Florida Legislature

Florida lawmakers want to weigh in on who really has access to the state’s beaches. A bill moving in the statehouse is meant to settle a long-running dispute between private landowners and the public, by handing the issue over to the courts.

Reform-minded Florida lawmakers are disagreeing over how to address sexual harassment. House Republicans have significantly expanded their measure. And that could make it more difficult for the two chambers to agree.

Gov. Scott Directs Efforts To Improve Disaster Evacuations

Feb 2, 2018
The News Service of Florida

From “dynamic” message signs along Interstate 75 to completing certain turnpike projects on time, Gov. Rick Scott called Friday for a series of improvements to help with disaster evacuations.

The directives, based in part on suggestions from the state Department of Transportation, came as lawmakers continue to review proposals aimed at addressing fallout from the evacuation of 6.5 million people ahead of Hurricane Irma. During the evacuation, motorists spent up to 12 hours on routes that typically are covered in six to seven hours.

Florida Facing Affordable Housing Crisis

Feb 1, 2018

In the wake of natural disasters, stagnant wages and a growing separation of wealth, Florida is suffering from an affordable housing catastrophe and concern is growing statewide.

Florida Senators have approved a measure closing a loophole that allows child marriage. The bill is being called historic. If the proposal passes the full legislature, the group, Human Rights Watch, says it will be the first of its kind in the country.

After past deals have collapsed amid infighting among Florida's gambling interests, the Republican-controlled Legislature is trying yet again to pass a comprehensive gambling bill.

A statue of civil-rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune is halfway to its supporters’ goal of replacing the likeness of a Confederate general as a representative of Florida in the U.S. Capitol.

A contentious bill that calls for a crackdown on cities and counties that don't comply with federal immigration authorities is running into trouble in the Florida Senate.

State workers could no longer make charitable donations through their paychecks under a bill passed by the Florida House.

Florida could start sharing voter information to make sure people aren't registered in other states under a bill approved by the Florida House.

House Targets Medical Marijuana Office

Feb 1, 2018

The House on Wednesday froze $2.1 million in salary and expenses at the Department of Health for failing to respond to concerns raised by a joint legislative committee over a trio of emergency rules relating to medical marijuana.

A warning about pizza and a big bear as Hurricane Irma approached Florida is prompting a bill addressing how the state communicates with hearing impaired residents during weather emergencies.

Senators Back State Taking Over Regulation of Vacation Rentals

Jan 30, 2018
Olin Gilber / Flickr

The state would take over regulation of vacation rental properties while local regulations passed since 2011 would be nullified, under a bill approved Tuesday by a Senate committee.

In a 4-2 vote, the Senate Community Affairs Committee merged legislation (SB 1400) filed by Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, with a bill (SB 1640), sponsored by Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, although the combined bill largely favored Steube’s effort to pre-empt local regulation of the growing vacation rental industry.

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