Florida lawmakers are doing something they haven't done in years: adding money to state programs.
The recession sent the state into multi-billion-dollar budget shortfalls that led to big cuts in education and state government payrolls.
But this year, lawmakers have money to play with. Gov. Rick Scott has proposed a budget of more than $74 billion for the fiscal year that starts in July. That's about a $4-billion increase in spending over the current year.
This Sunday, Venezuelans return to the polls for yet another presidential election.
This vote is to replace the late Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer last month after winning re-election in October.
Interim president Nicolas Maduro, Chavez's former vice president, has tried to embody his former boss as he runs for the permanent job. The man who was defeated in the fall -- Miranda state Gov. Henrique Capriles -- is waging a more aggressive campaign.
National opinion surveys are showing increasing support for medical uses of marijuana. Patients are puffing away legally in 18 states and the climate for medicinal pot has even become more welcoming in Florida.
Is Florida about to become State No. 19?
The question arose during the WLRN/Miami Herald Town Hall before the legislative session began. The questioner was Juan Palenzuela of Hollywood:
Protesters march last week in Miami, in support of immigration overhaul legislation. The marchers were calling for a new immigration system with a path to citizenship for 11 million people currently in the country illegally.
Marathon talks between the Miami Dolphins and Miami Dade County officials appear to have delivered a tentative deal.
In the agreement, the Dolphins would receive $7.5 million a year in hotel sales taxes to renovate Sun Life Stadium. The deal also stipulates that the Dolphins repay the county between $110 million and $120 million over the next 30 years. The team would face huge penalties if it fails to bring high-profile sporting events to the stadium, including four Super Bowls and four college football championship games.