Jim Saunders - News Service of Florida

Jim Saunders is the Executive Editor of The News Service Of Florida.

A marijuana plant
Mohammad Faisal Pirzada / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at allowing people to use recreational marijuana, saying it would be misleading to voters.

In this Dec. 17, 2019 file photo, Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., speaks during a House Rules Committee hearing on the impeachment against President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

Democrat Alcee Hastings, who represented parts of South Florida in the U.S. House for nearly three decades, died Tuesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 84.

FPL

With natural gas costing more than expected, Florida Power & Light customers will see increases in their monthly bills starting in May.

FPL's  Coral Farms Solar Energy Center in Putnam County is pictured.
FPL

Florida Power & Light on Friday filed a four-year rate plan that would lead to most customers seeing gradual increases in their monthly bills, with the utility saying the proposal would allow it to “continue focusing on ways to deliver low-cost electricity.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis fist bumps with legislators Tuesday, March 2, 2021, as he enters the House of Representatives prior to his State of the State address at the Capitol in Tallahassee.
Phil Sears / Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis formally launched the 2021 legislative session Tuesday with a State of the State address that touted the state’s actions during the COVID-19 pandemic and touched on hot-button issues that lawmakers will face over the next 60 days.

Reversing course from a decision last year, a fiercely divided appeals court Wednesday said charter schools are entitled to a cut of tax dollars that Palm Beach County voters approved in 2018 for more-traditional public schools.

Corrine Brown walks into the United States Courthouse in Downtown Jacksonville in this 2020 file photo.
News4Jax

A federal appeals court appeared divided Tuesday as it heard arguments about whether to overturn the conviction of former Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown, who contends that a juror was improperly removed from her 2017 trial because he said the “Holy Spirit” told him Brown was not guilty of fraud and tax charges.

WUSF

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday plunged back into a years-long water battle between Florida and Georgia, at times sounding skeptical of arguments that more water should be directed to Florida in a river system shared by the states.

NTSB/Florida Highway Patrol / Via Associated Press file photo

Florida senators continued moving forward Monday with a proposal to do away with the state’s longstanding no-fault auto insurance system, with trial attorneys and insurers closely watching the debate.

HEATHER SCHATZ/WJCT NEWS

COVID-19 ended a decade of record-setting tourism numbers in Florida, with the industry seeing a 34% drop in visitors in 2020 compared to the prior year.

Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Chairman Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero
News Service of Florida

After years of discussions about the tricky issue of overhauling Florida’s retirement system for government employees, a Senate committee Thursday approved a proposal that would shut future workers out of a traditional pension plan.

Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office exterior
Ray Hollister / WJCT News

Ending a legal battle that started before the 2018 elections, a federal judge on Monday approved a settlement in which 31 counties agreed to take steps to provide Spanish-language ballots and other materials to voters.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
News4Jax

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday proposed a record $96.6 billion state budget for the upcoming fiscal year, offering a more upbeat picture of Florida’s finances than lawmakers who will have to stitch together a spending plan as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hamper the economy.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press

As part of a flurry of last-minute pardons and commutations, President Donald Trump granted pardons to five former executives of WellCare Health Plans who were convicted in a case involving allegations of defrauding Florida’s Medicaid program.

Florida House of Representatives

Florida House attorneys next week will try to convince an appeals court that a former legislator should be shielded from a lawsuit filed by a one-time aide who alleges she was fired after reporting improper conduct.

WJCT News file photo

Federal prosecutors have asked an appeals court to uphold the conviction of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown on fraud and tax charges, pushing back against arguments that a juror was improperly replaced after he said the “Holy Spirit” told him Brown was not guilty.

video screenshot
Rebekah Jones via Twitter

A fired Florida Department of Health data analyst who contends Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has manipulated COVID-19 statistics filed a lawsuit Sunday alleging state law-enforcement agents violated her rights when they searched her home and hauled away computer equipment.

mail-in ballot evelope
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

It will be a lot harder to put proposed constitutional amendments on the 2022 ballot in Florida.

Wetland Preserve
North Florida Land Trust


The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday it is handing over at least some of its oversight of Florida’s wetlands to the state.

News Service of Florida

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. leaders Wednesday supported looking for ways to increase homeowners’ rates, as they try to stem a flood of new policies at the state-backed insurer.

Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

An appeals court has tossed out a challenge by the Leon County Republican Party chairman to a county requirement that people wear face masks to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Donald Smith
Will Dickey / The Florida Times-Union

More than seven years after an 8-year-old girl was abducted from a Jacksonville Walmart, raped and murdered, the Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments this week about whether a man sentenced to death in the slaying should receive a new trial.

A FPL electric vehicle charging station is pictured.
FPL

State regulators Tuesday approved a Florida Power & Light pilot program aimed at adding electric-vehicle charging stations, while also signing off on an FPL plan that will offer help with electric bills to some small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ELAINE THOMPSON / ASSOCIATED PRESS

On April 1, just weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic, 7,773 people in Florida had tested positive for the insidious disease. By July 1, that total was up to 158,997. On Oct. 1, it had leaped to 709,144.

Corrine Brown walks into the United States Courthouse in Downtown Jacksonville on Oct. 6, 2020.
News4Jax

Saying judges should use “utmost caution” when disqualifying jurors based on religious beliefs, attorneys for former Jacksonville area Congresswoman Corrine Brown urged a federal appeals court Monday to order a new trial in her challenge to a conviction on fraud and tax charges.

LONESTARMIKE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

A federal appeals court next week will wade into a battle about whether Jacksonville-based Florida Blue, the state’s largest health insurer, violated antitrust laws by preventing agents from selling policies for a rival insurance company.

Orlando Bacallao waves a banner with the face of President Donald Trump outside of an early voting location at the John F. Kennedy Library, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Hialeah, Fla.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

A top Florida campaign strategist for President Donald Trump credited outreach to a broad swath of voters and sophisticated use of data as playing key roles in Trump’s win Tuesday over Democrat Joe Biden in the state.

Julio Cortez / Associated Press

As he defeated Democrat Joe Biden in Florida, President Donald Trump on Tuesday used a familiar Republican playbook for statewide races: dominate in rural and mid-sized counties and try to hold down losses in urban areas.

ST. LOUIS CIRCUIT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

In a legal fight that started after the 2018 mass shooting at a Parkland high school, attorneys for the state and the National Rifle Association this month detailed dueling arguments about the constitutionality of a Florida law that prevents people under age 21 from buying guns.

News Service of Florida

Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum said in a television interview aired Monday that he is bisexual, as he continues to re-enter the public spotlight after a March incident in which he was found intoxicated in a Miami Beach hotel room.

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