Brandon Larrabee - News Service of Florida

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Brandon Larrabee is a reporter for The News Service of Florida.

police lights flashing on car
Scott Davidson via Flickr

As he eyes a run for the U.S. Senate, Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday unveiled the first piece of his pending election-year budget proposal: a $30 million pay raise for state law-enforcement officers.

The Office of Governor Rick Scott

Calling Gov. Rick Scott's likely bid for the U.S. Senate an "open secret" would be a misnomer — there's no secret there, open or otherwise.

UF campus building
Steven Martin via Flickr

Two University of Florida alumni have filed a class-action lawsuit against the state, saying lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott funneled money that should have gone to higher education into tax cuts and savings.

voting booth
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Despite a bipartisan backlash against a White House commission's request for information about states' voter rolls, Gov. Rick Scott's administration is still not saying whether Florida will provide the potentially sensitive information.

Renner speaking on House floor
Florida House of Representatives

Rep. Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) emerged Friday as the Republican choice for House speaker following the 2022 elections, giving Northeast Florida a much-desired spot for the first time in two decades.

Renner was supported by fellow members of his "class”— lawmakers elected to their first full term this past November — with 16 votes, two more than he needed for the win, according to the Florida Times-Union.

It took an extension to the regular session and a special session on top of that to finally get a state spending plan for the new fiscal year, but the budget that tied up lawmakers for months finally takes effect Saturday.

Wikimedia Commons

TALLAHASSEE — To the extent that any legislative session is remembered, the 2017 edition might be remembered as much for what lawmakers didn't do as for what they did.

Florida Department of Education

TALLAHASSEE — In a sharply worded opinion, an appeals court Tuesday overturned a Leon County judge's 2016 decision that seemed to support the "opt-out" movement that encourages parents to defy standardized testing requirements.

headshot
Center for Immigration Studies

A Florida House panel's decision to hear Thursday from a speaker with a history of inflammatory statements about minorities and immigrants roiled the normally peaceful legislative committee week in Tallahassee and prompted Democrats to walk out of the hearing.

Erik Hersman / Flickr

TALLAHASSEE — Florida residents will have until Tuesday to register to vote, after a federal judge ordered an extension of the registration deadline because of Hurricane Matthew.

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

PANAMA CITY BEACH — With less than a month to go before Florida could decide the fate of his campaign, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump began a swing through the state Tuesday with a nearly apocalyptic warning of the stakes of the November election.

A federal judge ordered a one-day extension in Florida's voter registration deadline and seemed ready to consider a longer delay against the backdrops of the recovery from Hurricane Matthew and one of the most heated presidential races in decades.

Fullwood / News4Jax

Updated 9/30: Little more than a month before he was set to vie for re-election, state Rep. Reggie Fullwood pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts in a federal indictment.

WJCT News

TALLAHASSEE — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, the Republican incumbent, will face Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy in November in a high-profile race that could decide control of the Senate.As votes continued to roll in Tuesday night, Rubio and Murphy were both cruising against their primary opponents.

gavel
Brian Turner / Flickr

TALLAHASSEE — A Miami-Dade County judge ruled Monday that a state law allowing the death penalty to be imposed without a unanimous jury decision is unconstitutional, adding to the challenges facing Florida's capital punishment structure.

headshot
Corrine Brown

TALLAHASSEE — A federal court turned aside Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown's legal fight to keep her current district intact, setting the stage for a campaign that will range from Tallahassee to Jacksonville.

A three-judge panel based in Tallahassee unanimously ruled against Brown on Monday, saying she could not prove that a new east-west configuration of her district would dilute the ability of African-American voters to elect a candidate of their choice in 2016 or beyond. Brown's current district, which was found by the Florida Supreme Court to violate the state Constitution, ambles from Jacksonville in the north to Orlando in the south.

Office of Governor Rick Scott

County supervisors of elections will see their salaries rise, under a bill signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Rick Scott.

gavel
Brian Turner / Flickr

TALLAHASSEE -- A federal judge has struck down county commission districts in a rural North Florida county -- a potentially precedent-setting decision that could play into a challenge of the state's congressional lines.

water and trees at Jax Arboretum
Jacksonville Arboretum via Facebook

Updated Wednesday, March 16, 10:30 a.m.:

Money for the St. Johns River Ferry and developing downtown Jacksonville are among the items Gov. Rick Scott has decided to veto.

Overall, Scott is trimming more than $256 million worth of projects out of the state budget Florida lawmakers passed last week. He made the announcement Tuesday.

Trump, Clinton headshots
Gage Skidmore / State Department

Presidential candidates and their supporters tried to rally voters across Florida on Monday, the last day before primary elections that could decide the future of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and boost the momentum of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

 Florida House and Senate leaders announced a deal on the state budget during a late-night meeting Monday, pumping more than $120 million in last-minute projects into the spending plan and setting the Legislature on course to end its annual session Friday, as scheduled.

Corrections officers
Florida Department of Corrections

A deal on the state's public-safety budget that lawmakers reached late Friday would not give the Department of Corrections the 734 additional positions the agency says are necessary to make Florida's prisons more secure.

The new jobs were part of an effort by the department to have corrections officers work eight-hour shifts instead of 12-hour shifts. The department has been reeling from a series of reports about issues such as contraband smuggling and abuse of inmates.

The legislative battle over charter schools kicked into high gear Wednesday, as measures dealing with educational choice advanced in the House and the League of Women Voters hammered a constitutional amendment that could increase the number of charters in Florida.

Jameis Winston
David July / Flickr

Florida State University announced Monday that it has agreed to pay almost $1 million to settle a lawsuit by a woman who accused the school's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback of sexual assault in a case that sparked a national conversation on athletics and rape.

The Office of Governor Rick Scott

An election-year budget that includes huge tax cuts, record funding for public schools and a new initiative to bring jobs to Florida might be good politics for lawmakers. The question is whether they can afford it.

Florida Senate

A state Senate redistricting plan favored by voting-rights organizations was approved Wednesday by a Leon County judge in a move that could shake the Republican Party's grip on power in the Capitol.

In choosing the new map, Circuit Judge George Reynolds also rejected a plan put forward by Senate Republican leaders as the best configuration of the chamber's 40 seats. The proposal chosen by Reynolds would lead to a roughly even number of districts favoring each party.

Corrine Brown
U.S. House of Representatives

Arguing that an east-west configuration for her district "combines far-flung communities worlds apart culturally and geographically," lawyers for U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL5) asked a federal judge Tuesday to void Florida's latest congressional redistricting plan.

teacher with students
Rhema Thompson / WJCT

The state's largest teachers union filed a complaint Monday over a program that rewards teachers for high scores on college admissions tests, saying the "Best and Brightest" bonuses discriminate on the basis of age and race.

The charges, filed by the Florida Education Association with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Florida Commission on Human Relations, come weeks before lawmakers are set to consider extending the bonus program, which was added to the state budget during a June special session.

Florida Senate

The final state redistricting trial in a nearly four-year legal battle over Florida's political boundaries ended with both sides trading charges of partisan gerrymandering, some of them the same accusations that have been hurled in court since the beginning.

In closing arguments Thursday before Leon County Circuit Judge George Reynolds, lawyers for the state Senate and a coalition of voting-rights groups made final pitches for their versions of a map for the Senate's 40 districts.

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.

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