Political news

State of Florida

The decisions prompting state Senate leaders to choose a redistricting plan they recommended to a Leon County judge took center stage Monday, the first day of a trial to determine whether that map should go to the Florida Supreme Court.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

On Thursday, around 20 black pastors spoke against an inclusive human rights ordinance at First Timothy Baptist Church on Jacksonville’s Northside.

A bill hasn’t been introduced by City Council, but if one is, it's expected to protect people based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression in the areas on employment, housing and public accommodations.

Jamie Adams / Wikimedia Commons

Far from a sure bet, Gov. Rick Scott's $3.1 billion gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida is getting a tepid response from some legislative leaders, virtually guaranteeing that the proposal could require major changes to win enough support for passage.

The agreement, signed by Scott and tribal Chairman James Billie on Monday, equates to a major expansion of gambling in Florida, bringing to the state craps and roulette for Seminole casinos and opening the door for slots and blackjack in areas where a previous agreement prohibited the games.

Florida House of Representatives

Members of the Duval Legislative Delegation chose Rep. Mia Jones (D-Jacksonville) to be their new chair Monday.

The delegation also voted to use gender-neutral titles like "chair" and "chairperson" instead of “chairman.”

Georgetown University

Former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown is heading back to school in the spring.

Brown has accepted an appointment at Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown University in the school’s Institute of Politics and Public Service. 


Voters next November will almost certainly have the chance to again decide whether Florida should legalize medical marijuana, after narrowly rejecting an almost-identical proposal a year ago.

A Quinnipiac University poll last month found that nearly 90 percent of Florida voters support allowing adults to use medical marijuana. Numerous other surveys in Florida and across the country consistently show that a majority of voters endorse medical marijuana for sick and dying patients.

And voters aren't the only ones who've warmed up to the once-sticky issue.


The city has filed a lawsuit asking a judge to terminate a special pension created by the Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund for its former executive director, John Keane.

LAWSUIT: City of Jacksonville vs. Police and Fire Pension Fund

Scott To Release Budget Plan Monday In Jacksonville

Nov 22, 2015
Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Gov. Rick Scott will hold a news conference Monday in Jacksonville to release his 2016-17 budget proposal, an initial step as lawmakers prepare to negotiate a spending plan early next year.

Scott, who will hold the news conference at 10 a.m. at Harbinger Sign in Jacksonville, has already made clear that he will push for large tax cuts next year and that he wants to create a $250 million fund for economic incentives.

A coalition of voting-rights groups has unveiled six possible maps for the Florida Senate's 40 districts, setting up a court battle that could boost Democrats' hopes of retaking a toehold in state government now dominated by Republicans.

The maps, released Wednesday shortly before midnight, will be considered by Leon County Circuit Judge George Reynolds. He will decide among the plans submitted by the League of Women Voters of Florida and Common Cause Florida, the plaintiffs in a long-running legal fight, and a proposal floated earlier Wednesday by Senate leaders.

Ray Hollister / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council will begin considering a bill next Tuesday that could limit when and where food trucks can operate.

Councilman Reggie Brown is introducing the bill, which if passed, would amend the city ordinance so that food trucks would not be allowed to operate within 50 feet of a brick-and-mortar business unless the brick-and-mortar business gives the mobile business written consent.

A Leon County judge on Friday quickly rejected a Florida Senate request to bring in an outside expert to redraw the Senate's 40 districts.

Leon County Circuit Judge George Reynolds III, who turned down the Senate proposal during a 30-minute hearing conducted over the phone, said there wasn't enough time remaining to bring in a "special master" to help draw new district lines.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Florida Governor Rick Scott passed through Jacksonville Wednesday touting his plan to cut state taxes by $1 billion dollars.

Scott says there’s more than enough in public coffers to offset the cuts, despite state economists’ projecting just over half that amount as the expected surplus.

Scott is hoping to get the public to apply pressure to lawmakers.

A $90 million stadium improvement plan will be introduced to the Jacksonville City Council, Tuesday.

Under the agreement, taxpayers would cover half of the cost and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan, the rest.

Plans include building a new amphitheater what would hold between 4,000 and 5,000 guests.

Jacksonville City Councilman Tommy Hazouri says it could be a great public-private partnership.

Lindsey Kilbride


When it comes to registering voters, Northeast Florida has a few things figured out.

Four of the state’s top five counties with the highest voter-registration rates are in the same area.


After a second consecutive redistricting session fell apart Thursday and the Legislature went home yet again without passing a map, lawmakers' message was more or less: We told you so.