State News

Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg)
The Florida Channel

Florida levies a tax on communications services—things like cable and cell phones, but also streaming services.  Now one lawmaker wants to carve out internet video from the tax.

Three of Florida’s gubernatorial hopefuls got into a social media spat Thursday over immigration. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and House Speaker Richard Corcoran exchanged words over sanctuary city policies.

Ariel Dovas via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/eviloars/3596825553/in/photolist-6tQEVF-8URbcY-nBP92L-hX8nFM-dzZqZv-4ZJ2ky-oXmHrv-4X6aGF-8kErNQ-4X6aKt-dzZtdB-dL1No5-3RYGw5-8vMptT-4dAphj-8mqsHQ-RTzbX-5gJJMN-8iq3hr-en86kn-9DU4qw-8zjrD7-aE62qi-aCEBWy-3cDrcM-5ahWGB-HeukUX-Z9zp

First responders run towards crashes, emergencies and catastrophes, not away from them. And for some, their experiences are leading to post traumatic stress disorder. But in Florida, first responders who develop PTSD on the job don’t get compensated, unless they have a physical injury as well. Now there are efforts at the statehouse to change that. A note to listeners, the following story includes frank discussion of death and suicide.

MGN Online

The official start to the 2018 legislative session is about a month away, and already, some high profile gun bills appear to be dead. Discussion surrounding the proposals not only pit Republicans against one another, it’s led to sparring between gun rights groups as well.

Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater)
Nick Evans

Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, continues to fight against allegations of sexual harassment but there’s mounting evidence he is on the losing end. The state’s House Speaker said recently Latvala could end up being kicked out the Senate in January.

DXR via wikimedia commons

When the 2018 lawmaking session begins in January, Florida lawmakers will again wrestle with who we honor and how we memorialize them.  One measure would establish a monument—another would remove one.

The St. Johns River
FL Division of Tourism via Florida Memory

The Florida Senate is aiming to divvy up a pot of environmental money with large chunks earmarked for Florida’s springs and the St. Johns River. 

Florida Department of Education budget presentation 12/7/17.
Florida Department of Education

Governor Rick Scott wants Florida lawmakers to spend an extra $200 million to raise per-student spending to another record high. But in order to get there, much of the increase would come from local contributions, and the state’s top educator made the case for it Thursday.

Skitter Photo

Lawmakers are once again working to assure the 3-million Floridians who play fantasy sports with friends that they’re not breaking the law. A measure from Tampa Republican Senator Dana Young would clarify that playing fantasy sports does not constitute gambling. The Seminole Tribe of Florida has raised concerns about the legislation violating the tribe’s gambling exclusivity agreement with the state. But Young says she’s not worried.

Citrus greening (Huanglongbing) is reeking havoc on Florida's citrus industry.
A. Barra via Wikimedia commons

A cold snap is bringing freezing temperatures to Florida this weekend. But one citrus scientist says the state’s embattled growers shouldn’t see much damage. 

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

A bipartisan group of Florida lawmakers is looking to create an alternative to restore the rights of former inmates.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran appeared on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" program Wednesday (12/6/17) to discuss sexual harassment in the Florida Capitol and hurricane recovery.
C-SPAN/Washington Journal / C-SPAN

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran says he believes embattled Sen. Jack Latvala is heading toward expulsion from the chamber. Latvala is facing multiple accusations of sexual harassment.

MGN Online

A number of gun bills appear to be dead for the 2018 legislative session, after failing to pass their first Florida Senate committee Tuesday.

A fight over public employee labor unions is brewing in the legislature. Critics are decrying a bill they say is aimed at union-busting, while the measure’s sponsor claims it’s meant to ensure unions are doing their jobs.

Nick Evans

More than fifty people gathered at the Leon County Public Library Monday evening to talk about combating the opioid crisis.  The epidemic hasn’t hit Leon as hard as some other counties, but local leaders want to be ready.

Tom Flanigan

Too often, North Florida is shortchanged by the Legislature when it comes to crucial funding. At least, that’s the message from a group of regional leaders that is vowing to make the case to lawmakers as well as the homefolks.

Monroe County Board of County Commissioners via facebook

The 2017 Hurricane season is officially over. But lawmakers are still debating how to pick up the pieces.

C-SPAN

On a party line vote, the U.S. Senate has rejected an amendment from Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) making tax cuts for individuals permanent in a tax-reform measure backed by the president and GOP leaders.

Nick Evans

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission is considering an amendment prohibiting governments from naming public projects after sitting members.

iStockphoto

A proposal changing the eligibility requirements for becoming a judge in a state or county court is starting to move in a committee of the Constitution Revision Commission. That’s the panel that meets every 20 years to revise the state constitution and put the matter before voters.

Stuart Rankin via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/24354425@N03/14576820330/

55,000 agriculture-related jobs are in danger in the wake of Hurricane Irma, according to a recent University of Florida analysis. Economist and study author Alan Hodges says the storms’ impacts to Florida’s growers are unprecedented. Because the state's second largest industry depends on so many other suppliers and distributors, and fuels so many local economies, Hodges says the ripple effects are not limited to growers alone. 

iStockphoto

Thursday marked the end of Hurricane Season, and Governor Rick Scott is noting lessons to apply next year.

MGN Online/Pixabay

A proposal to ban the smoking of electronic vaping devices is now heading to the full Constitution Revision Commission—the panel that meets every 20 years to change Florida’s constitution.

Florida Channel

A proposal to give Florida’s Chief Financial Officer more duties failed to pass a subpanel of the state’s Constitution Revision Commission, but it may still be alive.

Florida Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court is blocking a request that a justice recuse herself from a high profile case. A day after the League of Women Voters countered accusations that Justice Barbara Pariente was politicking from the bench, the state's highest court has agreed: there's no there there.

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