Tallahassee

Today on Sundial: Voters of four Miami-Dade municipalities go to the ballot box. New mayors will be elected, as well as other big-ticket resolutions and bills. WLRN News Director Terence Shepherd gives us an update on what to expect today:

Courtesy of the MagLab

Florida can once again brag about having the world's strongest magnet. Officials at Florida's National High Magnetic Field Laboratory said Tuesday they tested a magnet that is able to crank out more than 41 tesla of magnetic power, beating the record holder that comes from China  “This is a new world-record magnet,” explained Mag Lab Associate Director Eric Palm. “It’s a resistive magnet so we have to keep putting power into it and water through it to take the heat out of the magnet. And as long as we keep paying our power bill, we can keep running it.” 

Steve Cannon/AP

This week on The Florida Roundup...

Ahead of last week's three-day special session, the state's top legislative leaders -Gov. Rick Scott, House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron- appeared to have reached an agreement about public spending in the new fiscal year. 

This week’s special legislative session is expected to cost taxpayers more than $100,000. But the three-day long process could be a boon for Tallahassee’s local economy.

Miami Herald

Every 20 years, a 37-person commission comes up with a list of amendments to the Florida Constitution.

The next cohort of the Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) met on Monday for the first time,  in the Florida Senate chambers in Tallahassee.

The group will have a year to travel around the state and figure out what kinds of changes need to be made to the constitution. It already scheduled visits to Orange, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties.

Florida’s new fiscal year begins Friday and that means billions of dollars will start making their way across the state to fund projects approved during the legislative session.  Some of that money will end up in a ditch in Tallahassee.

House Approves Congressional Districts; Senate Ponders Changes

Aug 14, 2015

The battle over boundaries for Florida's 27 congressional districts began in earnest Thursday, with a state House committee approving a plan while senators considered overhauling the same proposal --- and as a congresswoman continued pressing her case that the map would harm black voters.

flguardian2 / Flickr Creative Commons

Pointing to a time crunch, a Leon County circuit judge Wednesday gave the Florida Legislature little more than two months to draw new congressional districts and to defend them in court.

Judge George S. Reynolds III issued an order that said a special legislative session to redraw districts and a subsequent trial must be finished by Sept. 25. The order came after the Florida Supreme Court last week tossed out eight congressional districts because it found that lawmakers violated a 2010 constitutional amendment aimed at preventing gerrymandering.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Photos: Old South In Tallahassee, Before Political Standoffs

May 29, 2015
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/275723

A special session for the Florida State Legislature starts Monday in Tallahassee. And that's a good a time as any to revisit the history of the 200,000-city, which used to be just a town of the Old South.

Mark Silva, former Tallahassee bureau chief for the Miami Herald, wrote about the capital's past in a National Geographic story

Solar Energy Tampa Florida/flickr

A citizen-led effort seeks to put a solar power-expanding initiative on Florida’s 2016 ballot. It would allow entities other than utility companies to sell the solar power they generate. At the same time, legislation proposed in Tallahassee would keep Florida as one of only five states that prevent anyone other than utilities from selling solar power.

Pasco County Schools/flickr

School districts are likely to face fewer penalties for violating class-size requirements under a bill that passed the Florida House Friday on a vote of 107 - 3.

americanmag/flickr

An effort to overhaul police and firefighter pensions is ready for consideration by the full Senate.

The bill, SB 172, changes the way state insurance premium tax revenues are used to fund local pension plans. It essentially enables local governments to use the money as they wish.

The bill is sponsored by lawmakers from both parties, including Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island).

Thomas Davison/flickr

The Seminole Tribe of Florida has released another TV ad -- the third so far -- trying to convince state leaders to renew a portion of the Seminole Gaming Compact.

The portion that expires in July allows the Seminole tribe to exclusively offer games like blackjack at its casinos. In return, the tribe guarantees a billion dollars’ worth of payments to the state over five years.

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