State News

Thousands gather at the Florida capitol (2/21/18) to push for legislative action in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fl on Valentine's Day.
Lydell Rawls / WFSU News

911 operators will directly transfer callers instead of putting them on hold under a bill moving through the senate. The measure follows a report from the Parkland Commission.

Annap / Adobe Stock

A bill would allow prescription drugs from Canada to be purchased by the Agency for Health Care Administration and imported for use. The hope is that importing the inexpensive drugs will cut down cost for patients.

Stephen Finn / Adobe Stock

A bill that would set a cap on toll roads in Miami-Dade County has passed the full House. Bill sponsor Hialeah Republican Representative Bryan Avila says what the Expressway Authority is not doing its job. 

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Residents of Panama City and other areas of the Florida Panhandle that got walloped by Hurricane Michael came to legislators’ doorstep to make some noise Tuesday. Half a year after the storm, the area is desperate for funding to help schools, remove debris and fund housing.

Florida Lawmakers Debate Sanctuary Bills

Apr 17, 2019
The Florida Immigration Coalition gathers at the Florida Capitol to push back against a measure that would require local governments to cooperate with Immigration Customs Enforcement (2019).
Florida Immigrant Coalition / twitter

A pair of bills are inching their way closer to the Florida House and Senate Chambers. Senate Bill 168 and House Bill 527 would prohibit local governments from sanctuary policies.

Florida Capitol with dolphin statues jumping in front of tall new capitol tower.
Nick Evans / WFSU News

Organizations are asking state legislators to stop preemption regulations. 

Eileen Barroso/Columbia University

Gov. Ron DeSantis said this week he'd be "raising Cain" if national plans for oil drilling include Florida waters, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico. The story broke just as Jack Davis, a professor of environmental history at the University of Florida, came to Tallahassee to discuss his book on the world's tenth-largest body of water.

Davis won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for History for "The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea." On Sunday, he spoke at the Word of South literary and music festival in Tallahassee, where he was introduced by distinguished environmental writer Diane Roberts.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Two big criminal justice reform bills are moving through the Florida Legislature. Backers of the similar bills in both chambers are going through negotiations down the stretch to position a final measure for passage.

STEM Day Returns To Florida's State Capitol

Apr 16, 2019
Morgan Martin / WFSU News

STEM Day was hosted at Florida’s State Capitol to promote science, technology, engineering and math careers. 

 

According to a study by the Institute of Medicine published in 2015, paid for by the United States Food and Drug Administration, raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 would reduce the number of lung cancer related deaths by 50,000.

The Florida legislature is now trying to raise the minimum age with hopes of seeing those results.

House Bill 7065 makes changes to the state’s one-way attorney fees provision when dealing with lawsuits between contractors and property insurance companies.

Blaise Gainey / AP Photo

When Florida is hit by a hurricane, utility companies must go in and help recover immediately. They pay for the cost up front and later charge customers to recoup their losses. A senate bill aims to lower both the price tag and time of recovery by forcing utility companies to strengthen their infrastructure before a storm.

Steven Depolo Via Flikr

Florida workers and union members are pushing for a $15 minimum wage. But it may not be an easy feat in the state.


www.FAWL.org

The Florida Association of Women Lawyers (FAWL) and the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program (GAL) have launched a partnership in which attorneys will be mentors for young women aging out of foster care.

FAWL president Jennifer Shoaf Richardson says her members are excited about volunteering one hour monthly to mentor teen girls who are close to aging out of the child welfare system.

"I think many people – and especially foster youth – just need to be pointed in the right direction as far as the questions they need to ask and getting connected to the wonderful resources that already exist," Richardson says.

The Florida Cabinet is planning to hold its next meeting in Israel next month.

 

Gov. Ron DeSantis said the trip’s main purpose is to promote investment in the state.

Ross D. Franklin / AP Photo

During week six of the 2019 legislative session, the House passed a bill that would address an assignment of benefits issue that has plagued Florida’s insurance industry for years. But as a change was made that some say may cause more abuse of the system.

A three-tier foundain stands behind bold words that spell 'The Florida State University.'
Florida State University / Florida State University

A recently released study ranks universities making the transition to clean energy. Advocates say the colleges are paving the way for others when it comes to becoming 100% renewable. 

Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

A bill filed last week would set a limit on the amount of THC that can be dispensed to 10%. The bill also allows military veterans to waive their yearly $75-dollar Medical Marijuana Card fee. Opponents don’t like the first portion and think tying it to the veterans’ fee waiver is bad policy. I spoke with Dr. Mark Moore a certified medical cannabis physician with MEDCAN about his thoughts.

flickr

The legislature is working to implement a constitutional amendment that bans vaping in indoor workplaces. But another vaping proposal appears dead for this session.

A House committee this week shot down a bill that would have changed the definition of “tobacco products” to include nicotine products and devices that dispense them.

“In the last few years according to the FDA, electronic nicotine delivery systems has become an epidemic with youth," bill sponsor Rep. Mike Hill (R-Pensacola) told the committee. "One in 4 seniors in high school have been using it, and one in 10 youth in middle school have been using it.”

A sign bearing the names of the 17 people killed during the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (3/24/2018)
Lydell Rawls / WFSU News

Florida lawmakers are responding to a report on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland with a measure that addresses concerns raised in the 480-plus page report. Lawmakers say it’s "a good bill, but"—noting a divide over one portion that gives districts the option to allow classroom teachers to carry guns. The measure is now going before the full Senate amid controversy over the issue.

Cat Gloria/Fresh Take Florida / AP

Several bills were passed by the legislature today and will end up on the governor’s desk soon. One measure that looks to protect police animals.

State Library & Archives of Florida/Florida Memory

Thursday marked the 50th anniversary of the Florida Commission on Human Relations, which was created by the legislature to prevent discrimination in things like housing and employment. Ryan Dailey spoke with Representative Geraldine Thompson, who prior to being a legislator served on and at one time chaired the Commission.

With renewable energy being at the forefront of issues with many climate advocates, utility companies are often seen as culprits when it comes to slowing down clean energy legislation. 

Steve Cannon / AP Photo

It was a vote heard ‘round the legislature this week, when the Senate Minority Leader voted down on a bill looking to add protections from anti-Semitism discrimination in public schools. Senator Audrey Gibson is now walking back comments made in committee.

Florida Capitol with dolphin statues jumping in front of tall new capitol tower.
Nick Evans / WFSU News

The Florida Legislature wants to make it more difficult to amend the state Constitution. 

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