State News

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Florida Governor Rick Scott says he will sign a bill barring anyone under the age of 17 from receiving a marriage license. Lawmakers filed the measure after hearing the story of a Florida woman who was raped by her church deacon as a young girl, became pregnant and was forced to marry him at age 11. Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-Fort Meyers) sponsored the measure in the House.

MGN Online

A bill that expands direct primary care services is on its way to the Governor’s desk for final approval. Supporters of the measure believe that in the end, separating primary care doctors from insurance standards will ultimately trickle down benefits to the healthcare industry.

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The Florida Legislature has agreed to allow certain Florida officials to visit the state’s juvenile justice facilities. It’s now heading to the Governor’s desk.

2nd Judicial Circuit State Attorney Jack Campbell

A day after news broke that plea deals could be coming for the nine men charged with the hazing death of FSU Pi Kappa Phi brother Andrew Coffey, the State Attorney’s Office is staying tight-lipped. This isn’t the first time such negotiations have been made in a hazing case.

Emerging from his final legislative session, Republican Gov. Rick Scott holds a small lead over incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson in a potential U.S. Senate race that could help determine control of the Senate, according to a poll released Monday.  The poll
Governor Rick Scott's twitter

Governor Rick Scott says he will sign a bill that will allow first responders with posttraumatic stress disorder to qualify for workers compensation benefits. Scott made the announcement during a ceremony honoring Florida’s fallen firefighters. 

Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, responds to questions from colleagues on the House floor April 4, 2017.
Mark Foley / Florida House of Representatives

Not all bills will make it through the annual legislative session, And this year, the impending failure of several high-profile measures is raising eyebrows.

CRC Weighs Felon Voting Rights Proposal

Mar 8, 2018
MGN Online

A proposal that could’ve changed the way felons’ rights are restored was withdrawn the Constitution Revision Commission Thursday, leaving a broken system intact for now. But it’s not the final say on the issue.

RHONA WISE / AFP/Getty Images

On a 67-50 vote, the Florida House passed the gun safety bill, already approved by the Florida Senate earlier in the week. Governor Rick Scott won’t say whether he will sign the bill, now heading to his desk. He says he’ll weigh input from those who lost loved ones in last month's mass shooting at a South Florida high school.

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A measure to address Florida’s growing opioid crisis is nearing completion with just days left in the legislative session.

Tom Flanigan

One phrase that most Republicans seldom utter, except in a negative way, is gun control. But for Democrats, especially those who are running for Florida governor, that phrase isn’t negative at all.

Florida's Cabinet
Nick Evans

Wednesday marked the Florida Cabinet’s final meeting for this year’s legislative session. After, Governor Rick Scott and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam shared their thoughts on current issues the state will have to deal with this session and beyond.

Florida Supreme Court
Nick Evans

A Tallahassee defense lawyer finds it absurd that he has to disclose which experts he might call on in his case to the prosecutor. Current legal procedure forces attorneys working pro bono cases to do so.

Mark Hillary /

The Florida legislative session is heading into overtime after a disagreement over how to fund hospitals stalled negotiations. The two chambers reached an agreement Wednesday how to reimburse the facilities for treating low income and uninsured patients.

RHONA WISE / AFP/Getty Images

The Florida House has now teed up gun safety legislation for a vote, in response to last month’s mass shooting at a South Florida high school. They agreed Tuesday to take up the Senate version of the bill that narrowly passed Monday. While language was stripped from that bill to exclude most classroom teachers, opponents argue the “compromise” could still arm school staff, like coaches.

Tallahassee Memorial Hospital is a private hospital, but serves as the region's safety net system.
Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare / TMH

More than a decade of discord over how to apportion Florida’s trauma centers may have come to a close Tuesday, with the Senate’s passage of what amounts to a compromise. 

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Florida lawmakers have approved a bill that will give Florida’s first responders with emotional injuries access to workers compensation. 

Laptops at a coffee shop

Florida Senators are considering legislation some say could give the state’s residents more ability to create wills and work with notaries. But opponents of the measure argue it could also lead to more fraud.

PCB Officials Issue Warning To Spring Breakers

Mar 6, 2018

Panama City Beach Police are warning tourists to be aware of county ordinances when visiting for Spring Break. 

Lawmakers Pass Major Changes To Higher Education

Mar 6, 2018
Tallahassee Community College

The Florida Legislature has passed sweeping higher education changes. The measures would permanently increase funding to the Bright Futures Scholarship, eliminate free speech zones and address university performance-based funding.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Florida Senate has passed a school safety bill putting new restrictions on rifle sales and allowing some teachers to carry guns. It's dubbed the "Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act."

Florida lawmakers have approved a massive education measure that could whittle down the power of teachers unions, allow bullied students to transfer to private or other private schools, and expands the state’s corporate tax scholarship program. Lynn Hatter spoke with Tom Flanigan about the measures path toward approval, and how it fits in the puzzle that is making a budget.

Ryan Dailey / WFSUNews

Momentum has stalled for a bill that would have allowed human trafficking victims to sue hotels that do not take action and train employees to prevent such atrocities. The measure’s sponsor isn’t saying why she pulled the plan.

Florida Senate Tees Up Gun Safety Legislation For Monday Vote

Mar 3, 2018
Sen. Bill Galvano's twitter

The Florida Senate held a rare Saturday session, discussing legislation aimed at making schools safer, following the February 14th mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 14 students and three faculty members dead.

Getty Images

While a lot of eyes are on Tallahassee to see what the state Legislature has in store in terms of gun reforms, Florida’s U.S. Senators are also talking about what they’d like to see Congress do as well.

Rural Hospitals Wary Of Florida's Budget Proposal

Mar 2, 2018
MGN Online

Rural Hospitals are having trouble providing health care to their patients, and officials say the Florida Legislature’s budget plan isn’t likely to help.