Tallahassee

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.

Paul/Flickr

A product made from cannabis could become one of Florida’s top crops: A bill in Tallahassee would allow Florida farmers to grow hemp.

Robert Clayton finished construction last year on a house made of hemp in Tarpon Springs. It’s thought to be the first of its kind in Florida. He testified at a Senate hearing about his research for the Hemp Industries Association.

myfloridahouse.gov

A bill to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation is back in Tallahassee.

Florida law prohibits discrimination based on everything from race to religion. But the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community doesn't have that protection.

The Florida Competitive Workforce Act would change that, banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing and public accommodations.

Pilot Program Gives Parents Tools For Coping With Kids

Nov 20, 2014
Brevard County Sheriff's Office

On their first full day as leaders of the Legislature, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner appeared at a news conference highlighting a pilot program they have thrown their weight behind.

The program, called "It's Time To Be A Parent Again," is already underway in Brevard County. But with support from Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, and Gardiner, R-Orlando --- both of whom represent parts of Brevard --- the program will now be piloted in Polk, Osceola and Seminole counties.

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