Florida

Senate Looks To Add Medical Marijuana Licenses

Apr 4, 2017

With the bill sponsor saying it "faithfully" carries out a constitutional amendment that voters passed in November, a Senate committee Monday approved a bill that would revamp Florida's medical-marijuana laws.

Severe Drought Developing in Florida

Apr 3, 2017

It’s the heart of wildfire season in Florida, and more than 90 percent of the state is in a drought. The National Drought Mitigation Center classified the situation as “severe” in nine counties Thursday.

Florida Forest Service reports show that wildfires have scorched almost 60,000 acres since January 1st. State Climatologist David Zierden attributes the active fire season to the shortage of rain, which he says is unlikely to improve anytime soon.

Sure, the news from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service arrived just a little late for Manatee Appreciation Day — but it's unlikely the gentle finned blimp will be too upset about the belated gift: The announcement that the agency is removing the West Indian manatee from the list of endangered species is welcome, no matter when it arrives.

One of the symbols of Florida is no longer an endangered species. That's according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which announced Thursday they're downlisting the manatee from endangered to threatened. Manatees have been classified as endangered since the first federal endangered species list was issued in 1967.

More manatees than ever - 6,300 - were counted during the winter, when they congregate around springs and warm power plant outfalls. But last year, more than one hundred manatees were killed, mostly by boaters.

Death penalty opponents rallied at Florida’s Capitol in support of Orlando State Attorney Aramis Ayala. Republican lawmakers are considering cutting her office’s budget due to her refusal to seek the death penalty in capital cases. But Ayala said a budget cut would hurt her office’s ability to prosecute crimes.

A proposal to halt local regulation of vacation rentals passed in committee Tuesday after a heated debate over private property and community rights.

House Panel Pushes Forward On Medical Marijuana

Mar 29, 2017

Pledging that it is only a start, a Florida House panel gave a thumbs-up Tuesday to a medical-marijuana proposal castigated by supporters of a constitutional amendment that legalized cannabis for a broad swath of patients with debilitating conditions.

Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala has sued Gov. Rick Scott, challenging his ability to remove her from death penalty cases.
WMFE

State lawmakers are proposing to cut the budget for Orange and Osceola State Attorney’s office by $1.3 million and twenty-one positions.

Republican Rep. Scott Plakon of Longwood is steering the effort as part of the House Judiciary Appropriations Subcommittee, which released a draft of the budget on Monday.

“We thought that if she’s not going to do part of her job, basically, that we would withhold some of that money pending on what the governor does and so forth,” Plakon said in a phone interview.

Florida House lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to revamp the state’s information technology system.

The lead contamination in Flint, Michigan and the sewage spills in St. Petersburg are only two of many examples of why more consumers are asking questions about the quality of their own drinking water.

That's one of the findings of a new survey being released this week by the Water Quality Association, a national trade organization representing the water treatment industry.

The fight over whether Florida Gov. Rick Scott can take away an officer-killing case from a prosecutor because she no longer will seek the death penalty in any cases is returning to a courtroom in Orlando.

House Could Pass Health Care Changes

Mar 28, 2017

With Republican leaders looking for ways to revamp the health-care system, the House could pass bills this week that deal with doctor-patient relationships, ambulatory surgical centers and what are known as "recovery care centers."

Peter Haden / WLRN

West Palm Beach is officially a “Welcoming City” for immigrants.

The city commission passed a resolution Monday that bars city employees – including police – from inquiring into a person’s immigration status, or disclosing it to others.


A House panel faced stiff opposition as it passed a measure assigning heightened punishments to undocumented immigrants.

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