Florida Legislature

Lawmakers Renew Push To Curb Human Trafficking

Mar 29, 2019
News Service of Florida

A year ago, state Sen. Lauren Book wanted to allow human-trafficking survivors to sue hotels that turned a blind eye to abuse. But after that idea did not pass, the Plantation Democrat is back with a different proposal: training hotel employees to spot trafficking.

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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.

Formulanone / Wikemedia Commons

A bill exempting recordings of mass shootings from public record cleared the Senate Wednesday. The House version is headed to that chamber’s floor.

News Service of Florida

Karen Leicht spent nearly three years in federal prison and three months on probation after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit insurance fraud in 2010.

EP_JHU / FLICKR

In an effort to curb rising healthcare costs in Florida, lawmakers are pushing to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. 

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.

Lawmaker Seeks Answers On Migrant Children

Mar 22, 2019
News Service of Florida

A Miami lawmaker on Thursday sent a letter to the head of the state’s child-welfare agency demanding to know the steps it is taking to ensure migrant children in a federal shelter in Homestead are housed “safe and free from sexual abuse.”

Florida Lawmakers Look To Make Election Changes

Mar 22, 2019
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Fresh out of high-profile recounts in November and preparing for the 2020 presidential election, Florida lawmakers are working to revamp the state’s elections laws to avoid being the “laughingstock” of the nation.

St. Augustine Lawmaker Wants To Avoid Branding As 'Melanoma Capital Of The World'

Mar 21, 2019
JOHN KASSAP / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Florida Senate leaders are putting up money to keep the state’s tourism arm alive, despite an effort by the state House to scrap the agency.

Jason Fischer / Florida House

With self-driving technology growing increasingly common, two state lawmakers want to revamp the rules of the road to prepare for autonomous cars.

Fla. Senate Looks To Protect Pets In Disasters

Mar 18, 2019
Wikemedia commons

People who leave pets restrained outside and unattended during natural or manmade disasters would face up to a year in jail or a fine of up to $5,000, under a measure approved Monday by the Senate Agriculture Committee.

News Service of Florida

Hookers who’ve been convicted of prostitution three times, cyberstalkers and inmates who expose themselves to prison workers wouldn’t be eligible to have their voting rights automatically restored, under a House proposal aimed at carrying out a constitutional amendment approved in November.

Florida Lawmakers Look To Toughen Anti-Hazing Laws

Mar 12, 2019
The Florida Senate

More than a year after a Florida State University fraternity pledge died, lawmakers are considering expanding the state’s anti-hazing laws to include the prosecution of people involved in planning acts of hazing.

Florida House of Representatives

A bill that would require public high schools to offer an elective Bible study course cleared the House Pre K-12 Quality Subcommittee this week. Its sponsor, Rep. Kimberly Daniels, D-Jacksonville, is adamant her measure is constitutional.

smoke in the air on black background
Molly Haggerty via Flickr

With plenty of breathing room before a March 15 deadline set by Gov. Ron DeSantis, House and Senate leaders have neared completion of a measure that would do away with a state ban on smoking medical marijuana.

UF Health

A $10 million funding request by UF Health Jacksonville to help renovate its trauma center and emergency room is getting support from state lawmakers.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News


A Senate Bill that would block life-insurance companies from using genetic tests to determine coverage is gaining some traction in the Florida Legislature.

News Service of Florida

Florida lawmakers will gather March 5 in the House chamber to hear Gov. Ron DeSantis give his first State of the State address, the traditional start of the 60-day legislative session.

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.

Headlock0225 / Wikimedia Commons

A Senate Democrat filed a proposal Thursday that would lead to a requirement in the Florida Building Code that baby-changing tables be included in many buildings that are newly constructed or undergo “substantial” renovations.

Nurse Practitioner Debate Re-Emerges In Fla. House

Feb 13, 2019
Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

Twenty-two states, Washington D.C. and two U.S. territories allow advanced registered nurse practitioners to work independently of physicians.

State Senate Panel Approves Arming Teachers

Feb 13, 2019
St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office / Wikimedia Commons

A Florida Senate panel tasked with shaping statewide education policies advanced a sweeping school-security package on Tuesday that would make it easier for school districts to participate in a controversial “guardian” program and would allow classroom teachers to be armed.

Patients could soon be allowed to smoke medical marijuana, but they’d have to purchase pre-rolled joints with filters, under a measure approved by a key House panel Tuesday.

Committees in the House and Senate advanced legislation to nix Florida’s ban on smoking medical marijuana, following an ultimatum issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis shortly after the Republican took office last month.

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.

Fleming Island Senator Backs Getting State Plane For Gov. DeSantis

Feb 6, 2019
PIERGIULIANO CHESI / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Senate Appropriations Chairman Sen. Rob Bradley lent support Wednesday to putting the governor in a new state-operated aircraft, “whether he asks for it or not.”

News Service of Florida

A high-profile effort to repeal the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana morphed Monday into legislation that, according to the proposal’s author, would be worse for patients than doing nothing at all.

Abukar Adan / WJCT News

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday in Jacksonville he wants to get rid of the waitlist that nearly 2,000 students that have applied for a state special needs scholarship are on.

News Service of Florida

In what would be the largest budget in state history, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday released a proposed $91.3 billion spending plan that would increase school funding, pump money into water-quality projects and trim taxes.

Second Bill Filed To End Florida's Medical Marijuana Smoking Ban

Jan 29, 2019
O'Dea / Wikimedia Commons

With Gov. Ron DeSantis backing the issue, Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, filed a bill Monday that would eliminate a ban on smoking medical marijuana.

Florida House of Representatives / Via Wikimedia Commons

After the appointment last week of former Rep. Danny Burgess to head the state Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Gov. Ron DeSantis has scheduled special elections that could keep open three Florida House seats throughout the 2019 legislative session.

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