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Florida lawmakers want to repeal a 113-year old regulation on telegraph companies. Lawmakers say it's long overdue, considering the nation's last official telegraph service closed in 2006.

Two long-forgotten African-American cemeteries in the Tampa are likely going to get memorials, thanks to one of the area’s state lawmakers.

A woman waring a jean jacket and shirt with bright organce hearts carries a grey backpack and pile of books.
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Florida may soon be adding to its list of scholarship programs. Rep. Shevrin Jones (D- Broward)  is sponsoring a bill that would help low-income students pay any remaining tuition their other scholarships and grants don't cover.

Brendan Farrington / AP Photo

In Florida, statewide campaigns are partially paid for by citizens. Voters approved the move decades ago to make sure people who wanted to run for a seat could afford to campaign. But since then the money poured into bids for office has ballooned, and lawmakers think candidates no longer need the financial help from the state.

House Shies Away From Overhauling Disabilities Program

Feb 13, 2020

The chance that Florida legislators this year will redesign the Medicaid program for people with developmental disabilities is dwindling.

While the House has pushed in the past for an overhaul of the program, the Republican who oversees health-care spending said she thinks, for now, the agency running the program can continue operating as is.

Aisles of wooden chairs and bouquets of flowers lead to an arch draped in sheer cloth. Shrubbery is in the background.
Shardayyy Photography / Unsplash

According to a state analysis, about half of Florida's marriages end in divorce. To curb that number, Republicans want to require couples to read a handbook before they can get a marriage license. 

Florida State University
Henryk Sadura / Adobe Stock

The House Education committee is considering a plan to merge Florida Polytechnic University with the University of Florida, and New College of Florida with Florida State University. The proposal was filed Monday and is being met with  mixed reactions.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Florida’s House and Senate are closing in on approving their respective budgets and are looking forward to beginning negotiations, potentially early next week.

The Florida Channel

A bill that would have mandated newborn babies be given a certain eye exam just got a drastic overhaul by way of a strike-all amendment. Proponents of the original say it’s now watered down, but some are glad to see what they feel is progress.

a close up of a person with a blue eye
Photo by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash

Florida lawmakers want to ban for-profit eye banks. These companies retrieve, store, and help deliver corneas to people who need them. The industry has long been dominated by non-profit banks, but that trend is changing.

 

Young and handsome businessman buying used car
hedgehog94 / Adobe Stock

Florida lawmakers want to tax companies that let people rent out their personal cars. A proposal in the legislature would apply the same surcharge regular rental car companies pay to transactions made through apps like Turo. But the same companies say they aren’t rental car agencies and shouldn’t be treated as such.

Florida's education and business industry are united in support of a bill that changes how the state's voluntary pre-kindergarten providers are rated and overseen. Still even as they support the plan, providers say the bill isn’t quite perfect.

Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP Photo

The Florida Senate is moving its version of a plan allowing college athletes to receive pay for their name, image and likeness. Florida is trying to follow California, which passed a law allowing student athletes to earn money from endorsements.

Steve Cannon / AP Photo

Sponsors of a bill that puts a moment of silence at the top of each day in Florida’s public schools say it’s about mitigating stress in a hectic world. The bill is cruising through both chambers, but some are warning that it’s rooted in Judeo-Christian values.  

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is the only statewide elected Democrat, and, she claims Republicans have it out for her. Fried is battling proposals that cut her department’s budget and take away the Office of Energy — something she’s calling a power grab. Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, are brushing off her complaints.

People sit at long tables picking up ballots and reading them.
Chris O'Meara / AP Photo

A proposal in the legislature could change how recounts are conducted in Florida. The measure hinges on an auditing system that at least one local supervisor says is better at accessing digital copies of paper ballots than what's currently being used. 

a man puts a dollar bill into a small brown wallet.
Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

State workers have been calling for pay raises for years. This week, the House and Senate released their plans to give them one. A union that represents a majority of state employees applauds the move, but wants more.

Woman in suit is speaking into a mic. One hand holds the mic while the other adjusts her glasses.
Steve Cannon / AP Photo

The Florida Senate has passed a controversial bill mandating minors get consent from a parent before getting an abortion. The probability it will land on Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk is high.

Florida Supreme Court building in front of blue sky
Nick Evans / WFSU

The Florida Supreme Court has set oral arguments in the Florigrown v. The Department of Health case for April 22 at 10 a.m. 

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

 

All physicians in Florida could soon be required to write and submit prescriptions electronically. State Rep. Amber Mariano (R- Pasco), is sponsoring a bill that would cut the number of exemptions allowed in the current e-prescribing program. Mariano’s bill eliminates exemptions like financial hardship and one-year waivers.

“I think it makes sense for us as a state to have uniformity across the state, when it comes to prescriptions. Not having it be mandatory for some and not mandatory for others,” She said.

PIXABAY / PEXELS

Florida has the largest concentration of freshwater springs in the world and they’re a revenue source, not only for their ability to draw tourists to places like Ginnie Springs and Blue Springs in Gilchrist County,  but also as a source for drinking. Water bottling companies like Nestlé extract water from the springs, bottle it, and sell it. Some lawmakers and advocates are concerned that the more than 1 million gallons of water withdrawn daily could cause water shortages. 

Cord from device drapes onto the road and hooks into a car parked by curbside.
Michael Flippo / Adobe Stock

Lawmakers are considering a move to build more electric car charging stations on state highways. They're also looking into a measure to pave the way for solar energy in schools. 

It’s been almost two years since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and in the Florida House, a bill calling for schools to have panic alarms in the event of an emergency is gaining support.

man with short hair and button up shirt holds his two young sons. A man and a woman are beside him.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

Under a new bill being considered by Florida lawmakers, courts could grant grandparents visitation rights under certain conditions. Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) is pushing the measure after Dan Markel's murder.

justices sitting behind the bench
WFSU

Florida Supreme Court justices reviewed ballot language Tuesday for a proposed amendment that would ban the possession of assault weapons in Florida. During the oral arguments opponents, said the term “assault weapon” is too politicized and shouldn’t be allowed in the ballot language.

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