Session 2017

Florida lawmakers want to set new statewide standards for public contracts. But local governments say the plan threatens their independence.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

New rules on how legal challenges to newly drawn legislative districts would work cleared their first hurdle in the Florida House on Wednesday after the full Senate passed along its version of the same bill.

A proposal to halt local regulation of vacation rentals passed in committee Tuesday after a heated debate over private property and community rights.

House Panel Pushes Forward On Medical Marijuana

Mar 29, 2017

Pledging that it is only a start, a Florida House panel gave a thumbs-up Tuesday to a medical-marijuana proposal castigated by supporters of a constitutional amendment that legalized cannabis for a broad swath of patients with debilitating conditions.

Florida lottery tickets could soon carry a big warning label if a Republican legislator gets her way.

WMFE

State lawmakers are proposing to cut the budget for Orange and Osceola State Attorney’s office by $1.3 million and twenty-one positions.

Republican Rep. Scott Plakon of Longwood is steering the effort as part of the House Judiciary Appropriations Subcommittee, which released a draft of the budget on Monday.

“We thought that if she’s not going to do part of her job, basically, that we would withhold some of that money pending on what the governor does and so forth,” Plakon said in a phone interview.

Florida House lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to revamp the state’s information technology system.

Miami Herald

Florida parents seeking more recess time for their children suffered a setback Tuesday, when state lawmakers significantly watered down a proposal that was supposed to require 20 minutes of daily recess for all public elementary students.

Members of a House subcommittee were willing to give students more recess time during the school week — but not nearly to the extent that parents have fought for for more than a year and that many lawmakers previously supported.

House Could Pass Health Care Changes

Mar 28, 2017

With Republican leaders looking for ways to revamp the health-care system, the House could pass bills this week that deal with doctor-patient relationships, ambulatory surgical centers and what are known as "recovery care centers."

Florida currently requires auto drivers to carry personal injury protection of at least $10,000 in medical benefits. But critics say that isn’t enough to cover health care costs when there’s an accident. Lawmakers are considering changing up the insurance coverage drivers must have.

A House panel faced stiff opposition as it passed a measure assigning heightened punishments to undocumented immigrants.

A Senate education panel has temporarily postponed a school testing overhaul bill—putting one of the two major testing proposals in jeopardy.

The Florida House is pushing for $164 million in budget cuts in its initial higher-education budgets.

Under a plan outlined by the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee on Monday, universities would see a $110 million cut, while state colleges would face $61 million in reductions. Small increases in other higher-education programs, including workforce education and private colleges, lowers the proposed net reduction to $164 million.

Religious Freedom Bills Move Forward

Mar 24, 2017

A bill aimed at protecting displays of religious faith in public schools passed the Senate on nearly party-line vote Thursday, while a more-limited version moved toward the House floor.

Even though violent crime has been steadily decreasing, can that be attributed to Florida's decade-old Stand Your Ground Law? WUSF's Steve Newborn poses that question - and another - if nearly half of all gun sales aren't registered - to Katie Sanders of PolitiFact Florida.

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