Florida Legislature

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.

INTEL FREE PRESS / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

A proposal that would allow law enforcement officers to pull over motorists for using cell phones while driving will be back before lawmakers in 2019.

Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, has filed a measure (SB 76) called the “Florida Ban on Wireless Communications Devices While Driving Law,” which would prohibit texting, reading data or talking on wireless handheld devices while behind the wheel.

House Speaker: Florida Health Care 'Behind The Curve'

Nov 26, 2018

Have no doubt: new House Speaker Jose Oliva wants to expand access to health care by expanding the scope of practice for Florida nurses.

Florida Senate via Twitter

Florida’s political world is built around two-year cycles.

And the latest acrimonious, head-scratching cycle finally ended Tuesday when the state Elections Canvassing Commission certified the results of the Nov. 6 elections.

The acrimony, of course, did not end with the usual campaign attack ads and nastiness. It lasted nearly two additional weeks as ballots continued to be counted and recounted and legal fights raged.

Creative Commons

After failing to get the idea passed during the 2018 legislative session, Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, will again try to convince lawmakers to approve a sales-tax exemption for diapers and incontinence products.

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

A Senate Democrat this week filed a proposal that could refuel a debate about beach access in Florida. But Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, indicated he does not want to revisit a controversial law that critics say can help private landowners prevent public access to some beach areas.

A group of lawmakers and advocates held a Transgender Day of Remembrance at the Capitol Tuesday to honor those killed by anti-trans violence. Democratic State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith says Florida lawmakers can do more to protect transgender Floridians. First and foremost, Smith says, the Legislature can pass the Florida Competitive Workforce Act.

Election Changes Eyed As 2018 Results Finalized

Nov 20, 2018
Christian Colón / Miami Herald

After months of mudslinging, weeks of court wrangling and days of ballot counting that again landed Florida in an unwelcome national spotlight, a state panel matter-of-factly finalized the 2018 election results in a five-minute meeting Tuesday.

The certification came on time, but problems with other election-related deadlines in two large, heavily Democratic counties --- Palm Beach and Broward --- are prompting county supervisors and legislative leaders to ponder possible solutions to the state’s ballot-box woes.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

The former school cop who hid rather than confronting the gunman during the Feb. 14 shooting at a Parkland high school isn't the only one who's been ducking requests to appear before a state investigative commission.

Elizabeth Koh / Miami Herald

Miami Lakes Republican Jose Oliva called for civility among lawmakers as he vowed to continue his party’s push for limited government after being formally elected Tuesday to serve as House speaker for the next two years.

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