Tallahassee

The Florida Roundup
11:18 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Family Of Teen Israel 'Reefa' Hernandez Will Sue Miami Beach Police

A six-month-long medical examination concluded that the “sudden cardiac death” of Israel “Reefa” Hernandez-Llach was accidental.

 

Governor Rick Scott kicks off the legislative session with a State of the State address touting tax cuts and job creation. The state legislature starts by advancing a bill legalizing a form of medical marijuana and passing tougher sex predator laws.   

A medical report on the death of Israel Hernandez, the teen who was tasered by Miami Beach police, finds that he died of a "sudden cardiac death." Shortly before the report's release, the police chief resigns.

We also hear the latest developments on the protests in Venezuela.

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Politics
3:24 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Republicans Split Over Cheaper Tuition For Undocumented Students

Sen. Jack Latvala's tuition bill includes price breaks for families that pay taxes in Florida, whether they're documented or not.
Credit Greenspoon Marder/flickr

Florida's undocumented residents may soon have access to cheaper college tuition. The proposal is part of a sweeping bill aimed at reducing the cost of higher education.

Undocumented students could pay in-state tuition if they meet certain eligibility requirements. They’ve been paying the out-of-state rate, which is three times more expensive.

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The Sunshine Economy
10:30 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Big Sugar's Influence Stretches From South Florida To Washington

Sugar companies get money from taxpayers through the U.S. Farm Bill. In turn, those companies pay a privilege tax to help clean up the environmental damage caused by sugar farming.
Credit africa/freedigitalphotos.net

Sugar is one of the biggest special interests in Tallahassee. More sugar comes from Florida than anywhere else in the country. 

It’s grown in a 700,000-acre region between Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades known as the Everglades Agricultural Area. (Actual farming acreage, which includes other crops, is 470,000 because of conservation areas and other projects.) 

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StateImpact Florida
10:59 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Three Education Questions For Senate President Don Gaetz

Senate President Don Gaetz doesn't want in-state tuition for undocumented students. He does like the idea of university performance funding.
Credit Gina Jordan/StateImpact Florida

Florida’s move toward Common Core standards in schools is sure to be discussed during the upcoming legislative session.

Lawmakers will also consider allowing undocumented college students to pay cheaper, in-state tuition. Plus, state universities that improve their graduation rates may be able to boost their funding.

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Parasailing
12:45 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Victims Of Parasailing Accidents Beg Lawmakers For Stronger Regulations

Shannon Kraus cries during a news conference at the Capitol Thursday. Her teenage daughters were in a parasailing accident in 2007 in Pompano Beach. Amber White was killed and Crystal White suffered permanent injuries.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

A series of deaths and injuries may lead to stronger oversight of Florida’s parasailing industry. Victims and their families are lobbying lawmakers in Tallahassee for help.

Crystal White was 17-years-old when she and her younger sister went parasailing in Pompano Beach in 2007. White says she remembers the boat operator talking about bad weather approaching, but he sent them up anyway. Then, the wind picked up.

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Politics
8:28 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Medical Marijuana, Speed Limits And Social Media Privacy On Senator's Agenda

Credit Eric Broder Van Dyke/flickr

  Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, is sponsoring bills to help tackle violations of the Do Not Call list and give employees and job applicants more social media privacy.

Clemens also wants higher speed limits – he admits he’s a speeder – and he still likes red-light cameras, even though he’s been ticketed by one.

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News
8:05 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Pilot Program Would Supply Clean Needles For Drug Users In Miami Dade

Hansel Tookes is a fourth-year med student at the University of Miami who went to Tallahassee to testify in favor of the needle-exchange bill. The bill has been renamed the Miami-Dade Infectious Disease Elimination Act (IDEA).
Credit Gina Jordan / WLRN

Miami-Dade County has another chance at getting a program that would enable drug users to safely exchange their dirty syringes.

A bill to create a five-year pilot program has been filed again in Tallahassee, and a University of Miami medical student is behind the push.

