State

House, Senate sign off on record state spending plans

 

February 13, 2020

JIM TURNER, NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

TALLAHASSEE --- Democrats expressed hope that Republican leaders will increase money for land preservation, boost art funding and avoid the House’s planned sweep of affordable-housing trust funds before joining their Republican counterparts Thursday as both chambers unanimously passed their versions of the state budget.

Rep. Blaise Ingoglia and Sen. Manny Diaz, Jr. File Bills for Analyzing Sea Level Rise

TALLAHASSEE, FL- According to a statement released on Jan. 21, 2020, Representative Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) and Senator Manny Diaz, Jr. (R-Hialeah) have filed HB 1157 and SB 1284, the Florida Land Subsidence Research Initiative, in an effort to collect and analyze data using geodetic techniques with the objective of understanding the relationship of Florida’s landmass and sea-level rise measurements.

FDLE to continue Epstein probe

August 12, 2019

by Jim Turner

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

TALLAHASSEE --- Sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s jailhouse death won’t alter Florida’s investigation into how the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and others handled his sentencing and incarceration more than a decade ago.

“Our case is active. Nothing changes for us,” Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said in an email Sunday.

Epstein was found dead of an apparent suicide Saturday in his cell in a federal jail in New York.

DeSantis Says Migrant Influx Something ‘We Don’t Want’

TALLAHASSEE --- A day after local officials said the federal government plans to send about 1,000 migrants a month to two South Florida counties, Gov. Ron DeSantis bemoaned the move, arguing that under his leadership the state has been “very cooperative” with federal immigration authorities.

“We have been very cooperative, and then to have this put into certain communities, I think it’s just something that we don’t want,” DeSantis said Friday during a news conference in Sarasota.

TEN BIG ISSUES IN THE 2018 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

By Jim Saunders NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

TALLAHASSEE --- The Florida House and Senate ended the 2018 legislative session last Sunday by passing a budget and a tax-cut package for the upcoming year. The session became dominated in February by the aftermath of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County. That led to a massive debate about how to improve school safety and whether to revamp the state’s gun laws.

Here is a recap of 10 big issues from the 2018 session:

SESSION END LEAVES PILE OF DEAD BILLS

By Jim Turner NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

TALLAHASSEE --- Banning “sanctuary” cities, revamping gambling laws, approving new sexual-harassment rules and even creating a license plate to commemorate the University of Central Florida’s undefeated football season were among numerous issues that died when the 2018 legislative session ended Sunday.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, was quick to praise the new budget for including $100.8 million to revive the Florida Forever land-preservation program after a decade of neglect.

Florida House debates amendments to school safety bill

BRENDAN FARRINGTON, TERRY SPENCER and GARY FINEOUT, Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A proposal to arm some teachers and school employees proved particularly contentious Tuesday as Florida representatives debated amendments to a school safety bill.

House members spent nearly three hours asking questions about the legislation, which would put some restrictions on rifle sales, provide new mental health programs from schools and improve communication between school districts, law enforcement and state agencies.