State News

The Florida legislature is again considering banning fracking—the process of extracting oil and natural gas underground. Lawmakers have tussled over the issue in recent years, but proposal sponsor Dana Young says the process is too dangerous to allow in Florida.

MGN Online

The Florida House has passed a bill making it easier for law enforcement to return firearms to certain gun owners without a court order.

MGN Online

The Florida House has passed a bill making it easier for firearm dealers to pay for background checks.

Andrew Quintana / WFSU

Martin Luther King Jr.’s grassroots Poor People’s Campaign ended as soon as it started. But, nearly 50 years later, the coalition is reforming across the nation. A group in Florida has formed its own sect of the campaign, one of 32 states. And on Monday, at a press conference, the group announced its new objectives. 

Pablo Recio via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pablorecio/11741266365/

Florida lawmakers want to weigh in on who really has access to the state’s beaches. A bill moving in the statehouse is meant to settle a long-running dispute between private landowners and the public, by handing the issue over to the courts.

Governor Rick Scott's twitter

Governor Rick Scott is heading to Puerto Rico Monday.

MGN Online

The Florida Senate has unanimously passed a bill that allows state lawmakers to visit schools in their district, on any day and any time. That currently only applies to school board members as well as members of a charter school governing board. And, right now, principals or superintendents have the option to refuse a lawmaker’s visit or limit the scope of the visit. So, under Sen. Dorothy Hukill’s (R-Port Orange) bill, legislators can give a “heads up” or make it a surprise visit.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

If Florida lawmakers don’t do anything policy wise soon, the state’s prison population could increase. That’s according to a report commissioned by the Florida Senate to promote the need for prison reform.

Kate Payne

Reform-minded Florida lawmakers are disagreeing over how to address sexual harassment. House Republicans have significantly expanded their measure. And that could make it more difficult for the two chambers to agree.

Florida State University

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker declared Florida’s process of restoring felon’s civil rights unconstitutional. Walker criticized the “absolute veto authority” Governor Rick Scott has on the process, and has ordered a permanent remedy be in place by February 12th. Andrew Quintana recently sat down with the Program Director for Florida State University’s Center for the Advancement of Human Rights, Mark Schlakman. The two discussed Florida’s current restoration process and what changes Governor Scott and the cabinet, which make up the state clemency board, can make by the deadline.  

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Florida lawmakers are working to create a centralized location for criminal justice data statewide.

Davondra Alston / WFSU

The newly-rekindled Veterans and Military Families Caucus is endorsing a series of bills to further help veterans and their families in the state of Florida. 

Shawn Mulcahy / WFSU

In the wake of natural disasters, stagnant wages and a growing separation of wealth, Florida is suffering from an affordable housing catastrophe and concern is growing statewide.

gold wedding bands
Abhlshek Jacob

Florida Senators have approved a measure closing a loophole that allows child marriage. The bill is being called historic. If the proposal passes the full legislature, the group, Human Rights Watch, says it will be the first of its kind in the country.

Bethune Cookman University twitter

The Florida Senate has given the green light to an effort to put a statue of Mary McLeod Bethune in the U.S. Capitol. Her likeness would replace a statue of a Confederate General.

jvoves/ flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jvoves/

The Florida Senate stalled a plan to ban sanctuary cities this week. But the debate around immigration enforcement is alive and well in the statehouse.

Senate Passes Florida Forever Funding Package

Jan 31, 2018
MGN Online

Over the last three years, Florida Forever has not been the titan of land preservation it once was. The conservation program has seen significant cutbacks in funding, and has lost its effectiveness in continuing to protect the state’s vast landscape. But, a bill in the Florida Senate reestablishes Florida Forever as the model of land preservation it once was.

Florida Channel

A bill opening the door to allow survivors of the infamous Dozier School for Boys to be later compensated unanimously passed its first committee Monday. That’s the now-closed North Florida reform school where former wards say they were physically and sexually abused decades ago.

Davondra Alston / WFSU

House Democrats are crying foul over a massive education bill they say would further erode the state’s public school system. 

Paul Sableman via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pasa/10880062733/

Florida lawmakers want broader workers' compensation coverage for first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder. But a new version of the bill would add more requirements as well.

Erich Martin

Lawmakers in the Florida House held a first round of discussions on their gambling legislation Tuesday. The measure takes a hard line against any moves that might be seen as a gambling expansion.

The Florida Channel / WFSU

A measure looking to preempt local ordinances regulating vacation rentals cleared its first hurdle today in the Florida Legislature. The Senate Community Affairs Committee passed the bill by a vote of 4-2.

http://axofloridastate.blogspot.com

Florida State University President John Thrasher is rolling back portions of a ban on Greek life after the hazing-related death of a student. Fraternities and sororities will now have to meet stricter rules to stay on campus.

MGN Online

About $5 million separates the Florida House and Senate’s criminal justice budget. But, while there are some differences, there are areas where both chambers agree.

Senate Bill Sheds Some Light On Maternal Mental Health

Jan 29, 2018
Andrew Quintana / WFSU

For many parents, no stone is left unturned when preparing to have a child. There are books, classes, and blogs to prepare both mother and father for almost anything.  But, there is an often overlooked condition mothers may have once their child is born, and a bill in the Florida Senate looks to shed some light on this.

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