legislature

DeSantis' Key Proposals Face Early Obstacles In Capitol

Oct 30, 2019

Ambitious proposals by Gov. Ron DeSantis to raise minimum teacher salaries and require employers to verify the lawful immigration status for workers collided Tuesday with early concerns from Florida’s lawmakers.

News Service of Florida

Suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel faced a legislative showdown Monday in the fight to get his job back, amid procedural wrangling that began before senators even began considering his fate.

Latvala: Budget Cuts May Be Necessary To Pay For Teacher Raises

Oct 18, 2019

A House education panel on Thursday began delving into the issue of raising teacher pay, with a key lawmaker saying that while "everything is on the table," the panel still needs to figure out where the money would come from.

Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis is facing a showdown about one of his highest-profile decisions: the ouster of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, whose fate now rests in the hands of the Florida Senate.

The Republican governor’s legal team failed to persuade a Senate special master that Israel’s suspension was warranted, but DeSantis has a cadre of allies who might have the power to do what his lawyers could not.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU

The future of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority remains unclear after a recent ruling by a Leon County Judge that the legislation ordering its dissolution violated the “home rule” in the state’s constitution. Now there's a fight between state lawmakers and the current head of the MDX, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, over whether members of the county should maintain control.  

Sam Turken / WLRN

With Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity expected to announce soon a new minimum wage for 2020, South Florida workers who earn around the state minimum are calling for a gradual wage increase to $15 per hour.

The state’s minimum wage is currently $8.46 per hour. Later in October, the state is expected to announce an annual increase to the wage to keep it adjusted for inflation.

Over the past seven years, the annual increases have varied, but none have been more than 20 cents.

Florida House Asks Judge To Reconsider Ruling About Disolution Of MDX

Sep 19, 2019
C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

The Florida House of Representatives is asking a circuit judge to reconsider a decision rejecting a new state law that would abolish a toll-road authority in Miami-Dade County and replace it with another agency.

In a state with a painful history of gun violence, Florida lawmakers swiftly condemned shootings that claimed 31 lives earlier this summer in Texas and Ohio.

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 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.

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