State News

Tallahassee, FL – The budget is complete. The plan to cut out 2.3-billion from the state's declining revenues is heading to a vote by both chambers. And as Lynn Hatter reports, Florida Governor Charlie Crist says he's got mixed feelings on the cuts that were made-especially when it comes to education.

Opus Hotel Blog

Tallahassee, FL – Florida House and Senate conferees finished work on a leaner, meaner state budget over the weekend. That story from Tom Flanigan

Nostalgiaville

Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Education Association is speaking out against the legislature's proposed cuts to education spending. As Lynn Hatter reports, in a Thursday press conference, FEA President Andy Ford called on the legislature to preserve the state's class size amendment and look for new revenue sources.

Tallahassee, FL – Florida lawmakers kept chopping away at the state's underfunded budget on Wednesday. Tom Flanigan reports on two programs that especially were hard hit .

Tallahassee, FL – A proposed budget cut to the state's public colleges and universities will result in a 90-million dollar hit. As Lynn Hatter reports, Wednesday the Senate Higher Education Committee approved the proposed cuts, But it wasn't a unanimous decision.

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR BUDGET AND PROGRAM ANALYSIS

Tallahassee, FL – As the legislature convened in its special session to fix the state's 2.3 billion dollar budget gap, lawmakers learned the gap could grow even bigger to 3 billion dollars. Florida Public Radio's Trimmel Gomes reports.

Tallahassee, FL – The state of Florida is facing a two-billion dollar budget shortfall for the current fiscal year. That has prompted a special session of the legislature, which convened Monday. As Lynn Hatter reports, legislators are trying to plug the budget hole, and that means cuts to Education.

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Tallahassee, FL – Florida legislators are beginning their search for ways to close a $2.3 billion deficit in the current state budget during a two-week special session. James Call reports they are looking to cut spending, raise court fees and tap reserves to balance the state's checkbook.

philly.com

Tallahassee, FL – Florida lawmakers convene today for a two week special session on the state budget. As Tom Flanigan reports, the Capital City's delegation hopes to minimize the local impact of more spending cuts

SENATE DEBATES LOBBY REFORM

Tallahassee, FL – A battle over whether lobbyists must reveal who pays them and how much they earn arrives at the Florida Supreme Court Tuesday. Tom Flanigan reports a group of lobbyists is challenging a 2005 law requiring them to disclose who butters their bread.

Tallahassee, FL – Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom is stepping down from a $110,000 job at Northwest Florida State College. More from Tom Flanigan

Tallahassee, FL – The State Board of Education met Friday to debate a plan that will turn some of the state's community colleges into Baccalaureate degree producers. As Lynn Hatter reports, nothing was decided, but the board did outline a plan for starting the process.

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Tallahassee, FL – Governor Charlie Crist today/Thursday continued the campaign for an Everglades restoration plan approved earlier this week by the South Florida Water Management District. James Call reports leading lawmakers are concerned about entering into a deal amidst a budget crisis that has the state cutting services to citizens.

The Witchita Eagle Blog

Tallahassee, FL – Anti-gambling forces say they'll fight any attempt by the Florida Legislature to further tap gaming as a state revenue source. Tom Flanigan has that story .

Tallahassee, FL – Family members of the late Governor Lawton Chiles were supposed to meet at the Capitol the Thursday before Christmas with House Speaker Ray Samsom and Representative Bill Galvano. They were hoping for an agreement that would keep the legislature from raiding any more of an endowment set up in Chiles' name. Gina Jordan tells us the meeting was canceled, and it may be too late now for negotiations.

Tallahassee, FL – Next to the state's department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Florida's largest licensing agency is the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Those it regulates have often criticized it for being a sluggish bureaucracy that hurts more than it helps. Now Tom Flanigan reports the department's new secretary is trying to change that.

Debt Free Destiny

Tallahassee – Florida's chief financial officer is calling on state lawmakers to look at both the expense and income side of the ledger in their upcoming effort to balance the state's books. More from Tom Flanigan .

19th Circuit Court Of Lake County,Illinois

Tallahassee – Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is setting up seven regional gang reduction initiatives all over the state. On Wednesday he began organizing one for the Capital City and surrounding Big Bend. Tom Flanigan has that story .

USA Today

Tallahassee, FL – A report by the state Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, called OPPAGA, says the School Voucher system results in savings for the state. That analysis is drawing sharp criticism from public school advocates, who say the report doesn't tell the full story. As Lynn Hatter reports, they are calling on the agency to re-think its report.

The New York Times

Tallahassee, FL – The House k-12 Appropriations Committee heard a tentative proposal by the Department of Education for further cuts. The state has a 2-billion dollar budget gap and, ahead of a special session called for January, legislators are trying to scramble to fill it.

Maryland Chamber Of Commerce Blog

Tallahassee – Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom says the Legislature has two tasks to
perform in the next two years. Balance the state budget and get the economy
growing. James Call reports, Sansom delivered those orders this morning
/Wednesday during a rare out of session meeting on the state's budget deficit.

Continuing Legal Education

Tallahassee, FL – Florida State Representative Ray Sansom has come under fire for accepting a position at one of Florida's community colleges that he helped create. As some groups and organizations call for him to resign one position or the other, as Lynn Hatter reports, he does have an unlikely defender.

Tallahassee, FL – Ten Years after the death of Lawton Chiles, families and leading advocates says Governor Charlie Crist and legislature need to find new funding source for Florida's Children. Margie Menzel reports.

WIRED

Tallahassee, FL – Governor Charlie Crist has sent his wish list for the state to get a piece of a tentative economic stimulus bill in Congress, but it so far looks like he's not going to get everything he asked for. Trimmel Gomes reports.

BBC NEWS

Tallahassee, FL – The odds are good that the world will see a major biological attack in the next five years. That's the finding of a commission charged with assessing our nation's progress in preventing terrorism. The chairman is Bob Graham, former U.S. Senator and Governor of Florida. Gina Jordan has more.

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