Florida Legislative Session 2013

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LGBT Issues
6:40 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Conversion Therapy May Soon Be Banned For Florida Kids

Credit ep_jhu / Flickr

  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.

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Gubernatorial Race
1:00 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Nelson Still Considering Bid For Governor

Credit Wikipedia.org

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.

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Politics
10:26 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Florida Taxes Would Determine The True Cost Of Medical Marijuana

Credit Vlado / Flickr CC

A Financial Impact Estimating Conference report concluded Monday that the cost of medical marijuana in Florida could not be determined due to uncertainty regarding taxation of the plant.

Although the Department of Health estimates the annual cost for Florida would be roughly $1 million, the FIEC report would be more-accurate if marijuana sales taxes were clear.

"The extent to which medical marijuana would be tax-exempt is unclear without legislative or state administrative action," the report said.

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Criminal Justice
5:36 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Florida Considers Reopening Correctional Facilities

Credit Kate Ter Haar/Fickr

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.

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Opinion: Kelley's Korner
11:02 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Bad Move, Mr. Crist

Kelley Mitchell thinks former Gov. Charlie Crist made a press faux-pas with his Friday announcement.
Credit Mike Cohen / Flickr/Creative Commons

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.")

So am I, by the way. It can be debilitating.

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Politics
11:36 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Gov. Rick Scott Delivers Mea Culpa On Voter Purge

Credit Photo by Creative Commons user MrX

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.”

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Watchdog Report: Dade County Budget Hardball

www.watchdogreport.net

09/17/13 - Tuesday's Topical 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 . . .

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Politics
12:18 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Gov. Scott Launches Tax Cut Tour In West Palm Beach

Gov. Rick Scott addresses an audience at the Palm Beach County Convention Center during the kick-off of his It's Your Money tour.
Credit C. DiMattei

“It’s your money, it’s no one else’s money," said Governor Rick Scott to an audience at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. “So we have to spend it in a manner that makes sense.”

The governor launched his “It’s Your Money” tour in West Palm Beach on Tuesday, just days after announcing his plans to cut taxes and fees by $500 million in the 2014 proposed budget.

The governor’s office says the tour offers a chance for Floridians to discuss taxes they want to see reduced.

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Politics
12:00 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Gov. Scott Tries New Strategy To Boost Business, Jobs

Gov. Rick Scott cuts the ribbon on the new Sand Blaster roller coaster on the Daytona Beach boardwalk. Scott has been traveling the state calling attention to his efforts to boost the economy.
Credit Florida Governor's Office

Gov. Rick Scott is pulling out all the stops to lure companies to Florida.

He convinced lawmakers to cut the sales tax on manufacturing equipment and do away with regulations that could hinder economic growth.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Jobs

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The Florida Roundup
12:33 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Why Florida Picks Fights With The U.S.

The motto on the first flag to fly over the capitol when Florida became the 27th state seems to be guiding the state's response today to federal programs.
Credit http://dhr.dos.state.fl.us/

Florida’s top prosecutor wants to overturn a federal gun law and allow 18 year-olds to own handguns.  It’s just the latest example of the Sunshine State battling the federal government.  It’s done it over health care, voting rights and now gun control.  

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Could Florida's DCF Have Prevented These Children's Deaths?

The recent deaths of so many children who had had contact with DCF has brought renewed scrutiny on a troubled agency: (clockwise from the top left, name, followed by their age at death, if known) Dontrell Melvin, unknown; Antwan Hope, 4; Dakota Stiles, 3; Ezra Raphael, 2; Aliyah Branum, 2; Jayden Morales, 2; Jewel Howard, 3; Cherish Perrywinkle, 8; and Christian Byrd, 2.

 

    

A Miami Herald investigation uncovers another 16 children who died in recent months even though their families were involved with the Department of Children and Families.  

"Is anybody here not outraged?" demanded one foster parent at a recent town hall, where a group of lawmakers heard from the public and received blame as well. 

Also, in just two months, Floridians are supposed to be able to shop for health insurance as part of Obamacare. But Florida Governor Rick Scott is now worried about the privacy of patient information.

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Blogosphere
12:13 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

The Florida Blogup: Building Bridges, Everglades Art And DOMA Reactions

The Florida Everglades is considered a national treasure.
Credit Rasmus Bøgeskov Larsen/Flickr

Everglades-Inspired Art

If you just can’t get enough of Florida wildlife, or if you want to celebrate increased funding for Everglades clean-up, you might want to check out this event.

Hosted at a home on Matheson Avenue, the Summer Salon on Sunday, June 30, will feature Ana Mendez, Gustavo Matamoros and works of art from the Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) collection.

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Politics
4:26 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Clock Ticking For Governor To Veto Mental Health Gun Bill

Floridians who voluntarily get mental health treatment could find themselves on a gun ban list.
Credit Gualberto107/freedigitalphotos.net

The only gun control measure passed by the Florida Legislature this year is finally on Gov. Rick Scott's desk.

It puts people who are committed for mental health treatment on a list that prevents them from being able to buy a gun.

The National Rifle Association usually fights any proposal that could erode a person's right to bear arms – also known as the U.S. 2nd Amendment -- but the association strongly supports this bill.

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Politics
12:00 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

The Florida Roundup: Should The Miami Heat Get More Public Money?

The Miami Heat say they need more public money to help maintain the arena.
Credit stab at sleep / Creative Commons/Flickr

Our panel of journalists will tackle two four-letter words: Heat and jobs.

The Miami Heat won back-to-back NBA Championships after defeating the San Antonio Spurs Thursday night, 95-88.

Meanwhile, team owner Micky Arison wants to extend the team's lease on American Airlines Arena with the help of public money.

Florida's job market has been improving with unemployment falling to levels not seen in nearly five years.

But joblessness in Miami-Dade County remains well above the rest of the state. 

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Immigration
6:00 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Why Gov. Scott's Latest Veto Might Alienate Latino Voters

Credit stateimpact.npr.org

When President Barack Obama adopted a policy last year aimed at allowing some young, undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States, he likely didn't know it would cause heartburn for Gov. Rick Scott about a year later.

The "deferred action" program didn't give citizenship or permanent-resident status to anyone living illegally in the country, but it did grant two-year non-deportation promises to undocumented immigrants under 30 who met certain conditions.

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