Florida Legislative Session 2013

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Anniversary Of The Earthquake In Haiti And Spotlight On Poet Richard Blanco

Above is a neighborhood in Haiti before the earthquake. One caller, Henryka of Coral Gables, who has worked in Haiti for the past 4 years, says the focus should not be on reconstructing what was there, but building something better.
Credit waterdotorg

On The Florida Roundup:  Saturday marks the third anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti.  How has it affected us in South Florida, home to the nation’s largest Haitian diaspora?   We take your calls on what you have seen in Haiti and what responsibility we have to this country less than 700 miles away.   Why has development been so slow after so many promises?

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Session 2013
8:00 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Eleanor Sobel's New Domestic Partnership Bill Will Be 'Lucky' To See Debate, Critic Says

CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUE: Sen. Eleanor Sobel's domestic partnership bill is seen as a challenge to Florida's one-man-one-woman requirement.

Sen. Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood) has filed a "domestic partnership" bill for the March session of the Florida Legislature. It would allow same-sex couples to establish recognized relationships that provide at least some marital benefits.

One opponent of the bill said it would not get far in the Republican-dominated Legislature.

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Town Hall on Session 2013
6:42 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Happening Tonight: Help Us Make Tallahassee Accountable At Session 2013 Town Hall

Credit Flickr/ StevenM_61

 

Tallahassee may be hundreds of miles away, but WLRN and The Miami Herald will bring it to you. 

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Higher Education
8:20 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Second Florida Bill Allows In-State College Rates For Kids Of Undocumented Parents

RESIDENT RIGHTS: Bills in Tallahassee would grant in-state college rates to children of some undocumented parents.
Credit Florida Immigrant Coalition

Another relief bill is being offered by a Miami-Dade legislator for Florida residents who have been denied in-state college tuition rates because of their parents' immigration status.

Republican State Sen. Anitere Flores' bill (SB 180, filed Monday) is similar to a measure (HB 17) that Miami State Rep. Carlos Trujillo filed early in December.

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Working
8:30 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Bill Aims To Bar Local Government From Ordering Employers To Offer Sick Leave

WORKING SICK: Tallahassee lawmakers this spring will decide whether to prohibit cities and counties from ordering employers to pay for sick days off.

Advocates for working folk haven’t had a lot of luck establishing a right to paid sick leave in Florida.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan's proposal was defeated last year and, in Orlando, Orange County commissioners found a way to avoid a sick time referendum, even though 50,000 residents had won a ballot spot, fair and square, with their signatures on a petition.

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Traffic Law
7:30 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Red Light Cameras Make Us Safer, State Says, As Campbell Files Bill To Bar Them

FEWER OF THESE?: A state report says t-bone intersection crashes have declined since red light cameras appeared.
Credit FLorida DMV

A South Florida lawmaker filed legislation Friday to repeal the law allowing the use of red light cameras, following a report earlier this week that says intersections where they're used have seen drops in crashes in most places.

Rep. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami, seeks to end the use of the cameras, saying they unfairly dole out tickets to people who can't defend themselves, noting that malfunctioning cameras can't be cross-examined.

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Property Insurance
9:00 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Florida Dodges Storms But Gets Smacked By Rising Insurance Rates

Citizens' new president says right now the company still charges far less than a private company would.
Credit Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

Florida has successfully dodged a major storm for a while now. But, the state's residents have not been so lucky at dodging rate increases on their property insurance.

Property insurance rates have been rising for millions of Floridians even though the state hasn't been directly hit by a hurricane in seven years.

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Florida Supreme Court
8:17 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Cameras-In-Court Justice Ben Overton Dies

JUSTICE DIES: Ben Overton, far left, was the first state Supreme Court justice to be appointed rather than elected. Gov. Reubin Askew swore him in March, 1974. At right, an official court portrait from the 1990s.
Credit State archives

The News Service of Florida

Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Ben F. Overton, the first justice appointed by the governor after the switch in the 1970s from elected justices, has died from complications of heart surgery, a spokesman for the court said.

