State News

Florida TaxWatch CEO Dominc Calabro speaks at a press conference.
Shawn Mulcahy / WFSU

Florida TaxWatch has released its annual budget transparency and accountability report. 

Marianna tree fallen hurricane michael
Shawn Mulcahy / WFSU

Eight months after Hurricane Michael slammed Florida’s panhandle, hurricane season has begun and it’s raising concerns for many people who are still struggling to recover. 

Sophie McCoy

Has seaweed been snubbed by science, when it comes to its role in trapping carbon dioxide under the surface of the seafloor? Researchers at Florida State University say seaweed plays a much larger part than most previously thought.

This story was updated at 7:45 p.m. 

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has arrested former Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson for his inaction during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland last year, which left 17 dead and 17 others injured.

Rep. Mike Hill smiles during the 2016 legislative session
Steve Cannon / AP

The Florida Cabinet has joined a growing list of officials weighing in on a Florida lawmaker's controversial anti-gay exchange with a constituent. 

Jimmy Patronis speaks to a crowd
Lynne Sladky / AP

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is cheering the passage of the congressional disaster aid package. 

Photo of the Tamiami Trail street sign.
Fotoluminate LLC / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Florida $60 million to help lift the Tamiami Trail.

Picture of No Scam App on Phone
myfloridalegal.com

Hurricane season is officially here. Now, Attorney General Ashley Moody is working to make sure price gougers don’t take advantage of people trying to escape a storm.

Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Florida’s Director of Cannabis thinks 2020 could be the state’s first “great grow year” for hemp. A bill launching a state hemp program is waiting for ink from the governor’s pen. Experts in the state and elsewhere have been weighing in this week on an industry that will be a new frontier in the Sunshine State.

Gun lobbyist Marion Hammer returns to her seat after speaking in the Senate Rules Committee meeting on gun safety in the Knott Building at the Florida state Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla., Feb 26, 2018.
Mark Wallheiser / AP Photo

Two Florida Democratic legislators have filed a complaint against a pro-gun Lobbyist who hasn’t disclosed her compensation in more than a decade.

Bonnie Brown / Flickr.com

The number of Florida School Districts that want teachers to carry guns is growing. Nearly half the districts in the state have signed up for the so-called “Guardian” program and more have signaled they intend to do so. 

youtube.com

Under the bill passed last month by the Florida Legislature, felons must prove they’ve paid all fees and fines connected with their crime before they can regain the right to vote. But Leon County Clerk of Court Gwen Marshall says the big problem is no way now exists to prove all payments have been made.

Flags and a pool in front or a large brick university building
Florida A&M University

Florida A&M University is asking the U.S. District Court in Tallahassee to allow use of an anonymous rape victim's full name during trial. In response, the victim’s attorney has written a letter to Florida senators and representatives asking them to investigate FAMU’s attempts to expose the victim’s identity.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Florida Director of Cannabis Holly Bell this week said permits for growing hemp could be issued before the end of this year.

State Attorney presenting the states' case for suspending Okaloosa County School Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson to Special Counsel Dudley Goodlette.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

Former Okaloosa County School Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson’s lawyers have been in the Florida Senate pleading for her reinstatement. She was suspended by Governor Ron DeSantis for what he says was a failure of leadership by allowing numerous criminal charges of child abuse by teachers. As Blaise Gainey reports the state is arguing her removal is necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the students.

The Florida First Amendment Foundation and media organizations are weighing their options following a dismissed lawsuit against the governor and Cabinet for meeting in Israel this week.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Leon County Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley is testing voting systems to ensure the process goes smoothly for the June 18 special election.

State Attorney presenting the states' case for suspending Okaloosa County School Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson to Special Counsel Dudley Goodlette.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

Special Master Dudley Goodlette kicked off a hearing Tuesday to determine whether Okaloosa County School Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson should be permanently removed from her position. Governor Ron DeSantis suspended Jackson during his first week as Governor, after Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran made the recommendation.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Florida’s Director of Cannabis has only been on the newly-created job a few months, but is already helping architect the foundation for a state hemp program.

Man tightening a leaky pipe with a wrench.
Andrey Popov / Adobe Stock

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill thats main goal is to stop bad actors in the homeowners insurance market. It would do so by changing what a contractor must do when a policy holder signs over their insurance benefits.

Tomato plants
Dusan Kostic / Adobe Stock

Florida farmers are struggling to compete with cheaper, foreign imports from countries such as Mexico. Farmers worry unfair trade practices endanger the state's agriculture industry.

Lynne Sladky / AP Photo

During a week-long trip to Israel that kicks off Saturday, Governor Ron DeSantis will likely sign a bill prohibiting anti-Semitic speech in public schools. The measure passed both chambers unanimously, receiving a standing ovation in the House. But one anti-censorship group is asking the governor to use his veto pen.

David Hart, Executive Vice President of Government & Political Relations for the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
flchamber.com / Florida Chamber of Commerce

The Florida Chamber of Commerce has released its annual Legislative Report Card. The chamber says the report card helps hold state leaders accountable for how they vote on issues relating to Florida’s business climate.

Florida Gov. Ron Desantis gives his state of the state address on the first day of legislative session, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Steve Cannon / AP Photo

The itinerary is set for Governor Ron DeSantis’s trip to Israel. He will be meeting with Israeli business leaders, and he’ll take a cultural visit to the Old City of Jerusalem.

Homeowners Insurance Application on a table with a pen and book
designer491 / Adobe Stock

Contractors will now have to let insurance companies know when they’ve been assigned a policy holder's benefits. This change comes after Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 7065, which makes changes to insurance agreements.

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