Jack Latvala

Balthazira / Flickr Creative Commons

May was an eventful -- and most would likely say hopeful -- month for the beleaguered Everglades. Gov. Rick Scott signed into law new legislation that will provide hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade to fund Everglades restoration and cleanup.

Ethics Reform In Florida Called 'A Mixed Bag'

Mar 19, 2013
LaCrai Mitchell/WLRN-Miami Herald News

At the WLRN Miami Herald Town Hall meeting last month, Barbara Ricano from Sunrise wanted to know:

“After so many ethics violations and repeated ethical issues involving campaigns and elected officials, why are the consequences so minor? Why is there no real teeth to any of the penalties?”

Members of the ethics commission have complained that while they have the ability to fine office holders who commit violations, they don’t have the authority to collect those fines.

Florida Senate President Don Gaetz wants to change that.

Rick Stone / WLRN

The election results and new leadership in the Florida legislature have made life a little easier for the state's elected Democrats.

Not that that there's been a substantial change in how the state's laws are made. The elections may have stripped House and Senate Republicans of their super-majorities, but Democrats remain profoundly outvoted and relatively powerless.

Southwest Florida Water Management District

The news last week of a Hillsborough County man who disappeared into a sinkhole that opened up beneath his bedroom has sparked a renewed national interest in the Florida sinkhole phenomenon.

WLRN

Education, voting reform, property insurance, and political transparency were among the topics covered during Monday night's Town Hall event on Session 2013 of the Florida Legislature hosted by WLRN and the Miami Herald.  The second annual forum marks the beginning of WLRN's coverage of Session 2013, which convenes March 5 and continues through May 3.

adamr / freedigitalphotos.net

A Senate committee unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that supporters called the most expansive overhaul in decades of the rules elected officials must follow, even as the measure obscured what could be a battle with the House over campaign finance laws.

Flickr/ StevenM_61

 

Tallahassee may be hundreds of miles away, but WLRN and The Miami Herald will bring it to you. 

Florida Channel

State elections chief Ken Detzner told the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee on Tuesday that it was five "underperforming" counties that caused the delays in reporting the Florida vote count after the Nov. 6 election.

Chairman Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) said he'll call for the elections supervisors from Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Lee counties to testify before his committee next month. "There's enough blame to go around," Latvala said.