ByJim Turner & christine sexton - News Service of Florida•Mar 15, 2020
Legislative leaders completed a roughly $92 billion budget on Saturday afternoon, settling numerous education and health care issues as they fine-tuned the state spending plan in anticipation of an economic hit from the novel coronavirus.
José Javier Rodríguez, a state senator from Miami, has finally achieved the slogan he’s borne on his rubber boots for three years — ActOnClimateFL.
For the first time in a decade, Florida’s Republican-controlled Legislature has passed a bill that explicitly acknowledges climate change’s threats to the state and aims to limit at least some impacts.
ByJim Turner / News Service of Florida•Mar 10, 2020
TALLAHASSEE — Florida lawmakers are sending to Gov. Ron DeSantis a measure intended to block Key West and any other local governments from imposing bans on certain types of sunscreen.
The House voted 68-47 on Tuesday to pass the measure (SB 172), which would prohibit local governments from regulating drugs and cosmetics sold over the counter.
The bill, fast-tracked through the Senate in January, was crafted in response to plans by Key West to start enforcing next January a ban on the sale of sunscreens that contain the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate.
The Florida Legislature has two more weeks to move on the creation of a statewide resiliency task force. The group of appointees would provide the state’s official estimates of sea level rise, if it gets the chance.
“Governor DeSantis took an unprecedented step here in Florida to appoint Florida’s first chief resiliency officer, Dr. Julia Nesheiwat,” said Republican Senator Tom Lee, who chairs the Infrastructure and Security committee.
New proposals have emerged in the Florida House and Senate that would make it harder to place proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot.
The House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee this week are slated to take up newly filed measures that would increase petition-signature requirements for political committees backing ballot initiatives.
The proposals come as the Republican-controlled House and Senate also are moving forward with other bills that would place additional restrictions on the petition-signature process.
TALLAHASSEE — A long-running dispute over vacation rentals is heating up, as a Senate panel Tuesday approved a proposal that would give the state — not local officials — control over regulation of short-term rentals.
Ignoring the pleas of dozens of local officials from throughout the state, the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee approved the measure (SB 1128) in a 3-2 party-line vote.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, would “preempt” regulation of vacation rentals, including licensing and inspection, to the state.
On a recent afternoon, many stools stood empty beside a conveyor belt where workers examined a stream of green tomatoes and tossed aside those with holes and cracks at a South Florida packing house.
Paul J. DiMare, one of the country's leading producers of fresh tomatoes, recalls the days when hundreds of foreign workers lined up to labor in the fields or box the produce at his facility in Florida City. The machines roared for more than 12 hours a day as truckloads of tomatoes rolled in to be washed, inspected and packaged. Now, they run for only four.
ByAna Ceballos / News Service of Florida•Feb 6, 2020
TALLAHASSEE — Two proposals moving forward in the Florida Legislature would make the process of selecting presidents at public colleges and universities more secretive.
The House State Affairs Committee on Thursday approved a leadership-backed bill (PCB SAC 20-04) that would create a public-records and public-meetings exemption for information related to presidential searches.
State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando is working to change Florida’s private school voucher program ‘Step Up for Students’ because he says it violates state law. Smith says Floridians have a constitutional right not to face discrimination regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identification.