weather unavailableweather unavailable
Make us your home page
Instagram

Florida Legislature

  1. Future of medical pot in Florida still cloudy after Senate discussion

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — What began as a decisive instruction from voters that patients who need medical marijuana should have access to it is shaping up to be a complex and contentious fight in the Florida Capitol.

     Some of the medical marijuana products on display in the “Garden” at Surterra Wellness Center, 2558 E Fowler Ave., Tampa, on Feb. 27. Surterra Holdings is one of seven companies in Florida licensed to grow and sell medical marijuana products in the state.
  2. Bill that attempts to freeze gambling in Florida advances in House

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — A bill that attempts to lock Florida's gambling footprint in place for 20 years — and ice out any casino expansion — passed a key House committee along a party line vote Tuesday leaving the Legislature miles apart over how to resolve the lucrative gambling compact with the Seminole …

     Pictured is the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa's new state-of-the-art poker room on Thursday, January 12, 2017. The non-smoking poker room features 46 tables, 40 TV sets, and a drinks and snacks bar.
  3. Senators poised for first major medical marijuana hearing

    Blogs

    Florida's new medical marijuana market will start to take shape today as a panel of senators workshops five proposals to put the voter-approved constitutional amendment legalizing the drug into place.

    Medical marijuana
  4. 'Trial lawyers are on the march' and Florida Chamber's 'Capitol Days' are more like 'Dreary Days'

    Blogs

    One by one, Republican lawmakers delivered dreary news at the Florida Chamber of Commerce's "Capitol Days" Tuesday in Tallahassee. On issue after issue, pro-business bills are stalled, from curbing growing abuses in property insurance claims to changing the workers' comp system. Business is battling a lawyer-friendly …

     Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, said it's "just wrong" for Richard Corcoran to force House members to go on record on such a controversial issue when it has no chance of passage because a similar bill isn't teed up in the Senate.
  5. Are Florida voters getting burned by lawmakers on last year's solar amendment?

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — A bill moving through the Florida House to implement the August ballot initiative by giving tax breaks to businesses that install solar energy panels is under fire for doing what the utility industry could not do in the last election cycle — impose impediments to rooftop solar installation.

     A human art installation, designed by artist John Quigley, forms for a "Hands Across the Sand" event on the beach in front of the Bilmar Beach Resort in Treasure Island, Fla., on Saturday, May 21, 2016. The event, organized by the Sierra Club and fellow environmental groups, aimed to promote solar energy in place of fossil fuels such as coal and gas.
  1. Bill that attempts to freeze gambling in Florida advances in House

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — A bill that attempts to lock Florida's gambling footprint in place for 20 years — and ice out any casino expansion — passed a key House committee along a party line vote Tuesday leaving the Legislature miles apart over how to resolve the lucrative gambling compact with the Seminole …

     Pictured is the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa's new state-of-the-art poker room on Thursday, January 12, 2017. The non-smoking poker room features 46 tables, 40 TV sets, and a drinks and snacks bar.
  2. 'Trial lawyers are on the march' and Florida Chamber's 'Capitol Days' are more like 'Dreary Days'

    Blogs

    One by one, Republican lawmakers delivered dreary news at the Florida Chamber of Commerce's "Capitol Days" Tuesday in Tallahassee. On issue after issue, pro-business bills are stalled, from curbing growing abuses in property insurance claims to changing the workers' comp system. Business is battling a lawyer-friendly …

     Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, said it's "just wrong" for Richard Corcoran to force House members to go on record on such a controversial issue when it has no chance of passage because a similar bill isn't teed up in the Senate.
  3. Rick Scott's spokeswoman calls Richard Corcoran 'hypocritical'

    Blogs

    Gov. Rick Scott's chief spokeswoman, Jackie Schutz, called out House Speaker Richard Corcoran Tuesday for being "very hypocritical" in his efforts to abolish Enterprise Florida as the state's taxpayer-funded program to attract jobs to the state.

