Politics

Politics
2:25 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Lawmaker Tells Story of Using Gun to Prevent Rape

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 11:03 am

When State Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda went to college, she brought a gun with her. She didn't think she'd need it.

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Politics
2:23 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Former Senator: Not Much Government In The Florida Sunshine

Paula Dockery is a Republican who served 16 years in the Florida Legislature. She is now a syndicated columnist.
Credit Tom Hagerty/flickr

This is Government in the Sunshine Week, a week celebrating the importance of open government and freedom of information.

The recent firing of Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey is an example of government leaders making decisions out of the public purview – violating the spirit of Sunshine Week and Florida’s Sunshine Law.

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It's All Politics
7:03 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Obama, 2016 Contenders Deal With Changing Attitudes On Marijuana

Polls show changing American opinion on marijuana, and it's having an effect on politics.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 11:26 am

The divide between Republicans and Democrats on pot politics is narrowing, President Barack Obama said in an interview Monday.

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Florida Roundup
11:31 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Florida Roundup: The DEP Ban On 'Climate Change'

Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks to reporters outside Hialeah’s Casa Maiz restaurant Monday.
Credit Patti Mazzei / Miami Herald

Gov. Rick Scott's office is continuing to deny that the administration unofficially banned the use of the terms "climate change" and "global warming" after former state employees said they were told not to use those words. 

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2015 Session
7:12 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Miami Leaders Urge Lawmakers To Expand Medicaid

Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado addressing the issue of Medicaid expansion. On the monitors there's a photo of an uninsured man with a sign that says "no insurance". Harry Melo (also pictured) falls under the coverage gap and is also not insured.
Credit Lisann Ramos

Harry Melo is a 25-year-old grad student from New York who came to Miami two months ago for school. In New York he was able to sign up for Medicaid.

He was surprised to find out that in Florida there’s a “coverage gap” where uninsured people who can’t afford health care insurance also don’t qualify for Obamacare. Melo is now in that gap.

“Shouldn’t my concern as a student be studying and receiving A’s," Melo said, "rather than what to do or where to go and how much this would cost me as an uninsured adult."

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Miami-Dade Politics
3:06 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Raquel Regalado Will Challenge Miami-Dade County Mayor

Miami-Dade school board member Raquel Regalado filed paperwork to run for Miami-Dade County mayor Monday.
Credit John O'Connor / WLRN

Miami-Dade school board member Raquel Regalado says she is running for Miami-Dade County mayor.

The 40-year-old Regalado filed the paperwork on Monday. She’ll challenge incumbent Carlos Gimenez, who has held the office since 2011.

Regalado says Gimenez is out of touch with county voters.

“I think that a lot of the decisions that are being made at the county have more to do with who comes to visit the mayor, and what ideas they have; what lobbyists bring what proposals," she says.

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Politics
12:05 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Florida Roundup: Technical Problems Delay Testing In South Florida School Districts

Credit Extra Ketchup

Technical problems this week delayed testing in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Testing didn't resume until three days later on Thursday.

The Florida Senate moved forward with a bill to limit testing.

Gov. Rick Scott gave an upbeat State of the State address in the midst of a challenging start to his administration's second term.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties' legislative delegations take their priority measures to Tallahassee.

The Miami International Film Festival kicks off today.

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Politics
4:15 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

PolitiFact: Scott's Promises Worth Watching

PolitiFact Florida's "Scott-O-Meter" tracks the promises of Gov. Rick Scott

Originally published on Sat March 7, 2015 12:31 pm

With Gov. Rick Scott's State of the State Address and the start of the 2015 Florida Legislative Session both taking place this past Tuesday, the promises coming out of Tallahassee are going under PolitiFact Florida's microscope.

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Politics
4:13 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Scott Drops Welfare Drug Testing Challenge

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 9:13 am

After spending at least $300,000 of taxpayer money on legal expenses, Gov. Rick Scott is abandoning his fight to force welfare applicants to undergo mandatory drug tests.

A federal appeals court ruled in December that the state’s mandatory, suspicion-less drug testing of applicants in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, program is an unconstitutional violation of Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.

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Session 2015
11:58 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Broward Voters Want To "Awake The State"

One of the protesters for "Awake The State" stands outside the Fort Lauderdale Federal Courthouse encouraging drivers to honk in support.
Credit Lisann Ramos

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."

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#FLSession2015
12:05 am
Mon March 2, 2015

The Sunshine Edition: The 2015 Florida Legislature

The Florida Historic Capitol.
Credit Michael Rivera (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)] / Wikimedia Commons

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.

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Politics
6:39 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Lawmakers Wade into Amendment 1 Details

Money to keep polluted runoff out of Lake Okeechobee is at stake in the discussions over money from Amendment 1

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.

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Politics
11:34 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Florida Roundup: Police Relations With South Florida's Minority Communities

Fort Lauderdale Police Chief addresses the press on Tuesday regarding a police officer who was caught on camera slapping and pushing a homeless man.
Credit Miami Herald

The U.S. Justice Department this week announced it will not charge George Zimmerman with civil rights violations in the case of the killing of Trayvon Martin.

Martin's death preceded several recent killings of young, unarmed black men that have sent protesters to the streets, renewing the conversation about police relations with minority communities.

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Politics
5:17 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Florida Lawmakers Try Again To End Permanent Alimony

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.
Credit WMNF Community Radio/flickr

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.

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Politics
4:18 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Governor Rick Scott's Conundrum

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.
Credit Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel

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.

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