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Failed Project Lands Trump In Florida Appeals Court

Jan 25, 2016
Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images

While Donald Trump banks on his brand to boost him into the White House, a Florida appeals court will hear arguments Tuesday in lawsuits accusing the Republican presidential front runner of misrepresenting his role in a failed beachfront project in Fort Lauderdale.

The 4th District Court of Appeal will hear arguments in two lawsuits related to what was pitched as a swanky, Trump-branded hotel/condominium. Investors have battled in court for years to get back hundreds of thousands of dollars in deposits from the real estate developer and associates.

Amid an ongoing tug-of-war over tax cuts and spending, Florida legislators learned Tuesday that they are going to have less money to spend in the coming year than they were planning on.

Trump Takes Commanding Lead In Florida

Jan 20, 2016
AP Photo

Real estate magnate Donald Trump is "crushing" his Republican opponents in the Sunshine State, according to a new poll of likely Florida voters released Wednesday.

The poll, released by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative, showed Trump drawing the support of more than 47 percent of GOP voters, giving him a 32-point lead over the next-closest candidate, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. The survey also gave Trump a 12 percentage-point boost from an FAU poll in September.

The issue of Iranian hostages was back in the news recently - the hostages from way back in 1980. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, brought up Ronald Reagan's role in their release. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks about that and Jeb Bush's claim that he reduced the number of teens using heroin with Amy Hollyfield of PolitiFact Florida.

Relations with Iran have been in the headlines recently, with the relaxation of sanctions in light of the deal to curb the development of nuclear weapons in the rogue nation.

Thousands of parents and children rallied Tuesday against a lawsuit that could end the state’s largest private school voucher program. Protestors gathered in Tallahassee to support the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship.

Paramedics, EMTs Could Get Public-Records Exemption

Jan 19, 2016

Florida senators this week could approve a bill that would create a public-records exemption for information about paramedics and emergency-medical technicians.

The Senate on Friday took up the bill (SB 320), filed by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, and could vote on it during a floor session Thursday. The bill would prevent the release of records that include personal information, such as home addresses, telephone numbers and photographs, of current and former paramedics and emergency-medical technicians.

Fl. Supreme Court Schedules Death Penalty Arguments

Jan 18, 2016

The Florida Supreme Court has refused to grant a stay in an execution scheduled for next month but ordered oral arguments to hear about the potential impact of a seminal U.S. Supreme Court decision this week striking down the state's death penalty sentencing structure.

In a sign of increased harmony in the Florida Legislature, top priorities for the leaders of each house - a water bill pushed by House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and a package on education aid for the disabled pushed by Senate President Andy Gardiner - received quick final passage in the House Thursday.

The U.S. Supreme Court says Florida’s practice of deciding if someone gets the death penalty is unconstitutional. What does this mean for the almost 400 people on Florida’s death row? Will the legislature try to change the process?

The first flight of Cuban migrants stuck in Costa Rica landed in El Salvador this week … as they hope to come to the U.S. In Washington, Senator and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio filed legislation to change the benefits Cuban immigrants get when they make it to the U.S.

Sammy Mack / WLRN

Florida State Rep. Carlos Trujillo is in the middle of some pressing and controversial issues this legislative session.

The South Florida Republican sponsored one bill that would close a health insurance gap and another that would make it illegal for people who have been deported to come back into Florida.

And before session even started, he took heat from the gun lobby for his position on a Stand Your Ground bill.

Trujillo sat down in his Tallahassee office on the first day of session to talk about his expectations this year and what that means for Floridians:

Gov. Rick Scott kicked off the 2016 legislative session by touting his familiar goals for growing jobs, the economy and education funding. But he also made one over-arching claim: he has "completely turned our economy around." To check on that, WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Katie Sanders of the PolitiFact Florida team.

Steve Cannon / AP

To the surprise and delight of lawmakers who have long backed the proposal, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli on Tuesday called for eliminating a five-year waiting period for children of legal immigrants to be eligible for the state's KidCare health-insurance program.

"I got goose bumps," said Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, a Miami Republican who has backed the proposal throughout his House tenure. "This has been a long time coming."

Sammy Mack / WLRN

On the first day of session, the Florida statehouse smells like a flower shop. Bouquets of lilies and roses and orchids crowd the desks of the representatives and senators.

It’s just one tradition on a day full of first-day-back traditions.

You can hear a dispatch from the Capitol on this day full of pomp:

And here are some highlights from opening ceremonies:

Gov. Rick Scott kicked off the 2016 Florida legislative session Tuesday morning with his annual State of the State address. This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 17 7:30 a.m.), we will bring you highlights of Scott’s address, along with part of the Democratic response.

Gov. Rick Scott gave a State of the State speech on Tuesday that was focused almost entirely on creating jobs and cutting taxes, boasting that Florida has added more than a million jobs since he took office.

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