Florida Legislature

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.

Florida Likely To Gain 2 Congressional Seats In 2020 Census

Jan 3, 2020
U.S Census envelope

With three months until “Census Day,” Florida is very likely to pick up two new congressional members and has an outside chance of gaining a third.


As the next legislative session looms on the horizon, lawmakers are trying to squeeze in their personal projects into the 2020-2021 fiscal year budget. However, not all proposals will make it.

State Senators Back Contentious Abortion Bill

Dec 11, 2019
News Service of Florida

In a contentious meeting where proponents and opponents talked about God, homosexuality and government intrusion, a Florida Senate panel Tuesday approved a bill that would require minors to obtain permission from their parents before having abortions.

House Speaker Takes Aim At Visit Florida Funding

Dec 6, 2019
Steve Cannon / Associated Press

House Speaker Jose Oliva continues to lead the charge against funding for Visit Florida, saying in a newspaper column this week that tourists would still be drawn to Florida without taxpayer-paid promotional efforts.

UF Health Jacksonville Among 66 Hospitals That Would Benefit From Governor’s Proposal

Dec 5, 2019
News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed creating a program that would increase funding for high-performing hospitals, a move that could mean more money for 66 hospitals across Florida, according to an analysis by a statewide hospital association.

Underground Power Lines Dispute Continues

Dec 3, 2019
News Service of Florida

An administrative law judge will hold a hearing this month in a dispute about how to carry out a new law that is expected to lead to more underground power lines in Florida --- and higher costs for utility customers.

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.

DeSantis Wants To Delay Health Insurance Changes

Nov 22, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to put on hold for another year an overhaul of the health insurance program that provides benefits to more than 366,000 state employees and family members across Florida.

DeSantis Budget Would Trim 'Earmarks'

Nov 19, 2019
News Service of Florida

State lawmakers got another message to expect a lean year for bringing home budget bacon.

Parental Consent Abortion Measure Slows Down In Florida Senate

Nov 13, 2019
News Service of Florida

Time ran short Tuesday, delaying a vote in a Senate health-care panel on a controversial bill that would require minors to get parental consent before having abortions.

School Board building exterior
Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

A proposal to let Duval County voters choose whether the school superintendent should be elected has moved a step closer to being considered by state lawmakers. Under the current system the superintendent is selected by the school board.


An effort to allow Floridians to add some personal sparkle to the Fourth of July and two other holidays makes its first appearance before a pair of legislative committees this week.

Jennifer Pahlka / Wikimedia Commons

The messy issue of overhauling Florida’s alimony laws could be making a political comeback, based on a lineup of high-powered lobbyists engaged to wage the 2020 legislative session’s iteration of divorce wars.

News Service of Florida

Suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel faces a legislative showdown Monday in the fight to get his job back, amid procedural wrangling that began before senators even began considering his fate.

State Lawmaker Takes Aim At Health Care Titles

Oct 10, 2019
News Service of Florida

A Republican lawmaker wants to crack down on the titles that health care providers use when they identify themselves to the public.

Ayzmo / Wikimedia Commons

A second House bill, this time from a Republican, has been filed to allow college student athletes in Florida to be able to cash in on their names and images.

Measures to protect police dogs and horses and crack down on hazing and child-like sex dolls are among new laws ready to take effect this week.

Corcoran Pushes Changes In State College System

Sep 19, 2019
News Service of Florida

Florida education czar Richard Corcoran bristles at being called a disrupter.

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.

News Service of Florida

Bamboozled. That’s the sentiment Senate Minority Leader Audrey Gibson expressed after testimony Monday from a panel of experts who appeared before a Senate committee exploring issues related to mass violence and white nationalism. 

Lawmaker Seeks To Raise Age For Vaping, Smoking

Sep 13, 2019
News Service of Florida

A state House member wants to increase the legal age for vaping and smoking tobacco from 18 to 21 in Florida.

Via News Service of Florida

In the wake of two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio last month, contributions flooded into a political committee seeking to ban possession and sale of assault weapons in Florida, according to a new campaign-finance report filed at the state Division of Elections.

By The Numbers: Wealthiest State Lawmakers In Florida

Sep 10, 2019
News Service of Florida

Florida lawmakers will return to the Capitol next week to start holding committee meetings in advance of the 2020 legislative session. Members of the House and Senate are wealthier than ever, at least in terms of their reported net worths.

House Democrats Seek Long-Shot Special Florida Legislative Session On Gun Violence

Aug 21, 2019

Florida House Democrats say they’ve rounded up more than enough support to require votes from both Republican-dominated chambers of the Legislature to determine if there is any appetite for a special session dealing with gun violence.

St. Augustine Senator Takes Aim At State's Ban On Fireworks

Aug 19, 2019
News Service of Florida

Floridians could add more sparkle to the Fourth of July and two other holidays, under the latest attempt to water down the state’s prohibition against fireworks.

Picture of a handgun
Webmaster102 / Wikimedia Commons

A long-debated proposal that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry handguns on Florida college and university campuses was filed Thursday for consideration during the 2020 legislative session.

Hisashi / Wikimedia Commons

Declawing cats, unless medically necessary, would be banned under a bill proposed for the 2020 legislative session by Sen. Lauren Book.

Bill Bortzfield/WJCT News

Civil rights groups are hoping a federal judge will strike down a new Florida law that they say does not properly carry out a constitutional amendment restoring voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences.

From Budget To Vaping, New Laws Take Effect In Florida

Jul 1, 2019
A view of the State Seal in the Florida Capitol.
News Service of Florida

Florida’s record $90.98 billion spending plan for the new fiscal year and more than 100 new laws hit the books Monday.