Jim Turner - News Service of Florida

Reporter

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

News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis favors a House plan to crack down on texting while driving, as the Senate on Wednesday delayed for at least a day a separate measure that would only allow motorists to use hands-free wireless devices while on the road.

Visit Florida's Facebook page

Florida’s tourism-marketing agency is closer to having its doors closed this fall as a Senate budget proposal Tuesday matched the House’s stance to eliminate Visit Florida.

News Service of Florida

Motorists could only use hands-free wireless devices while moving on Florida roads, under a Senate proposal that's been approved.

Swinsto101 / Wiki Commons

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday downplayed growing concerns that President Donald Trump is putting Florida’s coastal waters back in play for oil exploration.

Visit Florida's Facebook page

The tourism industry pushed Wednesday to keep the doors open at the state’s tourism-marketing agency as House and Senate budget committees advanced competing spending plans for next year.

News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign vow to require Florida businesses to use federal “E-Verify” checks on the immigration status of new hires remains a tougher lift than his call for a sanctuary-city ban, which is speeding through the Legislature.

North Florida Land Trust

Lawmakers are pushing forward with plans to continue carving up millions of dollars voters more than four years ago directed to be spent on land and water protection, despite environmentalists’ concerns about the way the money is being used to help the Indian River Lagoon and Apalachicola Bay.

AiClassEland at English Wikibooks / Wikimedia Commons

Florida’s latest attempt to draw more film production to the Sunshine State started rolling Tuesday in the Senate.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Florida lawmakers are taking another run at eliminating an unused pool of sales-tax dollars intended for building and improving professional sports facilities.

News Service of Florida

Florida took a step Tuesday in imposing economic sanctions on the popular home-sharing platform Airbnb because of a company decision against listing properties in the West Bank, an area that is a major flashpoint in Israeli-Palestinian relations.

News Service of Florida

State ethics officials have found probable cause that former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who narrowly lost the governor’s race last year and continues to draw national political attention, violated Florida ethics laws by accepting gifts from lobbyists.

red traffic light
Bernal Saborio via Flickr

A seemingly annual effort to turn off red-light traffic cameras – as Jacksonville has done - is again on the move in the Florida House.

ABUKAR ADAN / WJCT News

When Gov. Ron DeSantis makes his first international trip to Israel, he plans to tout Florida but also will have a chance to get a new supply of water --- and probably will do a better labeling job.

News Service of Florida

Nikki Fried was sworn in last week as state agriculture commissioner, becoming the first woman elected to run the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. She also is the only Democrat holding statewide office and the first Democrat on the state Cabinet in eight years.

Piergiuliano Chesi / Wikimedia Commons

A mechanical problem Friday with a seized drug plane being used to shuttle Gov. Ron DeSantis throughout the state has revived talk of new or improved air transportation for the governor and, maybe, members of the Florida Cabinet.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration / Via Wikimedia Commons

Hurricane Michael, which pummeled 10 Panhandle counties and spurred evacuation orders for 375,000 Floridians in October, left nearly seven times the debris of Hurricane Irma, which barreled across 45 counties in 2017.

police lights flashing on car
Scott Davidson via Flickr

A change in culture, with law enforcement handed more on-campus authority, is needed to improve school safety, members of a transition advisory panel for Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis said.

Laurie Avocado / Wikimedia Commons

Defending a 2017 law that set regulations for the state’s medical-marijuana industry, Florida Department of Health attorneys have asked an appeals court to overturn a circuit judge’s ruling that they say “injected confusion and uncertainty” into the licensing of marijuana firms.

Migrant workers at Kirby Farms in Mechanicsville, VA.
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Florida businesses would have to use a federal database to verify the immigration status of new employees, under proposals filed in the House and Senate for the 2019 legislative session.

ALBERT KOK / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Those fishing from Florida’s coastlines may soon be barred from the popular practice of using chum to attract sharks near beaches.

Brightline got the green light Wednesday from the state to negotiate for land to add high-speed passenger rail service from Orlando to Tampa --- a link envisioned to eventually connect with Brightline’s existing service in South Florida.

FLGOV.COM AND SENATE.GOV

Floridians will have to wait a little longer to get official word about who will be the state’s next agriculture commissioner and who will serve in the U.S. Senate.

Via News Service of Florida

While recounts are wrapping up in small and mid-sized counties, Clay County’s recount is just getting underway.

The commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said he is “deeply troubled” that Attorney General Pam Bondi thought he would not pursue investigations into potential criminal activity related to last week’s elections.

FROM THE CALDWELL AND FRIED CAMPAIGNS

Despite a declaration of victory Tuesday night by Republican Matt Caldwell, the race for Florida agriculture commissioner likely will require a recount, joining expected recounts in the U.S. Senate race and a handful of state legislative contests.

Associated Press

Throughout the summer, politicians heard from Floridians angered by the latest bouts of toxic blue-green algae in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers, along with a festering red-tide outbreak on the Gulf Coast.

From the Caldwell and Fried campaigns

Democrat Nikki Fried, a medical-marijuana lobbyist, had to defend her desire to move the state’s oversight of medical marijuana into the agency she wants to run.

FLGOV.COM AND SENATE.GOV

Wednesday's cancellation of a scheduled CNN U.S. Senate debate between incumbant Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott has triggered a flurry of accusations between the campaigns.

Three proposals on the November ballot that would make tax-related changes to the state Constitution have drawn conflicting views from the real-estate industry, local governments and other groups about the measures’ potential economic impacts.

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday warned residents of the Panhandle and the Big Bend region to “seriously” plan for the impact of the rapidly developing Hurricane Michael, which is expected to reach Florida by mid-week with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph.

Pages