Overton, who retired in 1999, was 86.

On the court for more than two decades, his legacy includes letting cameras into Florida courtrooms.

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Election 2012
1:46 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

2012: A Year Of Electile Dysfunction In Florida

Voting lines, both before the election--and on November 6th itself, made Florida the butt of more jokes in 2012, and exposed major flaws in the system
Credit Benjamin Thompson on flickr

In 2012, Florida remained the state that can't vote straight. 

President Barack Obama sent Florida's GOP leaders in to shock by winning the state in November, and some Democrats followed his coattails to make the state slightly bluer. But while licking their wounds, Republicans remain in firm control of Florida's agenda.

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Unemployment
6:55 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Judging Rick Scott's Job Creation Record

HARD TIMES: The Florida unemployment rate has been reduced mostly by discouraged workers abandoning the job search.
Credit Sweets and Flowers/Flickr

His big campaign pledge was 700-thousand jobs in seven years.

So, halfway through his term, how is Gov. Rick Scott doing with that?

The answer...it's complicated.

Unemployment has dropped from 11.4 percent in January, 2011, to 8.1 percent in November of this year. But almost half of the improvement is attributed to discouraged workers leaving the workforce.

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Gun Control
1:30 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Six Questions With 'Gun-Free Zone' Florida Representative

Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Dennis Baxley commenting at a 2012 panel discussion in Tallahassee.
Credit Florida House of Representatives website

Rep. Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has been all over the news this week. On Monday, responding to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, he said all remedies must be "on the table" legislatively, including allowing teachers and principals to arm themselves on school   grounds. 

On Tuesday, after his comments had been reported widely, Baxley issued a statement that this is a time to respect the victims. "Contrary to media reports, no specific proposals have been advanced or filed by me," he wrote.

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Gun Control Debate: Is Florida "The Gunshine State"?

With over a million concealed weapons permits, Florida has more than any other state.
Credit Zweroboi

On the Florida Roundup: The tragedy in Connecticut hits home in what some people call “The Gunshine State,”as Florida has over a million concealed weapons permits, the most in the country.    Do you feel safer?  We hear your reaction to Florida’s milestone.  And will gun control be on the agenda in Tallahassee?

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Charlie Crist
3:34 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

What Charlie Crist Has To Say About Rick Scott’s Handling Of Election 2012

In a U.S. Senate hearing, Crist lambasted Scott for signing an election law that reduced early voting hours, when many minorities vote.
Credit mike3k

In what may be a preview of the governor’s race, former governor Charlie Crist directly criticized Governor Rick Scott before a U.S. Senate hearing on voting rights. Crist was critical of Scott for helping to pass a 2011 election law that limited early voting hours. 

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Newtown Shootings
9:17 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Florida Political Leaders Offer A Range Of Responses To Newtown School Massacre

THE WEAPON: Is banning rifles such as this model, similar to the one used at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a good idea?

Florida leaders are expressing themselves, although not always clearly, after the elementary school massacre in Newtown last week.

Some Florida Democrats, including Tampa U. S. Rep. Kathy Castor, are calling for new restrictions on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.

Congressman Rich Nugent, a  Republican and former sheriff from Brooksville, says more gun control would be far less useful than identifying and treating mental illness.

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News
6:21 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

NEWSCAST: Scott Vs. Crist

Florida Governor Rick Scott
Credit Kristina_Hernandez

 Republican Governor Rick Scott Friday reacted to speculation that newly registered Democrat Charlie Crist will run against him in 2014. Crist, a former Republican governor who became an independent in 2010, and is now formally registered as a Democrat. Scott says the state lost hundreds of thousands of jobs and saw its debt soar during the Crist administration. "In my first two years, we've turned the corner.  Biggest drop in unemployment - it's down to 8.5 percent - and 175,000 private sector jobs. So that's what I'm doing.

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