Horns were blaring on Broward Boulevard Tuesday evening, but not due to heavy traffic. Protesters stood in front of the Fort Lauderdale Federal Courthouse during rush hour with signs encouraging drivers to "Honk for Justice."
The rally coincided with the beginning of the 2015 Florida Legislative Session. That was the intent of a movement called "Awake The State."
The gavel falls Tuesday in Tallahassee, when Florida lawmakers officially begin the 2015 legislative session. The one item they have to do is pass a state budget -- and this year they have a $1 billion surplus, a growing state economy and a governor fresh off a re-election win.
Each spring for 60 days the Florida Legislature tackles a year's worth of state business. On the agenda this law-writing session are reforms to public-education testing, hundreds of millions of dollars of mandated spending on the environment and billions of dollars in federal money for health care.
Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 11:47 am
New rules for Florida waters will be one of the first bills the House takes up when the legislative session gets underway.
But don't expect that all aspects of a voter-approved initiative to conserve water and land will sail smoothly through the 60-day session that begins March 3.
As House members and senators hammer out new rules and new funding levels required by the initiative, known as Amendment 1, a wide array of suggestions has poured in from Gov. Rick Scott, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, environmentalists and business lobbyists.
Miami Beach police arrested Antonio Giansante Thursday for possessing and promoting child pornography.
Giansante started having consensual sexual relations with a girl -- now in her late twenties -- back in Puerto Rico when she was 16. He was her high school soccer coach. The couple moved to Miami Beach together when she was an adult.
Gov. Rick Scott vetoed an alimony reform bill passed by the Florida Legislature in 2013. Lawmakers chose not to pursue the issue in 2014 - an election year where fiscal concerns like tax cuts took center stage.
The rules surrounding alimony are back before the Florida Legislature. It’s been almost two years since Governor Rick Scott vetoed a bill that would have stopped permanent spousal support and reopened divorce cases.
"What I was concerned about on that was the retroactive part of it, that we could go back and review prior agreements,” Scott told reporters after vetoing the bill passed by the Legislature in 2013.
Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recently brought a handful of Democrats with her to Cuba – a trip she calls a sign of “friendship” between the U.S. and the island nation that remains under a congressionally mandated embargo.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs HB 7095, the pill mill bill, in Orlando, Florida, Friday, June 3, 2011. Looking on, from left: Joyce Dawley, FDLE; Phil Williams, Orlando MBI; Gerald Bailey, FDLE; Seminole sheriff Don Eslinger; Winter Park police chief Brett Railey, Rep. Scott Plakon.
On the brink of this year's legislative session, Governor Rick Scott is dealing with a big thorn. Scott replaced former head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Gerald Bailey, saying Bailey left voluntarily.
Bailey says that's a lie.
When Governor Scott's lawyer told Bailey to retire, Bailey did pack up his stuff and leave. A few days later, Scott said Bailey resigned. Bailey said that wasn't true and called the governor a liar in the public square. Things rapidly went down from there.
At a press conference Thursday, University of Miami Law Clinic and Haitian activists talk about a study that asks the U.S. to stop deportations to Haiti. Left to right: Geoffrey Loudin, UM law student, Edwidge Danticat, author, Marleine Bastien, activist.
After the deadly 2010 Haiti earthquake, the United States halted all deportations to the island nation.
One year later, deportations resumed to Haiti amid a deadly cholera outbreak.
Wildrick Guerrier was one of 27 men deported to Haiti from the U.S. on Jan 20, 2011, according to a recently released study by human rights groups that documents the impact of returning deportees to a post-earthquake Haiti.
Guerrier developed cholera-like symptoms after being jailed in Haiti, a customary practice when deportees return. One week after his arrival, he died.
Jeb Bush is being touted in some quarters as the answer to the Republican Party's looming demographic problems. As their base in the white community shrinks in proportion to other ethnic groups, Bush's secret weapon could be his own household: he has a Mexican wife and a son who identifies himself as Hispanic. Plus, Jeb speaks Spanish - fluently.
A Texas Circuit Court Judge ruled against President Obama's executive action on immigration Monday night. This puts on hold immigration programs DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents) and the expansion of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
South Florida immigration groups aren't taking this decision lying down.
On Tuesday, several groups gathered to protest the judge's decision. DAPA and the DACA expansion have been put on hold, but some undocumented Floridians are still optimistic.