The Florida Roundup: Wrapping Up The 2017 Legislative Session

May 7, 2017

The Florida Capital

This week on The Florida Roundup...

State lawmakers wrapped up the regularly scheduled legislative session, but they will go a few days late to allow a final vote on the budget. However, there's no guarantee Governor Rick Scott will sign the Legislature's spending plan, since it does not include any of his top priorities like spending for economic development, tourism marketing and funding to renovations for the Herbert Hoover Dike at Lake Okeechobee. 

So, does the $83 billion dollar budget include? Hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to health care funding and a small increase in per student funding for K-12 education and a raise for state employees. 

Read more: Legislature Crafts Secret Budget Deal To End Session

But , apart from spending, what are some of the other top issues lawmakers did lawmakers address--or leave unsettled--this session? 

To help us sift through the various measures, we've invited a panel of South Florida's editorial page editors to discuss how some of  new legislation out of  Tallahassee could impact our neighborhoods. The Miami Herald's Nancy Ancrum, The Sun-Sentinel's Rosemary O'Hara and Rick Christie with The Palm Beach Post join WLRN's Tom Hudson for the full program. 

First up, we break down the proposed budget and how those negotiations played out primarily behind closed doors. 

Listen here: 

Also, what we take a look at some of the issues Florida voters wanted? Last November, 71 percent of voters approved an amendment for the state to legalize medical marijuana. Lawmakers have failed to write rules around implementing that amendment. Plus, how did the legislature approach another voter-approved amendment regarding how to factor solar panels into property taxes when evaluating homes and businesses.

Read more: Florida Gives Green Light To Solar Amendment

And while voters told lawmakers what they wanted on medical marijuana and solar power, lawmakers now want to give voters the opportunity to decide if they should save a couple hundred dollars on property taxes.  

Listen here: 

Finally, we turn to the future and explore the shifting political landscape from the 2018 Governor's race to Congress. We take a look at who is in the Gubernatorial field so far from Florida's Republican  Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam to former Democrat Representative Gwen Graham. We'll also ponder who might fill U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Letinen's seat after she retires next year. 

 

Listen here: