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Thousands of people support students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in a rally for gun control at the Florida capitol (2/21/18).The Florida legislature is poised to pass some of the most sweeping gun control and mental health reforms in more than 20 years. The moves come as lawmakers face pressure from students affected by the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.On Valentine's Day, a 19-year-old in Parkland opened fire on his former classmates at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He killed 14 students, three adults, and injured 14 others. There were warning signs, yet, all, including a tip to the FBI, were missed.That day, school safety measures in place, like school resource officers, restricted access and fencing--all failed.In the wake of the shooting, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas have mobilized, calling on the legislature to take greater action to prevent school and mass shootings. Lawmakers, it seems, are finally listening.https://youtu.be/6PRPEfu7WPg

Senate Takes Up Broward Sheriff's Suspension Case

Gov. Rick Scott, Broward Superintendent Rob Runcie and Broward Sheriff Scott Israel discuss Parkland school shooting.
PBS NewsHour screenshot

The Florida Senate is weighing whether to reinstate Broward’s suspended sheriff. Governor Ron DeSantis removed Israel from office earlier this year over what he calls the department’s bungled response to last year’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

Family members of Parkland victims want the Senate to keep Scott Israel out of office. Ahead of Monday's hearing, they held a press conference at the capitol.

Israel's lawyers and some Democrats are objecting to the inclusion of a memo by the Commission for Law Enforcement Accreditation. The memo says the commission did not reaccredit the department based on its response to last year’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, but Senate President Bill Galvano says there are no rules that say the chamber can’t consider the affidavit.

“This is one where each senator has to find it in his/her conscience as to what to do. This is not a caucus issue, it’s an individual senator issue and everything that is part of the record is available to the senators to base their decision on," he said. 

Israel’s attorney is also objecting to the participation of a private lawyer representing Governor Ron DeSantis who has opposed a special master's ruling recommending Israel be reinstated. 

“I have faith in the senators that they’re going to rise to the occasion, look at everything and adhere to the standard which is what in their conscience is best for the people of Florida," Galvano said, downplaying whether DeSantis could influence the Senate's decision. 

Follow @HatterLynn

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

Find complete bio, contact info, and more stories here.