Florida Legislature

Education
6:28 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

House Passes Bill To Reduce Class Size Penalties

Voters approved the class size amendment in 2002. Florida lawmakers are charged with implementing - and funding - the amendment. It limits the number of students per class to 18 through 3rd grade, 22 in 4th - 8th grade, and 25 in high school.
Credit Pasco County Schools/flickr

School districts are likely to face fewer penalties for violating class-size requirements under a bill that passed the Florida House Friday on a vote of 107 - 3.

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Education
7:53 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Senate Committee Wants To Suspend Testing Penalties For Third Graders

Florida law requires 3rd graders with the lowest scores on state tests to be held back. But a Senate committee wants to suspend that penalty this year.
Credit departmentofed / Flickr

Nearly one in five Florida third graders were at risk of being held back because of low scores on the state reading test last year.

But this year the state might not hold back any third graders. That’s because a Senate committee voted to suspend those penalties this year.

The bill requires an outside group to make sure the state test results are statistically valid.

Sen. David Simmons says he wants to make sure schools and the state can depend on Florida Standards Assessments results before making big decisions using those results.

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News
2:45 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Hemp Farming Gets Thumbs Up From Florida Senate Committee

Florida lawmakers are considering a bill to let farmers grow hemp crops like these.
Credit Paul/Flickr

A product made from cannabis could become one of Florida’s top crops: A bill in Tallahassee would allow Florida farmers to grow hemp.

Robert Clayton finished construction last year on a house made of hemp in Tarpon Springs. It’s thought to be the first of its kind in Florida. He testified at a Senate hearing about his research for the Hemp Industries Association.

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Newscast
7:03 am
Tue March 17, 2015

March 17, 2015: Florida Legislators Consider Bill To Rid State Of Cohabitation Ban

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

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Newscast
6:38 am
Thu March 12, 2015

March 12, 2015: House Committee Passes Bill To Allow Armed School Volunteers

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard: 

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News
8:09 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

New Film Shines Light On Florida’s Prison Houdini

Documentary director Gabriel London has spent 13 years working on Mark DeFriest’s story.
Credit DOC NYC/flickr

In the early 1980s, a series of escapes earned Mark DeFriest the nickname Prison Houdini.

In 1979, DeFriest was a 19-year-old mechanic living in a rural area outside of Tallahassee. Then he was arrested for stealing his own tools -- the tools were inherited from his father, but DeFriest took them before his father’s will had gone through probate. His stepmother called the police, and DeFriest fled. That began his decades-long odyssey behind bars.

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Session 2015
11:58 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Broward Voters Want To "Awake The State"

One of the protesters for "Awake The State" stands outside the Fort Lauderdale Federal Courthouse encouraging drivers to honk in support.
Credit Lisann Ramos

Horns were blaring on Broward Boulevard Tuesday evening, but not due to heavy traffic. Protesters stood in front of the Fort Lauderdale Federal Courthouse during rush hour with signs encouraging drivers to "Honk for Justice."

The rally coincided with the beginning of the 2015 Florida Legislative Session. That was the intent of a movement called "Awake The State."

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Health Care
11:04 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Child Dies, FL Admits Fault, Millions Owed

Matthew and Mark Robinson

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 2:46 pm

Matthew Robinson loved to have eggs for dinner.
 
But they were out the evening of November 4, 2010. So the 10-year-old and his brother Mark walked out of their Kissimmee apartment and headed across the street to the Kangaroo convenience store.
 

While crossing the street to come home, a city bus made a left turn into the crosswalk and hit the two boys.

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Newscast
7:03 am
Wed March 4, 2015

March 4, 2015: Legislative Session Gets Underway, Some Districts Suspend Testing

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard...

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Politics
5:17 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Florida Lawmakers Try Again To End Permanent Alimony

Gov. Rick Scott vetoed an alimony reform bill passed by the Florida Legislature in 2013. Lawmakers chose not to pursue the issue in 2014 - an election year where fiscal concerns like tax cuts took center stage.
Credit WMNF Community Radio/flickr

The rules surrounding alimony are back before the Florida Legislature. It’s been almost two years since Governor Rick Scott vetoed a bill that would have stopped permanent spousal support and reopened divorce cases.

"What I was concerned about on that was the retroactive part of it, that we could go back and review prior agreements,” Scott told reporters after vetoing the bill passed by the Legislature in 2013.

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Newscast
7:09 am
Tue February 24, 2015

February 24, 2015: Broward Reps Highlight County Issues Ahead Of Legislative Session

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard...

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Newscast
6:20 am
Fri February 20, 2015

February 20, 2015: Senate Committee Backs New Regulations For Greyhound Racing

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard...

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Education
5:59 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Proposed Testing-Time Limit Might Not Reduce Testing Time

Florida lawmakers want to limit the amount of time students spend testing.
Credit StephenMitchell / Flickr

A proposal to limit students to 45 hours of testing a year is unlikely to reduce the amount of time spent on exams, according to a survey of Florida's largest school districts.

Districts say they don't currently track the time individual students spend on testing.

Calculating the number is complicated. The amount of testing varies by a student's grade, the classes he or she is taking and other factors, such as whether the student is learning English or receives extra time to accommodate a disability.

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Education
5:08 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Bill Could Give Out-Of-State Charter Schools A Florida Foothold

A Rocketship Education advertisement, posted on Twitter, for a Washington, D.C. school choice event.
Credit Rocketship Education

Florida charter schools that consistently earn good grades on the state’s public school report card get special privileges.

Soon, out-of-state charter schools could, too.

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Politics
3:34 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Pam Bondi Blames Gov. Scott's Staff in FDLE Case

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi speaks to the press during a pre-legislative news conference on Jan. 28 in Tallahassee

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 1:16 pm

Attorney General Pam Bondi said Wednesday she believes Gov. Rick Scott's staff acted without his knowledge in the way former Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey was pushed out last month.

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