State News

WTXL

Honorably discharged veterans could get a two-month break from sales taxes under a measure filed by Miami Democratic Representative Kionne  McGhee.

Rep. Jay Fant (R-Jacksonville) is running for Attorney General.
Jay Fant campaign website

Next year’s race for attorney general could find two of Florida’s most recognizable Republicans backing different candidates.  Incumbent Pam Bondi has already made her endorsement, but the governor may go in a different direction.

DXR via wikimedia commons

The Florida Wildlife Federation is pushing for stiffer poaching penalties after a shark dragging video went viral.

CNN

As he prepares to tour Florida’s college campuses, Tallahassee Mayor and gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Gillum is renewing his call to remove a Civil War memorial from the Florida Capitol.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commisison

There’s a darker side to a rebounding Florida Panther population with state game officials reporting a spike in attacks on livestock and domestic animals in rural Southwest Florida.

Tom Flanigan

The Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus has slammed President Trump's so-far unfollowed order that all transgender people be removed from any connection with the U-S military.

Dan Bannister / iStockphoto

Florida’s correctional facilities are no longer under lockdown and prisoner visitation has now been restored.

Mary McLeod Bethune
Florida State Archives

A South Florida Senator is trying again to send a statue of Mary McLeod Bethune to represent Florida in Washington D.C’s Statuary Hall.  The current statue is confederate general Edmund Kirby Smith.

WFSU

Tallahassee Commissioner and incoming Florida League of Cities President Gil Ziffer is vowing to step up his fight against what calls a legislative power grab.

Florida Lottery

Negotiations are continuing between the Florida Lottery and the Florida House in Speaker Richard Corcoran’s challenge to a 700-million-dollar contract with International Game Technology. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking toward a court-imposed, August 31st deadline.

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Facebook

It’s been a tough week for the Florida Highway Patrol. Talk of speeding ticket quotas led to the resignation of a Troop Commander. But, the law enforcement agency is now trying to put that behind them, and move forward.

FWC's Flickr account / FWC's Flickr account

A state lawmaker is once again trying to expand protections for Florida’s black bears. The bill sponsor says the plan should benefit conservationists and hunters. 

Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC. / https://infopost.spectraenergy.com/InfoPost/STTHome.asp?Pipe=STT

A little over a month after the Sabal Trail Pipeline went online, Central Florida residents are reporting foul-smelling leaks. Despite the sulfur-like scent, the structure is not emitting natural gas. But neighbors and naturalists are still concerned about the impacts.

Rep. Alexander and Sen. Montford (3rd and 4th from right) with local officials.
Nick Evans

Four counties in North Florida are forming what’s known as a freight logistics zone to improve the region’s chances for state infrastructure dollars.  Officials believe it’s an important step toward growing jobs. 

Jenn Greiving via Wikimedia Commons

Florida has added more than 1.4 million jobs since Governor Rick Scott took office.  But Scott’s 700,000 jobs in seven years campaign promise is looking doubtful.

Dunn campaign

Last year, north Florida voters sent two polar opposites, Republican Neal Dunn and Democrat Al Lawson, to represent them in Congress. The wide philosophical and partisan gulf separating the two men – and much of the nation -- was on full display during recent appearances in Tallahassee.

MGN Online

The Florida Department of Corrections has cancelled visitations at most of its facilities and prisoners are under lockdown, at least through the weekend.

Hamza Butt via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/149902454@N08/35417680152/

Florida State University graduate assistants are negotiating for more generous benefits. The effort comes after the administration cut healthcare coverage for the children and spouses of grad assistants. 

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health via wikimedia commons

Florida’s insurance regulator is readying another push for assignment of benefits reform in next year’s legislative session.  Similar measures have failed since 2013.

Challenger Learning Center

Callers to Tallahassee’s Challenger Learning Center are getting an automatic warning about the lack of solar eclipse viewing glasses.

A leadership shuffle in the Florida Senate is lifting the hopes of anti-fracking activists.

Kate Payne via WFSU

The private board in charge of handing out funds from the BP oil spill is developing its application process. But sparsely populated Gulf Coast counties are worried they could lose out on some of the settlement money.

MGN Online

Three former Florida correctional officers linked to the Ku Klux Klan have been convicted of first degree murder for planning to murder a black inmate in North Central Florida.

Volunteer Florida Facebook

The head of Volunteer Florida bid a final farewell to Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet Wednesday. Chester Spellman will be taking over a similar job in the Trump Administration.

Florida Highway Patrol & Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles / https://www.flhsmv.gov/florida-highway-patrol/troop-boundaries-information/troop-h/

The Florida Cabinet gave a tongue lashing to the head of Florida’s highway patrol after a North Florida major told his troopers he expected two citations an hour.  State law prohibits ticket quotas.  Attorney General Pam Bondi criticized the directive.

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