Joe Negron

Kate Stein / WLRN

A project intended to help address blue-green algae outbreaks took a major step forward Wednesday as the U.S. Senate passed a bill that includes a proposal for an Everglades water storage reservoir.

Senators approved the bill, which includes many other water-related projects nationwide, by a margin of 99-1.

Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald

A plan to build a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee was approved by federal budget officials on Tuesday, as part of an effort to reduce blue-green algae blooms on Florida's coasts.

The roughly $1.6 billion dollar reservoir project will now pass from the White House Office of Management and Budget to the U.S. Senate, where it's expected to be funded as part of a water resources bill.

Florida Senate President Joe Negron To Leave The Legislature

May 2, 2018
Associated Press

Senate President Joe Negron said Wednesday he will retire from the Legislature in November, two years before he ordinarily would have been forced to leave office because of term limits.

Negron’s exit from the Senate will coincide with the end of his two-year stint as president and will lead to a November election in his Treasure Coast district. The Stuart Republican in recent months had indicated he was unsure whether he would remain in the Senate after leaving the presidency.

Allen Eyestone, Palm Beach Post

The South Florida Water Management District announced Thursday that its board has approved handing off a design for a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee to its federal partner.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will now begin reviewing the tentatively selected reservoir plan which, in conjunction with a state restoration strategies plan, provides 350,000 acre-feet of above-ground storage.

Courtesy

Little more than a week ago, some of the biggest problems students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School faced were math tests and the baseball team’s performance.

But seven days after a 19-year-old gunman went on a killing spree at the Parkland school, students turned into activists as they cried, pleaded and argued with lawmakers Wednesday in the state Capitol.

Florida will get a one-time boost in tax money as residents across the state slowly rebuild from the devastation of Hurricane Irma.

Steve Cannon / AP via Miami Herald

The Florida Senate wants to see state universities get another funding boost in the next state budget, while leaders of the state House of Representatives say public higher education has been “overfunded” and is ripe for cuts.

Negron Targets Sexual Harassment As Legislative Session Opens

Jan 9, 2018
Associated Press

Senate President Joe Negron reiterated his chamber will have “zero tolerance” for sexual harassment or misconduct against employees and visitors, as he gave an opening address Tuesday for the 2018 legislative session.

Negron also talked of the need to address impacts from Hurricane Irma and to further build up the state university system.

And Negron said the Senate will work with Gov. Rick Scott on his request for additional pay raises for law-enforcement officers and with House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’ Lakes, on expanding school choice.

Kate Stein / WLRN

In Florida, poop in the water is... a problem we all live with.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

South Florida’s community college presidents are fighting a legislative proposal they argue would especially hurt low-income people and minorities — who make up the majority of their student bodies.

The leaders of Miami Dade College, Broward College and Palm Beach State College — whose schools enroll about half of all community college students in Florida — are teaming up to oppose Senate Bill 540, a chief priority of Republican Senate President Joe Negron.

With two members leaving in disgrace this year, the Florida Senate is facing a barrage of questions about sexual harassment policies in the Capitol. 

Peter Haden / WLRN

With the White House pointing to ties between President Donald Trump and Gov. Rick Scott, repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee might be done more quickly than anticipated.

Trump on Thursday directed Mick Mulvaney, the chief of the White House Office of Management and Budget, to accelerate the work.

“The administration, working closely with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, will now plan to expedite work at the project,” the White House said in a news release late Thursday.

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