Florida voters passed the Water and Land Conservation Amendment in November. It requires one third of documentary stamp revenue – a tax on real estate transactions - to go toward environmental initiatives.
Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 9:26 am
Proponents of medical marijuana began an encore campaign for legalization Friday, filing a rewritten ballot measure just two months after one narrowly failed to pass.
Backers of the initial constitutional amendment appeared to have a wave of support on their side, but fell short of the 60 percent threshold needed as a surge of ads emerged claiming the measure's language was riddled with holes.
State Senator Bill Montford, leader of the Florida's school superintendents association, said he's not sure schools will have the technology in place for new online exams this spring.
Education Commissioner Pam Stewart told the Senate Education Appropriations committee that Florida's new statewide tests, the Florida Standards Assessments, are on track for use beginning in March. The tests are tied to new Common Core-based math, reading and writing standards.
At 12:18 a.m. Tuesday, the two men who won the first ruling overturning Florida's ban on gay marriage became the first gay couple to get married in Monroe County.
Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones exchanged vows in front of 500 people — including close friends, attorneys, total strangers, TV crews and a few tourists.
The Rev. Steve Torrance, a chaplain with the Key West Police Department and minister with the Metropolitan Community Church declared them legally married, and the couple was greeted with cheers, applause and the sound of a conch shell.
In downtown Delray Beach Monday night, same-sex couples who gathered to get hitched in a group wedding were greeted by balloons, flowers and dancing in the streets.
The doors of the South County Courthouse opened at 10:30 p.m. so marriage licenses could be processed before the ceremony. By then, dozens of couples were lined up outside, and a few started slow-dancing on the sidewalk after someone docked an iPod to a speaker.
Shortly after midnight, about 80 couples exchanged vows in a civil ceremony presided over by County Clerk Sharon Bock.
Robert Collier and Charles Hunziger have been together for 52 years.
They are one of nine same sex couples who sued Florida to recognize their marriages in a federal case that ultimately struck down the state’s gay marriage ban Tuesday.
Collier and Hunziger say they never meant to become gay activists, to be plaintiffs in a lawsuit that would change Florida law. But as they started getting older, they started thinking about how they wanted to leave things better than they were for them.
Miami is not a top departure point for American goods headed to Cuba. So say the official U.S. government trade statistics. Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale is the second-largest American port from which goods are sent to Cuba.
Yes, despite the 53-year-old trade embargo, America still does a little business with Cuba. The U.S. sells fresh and frozen chicken, soybeans, corn and an assortment of other food and medical supplies.
2015 began with a clarification over same-sex marriages in Florida. All county clerks can issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning Tuesday, Jan. 6.
Before that happens, take a moment to hear this interview with the Miami Herald's Steve Rothaus. You'll learn all the background info you need to understand what's going on in the courts locally and in Tallahassee.
Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 10:04 pm
Craft-brewing in Florida is big business getting bigger, but many within the community are unhappy about a certain size restriction. In Florida it's legal to fill large bottles known as growlers—just not in the industry-standard size of 64 ounces. But the craft brewing community is mobilizing again this year to get rid of the size regulation.
Mike and Bobby Carbonell are brothers and they run a little shop called Growler Country.
Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 9:01 am
Moving quickly after the Florida Supreme Court ordered a new trial for a man convicted of sexually abusing his stepdaughter, a state lawmaker Friday filed a bill that would allow secretly recorded conversations to be used as evidence in such cases.
Lawyers for the Legislature told the Florida Supreme Court in a brief filed late Friday that part of a state ban on political gerrymandering violates the U.S. Constitution.
The filing is the latest chapter in a long-running battle over whether lawmakers rigged congressional districts during the 2012 redistricting process to benefit Republicans. Voting-rights organizations argue that the maps were influenced by politics, contrary to an amendment to the Florida Constitution approved by voters in 2010.
Lawmakers are preparing legislation to address the potential abuse of surveillance technology. Sen. Dorothy Hukill says the technology for drones and tracking devices is becoming more affordable and easy for anyone to obtain.
The Florida Legislature passed a bill in 2013 that limits the government’s ability to use drones for unwarranted surveillance. Now, a new proposal would give people greater privacy rights on their own property.