State News

Petros Karadjias, Pool / AP Photo

The United States Air Force is committed to sending F-35 jets to Tyndall Air Force Base by 2023. The move could help the storm-damaged base get back on its feet.

Tom Flanigan

It’s more than a year until Florida’s next election. Still, the first candidate to file for Florida House District Nine is wasting no time presenting herself as a friend of public education.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Former city commissioner Scott Maddox and Downtown Improvement Authority head Paige Carter Smith pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges Tuesday.

Amy Baker, Director of the Legislative Office of Economic and Demographic Research, discusses issues regarding slot machines during a meeting of the House Business Regulation committee, Thursday, March 10, 2005, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Phil Coale / AP Photo

Florida’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research known as EDR is tasked with predicting outcomes of proposed legislation, new laws, or constitutional amendments. But a new law has now changed how much work goes into predicting petition initiatives. EDR’s Coordinator Amy Baker spoke about what the changes mean.

This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein is set to return to court Wednesday, July 31, 2019, to face sex trafficking charges just days after he was found injured in his cell.
New York State Sex Offender Registry / AP

Governor Ron DeSantis has ordered the state’s department of law enforcement to take over a criminal investigation reviewing Jeffrey Epstein’s time in a Palm Beach County work release program. Blaise Gainey has more.

Following mass shootings in Ohio and Texas President Donald Trump is calling on states to adopt laws temporarily preventing someone from accessing a gun. Florida already has such a law and is using it. Now two state lawmakers want to see the law expanded.

Bethune-Cookman University President Brent Chrite speaking at Florida's HBCU Impact Summit on Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Tallahassee, FL.
Marquel Brown / Florida A&M University SJGC

Bethune Cookman University is one of four Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Florida. The school is on probation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, an accrediting body for universities. BCU President Brent Chrite spoke about the issue during the HBCU Impact Summit in Tallahassee.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Attorney General Ashley Moody last week asked the state Supreme Court to block a ballot initiative that would ban assault weapons. On Monday, the state’s top attorney fielded questions from reporters about the move.

Three men sit at a wooden desk and speak into microphones
Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Florida Senate President Bill Galvano is ordering a review of mass shootings and gun violence. This, following two mass shootings in two days in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio that left at least 30 people dead.

Florida's HBCU Presidents sit amongst a panel during the Florida HBCU Impact Summit.
Marquel Brown / Florida A&M University SJGC

Presidents of Florida’s four Historically Black Colleges & Universities met on the campus of Florida A&M University to discuss the future of HBCU’s.

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

Florida’s state-run crime labs don’t have the ability to determine whether a product is weed, CBD or hemp and the issue is stopping law enforcement in its tracks.  The state’s new hemp law is creating a patchwork of enforcement efforts and will likely need the legislature to step in.

A green iguana lies in the grass
Brynn Anderson / AP

Last month the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission effectively declared "open season" on iguanas by allowing them to be killed on private property. Since then, the agency has had to backtrack a bit after reports of the animals being killed and mutilated. Now, FWC officials are investigating a disturbing video posted to Instagram of one iguana being killed in a way the agency head calls, "despicable."

Brynn Anderson / AP Photo

A proposed citizens ballot initiative to let all voters, regardless of party affiliation, vote in primary elections could be headed to the 2020 ballot. One of its sponsors, Steve Vancore, believes the move would change the way Florida politicians campaign.

Head shot of Julia Nesheiwat
United States Department of State

Florida has it’s first chief resiliency officer. Dr. Julia Nesheiwat will take on the role, as Governor DeSantis breaks an almost nine year precedent by formally addressing climate change.  

Rep. Sullivan (R-Mount Dora) receiving a standing ovation from fellow Republicans after floor debate for the abortion waiting period law in 2015.
Mark Foley / Florida House of Representatives

The First District Court of Appeal has reversed a ruling that declared a 2015 law requiring a one-day wait before an abortion unconstitutional. Now, the American Civil Liberties Union is preparing for court once again.

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.

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