The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) has taken up the cause of climate change in Florida. The national group claims 600,000 members or supporters around the country with more than 100,000 of them in Florida. It's funded by donations and grants.
EEN is part of the Floridians for Solar Choice coalition, which is pushing a constitutional amendment that would allow Floridians to buy electricity directly from someone other than a utility company.
Florida has been home to TV shows like "Burn Notice," "Dexter," and most recently the reality show "Gator Boys." With a special session looming, there’s a new push for the state to offer film incentives for production companies that bring their projects to Florida.
Lawmakers have to reconvene June 1 to finish the state budget, and that gave Palm Beach County Deputy Film Commissioner Michelle Hillery an idea.
Miami-Dade County has the highest percentage of people with serious mental illnesses of any urban community in the United States, according to the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Criminal Mental Health Project.
Both chambers seemed ready to revamp the delivery of mental health and substance abuse services. The bill’s main focus was changing the way those services are administered in order to better coordinate care among agencies.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida wants the state to extend a portion of its gambling compact that expires this summer. It allows banked card games like baccarat exclusively at five Seminole casinos and generates more than a $100 million a year for the state.
The Florida Supreme Court has sided with the House of Representatives in a lawsuit filed by Florida Senate Democrats. The House left Tallahassee three days before the scheduled end of session because no agreement could be reached on a budget.
Democrats in the Senate wanted the court to force House members back to Tallahassee for more session work, but the court denied the motion.
Florida voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 1 last November. The citizen-led initiative is also known as the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment. It sets aside 33 percent of the revenue from documentary stamps - a real estate transaction fee - for the next 20 years to fund environmental protection.
The fees are worth $750 million next year. But the Florida Legislature is dragging its feet on setting rules to divvy up the funds.
The Florida House has passed a bill that creates the “Right to Try Act.” The legislation gives dying patients a chance to try treatments that have undergone clinical trials but haven’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Patients who’ve been diagnosed as having less than a year to live would be eligible for the experimental treatments.
It’s been two years since Florida passed a law shutting down Internet cafes. Now, the Florida House has approved a bill clarifying that family-friendly amusement centers are perfectly legal, and the Senate version is also close to a vote.
The state was in a hurry to get rid of Internet cafes. The storefront shops were multiplying rapidly because many of them were getting away with illegal slot machine gambling.
A citizen-led effort seeks to put a solar power-expanding initiative on Florida’s 2016 ballot. It would allow entities other than utility companies to sell the solar power they generate. At the same time, legislation proposed in Tallahassee would keep Florida as one of only five states that prevent anyone other than utilities from selling solar power.
The Florida Council on Economic Education says personal bankruptcies have increased 2200 percent in the last 40 years. That’s one reason why the council is leading a campaign called Require The Money Course.
Bills filed in the Florida House and Senate would require high school students to take a one-semester financial literacy course. But with just three weeks left in the legislative session, the proposals (House bill 29 and Senate bill 92) haven’t been discussed by committees.