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A legislative effort to allow pharmacists to issue flu tests to sick Floridians is on hold for now. It comes at a time when health officials say this year’s flu season is just as bad as the swine flu epidemic nearly a decade ago.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / flickr.com/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

Two bills in the house would hold high school teachers accountable for sexual offenses against adult students. Current Florida law cannot prosecute a school authority figure who has a relationship with a student who is 18 or older. House Bill 515 makes such relationships second-degree felonies, while House Bill 1391 ensures school districts monitor offenders.  Rep. Amber Mariano (R-Port Richey), a sponsor of the bill, says this issue hits close to home.

Andrew Quintana / WFSU

Amidst the aftermath of Hurricane Maria’s devastating effects on Puerto Rico, Florida lawmakers believe the State has been inactive when tackling the issue of displaced Puerto Ricans. This has opened the floodgates for an issue Florida has been dealing with for years.

Know Gardening / https://www.knowgardening.com/vegetable-gardening-101.php

The state’s highest court will not weigh in on Floridians’ right to front yard vegetable gardens. But the food fight isn’t over in the state capital. 

Teachers' Unions Threatened By Florida House Bill

Feb 9, 2018
MGN Online

House Bill 7055 has been a lightning rod for controversy. The measure is known for a move to offer bullied students scholarships for private or charter schools. But, tucked away in the bill’s 200 pages, one provision threatens teachers’ unions with decertification.

Erich Martin

The Florida House and Senate have both passed their versions of next year’s budget. Both proposals spend about $87-billion, but the two plans remain for apart when it comes to how much of that money is put toward issues like healthcare and education.

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Remember those billboards on the highway imploring drivers to "choose life"? Florida lawmakers want to fund them with taxpayer dollars. A bill that would cement contracts with pro-life pregnancy centers is heading to the Governor’s desk.

Supporters and opponents of offshore drilling have one thing in common: neither believe Florida is off the table in the federal government’s proposed 5-year offshore leasing plan.

Opponents to the proposed 5-year drilling plan show up at the BOEM's public hearing in Tallahassee, 2/8/18
Jennifer Rubiello / Environment Florida

A decision to exempt Florida from a federal plan opening more waters to oil and gas exploration is not final.  Supporters and opponents were out Thursday for the federal government’s first and only public Florida hearing on its proposed five-year plan.

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A bill allowing Florida prison officials to recruit more young correctional officers is continuing to move in both chambers of the Florida Legislature.

Florida Channel

While Florida lawmakers approved funding for the so-called Hope Scholarship program as part of the House budget proposal, bills creating the program are still making their way through the committee process.

NRA Institute for Legislative Action / https://www.nraila.org/articles/20171206/house-passes-concealed-carry-reciprocity

Florida lawmakers want to cut penalties for people who accidentally show their concealed weapons. The bill is ready for a floor vote in the House. But gun control advocates are worried the plan is a step towards open carry. 

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A bill would require the display of the state motto ‘In God We Trust’ in every Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade classroom in the state.  

Florida Channel

Will a descendant of a Confederate soldier be willing to agenda a controversial bill that’s next heading to his Florida Senate committee? The measure would get rid of certain holidays on the Florida books, which includes Confederate Memorial Day.

MGN Online

Florida lawmakers want to restrict certain abortions for women in their second trimester. Judges in other states have struck down similar laws as unconstitutional. But legal concerns are not slowing the bill down. A warning, this story may be distressing to some.

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Florida lawmakers are considering legislation that would create a uniform framework for bike sharing companies in the state of Florida. Tampa Republican Senator Dana Young said her bill addresses preemption and enforcement. 

Erich Martin

Take a look at the last receipt you got from a hotel stay in Florida. You’ll likely notice a number of taxes and fees. Some of that money goes toward what’s called a tourism development tax and is meant to be used for a tourism-related projects. Now state lawmakers are digging into what exactly counts as tourism related.

Democratic Women's Club Of Florida Demands Equal Rights

Feb 6, 2018
Davondra Alston

The Democratic Women’s Club of Florida is demanding equal pay. The Equal Rights Amendment would minimize discrimination in the workplace and give women the opportunity to earn the same wage as men. 

MGN Online

Already, the Florida Supreme Court has rejected more than three dozen appeals involving death row inmates, who received their sentences before 2002 and did not require unanimous juries. A panel of Florida lawmakers is now trying again to make a fix to that part of the state’s death penalty process.

redjar via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/redjar/

Florida lawmakers want to expand the use of digital voting and tallying machines. Many of the state’s election managers are behind the plan. But critics don’t want to leave the paper ballot behind.

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.

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