    Jackie Schutz (left) is Gov. Rick Scott's chief spokeswoman
  4. Republican Lawmaker calls for Orlando state attorney to be suspended over death penalty comments

    Blogs

    A Central Florida lawmaker is now urging Gov. Rick Scott to suspend the Orlando state attorney who last week said she would not seek the death penalty in any cases, including that of a man accused of the execution-style shooting of a police officer.

    State Rep. Bob Cortes, R-Altamonte Springs, center, has called for State Attorney Aramis Ayala to be suspended after she publicly said she would not seek the death penalty while in office as the top prosecutor for Orange and Osceola counties.
  5. Rules conflict snags opening of Constitution review commission

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — The state panel assigned to review the state Constitution got off to a rocky start Monday as the 37-member commission met for an organizational session in the Florida Senate chambers but delayed adopting rules after several members privately raised questions about whether the proposals diluted the …

    Gov. Rick Scott selected Republican businessman Carlos Beruff, a former U.S. Senate, to chair the Constitution Revision Commission. [Lara Cerri | Tampa Bay Times]
  1. Joe Negron's Lake Okeechobee bill could decide Enterprise Florida's fate

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — The success or failure of Florida Senate President Joe Negron’s signature issue — building a reservoir on sugar-owned land south of Lake Okeechobee — may boil down to what happens to Gov. Rick Scott’s signature issue, saving Enterprise Florida.

    Water full of algae laps along the Sewell's Point shore on the St. Lucie River under an Ocean Boulevard bridge last year during the toxic algae blooms that affected Lake Okeechobee.
  2. Small world: Enterprise Florida and Richard Corcoran's law firm

    Blogs

    A priority for House Speaker Richard Corcoran in this year's legislative session is abolishing Enterprise Florida, the "unreformable" taxpayer-supported program that uses state money to attract private employers that Corcoran considers a complete failure.

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes
  3. Will legislators lift the veil on 'dark money' in Florida politics?

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The ritual is so routine it hardly draws attention.

    Rep. Joe Gruters, R- Sarasota, is proposing legislation that would ban the practice of committees tranferring funds to other committees, making it difficult to determine which contributions go to which lawmakers. Along with Sen. Debbie Mayfield, R-Melbourne, the legislation intends to improve campaign finance transparency. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Richard Corcoran leaves the Capitol behind as he campaigns around the state

    State Roundup

    PENSACOLA — As most Florida lawmakers headed home over the weekend, House Speaker Richard Corcoran hit the road and continued to build a statewide profile.

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes takes a puff off his cigar during a fundraiser barbecue for the Pinellas County Republican Party at Tampa Bay Sporting Clays in early February. He's been spending much of his time as speaker out on the road, conducting what seems like a populist campaign for higher office. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times]
  5. Fact-checking Tallahassee: See what lobbyists, lawmakers got wrong, and right, during a week of session

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — PolitiFact Florida reporters attended committee hearings, peered in on floor debates and hoofed it to rallies and news conferences during a week of fact-checking lawmakers and lobbyists at the state Capitol.

    
Florida Capitol looking east, Tallahassee.
  1. Why do Florida House Republicans keep driving money into the World Golf Hall of Fame?

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Republicans in the Florida House proudly declared they were rooting out wasteful "corporate welfare" in state government to protect taxpayers.

    For every $1 the state invests in the World Golf Hall of Fame it gets nothing in return, then loses an additional 8 cents.
  2. House Republicans move plan that would deny food stamps to 229,000 Floridians

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — In a partisan clash, a key House committee voted Wednesday to deny food stamps to an estimated 229,000 Floridians, most of them children, and including seniors, veterans and people with disabilities.

    Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, chairs the powerful appropriations committee in the Florida House. [Steve Bousquet | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. More teachers, principals could qualify for 'Best & Brightest' bonuses

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — More top educators in Florida would have a crack at an annual state bonus in the 2017-2018 school year, under initial proposals to expand a controversial, 2-year-old teacher incentive program.

