12:06 am
Thu May 28, 2015

What The Latest Roadblock Means For Immigrants Living In The U.S. Illegally

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, La. (Billy Metcalf Photography/Flickr)

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 2:29 pm

A federal appeals court yesterday refused a request from U.S. Justice Department lawyers to appeal an earlier ruling that halted President Obama’s controversial immigration program back in February.

The ruling comes as a victory for Texas and 25 other states that led the charge against the program that would protect from deportation more undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, as well as older undocumented immigrants who had U.S. citizen children.

Read more
12:02 am
Thu May 28, 2015

FL Gets Billions More From Feds Than It Gives? ‘Mostly True’

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 5:18 pm

The 2015 Florida legislative session came screeching to a halt three days early, when House and Senate lawmakers could not agree on health care funding.

The House wants no part of Medicaid expansion. The Senate has warmed up to the idea of a type of expansion that would steer federal dollars into private healthcare plans. They'll try to get this worked out during a special session that’s scheduled to begin Monday, June 1.

One of the arguments against Medicaid expansion is that Florida takes billions more from Washington, D.C.  than it gives - and that the money being offered to Florida isn't Florida's to take.

Read more
Florida Roundup
11:47 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Florida Roundup: LIP Funding, Police-Community Relations in South Florida

Credit Flickr Creative Commons

Today on the Florida Roundup, the federal government offers Florida $1 billion for the Low Income Pool, a program that funds healthcare costs for the uninsured. With ten days left for the special legislative session to begin, is the federal offer enough to relieve the tension in Tallahassee between the House and Senate?

Read more
5:27 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Gov. Scott Still Wants Tax Cuts, School-Funding Increase

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 10:05 am

Florida Gov. Rick Scott resumed his push Wednesday for a massive tax-cut package and a “historic” increase in school funding, downplaying a call for agency heads to prepare for a bare-bones budget.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll have a good special session,” Scott said when asked about the state having to scale down to its critical needs if lawmakers fail to hammer out a budget before July 1.

Read more
11:01 am
Fri May 15, 2015

Florida Roundup: Campaigning Locally, Nationally For 2016 Elections

Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald

Today on The Florida Roundup, how does campaigning in Miami-Dade County's mayoral election affect candidates' chances at a win?

Sen. Marco Rubio's ally in fundraising has powerful Miami roots

Read more
1:35 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

How Healthcare Blew Up the 2015 Session

Originally published on Sun May 10, 2015 9:19 pm

On Dec. 17, almost three months before the annual legislative session began, new Senate President Andy Gardiner met with reporters in the conference room of his Capitol office. He talked with the press for 30 minutes, touching on a wide variety of issues, including a plan by business groups and others that would use Medicaid expansion dollars to help lower-income Floridians purchase private health insurance.

Read more
1:12 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Broward Small Business Owner Gives Big Raises, Says Other CEOs Should Follow Suit

Employees of Green Solutions are seeing their pay increase from 35 to 50 percent.
Credit gnerk on Flickr

A Broward County small-business owner is giving his employees hefty raises.

Andrew Green is the owner and CEO of Green Solutions in Fort Lauderdale. He recently decided to give his workers raises of between 35 and 50 percent.

“The responsibility lies on you to make sure that they can have a living wage without stressing day to day if they can make ends meet," says Green.

Read more
4:36 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Reader Response: The Weight Of History On U.S.-Cuba Relations

Picture released by Cuban newspaper Granma of Cuban militiamen manning an anti-aircraft battery of Czechoslovakian-made M53 12.7 mm quad guns at Havana's Malecon during the 1962 missile crisis.
Credit AFP PHOTO / Granma

This is a reader-submitted piece in response to our April 12 story titled "Summit Summary: U.S.-Cuba Sitdown Drowns Out Venezuelan Meltdown."

In his report from the “Summit of the Americas,” WLRN’s Tim Padgett partly blames “anti-Castro hardliners who get just as much tiresome mileage out of reliving the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis day after day” for preventing the brave new world that a fawning Raul Castro and President Obama want for Cuba.

Read more
9:51 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Mental Health Overhaul Falls Victim To Early Session End

Miami-Dade County has the highest percentage of people with serious mental illnesses of any urban community in the United States, according to the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Criminal Mental Health Project.
Credit BearTruck 2009/flickr

A major overhaul of the state’s mental health system died when the Florida Legislature adjourned early.

Both chambers seemed ready to revamp the delivery of mental health and substance abuse services. The bill’s main focus was changing the way those services are administered in order to better coordinate care among agencies.

Read more
12:05 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Retired Doc Ben Carson Running for President

Ben Carson speaking in Iowa in January.

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 1:25 pm

Retired surgeon West Palm Beach resident Ben Carson declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination Monday, resting his longshot bid on his vision of the nation as "a place of dreams" where people can thrive when freed from an overbearing government.

Carson, the only African-American in the race, spoke in front of hundreds of people at Detroit Music Hall, a few miles from a high school that bears his name. A choir singing the chorus from Eminem's "Lose Yourself" set the stage.

Read more
6:58 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Matt Gaetz Comment About Black Senators Criticized

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach)
The Florida Channel

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 8:49 am

In-fighting in the Florida legislature is getting increasingly personal. But some observers are saying Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, may have crossed a line.
Read more
6:56 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Prison Reform Bill May Be Dead, But Advocates Remain Hopeful Reform Will Occur

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 7:13 pm

Prison reform may be officially dead this session, but prison reform advocates remain hopeful there will be some meaningful reform for Florida’s troubled prison system.

Read more
6:07 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Ten Big Issues Remain as Regular Session Ends

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 9:09 am

Ordinarily, the last week of the annual legislative session is a blur of deal-making, with bills bouncing back and forth across the Capitol's fourth floor. But with the House adjourning Tuesday amid a battle with the Senate about budget and health-care issues, the 2015 session will be remembered for its messy end --- and the piles of bills that died in the crossfire. Lawmakers will come back sometime in May or June for a special session to negotiate and pass a budget. But with the 60-day regular session formally ending Friday, here is where 10 major issues stand:

Read more
4:16 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Seminole Tribe Of Florida Pleas For Renewal Of Card Game Agreement

The Seminole Tribe of Florida wants the state to extend a portion of its gambling compact that expires this summer. It allows banked card games like baccarat exclusively at five Seminole casinos and generates more than a $100 million a year for the state.
Credit Mr Spil/flickr

The Seminole Tribe of Florida wants to keep its exclusive rights to blackjack and other banked card games, but the Legislature's abrupt adjournment this year might have dealt the tribe a bad hand. 

Read more
9:43 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Florida Supreme Court Sides With House In Session Departure

April 28, 2015 - House Speaker Steve Crisafulli strikes the gavel, abruptly adjourning the House's legislative session three days early.
Credit myfloridahouse.gov

The Florida Supreme Court has sided with the House of Representatives in a lawsuit filed by Florida Senate Democrats. The House left Tallahassee three days before the scheduled end of session because no agreement could be reached on a budget. 

Democrats in the Senate wanted the court to force House members back to Tallahassee for more session work, but the court denied the motion.

Read more