Jim Turner - News Service of Florida


Jim Turner is a reporter for The News Service of Florida.

Bobby Caina Calvan / Associated Press

State lawmakers are advising about limited tax dollars amid the COVID-19 pandemic but they have already proposed at least 43 hometown projects worth more than $45 million. 

News Service of Florida

With the coronavirus pandemic significantly reducing state tax revenues, the House appropriations chairman told his committee Wednesday to expect budget cuts.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Questions remain about when extended unemployment benefits from a newly signed federal stimulus package will be available for Floridians out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Downtown Jacksonville

Florida’s unemployment rate held steady in November, as businesses did not boost seasonal hiring as much as usual amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


Effects of the coronavirus pandemic on state tourism decreased in October, but recovery for Florida’s vital revenue-generating industry is still at best a year away, according to an association study released Monday.

News Service of Florida

As the most-active hurricane season on record officially ends on Monday, Nov. 30, Florida overall has been relatively lucky.

Photo of a now hiring sign
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

Florida’s unemployment rate dropped in October, reflecting the state’s continued push to reopen businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Fla. House speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor.
News Service of Florida

Planning work to address flooding from rising sea levels, similar to how the state maps out road and bridge projects for five years, is being considered by the new Republican leaders of the Florida House and Senate.


While continuing to question Republican campaign tactics, state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, a Miami Democrat, conceded his re-election bid to Ileana Garcia on Thursday after a hand recount didn’t alter the outcome of the District 37 contest.

Florida's historic State Capitol is in the foreground with the State Capitol tower in the background.

A single-seat expansion of the Republican majority in the Florida Senate hinges on several hundred uncounted vote-by-mail ballots in Miami-Dade County. 

Vicki Palombo / Special to WJCT News

Floridians might approach the highest voter-turnout rate for a general election in at least half a century, as more than 41 percent of eligible voters have already cast ballots in the Nov. 3 election.

Lynne Sladky / Associated Press file photo

Voting yes on Amendment 2 to boost Florida’s minimum wage will either give 2.5 million workers a pay raise - or - result in 158,000 jobs disappearing over the next few years, according to counter arguments by advocates and critics.


First-time unemployment claims jumped last week in Florida, as a growing number of major entertainment and travel-related businesses cut hours and lay off employees.

Lynne Sladky / Associated Press May 2020 file photo

Drinks can flow at establishments where alcohol licenses were pulled this summer when the state cracked down on violations of coronavirus rules.

News Service of Florida

First-time unemployment claims in Florida dropped nearly 25 percent last week, as bars and craft breweries served drinks again and Gov. Ron DeSantis moved forward with the third phase of his coronavirus economic-recovery efforts.

The Florida Cabinet meets.
News Service of Florida

With Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried calling for a coordinated response by statewide elected officials to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday defended the actions of agencies under his control.

What to do with this statue of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith remains in limbo.
News Service of Florida

Florida will hold off for now on deciding the future home of a statue of a Confederate general that has represented the state at the U.S. Capitol for nearly a century.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Dane Eagle
News Service of Florida

Florida continues to see a steady decline in first-time unemployment claims, even as several large hospitality and entertainment companies have extended and imposed large-scale layoffs because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Beer is pictured being poured into a glass.
News Service of Florida

After many establishments were closed for months amid the coronavirus pandemic, Florida’s top business regulator believes bar and craft-brewery owners will do a better job this time of self-enforcing state safety restrictions.

Black caucus Chairman Bobby Powell, a Democratic senator from West Palm Beach., opposes Amendment 3.
News Service of Florida

Leaders of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus and a non-profit group sounded off Tuesday against a proposal going before voters in November that they say will decimate minority representation in the House and Senate.

Danielle Savin, co-owner of a bar called Bob's Your Uncle, pours a drink, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, at the bar in Miami Beach
Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis said he hopes to give Floridians the “ability to have some enjoyment in their life” by soon lifting on-site drinking restrictions imposed on bars and craft breweries since late June.

News Service of Florida

Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi implored Republican Party volunteers in Tallahassee to stress the positives of mail-in-ballots as a campaign bus tour for President Donald Trump swung through Northwest Florida on Wednesday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday continued to pitch the return of college and high-school sports as a safer environment for student-athletes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday backed the efforts of the state’s elections chief and county elections supervisors after President Donald Trump suggested the possibility of postponing the November general election because of his aversion to “mail-in” ballots.

Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Apalachicola Bay oysters, sweet and salty mollusks best served raw on the half-shell with a little lemon juice, will be off the menu for up to five years in the latest effort to revive the oyster population in the Franklin County bay.


Planning continues for the Republican National Convention next month in Jacksonville, the host committee announced late Monday after Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams, a Republican, warned the city isn’t ready for even a scaled-down event.

Aardwolf Brewing Company / Via Facebook

With no end in sight for bars across Florida that are prohibited from allowing drinking on premises, the state is making an example of at least one Jacksonville brewery, according to its owner.

Alex Brandon / Associated Press

President Donald Trump pointed Tuesday to being “very flexible” when asked if increasing coronavirus cases could affect his desire for a big nominating convention next month in Jacksonville.

Gov. Ron DeSantis saw his net worth increase nearly 3 percent in his first year residing in the governor’s mansion.

DeSantis reported a net worth of $291,449 as of Dec. 31, 2019, up from $283,605 at the end of 2018, according to a new financial disclosure posted on the Florida Commission on Ethics website.

The St. Johns River
The University of North Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law measures that include bigger fines for dumping pollutants into waterways and new rules for septic tanks and agricultural runoff, though environmentalists said the rules don’t go far enough.