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The Florida Roundup
12:08 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Medical Marijuana Question Goes To Florida Voters This November

How might the medical marijuana ballot question affect voter turnout this fall?
Credit “Caveman Chuck” Coker / Creative Commons/Flickr

On The Florida Roundup: The Florida State Supreme Court allows a proposal to legalize medical marijuana to appear on the November ballot. We’ll see how that could affect the governor’s race.

Governor Rick Scott has a $72.4 billion dollar spending plan for the state: the biggest cut was to the state agency that runs the Medicaid program because the state won’t be receiving federal money under the Affordable Care Act. What will that mean for the approximately 3 million Medicaid recipients in Florida?

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News
4:53 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Medical Pot Campaign Reaches Its Petition Signature Goal

Credit Vlado / Flickr CC

Elections officials certified on Friday, Jan. 24, that the campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Florida collected enough qualified signatures to put the proposed amendment on this November's ballot.

Campaign manager Ben Pollara says his organization, United We Care, gathered more than 1 million signatures to come up with the 683,149 needed to win a ballot spot.

He is now starting to fundraise for what he says will be an expensive and difficult campaign.

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News
6:03 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Beer Tastings At The Grocery Store? The Florida Senate Might Make It So

Half-gallon beer growlers are legal in 47 states. Florida isn't one of them. That could change during the legislative session that begins in March.
Credit stuartwainstock/flickr

How about getting a taste of beer as you fill your grocery cart? A bill moving through the Florida Senate would enable stores like Publix and Costco to offer their customers samples of beer.

Senator Nancy Detert, R-Venice, says it’s only fair.

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Politics
6:24 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Florida Senate President Considers Proposal To Legalize Marijuana Strain

A strain of marijuana that doesn't get users high has been found to help children who suffer from chronic seizures. The strain, known as Charlotte's Web, is currently available only in Colorado. Lawmakers are considering a proposal to make the strain legal in Florida.
Credit tylerericsson1/flickr

Desperate pleas from parents of sick kids got the attention of legislative leaders in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee last week.  

“We just need solutions quickly. We don’t have time. Time is not on our side,” said Seth Hyman from Weston. “Rebecca unfortunately could have a seizure today back in our hotel and die.”

“All the medications he’s on – it’s not a guarantee. He’s actually suicidal right now,” said Renee Petro from Uthia, talking about her son Branden. “He wants to kill himself. He’s 12.”

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Politics
8:08 am
Wed January 15, 2014

More Tanning Salons Than McDonald's: Why The Tanning Bed Bill Is Back

Credit Newtown graffiti / Flickr CC

  

The World Health Organization lists tanning beds among the most dangerous forms of cancer-causing radiation.

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Education
1:03 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Another School Choice In Florida: Single-Sex Classrooms

These boys are part of the All Male E.A.G.L.E. Academy at Bond Elementary School in Tallahassee. The acronym stands for Extraordinary Ambitious Gentlemen Leading in Excellence.
Gina Jordan/StateImpact Florida

A handful of public schools in Florida have either all-girls or all-boys classrooms. More could be coming.

Rep. Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah, is behind a bill that would have one school in districts throughout the state offer only single-sex classes. The proposed legislation would create a pilot project in designated districts for two years.

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Jobs
11:20 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

South Florida Democrats Join National Effort For A $10 Minimum Wage

Florida's $7.93 minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum of $7.25. Efforts are underway around the country to bolster the minimum to more than $10 an hour.
Credit pbarcas/flickr

Florida’s minimum wage rose by 14 cents on Jan. 1, to $7.93 per hour. But two South Florida lawmakers say that doesn't go far enough.

They’ve filed bills to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. The wage increase would also apply to workers who earn tips, like restaurant servers currently making $4.91 per hour.

Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Cutler Bay, and Rep. Cynthia Stafford, D-Opa-Locka, say they’re trying to get more people out of poverty.

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Politics
2:41 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Ethics Commission Refuses To Close Complaints Against Miami Lawmaker

Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, addresses the House of Representatives on May 2, 2013.
Credit Myfloridahouse.gov/MarkFoley

Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, hasn’t put his issues with the Florida Commission on Ethics behind him.

Fresen is refusing to pay a $1,500 fine related to his work as a legislative aide in 2003. He was fined because he didn’t file a required financial form.

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