State News

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.

Florida Channel

In the coming weeks, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice will be putting the finishing touches on a newly created office where juveniles and their families can raise concerns. That’s just one of the reforms the head of DJJ recently told a group of lawmakers, who had some suggestions of their own to address abuses within the system outlined in a Miami Herald investigative series.

Christine Cabalo via wikimedia commons

President Donald Trump has declared a nationwide public health emergency for the opioid crisis.  But the immediate impact in Florida will be minimal.

Judge Rejects Gov. Scott's Emergency Generator Rules

Oct 27, 2017
MGN Online

Governor Scott is expected to appeal a Friday decision by an administrative judge, who tossed out emergency rules issued by Scott’s administration. The rules required nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators and enough power to cool buildings for 96 hours.

Katie Buttons via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=33246792%40N04&view_all=1&text=girl

The U.S. State Department considers child marriage a human rights abuse. Still, the practice continues not just in faraway places, but in the state of Florida. A coalition is walking the halls of the state capitol to change that.

iStockphoto

The “Up and Away” campaign is underway for the Halloween Season. Health officials are warning parents to keep medicines away from their kids to avoid confusing pills with candy.

MGN Online

Florida’s Guardian ad Litem program is asking the legislature for funding to reimburse its volunteers, who travel hundreds of miles for the abused and neglected kids they advocate for.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran
Florida House Media

After Hurricane Irma turned more than 6 million Floridians into evacuees, Senate budget drafters are eyeing state reserves as a way to get communities back on their feet quickly. 

DXR via wikimedia commons

The Florida House wants to shed more light on local tourism and economic development agencies.  The demands echo transparency requirements approved for state agencies earlier this year.

Florida Department of Corrections

Despite a series of efforts, the Florida Department of Corrections is still facing a significant staffing shortage. The agency’s vacancy rates have more than doubled in the last year.

iStockphoto.com- IfH85

Amid an ongoing lawsuit, the Florida Department of Corrections is now asking the legislature for more than $19 million in funding to treat inmates with the Hepatitis C virus.

Hurricane Maria approaching Puerto Rico.
NOAA

Florida Senate lawmakers are wary of Governor Rick Scott spending emergency dollars in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  A Puerto Rican state senator is urging lawmakers to prepare for evacuees.

Florida Channel

A bill making texting while driving a primary offense cleared its first Senate committee hearing Tuesday. Tallahassee resident Demetrius Branca supports the bill. In 2014, Branca lost his son Anthony to a person distracted by texting while driving.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

After many failed efforts, a group of Democratic Florida lawmakers are hoping this is the year the state legislature will close the pay gap between men and women.

Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami) chairs the Senate Banking and Insurance committee.
Nick Evans

Florida senators are again tackling assignment of benefits.  The insurance provision has been a thorn in lawmakers’ sides for nearly five years.

Florida Department of Health facebook

This month, the Florida Department of Health is placing emphasis on the importance of getting screened for breast cancer.

US Department of Agriculture

Florida Governor Rick Scott is unveiling his plans for environmental spending ahead of the 2018 lawmaking session.

Senator Benacquisto (R-Fort Myers) in her new video.
Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto YouTube

The state senator leading the charge on opioid abuse in Florida is leaning heavily on prescription limits in a new YouTube video.  Her measure caps most prescriptions at a three day supply.

Kate Payne

Florida’s coastlines and cavern systems are dotted with historic sites, from World War II era shipwrecks, to Spanish galleons, to remnants of thousand year old civilizations. But there aren’t enough archaeologists to keep up with the underwater preservation. Now the state is training amateur scuba divers to pick up some of the slack.

iStockphoto

You haven’t done anything wrong, but you’re pulled over anyway. The law enforcement officer asks to search your car. Should that officer be required to tell you about your right to decline the search? Florida lawmakers have started discussions about that very topic for the 2018 legislative session.

DXR via wikimedia commons

After spiking last year, worker’s compensation rates in Florida are set to decline.  But some labor organizations contend the decrease doesn’t go far enough.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health via wikimedia commons

Florida roofers want state insurance regulators to crack down on companies that use a person’s immigration to status to avoid paying workers compensation claims.

MGN Online

Florida lawmakers are expected next week to hold committee hearings about the Miami Herald’s investigative series into the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools

More than a dozen school districts are challenging a law requiring them to share local construction funds with charter schools. But  some of those same districts also getting a portion of the extra funding the new law provides.

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