Florida Senate

The Florida Education Association’s continued lawsuit against the state’s de-facto school voucher program continues to rile program supporters. But the teacher’s union isn’t backing down until it’s forced to.

Miami-Dade, 'Focus Of The Political Universe' In Senate Races

May 31, 2016
Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla
Florida State Senate

Miami-Dade County --- long the epicenter of Florida's bloodiest political battles - is hosting three key state Senate races whose outcomes could help reshape the chamber.

The Senate seats are up for grabs for the first time since a fresh map went into effect this year, the result of a legal fight over the anti-gerrymandering "Fair Districts" standards approved by Florida voters in 2010.

Allison Diaz / Miami Herald

Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, wants Senate leaders to establish a select committee to review the recent discovery of a radioactive isotope in Biscayne Bay linked to a nuclear power plant in southeast Miami-Dade County.

Flores' request to Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, follows the March 7 release of a study by Miami-Dade County that indicated tritium --- a radioactive isotope of hydrogen --- has leaked from Florida Power & Light's Turkey Point plant's cooling canals into groundwater and toward Biscayne National Park and the Biscayne aquifer.

Caitlin Granfield / WLRN

The Senate sponsor of a controversial bill about the regulation of "fracking" in Florida withdrew it from consideration Tuesday, saying he didn't have the votes to get through a key committee.

Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, told members of the Senate Appropriations Committee that the opposition of environmentalists played a key role in thwarting the measure (SB 318).

"Emotions tend to magnify the controversy," he said.

After School Programs Anticipate Changes in Funding

Feb 9, 2016
Robbie Gunn / Flickr

  Long-standing after-school programs in Florida that help thousands of at-risk kids with homework, mentoring and gang prevention could face significant changes in how state funding is distributed to them.  

The state Senate's budget plan would increase funding from $22 million  to  $30 million, making more money available to more groups.

But prominent organizations like the Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters depend on these funds that have been distributed to them for decades. The proposal would put the money up for grabs.


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.

The Florida Senate will likely jettison the Confederate battle flag from the chamber's official seal.

The Senate Rules Committee on Thursday voted unanimously to revise the Senate seal that now contains the battle flag along with four others that have flown in Florida. The entire Senate will vote on the change during the annual session that starts in January.

The Confederate flag would be replaced with the Florida state flag.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Ray from LA/flickr

Dramatic increases in state incentives to lure film and entertainment production to Florida may be on the way. But this time, local governments would have to pay to play. A bill approved in the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee would charge counties where the productions take place 10 percent of the face amount of the producers' tax incentives.

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Arthenia Joyner is an African-American, Democratic state senator from Tampa, but 50 years ago she was a college student getting arrested for being a nonviolent protester just minutes from the state capitol in Tallahassee.

“Everything was segregated. You couldn’t go anywhere,” Joyner said. That’s why she was protesting outside Tallahassee's Florida Theater, the whites-only theater where she was arrested.