State News

Tallahassee, FL – Florida lawmakers begin the final week of the annual spring session without an agreement to balance the state budget. And no negotiations scheduled. One this is known, the budget crisis reshapes how Florida Lives. James Call reports.

Tallahassee, FL – Friday marked another day when Florida House and Senate budget negotiators failed to meet in public and discuss their differences in a proposed $66 billion budget. However, James Call reports,an ever-optimistic Governor Charlie Crist predicts Lawmakers will approve a state spending plan before the May First scheduled end of the Legislative Session.

Tallahassee, FL – The 4th floor of the Florida capitol was the scene of competing rallies for and against higher taxes for a Florida company that makes low-cost cigarettes. Tom Flanigan reports.

Tallahassee. FL – Florida's major cancer research centers joined forces in support of a $1 increase in the surcharge on cigarettes, cigars and snuff that's been approved by the Florida Senate.Tom Flanigan reports.

Tallahassee. FL – The House was back in session Tuesday, and although no budget conference is scheduled yet, Speaker Larry Cretul said he's confident the House and Senate will resolve their differences in a timely way. Margie Menzel reports.

Tallahassee. FL – In the waning days of session a Florida House panel approves a bill Tuesday that would lift the state's ban on offshore oil-drilling. Trimmel Gomes reports.

Tallahassee, FL – The Central Florida Commuter Rail project known as SunRail barely chugs through another committee stop on a four to three vote, Trimmel Gomes reports.

Tallahassee, FL – It's been four years since the widow of a South Florida crash victim began her pursuit of getting cameras installed at intersections statewide. Finally the measure may have a shot at passing thanks to the state's need to raise money. Gina Jordan has more.

Tallahassee, FL – Floridians will pay more for government services under budget proposals passed by both the House and Senate. James Call reports both chambers balance their spending plans with nearly a billion dollars in increased fees and taxes.

Tallahassee, FL – Nearly 20 thousand Floridians lost their jobs last month, the State's unemployment rate increased to 9 point 7 percent in March. James Call reports, governor Crist is taking an individualist approach to the problem.

Tallahassee, FL – It was jam-packed meeting for a critical vote on the controversial commuter rail project in central Florida. But as Trimmel Gomes reports the deal remains stalled in the senate because lawmakers had little time and too little of a room to tackle the issue.

Tallahassee, FL – With a new hurricane season looming, the Florida Cabinet heard that the state hurricane catastrophe fund could now withstand another Hurricane Andrew. Margie Menzel reports.

Tallahassee, FL – A Florida senate committee raised the stakes Tuesday in Florida's gambling debate. James all reports it agreed to allow new pari-mutuels to add card games and slot machines more quickly.

Tallahassee, FL – U.S. Senate hopeful Kendrick Meek was in Tallahassee Tuesday to encourage lawmakers to keep the class size amendment in its current form. The legislature is considering a bill that would allow voters to decide whether to freeze class sizes at school-average levels. Lynn Hatter reports.

Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Senate has voted to expand the state's prepaid tuition program. James Call reports, parents would have more flexibility in how the money is spent.

Tallahassee, FL – A three year ban on impact fees for new residential and commercial property would be imposed under legislation taken up by the Senate Community Affairs Committee. Gina Jordan tells us the sponsor sees a huge saving for builders as well as home buyers, but others think it's too late in the session to deal with such a controversial issue.

Tallahassee, FL – When Florida lawmakers will resume a long running debate pitting jobs versus the environment. James Call reports to get the state's economy growing again, some lawmakers want to streamline environmental and growth regulations.

Tallahassee, FL – Florida lawmakers return to Tallahassee following a Passover/Easter break. James Call reports they confront a score of budget questions in the Session's final three weeks.

Tallahassee, FL – A bill aimed at getting rid of bad teachers made its way to the Senate Education Pre-K-12 Committee. There it met with fierce debate on whether or not the bill penalizes all teachers and if it could potentially run off future ones. Lynn Hatter reports.

Tallahassee, FL – U.S. House Representative Kendrick Meek has started his quest to occupy the senate seat being vacated by Mel Martinez.As Lynn Hatter reports, Meek wants to be the first person to qualify for the ballot-by petition.

Tallahassee, FL – Senate Democrats want to derail a commuter rail project in Central Florida. Trimmel Gomes reports.

Tallahassee, FL – Legislative Education Committees all have budget proposals completed or nearing completion. And most of them preserve direct funding to public schools. But other areas are suffering massive cuts. Lynn Hatter takes a look at one of those areas - Classroom textbooks.

Tallahassee, FL – Teachers were at the heart of a debate in the House K-12 Education Appropriations Committee Thursday. How to award bonuses to National Board Certified Teachers and whether or not to extend third year contracts to non-tenured teachers were big issues for Democrats. As Lynn Hatter reports, these arguments come as the committee prepared to approve final language on a conforming bill that would make the budge work.

Tallahassee, FL – The House says it has a plan to stave off a 525 million dollar cut to education. As Lynn Hatter reports, the PreK-12 Education Committee is holding education harmless.

Tallahassee, FL – Two measures aimed at raising high school graduation requirements got very different reactions Monday. As Lynn Hatter reports, one passed the House Full Education Appropriations Committee unanimously, the other, by a party line vote.

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