State News

No gambling deal will pass this legislative session. Lawmakers announced plans Tuesday to dissolve their conference on the issue. Representative Jose Diaz led the House’s side of the negotiations. He says a move to let eight new counties operate slot machines was a main sticking point.

“We were far apart on a lot of things. We were not on the same page on effective date or on Bingo or on blackjack. But referendum counties was the big divide,” Diaz said.

US Department of Agriculture

The Florida House is pushing to change how money in one of the state’s primary environmental trust funds is spent.  But most lawmakers were in the dark about how much money the fund will get as the measure went to a vote.

Bokske via Wikimedia Commons

The Florida House is advancing a medical marijuana proposal packed with last minute changes to bring it closer to the Senate position.  But for some in the House, it’s a tough sell.

Hamilton County Circuit Judge Andrew Decker is paying the price for ethical violations while he was an attorney and for an overly aggressive campaign.

Florida Senate

The Legislature is poised to approve a 1.5 million-dollar payment to a former Tallahassee teacher who was seriously injured when an ambulance ran a red a light in 2013.

Alabama Retail Federation

Spurred by a 60-Minutes investigation, the Florida Legislature is moving to shut down a cottage industry of shady lawsuits that has grown up around the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Florida Channel

State employees will be getting a pay raise this year, under a proposal now heading to the Senate floor. But, it’s tied to a controversial pension reform issue and health insurance reform package backed by the House.

Florida Channel

Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner is running for governor and another Republican is running for his open post.  A former democratic congresswoman seems ready to launch a gubernatorial bid of her own.

DXR via wikimedia commons

The full Florida Senate is preparing to take up a modified version of the House’s tax cut proposal.  But a property tax measure may be more important to House leaders.

Rep. Larry Metz (R-Yalaha)
Florida Channel

Legislation banning so called sanctuary policies has passed the Florida House. But it’s unclear whether the Senate will advance the bill in the final week of session.

Wikipedia

The American Petroleum Institute is praising President Donald Trump’s latest move to open up the eastern Gulf of Mexico to offshore drilling. But more than  half of Florida’s Congressional delegation stands opposed.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran appears to be pulling the plug on a proposal by big power companies to invest in hydraulic fracturing operations in other states.

Erich Martin

The Florida House and Senate budget teams are bumping numerous issues up to the chambers’ presiding officers.  The groups bundled a few major priorities for up or down votes ahead of the floor.

Nick Evans / WFSU News

Florida’s budget for the coming fiscal year is now in the hands of the House and Senate budget chiefs.  They’re planning to settle as many differences as they can and ‘bump’ the rest to the presiding officers by noon Sunday.

DXR via wikimedia commons

This week House and Senate presiding officers settled on an overall budget figure of roughly $82.9 billion split into nine separate allocations.  Friday morning five subcommittees met to trade offers—laid out in spreadsheets hundreds of rows long. 

In Memory Of Nubia Barahona Facebook page

The case of a surviving abuse victim that led to the overhaul of Florida’s child welfare system may be close to reaching a resolution. While the claims bill to further compensate the victim has usually died in the past legislative sessions, it’s now headed to the Governor for final approval.

Visit Florida

Visit Florida is fighting for economic survival the only way it knows how, through a marketing campaign.

Rep. Kionne McGhee in 2015.
Mark Foley via FL House website / Florida House of Representatives

The Florida House passed a measure calling for the state to create a slavery memorial. Bill sponsor Democratic Rep. Kionne McGhee said he’s hopeful Senate will agree to hear it on the floor.

Rep. Mike LaRosa is sponsoring a measure keeping local governments from writing special requirements for short-term, vacation rentals.
Florida House of Representatives

The Florida House has approved a measure aimed at keeping local governments from restricting residents from renting out their homes.  Any ordinances would have to apply to all residences.

Governor Rick Scott.
The Florida Channel

Governor Rick Scott is defending his decision to remove State Attorney Aramis Ayala from death penalty cases. Attorneys for Scott argue the Florida Supreme Court should dismiss Ayala’s claims that the governor unlawfully moved the cases to another prosecutor.

Florida House of Representatives

Lawmakers are criticizing the committee charged with drafting Florida’s environmental spending plan.  

Holland & Knight's Florida Government Advocacy Team twitter

Last week, the Florida House formally apologized to the former wards of two now-closed reform schools for the abuse they say they suffered. Now, the Florida Senate is now doing the same.

MGN Online

Two bills to help the state’s foster kids are now heading to the Governor’s desk.

Lance Cheung

Advocates are hopeful they’ll see legislation implementing tax breaks on solar energy pass the legislature this session. But they’re not happy with different parts of the House and Senate bills.

Florida Capitol
Nick Evans / WFSU News

State employees are in line for pay raises for the first time in years. But the potential trade-offs for those pay bumps is raising concerns.

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