Florida

Did you know it’s worse to vandalize a public telephone than deface a Veterans’ monument in Florida? As one of the most populous states for veterans, Florida lawmakers are trying to correct that.

The Florida House seems intent on bringing the state supreme court down a few pegs after a series of stinging courtroom defeats.  The saber-rattling intensified last week as lawmakers approved new reporting requirements.

After battling for years over how to make healthcare more accessible and affordable, Florida lawmakers landed on a compromise. Instead of expanding Medicaid to cover more people, they decided during last year’s session to attack the cost of care directly, creating a database to make procedure pricing transparent.

A Stand Your Ground-related bill is now teed up for a vote in the full Florida Senate. But, a bipartisan push to water down the bill Thursday is angering some gun rights groups.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has only been running for governor for about a week, but he’s already facing a controversy about his use of a political email system. Now Gillum says he will comply with an investigation.

In a statement from a spokesman, Gillum says the state attorney is obligated to follow up on complaints, and that he’s going to cooperate with an investigation into his use of a political email system.

Florida's citrus crop has been reduced again.

Florida's infrastructure is getting a grade of "C'' by civil engineers, but that's still better than the grade of "D+" given to the nation overall.

House Votes To Abolish Enterprise Florida

Mar 13, 2017

Locked in a battle with Gov. Rick Scott, House Speaker Richard Corcoran on Friday got what he believes are more than symbolic votes to kill the business-recruitment agency Enterprise Florida and revamp tourism-marketer Visit Florida.

But Scott quickly returned fire by saying bipartisan House votes on two bills would harm Florida's economy and slow job creation. Questions also remain about the issues in the Senate, where companion bills have not been filed and some leaders have expressed support for business-recruitment programs and tourism spending.

The Florida Senate has voted on a plan that will bring sweeping changes to the state’s higher-education system.

A retired police officer who fatally shot a man in a Florida movie theater will stand trial after a judge denied his request to dismiss the charges under the state's "Stand Your Ground" law.

Curtis Reeves Jr., 74, was with his wife at a showing of Lone Survivor in suburban Tampa in 2014 when he got into a dispute with Chad Oulson, 43, because Oulson was texting during the previews.

The widow of the gunman who killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in June 2016, will remain in custody after a federal judge in Florida revoked bail and a prior release order.

Florida is one of the few states where greyhounds continue to race. While some are pushing for the end of the practice, others counter the industry helps ensure the dogs are well cared for. Now  lawmakers are looking into a measure intended to create more protections for the animals.

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Negron Water Plan Picks Up Other Projects Across The State

Mar 8, 2017
Amy Green / WMFE

A controversial plan to speed construction of a 60,000-acre reservoir on farmland south of Lake Okeechobee --- to reduce the risk of more "guacamole-thick" water appearing in Treasure Coast communities --- was expanded Wednesday to include water projects in other parts of the state.

And the measure (SB 10), now called the "Coast-to-Coast Comprehensive Water Resource Program," might not be done growing, its sponsor said.

House Raises Questions About University Funding

Mar 8, 2017

Laying the groundwork for a more austere higher-education budget, the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday heard more than three hours of testimony on university spending and the use of foundations by the schools.

Committee Chairman Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, said that over the past decade, state funding for the 12-university system has increased by $1.4 billion.

"Do we really think, and there are 30 members of this committee, it is lack of funding? Or do we really think it might be some misappropriation of money?" Trujillo told reporters after the meeting.

Roberto Koltun / Miami Herald

A massive higher education bill became the first real piece of legislation heard by the full Florida Senate Wednesday.

The legislation would, among other things, change how the performance of state colleges and universities is calculated, something that according to critics would benefit of more traditional four-year universities.

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