Florida is one of only 11 states that doesn't prohibit texting and driving. But drivers whose texting leads to an accident and death would be guilty of homicide under a bill filed this week in the Senate and expected to soon show up in the House.
After several failed bills and a decade’s worth of debate, texting and driving remains legal in Florida – and the most recently proposed bill wouldn’t change that. But drivers could be charged with vehicular homicide in the case of an accident.
Burdened with the expense of medical care for more than a million uninsured Floridians, the Florida Hospital Association isn't ready to accept that Medicaid won't be expanded in Florida under Obamacare.
Scarcely a day after a Florida Senate Select Committee voted down the Medicaid plan, the association had mobilized healthcare providers and patients under the banner "The Florida Remedy" to make their case public.
The election results and new leadership in the Florida legislature have made life a little easier for the state's elected Democrats.
Not that that there's been a substantial change in how the state's laws are made. The elections may have stripped House and Senate Republicans of their super-majorities, but Democrats remain profoundly outvoted and relatively powerless.
A senator who last month opposed a bill that would create domestic partnerships for unmarried couples will support a new, narrower version when it comes up Tuesday in the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee.
A state agency is considering designating large tracts of state-owned lands as "surplus," including sections that are home to a near-extinct bird endemic to Florida. Surplus lands can be made available for public sale or trade, or used in ways that differ from their original intention as conservation lands.
The Florida Legislative Session 2013 is in full swing, and environmental groups are worried about a number of bills before lawmakers. Organizations like Audubon of Florida are focused on proposed measures that would impact environmental funding, wildlife protection, water quality and land use and conservation.
Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, filed a bill in the Florida Senate Friday that would add a consumer advocate to Citizens Property Insurance Corp.'s board of directors. It would also require that two of the members hail from South Florida.
Credit Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee / freedigitalphotos.netChief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater said Florida cannot financially handle Gov. Rick Scott's Feb. 20 proposal to expand Medicaid. 'Floridians deserve better than a plan to double down on a system awash in fraud, that raises costs on everyone, burdens small businesses and yanks the rug out from under doctors,' he stated in his weekly newsletter posted online Friday.Edit | Remove
Redistricting, property insurance, Medicaid expansion and political transparency were among the topics covered during this week’s Town Hall event on Session 2013 of the Florida Legislature hosted by WLRN and the Miami Herald. The second annual forum marks the beginning of WLRN's coverage of Session 2013, which convenes March 5 and continues through May 3.
Tallahassee may be hundreds of miles away, but WLRN and The Miami Herald have brought it to you.
Tonight we will be holding our second annual Town Hall event on Session 2013 of the Florida Legislature. Follow a play by play rundown of the show below, and join in by using the comment box, or by sending us a tweet to #FL2013.
As I lean my motorcycle into the curve that takes me onto I-95, I roll the throttle to accelerate up to highway speeds. Up ahead I see a car going well below the minimum speed of 45 mph, with the left turn signal on but swerving to the right. I give this big unknown a wide berth, and as I pass, I see the person gabbing it up on a cell phone.
Education, voting reform, property insurance, and political transparency were among the topics covered during Monday night's Town Hall event on Session 2013 of the Florida Legislature hosted by WLRN and the Miami Herald. The second annual forum marks the beginning of WLRN's coverage of Session 2013, which convenes March 5 and continues through May 3.
Do you have what it takes to navigate the political swampland of Florida and come out clean?
WLRN and the Miami Herald have partnered to create a new interactive experience that will allow you to put your political integrity to the test. After a cutthroat election, you have officially begun your career as a Florida politician.
Now it is up to you to make the right political and personal choices.
A bill filed Thursday would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Florida Civil Rights Act already bans discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age and marital status.
Rep. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater filed a bill in the House on Tuesday that would allow school districts to install cameras on school buses. This is an attempt to identify drivers who illegally pass buses when children are boarding.
A familiar yellow school bus slows to pick up a group of giddy children at the corner. Florida drivers, perhaps caught in the morning rush to work, know they’re supposed to stop. After all, the bus’s retractable red stop sign and flashing lights serve as glaring reminders. But are motorists actually following the law?
Carl Adams, co-founder of the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists, says that the biggest priority for state lawmakers should be "to re-establish the public perception of the process as fair, transparent and responsible."
The job of lobbyists is to improve the image of their clients. But lobbyists themselves could use some PR.
Carl Adams, who was a Tallahassee lobbyist for 35 years and founded the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists, thinks that the system - campaign finance laws and the prohibition on private deliberation - is flawed, not the people.
Florida has always been a state to watch, if only as a guilty pleasure or perhaps in self-defense. But some major political stars are aligning and the pundits are beginning to agree, Florida will really be a State To Watch from now at least through the 2016 election.
The personalities-of-the moment are here. The game-changing demographics are here. And the Florida stage is set for epic -- and deeply symbolic -- political confrontations.
Last week, watchdog group Integrity Florida released a report that concluded questionable bonuses, conflicts of interest and a 'pay to play' mentality was hampering the efforts of Enterprise Florida, Florida's public-private job development agency. The increased scrutiny of what the state pays to lure companies to Florida come as lawmakers start to lay the foundation for the coming year's budget, against a backdrop of the governor's request for more spending on economic development.
After heavy scrutiny, the state plans to change the way it determines the home-based services that will be provided to children with highly complex medical needs. The proposed changes, which would affect about 1,600 children a year, are expected to take effect within three months.
If Gov. Rick Scott's proposed $74.2 billion budget passes the Legislature intact, it would include $75 million for conservation land projects spearheaded by the Florida Forever Coalition. The 2013-2014 budget also includes $60 million for Everglades restoration and $6.5 million for restoring springs.
State lawmakers will not decide whether to abolish the death penalty this year. Rejecting cost, fairness and morality arguments, a House criminal justice subcommittee on Thursday voted down a bill to abolish capital punishment in Florida.
The vote was largely along party lines, with the majority Republicans voting in favor of preserving the death penalty.
The price of property insurance in Florida keeps going up -- such that some homeowners are getting second mortgages or dropping coverage all together. The state created Citizens Property Insurance to be the insurer of last resort for Florida homeowners. But plans to shrink Citizens by loaning money to private insurance companies and allegations of corporate misconduct have sparked outcries by some state officials and the public alike.
In Tallahassee, a series of proposals to repair the state election system is finding broad support in the Legislature that many say broke the voting process two years ago.
A Senate bill instituting one of the reforms proposed by Secretary of State Ken Detzner has already been filed and there are clear signals from a House elections subcommittee that it will prepare a bill to launch the rest of them.