Jim Saunders - News Service of Florida

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

Pointing to his “discretionary” powers in dealing with emergencies, Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking a circuit judge to toss out a lawsuit aimed at forcing statewide beach closures because of the novel coronavirus.

The Florida Legislature
The News Service of Florida


As Florida’s 2020 legislative session comes to a close, lawmakers can celebrate the bills they passed. But hundreds of other proposals died along the way, including a bill that would have established a state-wide office of resiliency.

House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes
News Service of Florida

As the stock marketed plummeted Monday morning, House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, indicated that fears about the novel coronavirus could affect the ongoing negotiations about a new state budget.

Pointing to issues such as expanding renewable energy, state regulators Tuesday approved a $1.8 billion plan by Florida Power & Light to add 20 solar-power plants by the middle of next year.

A view of the FPL Solar Center in West Kendall, which is west of Miami near the Everglades.
ANDREW QUINTANA / WLRN

State regulators are poised to decide whether to approve a controversial $1.8 billion proposal that would lead to Florida Power & Light adding 20 solar-power plants over two years.

With supporters pointing to attacks on churches and synagogues, a House panel Tuesday approved a measure that would allow people to carry concealed weapons at religious institutions that share properties with schools.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried
News Service of Florida

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried argued Tuesday that an effort to move the Office of Energy from her department to the governor’s administration is more political than policy-driven, as a House panel overwhelmingly approved the proposal.

Pictured: Gov. Ron DeSantis, center, is applauded during his state of the state address to a joint session on Tuesday Jan. 14, 2020, in Tallahassee.
Steve Cannon / Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis formally started the 2020 legislative session Tuesday by urging lawmakers to boost pay for many public-school teachers, continue addressing Everglades restoration and water quality and curb business regulations.

Pointing to a “narrow timeframe” for meeting petition-signature requirements, backers of a proposed constitutional amendment to allow recreational marijuana use in Florida said Monday the measure will not go on the November ballot.

From left to right: Former Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Brown, former congresswoman Corrine Brown and the Rev. Jesse Jackson are pictured during Corrine Brown's 2017 trial.
WJCT News file photo

A sharply divided federal appeals court Thursday upheld the conviction of former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown in a charity scam, rejecting her arguments that a juror had been improperly dismissed because he said the "Holy Spirit" told him Brown was not guilty.

Florida's Capitol buildings
The News Service of Florida

The 2020 legislative session will start Jan. 14 as House and Senate members gather to hear Gov. Ron DeSantis’ State of the State address.

A federal appeals court Friday cleared the way for a lawsuit that alleges the Florida House and Senate have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing closed captioning on online videos of legislative meetings.

State and federal courts are expected in 2020 to grapple with high-profile Florida issues, ranging from felons’ voting rights to medical marijuana.

Here are snapshots of five key legal issues to watch in the new year:

The St. Johns River.
The University of North Florida

Five years after Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment aimed at land and water conservation, environmentalists on Monday urged the state Supreme Court to wade into a battle about how money can be spent.

News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday proposed a $91.4 billion state budget for next year, touting plans to funnel more money to public-school teachers and continue “momentum” on environmental issues.

MAURICIO PASTOR / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

A federal appeals court has overturned the dismissal of a lawsuit about whether the Florida High School Athletic Association improperly prevented Christian schools, including Jacksonville's University Christian School, from offering a prayer over the stadium loudspeaker before a 2015 state championship football game.

A federal appeals court Wednesday overturned the dismissal of a lawsuit about whether the Florida High School Athletic Association improperly prevented Christian schools from offering a prayer over the stadium loudspeaker before a 2015 state championship football game.

Despite objections from attorneys for utility customers, the Florida Public Service Commission on Tuesday continued moving ahead with plans for carrying out a new law that supporters say will help make the state’s electric system better able to withstand hurricanes.

Labpluto123 / Wikimedia Commons

The state Department of Education and the Florida Education Association asked a federal judge Thursday to preliminarily approve a $15.5 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit alleging that the “Best and Brightest” teacher-bonus program discriminated against black and Hispanic teachers.

News Service of Florida

Moments after he was formally elected Tuesday to serve as Florida’s next House speaker, Palm Harbor Republican Chris Sprowls waded into issues such as bolstering the state’s finances and addressing climate change.

The St. Johns River.
The University of North Florida

In a blow to environmental groups, an appeals court Monday overturned a circuit judge’s ruling that said state lawmakers improperly diverted money that flowed from a 2014 constitutional amendment designed to boost land and water conservation.

Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons

The Florida League of Cities and three communities this week filed a renewed constitutional challenge to a state law that is expected to help telecommunications companies install wireless technology on city-owned utility poles and in public rights of way.

 Gary Ray Bowles
Florida Department of Corrections / Via Wikimedia Commons

The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected appeals by Death Row inmate Gary Ray Bowles, who is scheduled to be executed next week for the 1994 murder of a Jacksonville man who was hit in the head with a concrete block and strangled.

Picture of students in a classroom
Michael Anderson / Wikimedia Commons

A Leon County circuit judge has rejected arguments by teacher unions that a controversial 2018 education law violates collective-bargaining rights and improperly singles out teachers among public employees.

Floridians continue hanging up on traditional phone service.

With cell phones in hand --- or in their back pockets --- and access to broadband technology, hundreds of thousands of Florida residents and businesses stopped using landline phones in 2018, a new state report on the telecommunications industry shows.

Michael McConville / Wikimedia Commons

A Leon County circuit judge has struck down a state law that threatened tough penalties if city and county officials approve gun regulations.

By Jim Saunders / News Service of Florida

 

TALLAHASSEE --- Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Transportation are urging a circuit judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a new law that overhauls the operation of expressways in Miami-Dade County.

DeSantis Signs Health, Hemp And Hazing Bills

Jun 26, 2019
News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed 15 bills, including health-care priorities of House Speaker Jose Oliva, a plan to kick-start a hemp industry in Florida and an effort to prevent college hazing deaths.

FPL

The state Supreme Court has rejected a business group’s challenge to a decision that allowed Florida Power & Light to recoup money from customers for a series of solar-energy projects.

News Service of Florida

n a move that left little doubt about the new direction of the Florida Supreme Court, justices on Thursday reversed a controversial 2017 decision about the testimony of expert witnesses in lawsuits.

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