situation worse.

Nick Evans

A few words among Florida supreme court justices mumbled on a hot mic, has the governor looking for answers.  The exchange came at the end of a high profile hearing over who will name three upcoming vacancies on the Supreme Court bench.

kitty meets goat via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kittymeetsgoat/

At a time when the FBI is scrutinizing Tallahassee’s community redevelopment agency, state lawmakers want to reform the groups across Florida. The FBI is currently looking into any wrongdoing stemming from development deals by Tallahassee’s CRA. But the capital city’s agency is not the only one suspected of misusing public money meant to combat blight and slums. 

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A bill giving a tax exemption on diapers and feminine hygiene products has cleared its first Florida Senate committee.

WFSU

Florida's Attorney General and it's next Senate Minority leader are weighing in on the sex scandals that have rocked the state capitol in recent days. Both women are adding their voices to a growing chorus of concern about the behavior of lawmakers and lobbyists and the culture of the legislature.

Kate Payne via WFSU

Florida lawmakers are advancing a plan to allocate $100 million a year to the land buying program Florida Forever. Last year the legislature zeroed out its funding.

Florida Governor's Office

Florida Governor Rick Scott is proposing a raft of tax cuts amounting to $180 million.

Tom Flanigan

The full-service health care facility that is the new home of Tallahassee's Big Bend Cares had a public open house on Saturday (11/4). However the event was not without its critics.

Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater)
Nick Evans

Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater,  has been temporarily removed from his powerful position as Senate Appropriations Chairman. The senator is fighting back anonymous claims of sexual harassment.

Florida Department of Children and Families website

Governor Rick Scott says he wants about $200 million for Florida families who adopt foster kids.

Florida Channel

With the 2018 legislative session around the corner, Florida lawmakers as well as child welfare stakeholders are starting to dive into how to address the huge turnover of the state’s child protective investigators. Their job is to look into cases called into the state’s child abuse hotline.

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The governor and state lawmakers are proposing new prescription limits to fight opioid abuse.  But they also want to require physicians use a long-standing drug monitoring database—raising the question, why wasn’t it mandatory to begin with?

Nick Evans

With two members leaving in disgrace this year, the Florida Senate is facing a barrage of questions about sexual harassment policies in the Capitol. 

DXR via wikimedia commons

The Florida Senate is mired in controversy after a top democratic member admitted to an affair with a lobbyist and resigned.  Budget chief and gubernatorial hopeful Jack Latvala is interested in ethics reform—but says legislating morality is a dead end.

Bill Nelson's youtube

A U.S. Senate hearing to consider the next administrator of NASA started Wednesday. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) says he’s not confident in President Trump’s nominee, Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-OK). Nelson—a former astronaut—is the top Democrat who sits on the Senate Commerce Committee that oversees the nation’s space program. He spoke directly to the nominee during opening remarks.

Nick Evans

The gubernatorial field is widening as the state Supreme Court is wrestling with the question of when the eventual winner’s nominating powers take effect.  The court’s next move could have major repercussions for the bench.

Governor Rick Scott's twitter

At Puerto Rico’s request, Florida Governor Rick Scott will travel to the devastated island Friday to offer advice about how to speed up efforts to restore the island’s power.

US Navy via wikimedia commons

Complaints from Floridians hit with surprise bills after a ride in an ambulance have the state’s insurance consumer advocate looking for answers.  First responders are pointing at insurers.

Florida Guardian Ad Litem Facebook

Bills aimed at fixing a glitch in a Florida law have cleared their first legislative committees in the House and Senate. The two measures could get more pro bono attorneys to help kids with special needs.

Nick Evans

The official start of the 2018 legislative session may be months off, but some measures are already nearing the home stretch.  A veteran’s ID measure and a bill allowing Florida to share voter information with other states are just one stop away from the House floor.

Office of Gov. Rick Scott

Florida Governor Rick Scott is urging lawmakers to put $50 million into repairs for Lake Okeechobee’s Herbert Hoover dike.

The incoming leader of Florida’s Senate Democrats, Jeff Clemens, announced his resignation Friday evening.

US Fish and Wildlife Service via wikimedia commons

Florida health officials are under fire for the slow implementation of the latest medical marijuana law.  State lawmakers are rejecting the department's excuses.

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