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. 

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.”

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.

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.

Laws will take effect next week that will add benefits for first responders who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and impose harsher penalties on people who abuse animals, along with 19 other measures signed by Gov. Rick Scott after the 2018 legislative session.

David Smiley / Miami Herald

On his campaign to represent a state House district stretching through the heart of Miami’s historically black communities, Cedric McMinn is touting his experience: as a former executive director of the local Democratic Party, as chief of staff to School Board Member Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, and as an outreach director in Florida for the Barack Obama and Charlie Crist campaigns.

The fact that he is openly gay is incidental, if not irrelevant to his platform.

How Is Florida's New 'Red Flag' Gun Law Working?

Aug 10, 2018
ANADOLU AGENCY / GETTY IMAGES

The gun legislation passed after the Parkland mass shooting was historic for many reasons, not the least of which was that it represented the first gun restrictions passed in Florida in more than 20 years. 

Florida Democratic lawmakers have failed to force the Republican-controlled Legislature to repeal the state's contentious "stand your ground law."

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