    “We know the No. 1 factor in the student’s life is the quality of the teacher, but the No. 1 factor in getting teachers to those schools is the quality of the leadership.” Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah
  1. Two Republican lawmakers are pivotal in Legislature's gun debate

    News

    TALLAHASSEE — Two Miami-Dade Republican senators are positioned to be the deciding factors this year in the perennial debate the Florida Legislature has over controversial proposals to expand gun-owners' rights in Florida.

    Florida Senators Rene Garcia and Anitere Flores talk on the floor of the Florida Senate on March 8, 2017.
  2. Florida Cabinet could get special exemption to carry concealed guns almost anywhere

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Three of Florida's four highest-ranking elected officials — and potentially the lieutenant governor and the state's 160 lawmakers, too — could be able to carry guns almost anywhere in the state under a special carve-out in Florida law being considered by the Legislature.

    Sen. Greg Steube said he was approached about the exemption.
  3. In Harm's Way: What could Florida lawmakers do to keep kids from being shot?

    Health

    TALLAHASSEE — When the annual 60-day legislative session gets under way next month, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will be looking for ways to keep Florida's kids safe from guns.

    Proper storage of firearms, including the use of a trigger lock, can help prevent gun accidents among children. [Associated Press file photo]

  1. Are Florida voters getting burned by lawmakers on last year's solar amendment?

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — A bill moving through the Florida House to implement the August ballot initiative by giving tax breaks to businesses that install solar energy panels is under fire for doing what the utility industry could not do in the last election cycle — impose impediments to rooftop solar installation.

     A human art installation, designed by artist John Quigley, forms for a "Hands Across the Sand" event on the beach in front of the Bilmar Beach Resort in Treasure Island, Fla., on Saturday, May 21, 2016. The event, organized by the Sierra Club and fellow environmental groups, aimed to promote solar energy in place of fossil fuels such as coal and gas.
  2. Joe Negron's Lake Okeechobee bill could decide Enterprise Florida's fate

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — The success or failure of Florida Senate President Joe Negron’s signature issue — building a reservoir on sugar-owned land south of Lake Okeechobee — may boil down to what happens to Gov. Rick Scott’s signature issue, saving Enterprise Florida.

    Water full of algae laps along the Sewell's Point shore on the St. Lucie River under an Ocean Boulevard bridge last year during the toxic algae blooms that affected Lake Okeechobee.
  3. Will legislators lift the veil on 'dark money' in Florida politics?

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The ritual is so routine it hardly draws attention.

    Rep. Joe Gruters, R- Sarasota, is proposing legislation that would ban the practice of committees tranferring funds to other committees, making it difficult to determine which contributions go to which lawmakers. Along with Sen. Debbie Mayfield, R-Melbourne, the legislation intends to improve campaign finance transparency. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times]
  1. Plan to fortify religious expression in public schools quickly advancing

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Efforts by the Legislature to make explicitly clear the rights students and teachers have to express their religious beliefs in Florida public schools is ready for a floor vote in the Senate, while earning high praise in an initial House hearing.

    Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, is sponsoring a bill that would allow students to express their religious beliefs. It cleared a key Senate committee on Tuesday. [AP Photo | /Steve Cannon]
  2. More teachers, principals could qualify for 'Best & Brightest' bonuses

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — More top educators in Florida would have a crack at an annual state bonus in the 2017-2018 school year, under initial proposals to expand a controversial, 2-year-old teacher incentive program.

    “We know the No. 1 factor in the student’s life is the quality of the teacher, but the No. 1 factor in getting teachers to those schools is the quality of the leadership.” Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah
  3. Senate votes to give college students more money in Bright Futures, financial aid

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A $162 million plan to improve state funding for student financial aid opportunities and make Florida's public colleges and universities more competitive passed the state Senate on Thursday with near-unanimous support — marking early success for one of Senate President Joe Negron's top …

    Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, got one of his priorities, SB 2, which would add $1 billion to higher education, passed the Senate on Thursday.[Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times]