Florida Legislature

State Senate Panel Approves Arming Teachers

Feb 14, 2019

A Florida Senate panel tasked with shaping statewide education policies advanced a sweeping school-security package on Tuesday that would make it easier for school districts to participate in a controversial “guardian” program and would allow classroom teachers to be armed.

One Florida House Democrat is accusing a colleague of bullying and threatening her at a meeting of party leaders over the weekend.

A controversial abortion measure known as the “fetal heartbeat bill” has been filed in the Florida Senate, mirroring a bill filed last month in the House. 

AP Photo/Steve Cannon

Familiar battlelines are being drawn over the biggest pieces Florida's state budget -- healthcare and education.

 

Republicans plan on going after healthcare regulations they contend drive up the cost of care. Democrats say, after three failed attempts, Medicaid expansion returns as their priority.

 

plastic straws
Fairywren/Flickr Creative Commons

Local governments wouldn’t be able to regulate single-use plastic straws under a measure filed Thursday in the House.

The proposal (HB 603) by Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, says “a municipality, county, or other local governmental entity may not adopt, enforce, or implement any ordinance, rule, or law that would further restrict a food service establishment from distributing single-use plastic straws to customers.”

Two New Bills Could Protect LGBTQ People In The Workplace

Jan 30, 2019

Republican State Senator Joe Gruters introduced the Florida Inclusive Workforce Act that would amend the Florida Civil Rights Act to include workplace protections for LGBTQ people.

JACQUELYN MARTIN / AP

With six weeks until the start of the Legislative session, a Republican state representative from Pensacola introduced a bill last week that would ban abortions if a doctor detects a fetal heartbeat. That usually happens about six weeks into a pregnancy, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant.

Reproductive rights activists have denounced the law, calling it the latest in a series of assaults on a woman’s right to choose. Others point out its unconstitutionality.

A House Republican filed a proposal Thursday that would block physicians from performing abortions if fetal heartbeats have been detected.

Florida's Republican-controlled state Senate agreed to pay $900,000 to settle a complaint filed by a high-ranking legislative aide who accused a former GOP state senator Jack Latvala of Clearwater of sexual misconduct.

Lawmaker Targets Smoking On Beaches

Jan 3, 2019

A Senate Republican on Wednesday filed a proposal that would make it illegal for people to smoke on public beaches.

Robert Hunter / Courtesy of the Florida House of Representatives

A few South Florida Democrats will have new leadership positions in the state Legislature when session starts in March.

Rep. Kionne McGhee, a Democrat from south Miami-Dade County and the incoming minority leader in the Florida House, created four new deputy positions. Three of them represent South Florida.

Each new deputy minority leader will oversee a group of House members; the Democratic caucus of 47 members is divided roughly along geographic lines. There are a total of 120 members in the House.

FILMFLORIDA.ORG

Florida’s share of film and television productions is waning as the state no longer offers tax credits for the industry. A new analysis finds Florida lawmakers may have good reason to reconsider those incentives.

David Santiago / Miami Herald

The state House member who represents the communities devastated by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting is leaving his seat for a position in the incoming governor’s administration — opening a spot in the Legislature that could be filled by one of the parents who lost a child in the tragedy.

Florida House Freshmen Are Already Preparing For 2020 Campaigns

Dec 6, 2018

Four more newcomers to the Florida House have opened campaign accounts as an initial step toward running for re-election in 2020, according to the state Division of Elections website.

Columbia City Blog /Flickr

After an election in which voters approved 11 constitutional amendments, a Republican House member Wednesday filed a proposal aimed at making it harder to pass future ballot measures.

The proposal (HJR 57), filed by Rep. Rick Roth, R-Loxahatchee, would require support from two-thirds of voters for passage of constitutional amendments. That would be up from the current 60 percent threshold.

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