Florida Legislature

Amendment Could Reshape Florida School Districts

Nov 5, 2015

Right now, school districts in Florida are pretty simple. One county; one school district.

But Florida lawmakers have proposed a constitutional amendment that could reshape school districts across the state.

The bill from Pinellas County Sen. Jeff Brandes and Lee County Representative Matt Caldwell could make things more complicated.

The proposal would allow the legislature to disband some school districts, while allowing cities, counties and others to create new school districts.

Campus Carry Measure Advances In House

Nov 5, 2015

A proposal that would allow concealed-weapon permit holders to bring handguns onto college and university campuses continued moving forward Wednesday in the state House, despite opposition from academic leaders.

Senate President Targets Fantasy Sports

Oct 21, 2015
Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg via Miami Herald

Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner is exploring what the state can do to shut down daily fantasy sports, even as federal prosecutors are probing the online industry that has taken the nation by storm and drawn accusations of illegal gambling.

Gardiner has asked his lawyers to look into fantasy sports, in which players pay entry fees to draft "teams" that compete against each other for cash prizes based on the actual performance of players.

Health care has been a hot-button policy issue for years in the Florida Legislature, and it’s starting to look like the session scheduled to start on Jan. 12 will be no different.

CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

The debate over raising the minimum wage is not a fight being waged so much on the federal level. It's a series of battles being waged in cities and states all across the country. 

In Florida the current minimum wage is $8.05 per hour. But there's a movement, led by Democrats, trying to change that to something they believe is more livable. They believe it should be $15 an hour. 

A three-day trial that could decide the fate of Florida's political landscape ended Monday as lawyers for both sides accused each other of recommending changes to the state's 27 congressional districts that could benefit either Republicans or Democrats.

George Venios/flickr

Men and women who live together as couples outside of marriage are breaking the law in Florida.

The state statute was enacted in 1868, and an effort is back in Tallahassee to repeal it.

A bill that would end the prohibition against men and women living together "lewdly and lasciviously" passed a House panel Wednesday.

Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Palatka, voted against the bill after asking the sponsor, "Why are you married?”

Michael Laughlin / South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Former Gov. Charlie Crist appears likely to run for a Pinellas County congressional seat in 2016, two years after losing a comeback bid for the governor's mansion.

Crist said Monday he will run for Congress if, as expected, he is included in a newly redrawn district that would be friendly to Democrats.

"If the new congressional map includes my home, I intend on running to serve the people again,'' said Crist, a St. Petersburg Democrat who was elected governor in 2006 as a Republican but later switched parties.

401(K) 2012/Flickr

THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Nearly a third of state lawmakers are millionaires, with two members of the Senate having net worths that top $20 million, according to newly filed disclosure reports.

Almost half of the Senate is in the millionaires club, and more than two dozen senators saw their net worths grow in the past year. Some reports remain to be filed, but so far no senator sits in the red financially, according to the reports posted on the Florida Commission on Ethics website.

The Obama administration and the state have reached an agreement to continue funding the hospital Low-Income Pool for two more years but at a much lower cost.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Earl Leatherberry/flickr

Florida voters passed Amendment 1 last November, and funding to carry out the amendment was considered a priority when lawmakers went into the regular session in March. The amendment is also known as the Water and Land Conservation Initiative.

For the next 20 years, the amendment requires that one–third of the revenue from a real estate tax known as documentary stamps goes toward environmental preservation.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

freedigitalphotos.net

Today on the Florida Roundup, the state of affordable housing in Miami: More than a third of the population is spending more than half of their income on housing, according to a New York University study. Some experts worry that this will contribute to brain drain in South Florida. 

The Florida House is expected to reject the Senate's modified health care plan on Friday, leaving the legislature where it's been for the last few months -- deadlocked.

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