Florida Legislature

Like the newly elected President and the future Congress, Florida’s future leaders will look pretty much the same. Still, while the Republican-led state legislature still continues to hold a majority, there were some upsets.

Gina Jordan/WLRN

“Everything went well,” Jesse Scott said with relief as he walked out of his interview at CareerSource Capital Region, an employment and training center in Tallahassee.

“There's a lot of people that live on [the] edge. Many Floridians do base their livelihood on making a 40-hour work week each week,” Scott said. “If something interrupts that, you can fall between the cracks.”

A Florida congresswoman indicted on fraud charges is telling supporters she's being "persecuted" by federal authorities because she's black.

Longtime Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown is facing federal fraud and conspiracy charges related to her involvement with an educational charity. But Friday, supporters rallied to her defense outside the federal courthouse in Jacksonville, and some say the charges may not hurt her too much as she runs for re-election.

The Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence is calling for a special legislative session to implement new gun restrictions after this month’s mass shooting in Orlando.

In the wake of the Orlando shooting, people across the state and around the world are standing in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. But some activists want more than thoughts and prayers. They want policy change.

The Florida Elections Commission is once again calling foul on State Democratic Senator Dwight Bullard.

Chris Eger

Gov. Rick Scott signed 34 bills into law Thursday, including a slungshot bill and another requiring law enforcement agencies that use body cameras to follow specific guidelines, in relation to the shooting death of Corey Jones last October by a plainclothes police officer who was not wearing a body camera.

HB 4009 allows  individual sto carry  slungshots in their pockets without  concealed weapons permits.

Thousands of children of legal immigrants will be closer to obtaining subsidized health insurance this summer, after the Legislature passed a long-debated expansion of the state's KidCare program.

Until this year, children of legal immigrants were technically eligible for KidCare --- the low-cost federal-state health insurance program --- but had to wait five years to actually start receiving services.

That changed on Thursday, when Gov. Rick Scott signed the state budget into law. Contained in an accompanying bill (HB 5101) was language eliminating the five-year wait.

Gina Jordan/WLRN

House minority leader Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, is finishing up his last regular legislative session.

He's leaving because of term limits. "This process is better when you have new minds and fresh ideas," Pafford says. For the record, he doesn't like term limits and calls his departure an "involuntary constitutional resignation." 

The Florida House of Representatives last week wrestled with key education proposals. 

 

Flickr

The Internet allows savvy consumers to comparison shop for big ticket items. Those items may soon include medical procedures.

The Florida House is ready to consider a bill (HB 1175) that would enable consumers to see what hospitals around the state charge for similar surgeries and courses of treatment.

 

In a sign of increased harmony in the Florida Legislature, top priorities for the leaders of each house - a water bill pushed by House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and a package on education aid for the disabled pushed by Senate President Andy Gardiner - received quick final passage in the House Thursday.

Eliza Brown/ Flickr

A state Senate redistricting plan favored by voting-rights organizations was approved Wednesday by a Leon County judge in a move that could shake the Republican Party's grip on power in the Capitol.

In choosing the new map, Circuit Judge George Reynolds also rejected a plan put forward by Senate Republican leaders as the best configuration of the chamber's 40 seats. The proposal chosen by Reynolds would lead to a roughly even number of districts favoring each party.

WUSF News

The Florida Senate rested its case in support of a proposed map during the second day of a redistricting trial Tuesday, as lawyers for voting-rights organizations prepared to grill the chief map-drawer for the chamber.

The main witness Tuesday was University of Utah political-science professor Baodong Liu, who questioned whether plans offered by the League of Women Voters of Florida and Common Cause Florida would offer Hispanic and African-American voters a chance to elect candidates of their choice in some districts.

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