The price of property insurance in Florida keeps going up -- such that some homeowners are getting second mortgages or dropping coverage all together. The state created Citizens Property Insurance to be the insurer of last resort for Florida homeowners. But plans to shrink Citizens by loaning money to private insurance companies and allegations of corporate misconduct have sparked outcries by some state officials and the public alike.
In Tallahassee, a series of proposals to repair the state election system is finding broad support in the Legislature that many say broke the voting process two years ago.
A Senate bill instituting one of the reforms proposed by Secretary of State Ken Detzner has already been filed and there are clear signals from a House elections subcommittee that it will prepare a bill to launch the rest of them.
TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Rick Scott unveiled a record-breaking $74.2 billion budget Thursday, pouring hundreds of millions of additional dollars into public schools, colleges and universities in a proposal that Democrats knocked as a public-relations gimmick.
Redistricting last year may have had a role in making it more difficult for PIN members to name their state legislators. Above, a map showing pre-redistricting Senate district boundaries (in red) and current Senate district boundaries (in black).
The state Legislature, perhaps more than Congress, passes laws that have a direct impact on the day-to-day life of a Floridian: how much you pay in sales tax, how much time you have to vote, how you obtain a gun.
Tallahassee is in our lives every day. It's only 480 miles away. And yet, for many in South Florida, it might as well be on another continent.
Governor Rick Scott was at Miami-Dade College's North campus today to announce that eleven more state colleges have accepted his challenge to create bachelor’s degree programs costing $10,000 or less.
That means all 23 Florida state colleges offering four-year degrees have signed on.
Broward College is developing a bachelor's degree program in teacher education and business. President David Armstrong told the News Service of Florida that the goal is to open doors for more students.
The National Rifle Association has blamed violent video games and films for recent mass shootings. The state of Florida gives economic incentives and tax breaks to both industries as well as gun manufacturers.
A Senate committee unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that supporters called the most expansive overhaul in decades of the rules elected officials must follow, even as the measure obscured what could be a battle with the House over campaign finance laws.
Florida's gambling future won’t be settled in the 2013 session of the Florida Legislature -- and maybe not even in the one after that.
The divide between competing stakeholder visions remains very wide. And, at a hearing before the Florida Senate Gaming Committee on Tuesday, chairman Garrett Richter, R-Naples, said it could be 18 months before the work on developing legislation even begins.
"I want to do something deliberative and thoughtful," Richter told reporters after the meeting.
TALLAHASSEE -- Senators looking into the state's efforts to make budget information available online are expressing skepticism about Transparency 2.0, a site developed under a $5.5 million no-bid contract that is nonetheless endorsed by some ethics advocates.
The hesitance by members of the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee, which surfaced at a Thursday meeting, raises questions about whether the project has any prospects for revival.
Gov. Rick Scott's 2010 campaign dog, Reagan, has been located -- safe, but probably a little bitter -- on a horse ranch somewhere in southwest Florida. Tampa's WTSP Ch. 10 reports he's now known as Pluto.
This should close out a week of speculation about whatever happened to the rescued Labrador that Scott acquired, named through a Facebook contest and campaigned with...
With lawmakers taking a new look at Florida's "stand your ground" law, the mother of the young man whose death brought the law back into focus urged lawmakers Wednesday to repeal it.
"How many lives do we have to lose?" Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, asked outside the legislative chambers. "How many children have to be killed? How many times are we going to bury our loved ones and not do anything about it?"
Gov. Rick Scott's hour-long sit-down with the Legislative Black Caucus on Tuesday was frostily correct and almost completely nonproductive for the black lawmakers, according to two accounts of Tuesday's session in Tallahassee.
The Tampa Bay Times and the Palm Beach Post described the governor as almost completely unyielding on voting rules, ex-felon rights and appointments to the judiciary and other state positions.
As to the 2011 voting law that many say turned the 2012 election into a Florida disaster, the governor said he should not be blamed for that.
Indications are growing that the gun lobby might face unusual difficulties in the Florida Legislature this year.
In Tallahassee on Monday, the Republican chairman of the Senate Education Committee announced his opposition to arming Florida school teachers as a defense against school shooters and a Democratic senator filed a bill to repeal one of the National Rifle Association's trophy bills from 2011, the law forbidding doctors to ask patients whether they have guns at home.
Florida Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) is ready to toughen ethics laws, reform campaign finance, streamline the Florida ballot...just about every issue of timely significance, he told the Orlando Sentinel editorial board, except for gun control.
As lawmakers decide how --- or whether --- to move forward with parts of the federal Affordable Care Act, House and Senate select committees plunged Monday into issues such as a potential expansion of the Medicaid program and the law's effects on Florida businesses.
In back-to-back meetings, lawmakers heard testimony from people with far-different perspectives about the controversial health overhaul, which Florida Republican leaders resisted for more than two years.
Affordable Care Act issues are expected to dominate discussions of insurance in the Legislature in the weeks ahead but lawmakers will also take swipes at workers compensation, hurricane preparations and Citizens Property Insurance Corp when they return.
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.
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?
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.