State News

A ballot initiative that has the potential to be on the 2020 ballot wants to allow any registered voter to cast a vote in primary elections. State estimators are working to ballpark the cost of doing so.

Green lines of computer code run horizontally on a black screen.
Markus Spiske / Unsplash

The Florida Department of Education has launched its school safety database in an attempt to track students who may become threats to themselves or to schools. The announcement comes after nearly three dozen organizations, including the ACLU of Florida expressed concerns over the type of information that will be collected.

Steve Cannon / AP Photo

Last week, a circuit court judge ruled that a Florida law imposing penalties on local governments for preempting state gun laws is unconstitutional. Now, the state’s attorney general has filed an appeal, but Florida’s agriculture commissioner is crying foul.

zef art / Adobe Stock

A national campaign successfully placed Marsy’s Law on the books in Florida last year. The amendment put a crime victim bill of rights in the state Constitution. When the measure took effect in January, supporters argued it was self-implementing. But eight months later, there’s still no consensus on the amendment’s vague language. It even pits parts of the state constitution against each other.

Mike Stewart / AP Photo

Georgia supervisors of election this week learned they are making the switch from touchscreen voting machines to what’s called ballot marking devices. Yet, opinions are split on whether that’s a good thing.

Weapons stash with automatic assault rifles and accessories,shotgun and sniper rifle. Consisting of bullet rounds, magazines,  front and rear sites, and a laser guided rifle scope.
storm / Adobe Stock

What sounds really simple is turning out to be a lot more complicated than perhaps sponsors of an assault weapon ban thought. State estimators are struggling to define what the wording of the proposed ban would mean should it pass.

Steve Cannon / AP Photo

Florida’s state and congressional Democratic leaders are ripping President Donald Trump’s new North American trade agreement and Chinese tariffs.

Florida was one of 21 states that had its election systems targeted by Russian actors in 2016. A recently released bi-partisan Senate Intelligence Committee report only refers to Florida twice, but an entity with circumstances similar to Florida’s emergences dozens of times in the document and is known as “State 2”.

Tara Tedrow
Tara Tedrow / LinkedIn

Tara Tedrow has been chosen to chair the group tasked with creating rules for Florida’s newest industry. During which Tedrow gave a quick rundown of what she does during the first Hemp Advisory Committee meeting.

sustainable hemp industrial plantation
jessicahyde / Adobe Stock

The State Hemp Advisory Committee is trying to kick start Florida’s Hemp industry. One of its first steps is to create rules. Florida’s Director of Cannabis Holly Bell spoke on how that process will move forward.

DeSantis speaks at a podium during a press conference
Wilfredo Lee / AP

Gov. Ron DeSantis says he thinks the legislature acted within its authority when enacting the medical marijuana implementing bill. 

Some three-dozen groups are asking Governor Ron DeSantis to stop the build of a massive database to track disciplinary and mental health issues. The database is months overdue and was ordered following the Parkland school shooting last year.  

Ronald Rubin was ousted from his role as Commissioner of the state Office of Financial Regulation by the Florida Cabinet Thursday. It was the result of sexual harassment allegations, but Rubin is claiming there were political motivations at play.

Sen. Rick Scott Discusses Florida School Districts' Failure to Enact Safety Measures
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

The way some school districts are choosing to comply with bolstered safety measures has U.S. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida) upset. Scott explained the problem to the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on enhancing school safety.

A field of hemp plants
P. Solomon Banda / AP Photo

State officials have heralded hemp as a new wonder crop.  But the plant’s recent legalization is complicating efforts to prosecute marijuana-related charges, and has left police and prosecutors alike scrambling for a solution.

Man looks horrified as he receives a robocall on his cell phone.
tracker Forex/flickr

You’re probably not in trouble with the IRS, don’t need a medical brace, and aren’t under arrest. But you’ve undoubtedly gotten robocalls to the contrary. In fact, Americans got more than 26 billion of those calls last year.

“Consumers have been saying loudly and clearly and for many years that they are fed up with unwanted robocalls,” says Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai in a video on the commission’s website.

In this Tuesday, June 26, 2018, photograph, a Nissan Leaf charges at a recharge station while parked by the Denver City/County Building in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski / AP Photo

Governor Ron DeSantis announced plans to expand the state’s infrastructure as it relates to electric vehicles. He announced the plan Wednesday at the Florida Turnpike Headquarters in Orlando.

Tom Hagerty / WFSU-FM

Progressive PAC Priorities USA is investing $100 million in key states for the 2020 elections and Florida is on its list. 

Mary McLeod Bethune in front of White Hall at Bethune-Cookman University.
public domain via Florida Memory / Florida Memory

Florida will soon have a new figure in Washington D.C.’s statuary hall. Education advocate and Civil Rights Pioneer Mary McLeod Bethune will have a place among American founders, explorers, inventors and presidents. Bethune’s statue replaces that of Edmund Kirby Smith—a decision approved by the Florida legislature in 2018 and recently agreed to by Gov. Ron DeSantis. But as the changeover looms in D.C., the university that bears her name is fighting for its life.

Reasearchers searching for possible human remains at Dozier School for Boys
University of South Florida / University of South Florida

Researchers say they’re committed to continuing exploration of the grounds surrounding the now-shuttered Dozier School for Boys even after finding mostly tree roots in a recent investigation into 27 “anomalies” experts thought could be unmarked graves.

Tallahassee Economic Index

After a strong start to the year, local economic growth has hit a snag in key sectors, according to the Tallahassee Economic Index.

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

A statewide Grand Jury investigating school safety says “numerous” districts aren’t complying with school security laws. The report comes weeks before the start of a new school year.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

On the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that put men on the moon, one engineer who worked on the project is reflecting on what it meant for the country and spaceflight. WFSU's Ryan Dailey recently spoke with Duane Mitchell, who turned 90 just a week ago. Mitchell was at his Tallahassee home with his daughter, Carol.

Congressman Charlie Crist points from a podium
Human Events / humanevents.com

The U.S. House passed a bill Thursday that would gradually boost the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by the year 2025.

A green iguana lies in the grass
Brynn Anderson / AP

Florida has an iguana problem. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has declared an open season on the lizards, which it says are an invasive, non-native species. But the animals are still for sale in stores throughout the state. So, why not stop selling them? 

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