Gov. Rick Scott faces a difficult decision in naming a permanent secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, given the demands of the job, the lateness in his term and the scrutiny of lawmakers moving to respond to a rash of child deaths.
Scott has some breathing room after announcing last week that Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo will stay on the job through the end of the 2014 legislative session. He tapped the Miami-based attorney to lead the agency in mid-July, for 90 days, after David Wilkins resigned under fire.
A U.S. senator, a Boca Raton lawmaker and a former Florida governor are demanding answers about why a new website is still tying up unemployment benefits for thousands of out-of-work Floridians.
The state's $63 million unemployment website, CONNECT, has been plagued with technical glitches since its Oct. 15 launch. Complaints have been flooding into the offices of Gov. Rick Scott and the Department of Economic Opportunity, which oversees the website. But the state agency won't explain what the problems are.
Gov. Rick Scott helped Hertz break ground last month on the rental car company’s new corporate headquarters. Hertz is relocating to Estero, FL from New Jersey, creating an anticipated 700 jobs in the state.
The campaign to bring medical marijuana to Florida will face what may be a massive roadblock on Thursday. Florida’s Supreme Court will hear arguments on the case brought by Attorney General Pam Bondi. She says the proposed language for the ballot gives too many people access to the drug.
While the case is about what the voters would see on the ballot University of Miami law professor Donald Jones says the court will have to consider the entire argument for medical marijuana.
In the zero-sum game of partisan politics, it's not too often that a pollster can say what Peter Brown said Thursday morning while introducing the latest results of the Quinnipiac University poll on the Florida's governor's race.
"To some degree, this poll has good news for both candidates," said Brown, assistant director of the survey.
UPDATE: 10:30 a.m., Nov. 20: Keon Hardemon will be the next District 5 Commissioner for Miami. In the runoff election against Rev. Richard Dunn Tuesday, Hardemon received more than 72 percent of the vote. He will take office on Nov. 27.
In advance of Tuesday’s elections, City of Miami voters are reading up on the candidates, their platforms and track records, figuring out whom to give their vote to. But in the process, some constituents may discover they’ve been brushing up on candidates from the wrong district.
Conversion therapy, which is meant to turn gay people straight, may soon be banned for young people in Florida.
A bill by Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) would ban conversion therapy for everyone 18 years old and younger, but it would only apply to conversion therapy offered by licensed professionals like psychologists and counselors.
Religious groups and other non-professional organizations would still be able to offer the therapy for young people.
The American Psychological Association says these therapies have not been proven to be effective or safe.
Fanning the flames of uncertainty about former Gov. Charlie Crist's viability as a gubernatorial candidate, Democrats close to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson are letting potential supporters know the three-term senator is waiting in the wings if Crist's campaign stumbles.
Nelson's chief of staff, Pete Mitchell, called some prominent Democrats recently and told them the 71-year-old Nelson, who has been coy about his interest in the governor's race, is considering a bid, according to sources who spoke on background.
Florida might soon reopen several prisons, a year after closing them after the state projected a growing inmate population. Gov. Rick Scott announced the closing of prisons across the state as good news, saying it saved the state money.
But next year, the Department of Corrections wants the legislature to reopen nine facilities from Miami to the panhandle. That will include two prisons, five work camps and two reentry centers.
The first time I met Charlie Crist, he was the state Attorney General. It was at a Florida Department of Law Enforcement news conference in their then-new digs along the Dolphin Expressway near Florida's Turnpike.
I'm fairly certain it was one of those Joint Agency Task Force announcements that had something to do with Identity Theft (Hint: "We're against it.")
In a rare display of contrition coming to a Florida city near you, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration is acknowledging what civil rights groups and local elections officials had already been saying: Last year’s attempted purge of noncitizens from voter rolls was fundamentally flawed.
“I accept responsibility for the effort,” Scott’s secretary of state, Ken Detzner, told the Herald/Times. “It could have been better. It should have been better.”
09/17/13 - Tuesday'sTopical Currents features regular contributor Dan Ricker, publisher of the weekly “Watchdog Report.” Topics include the budget hardball being played out in Miami-Dade County. Funding for libraries has been restored, but there are still battles with union workers, who look for benefits to be restored. Coconut Grove residents say more police officers are needed to curb crime in their village. Learn more . . . and call in with concerns . . .