Senator Kelli Stargel

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.

DXR via wikimedia commons

The full Florida Senate is preparing to take up a modified version of the House’s tax cut proposal.  But a property tax measure may be more important to House leaders.

Ebyabe via wikimedia commons

With the U.S. Supreme Court striking down Texas abortion restrictions, attention is turning to Florida where a similar measure is set to take effect Friday.  The law’s backers are confident their legislation will survive a court challenge of its own. 

Florida Channel

A controversial abortion bill is now headed to the Governor, after receiving final passage from the Florida Senate Friday.

Florida Senate

“Mission Creep” is a term used to describe the increase in community colleges offering four-year degrees. Critics say the idea started innocently but has grown out of control. Now, as Matthew Seeger reports, a deal between lawmakers and the colleges may be close.

A bill regulating the parasailing industry is among 32 new laws set to take effect Wednesday. And, the head of Florida’s water sports association says the state’s parasailing industry is ready.

The "White-Miskell" Act

In January, Sen Maria Sachs (D-Delray Beach) said she’d never go up in a parasail with an industry that doesn’t have any uniform standards.

Chris Harrison via Flickr

The Florida Legislature has voted to ban abortions if fetuses are shown to be able to live outside the womb on their own.

Before Friday’s Senate vote, Sen. Gwen Margolis (D-Miami) introduced an amendment banning vasectomies for men. Sen. Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa) said Margolis wanted to show the male-dominated Senate what it’s like to have reproductive decisions made for you.

“Think about it and consider what it is that happens on the other side, if it could happen to you," Joyner said.

Gabe Grass
Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

Florida’s craft beer brewers have been pushing for years to remove a law keeping them from selling containers of a certain size. But a Senate bill that does away with that restriction also adds a different rule brewers say would hurt their booming business.

Following a national trend, the number of craft breweries in Tallahassee is expected to double in the near future. In a warehouse six blocks from the Florida Capitol, Gabe Grass is about to open the third microbrewery within a mile radius.

MGN Online

A couple of abortion-related measures are moving in the Florida Legislature, while others appear stalled. One bill inspired by the so-called “abortion pill victim” is already heading to the House floor and its companion could be taken up on the Senate floor next week. Another measure dealing with late-term abortions just cleared its first House panel, but has yet to get its first hearing in the Senate.

Unborn Victims of Violence Act

Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) is the Senate sponsor of the “Florida’s Unborn Victims of Violence Act.”

Andrew Ressa

When lawmakers passed a measure last session to crack down on internet cafes running illegal gaming operations, some worried the bill also meant “game over” for family arcades. A measure filed this year is aimed at backing off some of those rules so those businesses can stay open without gambling on the possibility of a lawsuit.

Capital Lanes in Tallahassee is more than just a bowling alley. It also houses a bar and sizeable arcade

Florida Channel

A measure aiming to make it a separate criminal offense to cause the injury or death of an unborn child is heading to the House floor.

Seminole Republican Representative Larry Ahern says his bill called “the Florida Unborn Victims of Violence Act” is about justice. He says too many times, a woman and her unborn child are victims of violence, which end in death for the both of them. But, the perpetrator is only convicted of killing the mother.

MGN Online

A bill that would make it a separate offense to cause the death or injury of an unborn child cleared its first Senate committee Monday.

With just the change of a definition in Florida law, Lakeland Senator Kelli Stargel says she hopes to both reduce violence against women and provide justice to unborn victims.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

A legislative effort is underway to make it a separate crime in Florida to cause the death or injury of an unborn child. the bill doesn’t differentiate based on intent or the child’s stage of development.

It’s currently a crime to cause or contribute to the death of what’s called an “unborn quick child,” —that is, a fetus that can live outside the womb. But legislation filed by Lakeland Senator Kelli Stargel and Seminole Representative Larry Ahern would expand the definition to include any pregnancy.

Florida lawmakers are paying a lot of attention to high school sports this year. A proposal overhauling the organization that regulates the athletes eligibility is now moving in the Senate, after being delayed several weeks. Groups opposed to the bill say it opens the door for cheating and aggressive recruiting—something frowned upon in high school sports, but supporters say the Florida High School Athletics Association has grown too big for its britches, and needs some limits to its power.