State News

Andrew Quintana / WFSU

The journey for Florida felons to regain their right to vote recently overcame its largest hurdle, as the grassroots citizen’s initiative received enough signatures to place the issue on the 2018 ballot. This has prompted a similar proposal to be withdrawn in order to avoid confusion at the polls.

guardianadlitem.org

Children removed from their parents due to alleged abuse or neglect would have the right to have a lawyer under a measure before the Florida Constitution Revision Commission. Some worry that could do more harm than good.

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Florida lawmakers want more people to be able to report drug or alcohol overdoses without fear of retaliation. The effort comes after the high-profile death of a college student, and as the state’s opioid-related deaths continue to rise.

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With a new change, a bill has narrowly passed its first Senate committee giving religious institutions the right to allow guns on their property, if they’re attached to a school. That’s after it’s failed twice before in that same committee for the 2018 legislative session.

Edward Waters College

After being the only option for black students for decades, some historically black colleges and universities are struggling. Falling enrollment numbers and dwindling resources are challenging schools that want educate a diverse student body. In WFSU's series on Florida's HBCUs, here's a look at the status of Edward Waters College, the state’s oldest historically black college.

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A gun bill that’s had some problems in the Florida Senate this legislative session has passed its first House committee.

Needle Exchange Program Passes Committee

Jan 24, 2018
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New legislation expanding a needle-exchange program moved through both the Florida House and Senate today. 

MGN Online

Florida’s offshore drilling concerns have made headlines recently. And now, nearly 80 years into the industry’s existence in Florida, state government officials are searching for some permanency on the issue. 

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The Florida House and Senate are already clashing over education—higher ed in particular. The House is planning deep cuts for the state’s public colleges and universities while the Senate is looking to increase funding for both systems.

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This November Floridians will decide whether felons should get their voting rights back. After activists gathered over one million petitions, the constitutional amendment has qualified for the 2018 ballot. The state currently disenfranchises about 1.6 million people, almost 10% of the voting age population.

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A bill has passed its first legislative committee requiring schools to display the state motto, “In God We Trust.”

High-Speed Rail Regulations Picking Up Steam

Jan 23, 2018
Shawn Mulcahy / WFSU

In the wake of recent fatal railroad accidents, Florida lawmakers are looking to impose stricter regulations on high-speed rail. The bill is moving through the Senate.

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The Florida Constitution Revision Commission convenes every twenty years to review proposals to the state constitution. A proposed bill of rights for nursing home residents has proven contentious. 

wlrn.org

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. In Florida – which has the third-highest number of trafficking reports of any state – the response includes training for health care professionals, who often encounter victims in their work but miss the signs.

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The Florida House is ready to take up two familiar healthcare reform measures Wednesday. Supporters say both bills will make care more accessible and more affordable. The plans face uphill battles in the Senate.

Bethune Cookman University twitter

Of Florida’s four historically black colleges and universities, only Bethune Cookman University was founded in the early 1900s and named after an African American woman. In the first part of our “HBCU Profiles” series, we'll take a look at the past, present, and future of B-CU.

The Florida Channel

A proposal moving through the Florida Constitution Revision Commission—a body that meets one every two decades to bring proposed constitutional changes directly to voters—would give more duties to the state’s Lieutenant Governor.

Andrew Quintana

The month of January is dedicated to raising awareness of human trafficking. But, the Florida House and the Senate want to make awareness a year round effort.

Margie Menzel

When lawmakers arrived at the Florida Capitol on Monday, they found thousands of cutouts of brightly-colored children's hands hanging in the rotunda, signifying the start of Children's Week.

MGN Online/MonkeyBusinessImages

Florida lawmakers appear to be fast tracking a controversial bill that seeks to regulate the state’s pregnancy crisis centers. The measure that wades into the abortion debate has already passed the Florida House and is now heading to the Senate floor.

Thomas Hawk via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/

The plight of immigrants brought to the United States as children reverberated throughout national politics this week. But DACA sparked lively debates in Florida as well. Here's an update on the debate around the program, which is slated to expire in March.

Two CRC Proposals Tackling Felon Voting Rights Pass

Jan 19, 2018
MGN Online

Florida Felons have been fighting for the right to vote for years now, and while a grassroots petition movement within the state has spurred interest in the issue, two proposals in the Constitutional Revisions Commission look to tackle the controversy from another angle.

Gillum Proposes Corporate Tax Increase

Jan 19, 2018
Sara Hetherington / WFSU - Florida Public Radio

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum proposed his tax plan Friday as part of his bid for governor.

Dan Bannister / iStockphoto

Florida lawmakers are working on a measure they hope will help the children of incarcerated parents move forward faster. Fort Lauderdale Democratic Representative Patricia Williams has a bill she says would help to map out a plan for parents and their children.

Lawmakers Want Workplace Protection For LGBT Community

Jan 18, 2018
Davondra Alston / WFSU

The Competitive Workforce Act would prohibit discrimination for LGBT individuals working for businesses in Florida.

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