Session 2017

A bill aimed at codifying students’ religious expression is awaiting a signature from Florida Governor Rick Scott.

 

The Florida Student and School Personnel Religious Liberties Act mandates that schools not “discriminate” against students, teachers, or employees “on the basis of a religious viewpoint or religious expression.”

Senate Bill 436 and its House companion 303 would also clarify rules regarding religious expression in school.

This week could mark the beginning of the end for a long-running restriction on liquor sales.  Florida Governor Rick Scott has until Wednesday to take action on a measure allowing stores to sell groceries and liquor under the same roof.

Elections experts say Florida lawmakers dropped the ball when it comes to improving voter security.

After a gunman killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community worked to translate grief into political action. Even though attempts to pass civil rights protections in the statehouse failed again this year, LGBTQ activists are claiming a victory.

Two Florida lawmakers are already looking ahead to next year’s legislative session to revive a bipartisan effort to reform the state’s claims bill process. It allows those who sue a government agency over things like injuries or negligence to receive the rest of the money awarded to them—a process that can often take years.

Lawmakers Back Payment In Death, Injury Cases

May 17, 2017

Saying the Florida Department of Children and Families didn't do its job, state lawmakers last month approved paying $3.75 million in a 2011 child-abuse case that drew national headlines.

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Recess has returned, but not for charter schools, and state testing will be limited to two weeks. Those are just two of the proposals lawmakers crammed into an education bill that capped off the end of the legislative session.

Education reporters Cathy Carter and Rowan Moore Gerety unpack some other education issues that made their way into the state budget now headed to the desk of Governor Rick Scott.  

Senate President Joe Negron is asking lawmakers for suggestions after a medical marijuana overhaul died in the legislature. It adds to growing whispers a special session could be coming.

Medical Marijuana Deal Goes Up In Smoke

May 7, 2017

Unable to bridge a gap over how many marijuana dispensaries the state should have, Florida lawmakers Friday failed to pass legislation that would have created a framework to carry out a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana for wide variety of patients.

`Stand Your Ground’ Change Heads To Governor

May 7, 2017

A change to the state's “stand your ground” self-defense law is heading to Gov. Rick Scott after the Senate agreed late Friday to go along with a House proposal.

‘Stand Your Ground’ Dispute Heads Into Final Day

May 5, 2017

The Florida Senate remained steadfast Thursday in a dispute with the House about a change to the state's “stand your ground” self-defense law.

House, Senate Down To Wire On Medical Marijuana

May 5, 2017

With just one day left to pass a bill, House and Senate Republican leaders are still struggling to strike a deal on the rollout of a voter-approved constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana for patients with debilitating conditions.

Florida's top Republican legislative leaders said Wednesday that they finally reached a deal on a new budget that should clear the way for them to end their session early next week.


Push To Expand Gambling In State Folds Again

May 4, 2017

A bid to bring more casinos and gambling to Florida collapsed yet again this year as state legislators were unable to reach an agreement on a comprehensive gambling bill.

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