Florida Legislature

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.

Florida Lawmaker Seeks Warning Stickers For Opioids

Jan 16, 2019
The Javorac / Flickr

Florida lawmakers continue to respond to the state’s opioid epidemic, with Rep. Joe Geller, D-Aventura, filing a bill Tuesday that, among other things, would require pharmacists to place red warning stickers on prescription drug bottles containing opioids or other controlled substances.

Times-Union: Rep. Daniels Willing To Say She Filed False Financial Disclosures

Jan 10, 2019
Florida Times-Union file

Once again, state Rep. Kimberly Daniels is willing to admit she broke the law, according to our Florida Times-Union news partner.

Tax Break On Diapers Gets Quick Fla. Senate Committee Approval

Jan 8, 2019
ParentingPatch / Wikimedia Commons

With little discussion, a Senate committee Monday approved a bill that would provide a sales-tax exemption for diapers and incontinence products. 

Bill Would Allow Concealed-Guns On Florida's College Campuses

Jan 4, 2019
St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office / Wikimedia Commons

In a move that could refuel a long-running debate, a House Republican on Thursday proposed a measure that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns on college and university campuses.

Florida Senate

More than a year after sexual-harassment allegations brought down a powerful lawmaker, the Florida Senate has reached a $900,000 settlement with a legislative aide who said she was harassed and later faced retaliation.

Fight Over Home Insurance Payouts Floods Into Florida Supreme Court

Dec 28, 2018
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Amid continuing political and legal battles about the insurance practice known as “assignment of benefits,” the Florida Supreme Court has agreed to take up a closely watched case stemming from water damage to a St. Lucie County home.

Change Is In The Air At Florida's Capitol

Dec 3, 2018

As one former high-ranking state official confided not long ago, “You don’t want to be the last can on the shelf.”

New Fla. House Speaker Says Health Care 'Behind The Curve'

Nov 26, 2018
Florida House of Representatives

Have no doubt: new House Speaker Jose Oliva wants to expand access to health care by expanding the scope of practice for Florida nurses.

Another Bill To Ban Handheld Cell Phone Use While Driving Proposed

Nov 26, 2018
Intel Free Press / Wikimedia Commons

A proposal that would allow law-enforcement officers to pull over motorists for using cell phones while driving will be back before lawmakers in 2019.


Florida Senate Democrats last week selected Jacksonville’s Audrey Gibson as their leader for the next two legislative sessions. The incoming Democratic leader said she hopes to be a bridge builder.

Florida’s new house speaker and senate president are Republicans, as are the majority of state lawmakers and the governor-elect.

New Minority Leader Gibson said there is room for bipartisanship in the Senate.

New Fla. Senate President Says Lamakers Won't 'Slow Walk' Amendments

Nov 20, 2018
Via News Service of Florida

New Senate President Bill Galvano is promising that lawmakers won’t do anything to block the nearly dozen constitutional amendments that voters passed this month.

Legislature Elects Its Leaders; Jax's Gibson Will Lead Democratic Senate Caucus

Nov 20, 2018
Florida House of Representatives / Via Wikimedia Commons

Following a closely contested election, the Florida Legislature convened Tuesday in an organizational  session to formally elect new leaders and get ready to deal with a new governor.

News Service of Florida

Laws will take effect next week that will add benefits for first responders who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and impose harsher penalties on people who abuse animals, along with 19 other measures signed by Gov. Rick Scott after the 2018 legislative session.

Dick Daniels / Wikimedia Commons

Florida State Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, doesn’t mince words about Florida’s fireworks rules.

“Florida has the goofiest laws in the nation when it comes to regulation of fireworks,” he said.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The Duval County School Board’s legislative committee, made up of four board members, met this week to set the district’s legislative platform.

Florida House of Representatives / Via Wikimedia Commons

Early polling shows many Republican lawmakers don’t support a Democratic proposal to return to Tallahassee this summer for a special session to address public-school funding.

Florida Universities Face Tougher Graduation Standard

Mar 30, 2018
Stadium Road at UF
wabisabi2015 via Flickr

Florida’s public universities now have to meet a four-year graduation standard, with hundreds of millions of dollars in performance funding at stake if they don’t.

State Colleges Take Stock After 'Challenging' Session

Mar 30, 2018
Mathew105601 / Wikimedia Commons

While state universities and public schools have seen significant funding increases in the last two years, Florida’s state college system has had less success in securing money in the annual budget process.

Gov. Scott Gets Final Batch Of Bills To Consider From Session

Mar 28, 2018
Brittany Clark / Flgov.com

Proposals to regulate airboat operators and to make it easier to order alcohol online were among a final batch of bills from the 2018 legislative session that have landed on Gov. Rick Scott’s desk.

Via News Service of Florida

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed 30 bills into law, including a measure that could make more permanent a controversial pregnancy “support services” program and a bill that calls for placing a statue of civil-rights leader and educator Mary McLeod Bethune in the U.S. Capitol.

Gov. Scott Faces Decisions on 14 Bills This Week

Mar 19, 2018
Gov. Rick Scott
Brittany Clark / Flgov.com

Gov. Rick Scott will act on at least 14 bills this week, including a proposal (HB 67) to create a slavery memorial at the Capitol and a measure (HB 41) dealing with “pregnancy support” services.

Cathedral Arts Project

Florida arts organizations are saying they feel like losers in this year’s state budget process.

Gov. Scott Signs $89 Billion Budget, Vetoes $64 Million

Mar 16, 2018
Brittany Clark / flgov.com

Moving quickly, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a nearly $89 billion state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 and issued $64 million in vetoes.


The clock is now ticking on Gov. Rick Scott to act on his final state budget.

Sen. Marco Rubio Files Bills For Year-Round Daylight-Saving Time

Mar 14, 2018
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., backed Florida state legislators Wednesday by filing separate bills aimed at keeping Florida --- and the nation --- on daylight-saving time throughout the year.