State News

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office is appealing a circuit court judge’s decision to remove an education amendment from the November ballot. 

In a letter to Florida election officials federal agencies say they’ve not seen any evidence of new or ongoing compromises to Florida’s election system infrastructure.

Florida Supreme Court
Nick Evans / WFSU News

A long-running lawsuit over whether the state is properly funding its public schools is now before the Florida Supreme Court.  Oral arguments have been scheduled for November 8th.

Collier Co. School Board and Constitution Revision Commission Member Erika Donalds promotes Amendment Eight during a 4th of July parade in Naples. Donalds is the architect of the multi-tiered proposal.
Erika Donalds / facebook

Florida is among a minority of states that only allow school districts to approve new charter schools. A proposal once slated on the November ballot seeks to change that. But the fate of amendment eight is unclear after a Leon County Circuit judge ruled its ballot summary is vague and misleading. Now the crafter of the plan is pushing back, arguing her referendum has been mischaracterized by opponents of school choice.

Ryan Dailey / WFSUNews

A Democratic candidate in the race for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture says she’s been “targeted” after her campaign account was closed by Wells Fargo. Nikki Fried claims it’s because of her advocacy for medical marijuana.

Maks Brankovic/flickr

Florida is $21 billion in debt.

State leaders were actually happy to hear that number at the most recent Florida Cabinet meeting.

The amount of money owed on initiatives like transportation and environmental projects has fallen in recent years, bolstered in part by low interest rates and the economy.

Sen. David Simmons (R-Altamonte Springs) is the main author of Florida's Stand Your Ground law.
Sen. David Simmons' Facebook page

Last week, Florida’s Stand Your Ground law took center stage as people rallied, protested, and marched over the killing of a black unarmed man during a dispute over a handicapped parking space.

The shooter, a white man, was never arrested. That is, until earlier this week, when the Pinellas County State Attorney decided to file charges.

Last week, Sascha Cordner spoke to the main author of Stand Your Ground, who weighed in on the case and the law before the charges were filed. But, first, what led up to this point?

Nikkie Cox found this tagged lionfish off Franklin County. Photo courtesy of Nikkie Cox.
Nikkie Cox

There are a few weeks left to go in the state’s Lionfish Challenge. That’s an effort to rid Florida waters of the invasive species that has no natural predators and has a negative impact on wildlife.

WLRN.org

Florida’s top leadership offices are up for grabs this year and one of the largest jobs is overseeing the state’s multi-billion dollar agriculture and consumer services industries. There are seven candidates vying to succeed Adam Putnam as Agriculture Commissioner. Five of them recently appeared before several South Florida editorial boards to make their cases to voters. 

A decision on the fate of an education amendment to Florida’s constitution could arrive as soon as Monday.

Courtesy Holland & Knight Law

A lawsuit in Florida’s Supreme Court filed by a former justice seeks to get most of the Constitution Revision Commission’s proposed amendments off the ballot before November. Harry Lee Anstead retired as chief justice in 2009. Anstead takes issue with six amendments and their combining proposed changes, claiming it will leave voters unable to cast votes on individual ideas.

Martha Barnett is an attorney who served on the last CRC in 1998. She served on its Style and Drafting Committee, which determines how amendments are combined and presented on the ballot. Barnett recently spoke with WFSU’s Ryan Dailey about her experience on the Commission, and gave her take on the most recent amendments.

Collier Co. School Board and Constitution Revision Commission Member Erika Donalds promotes Amendment Eight during a 4th of July parade in Naples. Donalds is the architect of the multi-tiered proposal.
Erika Donalds / facebook

The League of Women Voters of Florida is hoping to persuade a Leon County Circuit judge today to strip a constitutional amendment proposal off the November ballot. The amendment in question is number eight, which combines several issues into one proposal like term limits for local school board, mandating civics be taught. But  the part the league takes issue with the section that deals with approving new charter schools.

An alligator
Karen Parker / FWC Flickr

The statewide recreational hunting of Florida’s alligators began Wednesday.

With Florida's 2018 general election just weeks away the race for U.S. Senate election officials are growing concerned about the potential for hacking. The issue is now playing a role in the U.S. Senate race, as Governor Rick Scott and Senator Bill Nelson spar over whether the state's  systems are secure.

Governor Rick Scott his defending is environmental policies amid a Red Tide that’s choking the state’s Southwest coast and resulting in massive fish and marine life kills. 

A toxic red tide algae bloom that’s been persisting in Southwest Florida for nearly a year is now making its way to the Tampa Bay area. It’s been most recently reported as far north as Pinellas County.

This past weekend, beachgoers on Anna Maria Island in Manatee County witnessed thousands of dead fish and other marine life wash ashore from red tide poisoning. 

Tom Flanigan

Florida has never allowed oil and natural gas drilling off its coasts. But a new national coalition thinks that needs to change.

August 14th marks the 83rd birthday of Social Security. The Florida Alliance for Retired Americans celebrated the anniversary at Tallahassee City Hall by calling on lawmakers to protect the program. 

There has been an arrest in the Clearwater 'stand your ground' case.

The State Attorney's office is charging Micheal Drejka with manslaughter in the death of Markeis McGlockton.

According to a press release, an arrest warrant was issued this Monday morning and Drejka is being booked into the Pinellas County Jail. His bond has been set at $100,000.

Joined by her Attorney Ben Crump and others, Brittany Jacobs speaks during a news conference inside a Tallahassee church prior to a march to the capitol Wednesday.
Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Last month’s killing of a man during a dispute over a parking space has revived the conversation about a repeal of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. The overall debate surrounding the controversial self defense law is also having an impact on Florida's elections.

Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll
Florida Channel

The head of Florida’s child welfare agency is stepping down.

Courtesy AECOM

Florida’s problem with algal blooms has taken center stage, and efforts to mitigate it are in high demand. A partnership between two engineering and bioplastics companies aims to bring a new type of solution to the market. One Florida county is already trying it out.

LockwoodLawFirm.com

Several legal actions happened this week involving medical marijuana in Florida.

One ruling found that the state can’t limit the number of medical marijuana treatment centers, known as MMTC’s. In other words, that means no caps on the number of dispensaries.

Courtesy Sean Shaw Campaign

Democratic Attorney General candidate Sean Shaw is promising if elected he’ll create a task force to deal with gun violence.

Tallahassee Attorney Ben Crump speaking during a news conference inside a Tallahassee church prior to marching to the capitol Wednesday.
Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Joined by the girlfriend of a black man who was shot dead by a white man over a disabled parking spot at a Clearwater convenience store, black pastors, civil rights leaders and politicians marched to Governor Rick Scott’s office Wednesday to demand a repeal of the state’s controversial “stand your ground law.”

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