Florida politics

myfloridahouse.gov

Florida’s Republican leaders announced their policy goals last month for the upcoming legislative session.

Hillary Lindwall/WLRN

Former Republican governor Charlie Crist was greeted by protesters at Books and Books in Miami Beach, where Crist was to sign copies of his new autobiography, "The Party's Over." 

Apparently, the criticism he faces after switching political parties is just getting started.

Scott Faces Tough Decision On Next DCF Secretary

Dec 19, 2013
FrauSchütze / Flickr CC

Gov. Rick Scott faces a difficult decision in naming a permanent secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, given the demands of the job, the lateness in his term and the scrutiny of lawmakers moving to respond to a rash of child deaths.

Scott has some breathing room after announcing last week that Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo will stay on the job through the end of the 2014 legislative session. He tapped the Miami-based attorney to lead the agency in mid-July, for 90 days, after David Wilkins resigned under fire.

Poll Shows Crist Gaining On Scott, Marijuana Support

Nov 21, 2013
Illustration / Flickr CC

In the zero-sum game of partisan politics, it's not too often that a pollster can say what Peter Brown said Thursday morning while introducing the latest results of the Quinnipiac University poll on the Florida's governor's race.

"To some degree, this poll has good news for both candidates," said Brown, assistant director of the survey.

Creative Commons via Flickr user Candie_N

UPDATE: 10:30 a.m., Nov. 20: Keon Hardemon will be the next District 5 Commissioner for Miami. In the runoff election against Rev. Richard Dunn Tuesday, Hardemon received more than 72 percent of the vote. He will take office on Nov. 27.

In advance of Tuesday’s elections, City of Miami voters are reading up on the candidates, their platforms and track records, figuring out whom to give their vote to. But in the process, some constituents may discover they’ve been brushing up on candidates from the wrong district.

Conversion Therapy May Soon Be Banned For Florida Kids

Nov 19, 2013
ep_jhu / Flickr

  Conversion therapy, which is meant to turn gay people straight, may soon be banned for young people in Florida.

A bill by Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) would ban conversion therapy for everyone 18 years old and younger, but it would only apply to conversion therapy offered by licensed professionals like psychologists and counselors.

Religious groups and other non-professional organizations would still be able to offer the therapy for young people.

The American Psychological Association says these therapies have not been proven to be effective or safe.

Nelson Still Considering Bid For Governor

Nov 14, 2013
Wikipedia.org

Fanning the flames of uncertainty about former Gov. Charlie Crist's viability as a gubernatorial candidate, Democrats close to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson are letting potential supporters know the three-term senator is waiting in the wings if Crist's campaign stumbles.

Nelson's chief of staff, Pete Mitchell, called some prominent Democrats recently and told them the 71-year-old Nelson, who has been coy about his interest in the governor's race, is considering a bid, according to sources who spoke on background.

Bad Move, Mr. Crist

Nov 1, 2013
Mike Cohen / Flickr/Creative Commons

The first time I met Charlie Crist, he was the state Attorney General. It was at a Florida Department of Law Enforcement news conference in their then-new digs along the Dolphin Expressway near Florida's Turnpike.

I'm fairly certain it was one of those Joint Agency Task Force announcements that had something to do with Identity Theft (Hint: "We're against it.")

So am I, by the way. It can be debilitating.

www.watchdogreport.net

09/17/13 - Tuesday's Topical Currents features regular contributor Dan Ricker, publisher of the weekly “Watchdog Report.”  Topics include the budget hardball being played out in Miami-Dade County.  Funding for libraries has been restored, but there are still battles with union workers, who look for benefits to be restored.  Coconut Grove residents say more police officers are needed to curb crime in their village.  Learn more . . . and call in with concerns . . .

List Of Florida Legislation That Passed, Failed In 2013

May 6, 2013
StateImpact Florida

Lawmakers have gone home. The following is a partial list of bills that were passed or failed to pass during the 2013 Florida Legislative session. (Please note: This is NOT a comprehensive list.)

Editor's Note: Be sure to check out an interactive bill tracker of this year's session from the Miami Herald.

The Florida House has released its proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Speaker Will Weatherford says education was prioritized over everything else.

“The big winner is education,” Weatherford said. “We invested over a billion dollars into our K-12 education system from last year.”

He said that amounts to a 6.2 percent increase in overall education funding.

Weatherford said they created “a silo of funds” to be funneled down to the districts, including up to $676 million available for teacher pay.

Florida's lieutenant governor abruptly stepped down on Wednesday, two days after Florida law enforcement officials questioned her involvement with a non-profit under investigation.

As National Proxy, Florida's A State To Watch

Feb 14, 2013

Florida has always been a state to watch, if only as a guilty pleasure or perhaps in self-defense. But some major political stars are aligning and the pundits are beginning to agree, Florida will really be a State To Watch from now at least through the 2016 election.

The personalities-of-the moment are here. The game-changing demographics are here. And the Florida stage is set for epic -- and deeply symbolic -- political confrontations.

Of the eight new seats that Democrats picked up in the House of Representatives in November, four of them come from Florida.

Democrats were aided by a big turnout for President Obama, plus new rules that helped erase a Republican advantage in how districts are drawn in the Sunshine State.

Florida House of Representatives website

Rep. Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has been all over the news this week. On Monday, responding to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, he said all remedies must be "on the table" legislatively, including allowing teachers and principals to arm themselves on school   grounds. 

On Tuesday, after his comments had been reported widely, Baxley issued a statement that this is a time to respect the victims. "Contrary to media reports, no specific proposals have been advanced or filed by me," he wrote.

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