TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida House and Senate are taking ethics and elections seriously this year. Bills to widen voting opportunities by restoring pre-2011 early voting days and hours are making their way through both chambers.
But there's a bill in the House that would originally have increased campaign contribution limits from their current $500 to $10,000.
It would be nice to know more about state politics. But who can keep track of all those committees and subcommittees, you say. And all the House and Senate bills with long names and random numbers – and who is my legislator anyway?
State Senator Chris Smith (D-Fort Lauderdale), a strong proponent of changing Stand Your Ground, says constituencies outside of South Florida are particularly opposed to any conversation about amending the law or gun control regulations.
Redistricting, property insurance, Medicaid expansion and political transparency were among the topics covered during this week’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.
Tough economic times put environmental issues on the Florida Legislature's back burner in recent years, but this session should be different, according to Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater), who sat on the panel at Monday night's Town Hall Session 2013 hosted by WLRN and the Miami Herald.
On the Florida Roundup, we take a look at the week in news in our region and state:
As President Obama addressed the Congress and the nation, how is the state of Florida’s union? From voting and gun rights to climate change, we take a look at what resonated here from the President’s speech.
Carl Adams, co-founder of the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists, says that the biggest priority for state lawmakers should be "to re-establish the public perception of the process as fair, transparent and responsible."
The job of lobbyists is to improve the image of their clients. But lobbyists themselves could use some PR.
Carl Adams, who was a Tallahassee lobbyist for 35 years and founded the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists, thinks that the system - campaign finance laws and the prohibition on private deliberation - is flawed, not the people.
The price of property insurance in Florida keeps going up -- such that some homeowners are getting second mortgages or dropping coverage all together. The state created Citizens Property Insurance to be the insurer of last resort for Florida homeowners. But plans to shrink Citizens by loaning money to private insurance companies and allegations of corporate misconduct have sparked outcries by some state officials and the public alike.
Redistricting last year may have had a role in making it more difficult for PIN members to name their state legislators. Above, a map showing pre-redistricting Senate district boundaries (in red) and current Senate district boundaries (in black).
The state Legislature, perhaps more than Congress, passes laws that have a direct impact on the day-to-day life of a Floridian: how much you pay in sales tax, how much time you have to vote, how you obtain a gun.
Tallahassee is in our lives every day. It's only 480 miles away. And yet, for many in South Florida, it might as well be on another continent.