State News

Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater)
The Florida Channel

A powerful Florida Senator who is also vying to be the GOP candidate for governor has been toppled over accusations of public corruption and sexual harassment.

The Florida Channel

Opioid abuse may grab the headlines, but drug related deaths overall are on the rise.  And when it comes to helping people kick an addiction, one lawmaker believes Florida is rejecting some of the best people for the job.

Sean Locke / iStockphoto

Fighting contraband has been an ongoing issue within the state’s prison system. Florida’s prison chief is exploring some innovative ideas to address that issue.

Charlotte90T via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/charlotte90t/

Florida lawmakers are once again trying to reform the state’s food stamp program, which has more than doubled since the Recession. But unlike in previous years, the Republican-led effort could be making some in roads with Democrats. 

Children in Prison Project

A quartet of Tallahassee law students has been advocating two changes to Florida’s Constitution. The Constitution Revision Commission is now weighing those among hundreds of other public proposals.

Bill Nelson via facebook

Florida’s U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is slamming the Republican tax bill. Both houses of Congress passed the measure Wednesday on largely party line votes. Nelson says the package benefits corporations more than working people. 

Healthcarelist.com

Time is running out for Congress to reauthorize a federal program that helps insure more than nine million children nationwide. Florida has the fourth highest enrollment of low-income kids in the children’s health insurance program called CHIP.

Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater)
Nick Evans

Senator Jack Latvala is resigning after two separate reports condemned his behavior toward women in the legislative process.

iStockphoto

The Florida Senate has received a report that concludes there is probable cause for some of the sexual harassment allegations against state Senator Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater). The Special Master’s report also opens the door to other investigations, including a possible criminal one.

As law enforcement agencies across Florida consider using body cameras, the state’s wildlife officers are following suit.

MGN Online

The costs to settle outstanding prison lawsuits could mean less money to spend on Florida Department of Corrections’ priorities. That’s the message from the new Florida Senate Budget chair.

Florida Supreme Court
Nick Evans

The Florida Supreme Court has tossed out a case challenging the governor's right to make last minute appointments. The justices say it’s too soon to review because the appointments haven't been made yet. Without a clear ruling, some are worried about a potential constitutional crisis. 

DXR via wikimedia commons

With the 2018 legislative session looming, state officials are doing their level best to defuse a widening sexual harassment scandal.  The governor is ordering new training at state agencies.

The Florida Supreme Court.
Nick Evans / WFSU News

Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga’s civil justice commission is unveiling a new mobile app to help people access the courts.  It’s called Florida Courts Help.

Deepwater Horizon drilling platform on fire in 2010.
US Coast Guard

Florida voters could be asked to ban oil drilling off Florida’s coasts. The proposal got the green-light Thursday before a Constitution Revision Commission Panel and there was little opposition.

MGN Online

The political battle around Obamacare doesn’t seem to be factoring into Floridians' decisions to sign up. Florida leads the nation in Obamacare enrollment. And the state’s residents are once again signing up for the program at a record rate. That’s despite Republicans’ efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

MGN Online

The repeal of “net neutrality” rules that allowed consumers to have equal access to the internet has upset Florida’s U.S. Democratic Senator.

Walleigh via wikimedia commons

Florida voters may get to decide whether to eliminate a healthcare permit called a certificate of need.  But some are questioning if the ballot is the right place to make that decision.

Josh O'Connor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast/

Florida’s top agriculture official wants more funding to fight wildfires. Firefighters worked hard to control this year’s burns, before heavy rainfall cut the season short. But winter weather conditions could fuel more fires in 2018. 

Pasco County Sheriff's Office

A bill funding a unique facility to help solve cold cases is starting to move forward in the Florida House.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott spoke about his executive order after December's Cabinet meeting.
Florida Cabinet

Florida Governor Rick Scott is ordering state agencies to develop training and reporting guidelines for sexual harassment.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Floridians could soon vote on a proposal to grant victims more rights during court proceedings. That matter will first go before the Florida Constitution Revision Commission—which meets every 20 years to revise the state’s constitution. Voters would later have their say on the 2018 ballot.

https://twitter.com/adamputnam
Adam Putnam via flickr / Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Florida’s projected orange crop is continuing to dwindle. The forecasted yield is down 80% from the record high of 244 million boxes 20 years ago. 

Rep. Evan Jenne (D-Dania Beach)
Mark Foley via FL House website

A Florida Democrat wants to impose the same fundraising restrictions legislators face each session on the state’s cabinet officials.

State Atty. Dave Aronberg
U.S. Congress, Energy and Commerce Committee

Two Palm Beach prosecutors are calling on Congress to outlaw the kickbacks some patient brokers receive for connecting people with drug treatment.  They believe those incentives encourage relapse rather than recovery.

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