Florida Legislature

Repeal Sought Of Longstanding Gun Law

Aug 15, 2019

A Democratic senator Wednesday filed a bill that seeks to repeal a decades-old prohibition on cities and counties passing gun restrictions that are stricter than state firearms laws. 

The American Civil Liberties Union in Jacksonville Thursday led a discussion on its priorities heading into the next Florida legislative session, which are:  criminal justice, immigrant rights and voting rights. 

Another Legislator Wants To Move State Capital From Tallahassee

Aug 8, 2019

In an idea that has popped up repeatedly -- and been rejected -- in the past, a South Florida Democrat is asking lawmakers to consider moving the state capital from Tallahassee.

Florida Senate To Look At Mass Violence, White Nationalism

Aug 7, 2019

In the run-up to the 2020 legislative session, the Florida Senate will review acts of mass violence such as the deadly shootings this weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, along with factors such as white nationalism. 

Florida’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research known as EDR is tasked with predicting outcomes of proposed legislation, new laws, or constitutional amendments. But a new law has now changed how much work goes into predicting petition initiatives. EDR’s Coordinator Amy Baker spoke about what the changes mean.

When it comes to Florida’s gun laws, there is a struggle happening between state and local governments.

The "preemption statute" that was originally passed in 1987 forbid local governments from passing gun control legislation. However, there were not harsh penalties for breaking the law.

But in 2011, the statute was changed to include punishments for local leaders who introduce gun legislation in their communities.

Those leaders face a $5,000 fine and potential removal from office.

One Florida lawmaker says the legislature could get a do-over on implementing the state’s 2016 medical marijuana amendment after the First Discrict Court of Appeal handed down an opinion Tuesday calling the current setup unconstitutional.

Florida’s record $90.98 billion spending plan for next fiscal year and more than 100 new laws will hit the books Monday.

Florida lawmakers this month approved a controversial bill that is expected to make it harder to put citizens’ initiatives on the ballot.

Judge Rejects Miami-Dade Expressway Authority Case - For Now

May 20, 2019
Miami Herald

Saying the case was not “ripe,” a Leon County circuit judge has denied a request for an injunction to block a bill that would eliminate the Miami-Dade  County Expressway Authority and replace it with the newly created Greater Miami Expressway Agency. But Judge John Cooper left open the possibility of revisiting the issue if Gov. Ron DeSantis signs the bill (HB 385) into law.

The expressway authority filed the lawsuit early this month, arguing that changes in the bill are unconstitutional because they would violate home-rule powers in Miami-Dade County and would impair contracts.

JACQUELYN MARTIN / AP

Days after Alabama’s governor signed the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, a conservative lawmaker in Florida says he’s encouraged about what that could mean for similar legislation here.

“I certainly expect that this discussion will continue and that I will be a part of it,” State Sen. Dennis Baxley of Ocala said Friday on The Florida Roundup. “As policymakers we now have a lot to look at. And I think that we see a growing number of people moving more to some pro-life views.”

Tom Hudson

During Florida’s 2019 Legislative session, lawmakers had two months to debate hundreds of bills. In the end, the House and Senate worked a half-day of overtime to approve a $91-billion budget -- with record spending on the environment and even more planned for public schools.

But the session closed with hundreds of measures left undebated and a number of high-profile issues that didn’t pass.

Texting While Driving Bill Goes To DeSantis

May 16, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

A bill that would toughen the state’s texting-while-driving law was formally sent Thursday to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has voiced support for the proposal.

The bill (HB 107), a compromise passed by the House and Senate in late April, would make texting while driving a “primary” traffic offense on July 1.

However, the change would be phased in, according to the bill, with warnings issued starting Oct. 1 and tickets beginning Jan. 1.

Sherrilyn Cabrera / WLRN

For the last two years, Key Biscayne resident Debbie Wanninkhof has advocated for stricter texting while driving laws. A new law in the state of Florida will do just that.

The House bill will likely go into effect July 1 and will make texting while driving a primary offense. Under current law it is only a secondary offense, and police officers are not allowed to pull over drivers for texting while driving.

Florida Lawmakers Eye Change In Divvying Up School Money

May 14, 2019

A long-controversial part of the state’s formula for distributing money to public schools could be headed toward a change.

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