2019 legislative session

Cars on a road during Sunset
Xiaolong Wong / Unsplash

Governor Ron DeSantis has approved a measure that could pave the way for the state’s first major highway expansion in decades. The effort has been led by state Senate President Bill Galvano who pushed the roads as a way to aid in evacuations, promote growth in rural parts of the state and help transport an ever growing population. But environmentalists argue the idea could be a disaster for fragile ecosystems. 

House Speaker Jose Oliva (R-Miami Lakes) talks to a group of reporters
The Florida Channel

Florida lawmakers are touting the success of the recently completed legislative session. House Speaker Jose Oliva says one thing that made a difference this year is that lawmakers were able to work closely with Governor Ron DeSantis.

A person texting while driving
Andrey Popove / Adobe Stock

                                                                                                                                                                                                               

A bill that requires drivers to use hands-free devices has one step left to go in the senate.

Students
LHatter / WFSU News

The Florida House is considering a bill that would require an annual report on intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity at the state’s public universities. The measure has drawn criticism from some and praise from others. 

Visit Florida's budget has grown since 2004. So has the state's tourism numbers.
Visit Florida

Florida’s tourism and marketing agency could be going away if the Florida House has its way. It comes as tourism remains the state’s dominant industry, and the state continues recovering from toxic algae blooms and hurricanes. 

Itay Kabalo on Unsplash / Unsplash

The senate’s Health Policy committee wants to align the sales age of tobacco products to that of alcohol, making it tougher for teens to get access to cigarettes and vaping devices. 

Eastpoint residents enjoy a barbeque at the Big Top Supermarket after Hurricane Michael (10/12/2018)
Ryan Dailey / WFSU News

State taxpayer money for Hurricane Michael relief in Florida's hard-hit Panhandle would top $1.8 billion under a budget plan outlined Thursday by Senate Republican leaders.

In this Oct. 23, 2018 photo, Mark Ward surveys the destruction of his neighbor's mobile home in Bay County, Fla. Ward and his neighbors say that the rural parts of the county have seen little help since Hurricane Michael.
AP Photo / Tamara Lush

North Florida lawmakers are pushing a $315 million  Hurricane Michael recovery package. That’s in addition to the millions more in proposed recovery projects scattered across the counties hit by the storm. 

View of downtown Tallahassee (undated)
Leon County Tourism/Visit Tallahassee / Visit Tallahassee

The City of Tallahassee wants to increase workforce opportunities, improve safety and work toward infrastructure projects. 

Several pride flags lined up in a row and blowing in the wind.
filmbetrachterin / Pixabay

Two bills in the Florida legislature would add workplace protections for LGBTQ individuals, but activists say one could be a step forward while the other could be a step back.

Florida's capitol complex, as seen from above (undated photo)
WFSU-FM

Lawmakers will reconvene in Tallahassee Monday to take up Gov. Ron DeSantis's proposed budget plan. During the week they'll also get updates on ongoing hurricane recovery efforts and issues.

AP / Brynn Anderson

Gov. Ron DeSantis has rolled out his budget proposal for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. It follows through on key campaign promises like environmental protection, education and infrastructure.


Florida Senate Democrats last week selected Jacksonville’s Audrey Gibson as their leader for the next two legislative sessions. The incoming Democratic leader said she hopes to be a bridge builder.