State Legislature

Univ. of North Florida

UNF President and former Jacksonville Mayor John Delaney is not ruling out another run for office as he steps down this May from his tenure leading the university.

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Republican primaries will be held tomorrow in Northeast Florida for three spots in the state legislature.

Florida political juggernaut John Thrasher stepped down from his senate seat after 30 years to become the president of Florida State University last year.

House's Weatherford Calls For 'Stand Your Ground' Law Review, But Change Unlikely

Aug 4, 2013

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford says he’s open to a legislative panel reviewing the state’s Stand Your Ground Law. Weatherford’s comments came in an editorial for the Tampa Tribune.

House Speaker Will Weatherford has said he does not support a repeal of the state’s Stand Your Ground Law, but says he will direct a legislative committee to consider whether the law should be tweaked.

It’s been a rocky week for Florida’s education system. The State Board of Education has reinstituted a rule preventing school grades from dropping more than a letter. The move comes amid continuing efforts to transition to tougher learning goals for students, called the Common Core. Meanwhile, legislative leaders are expressing doubts about new Common Core-aligned tests and want Florida to create its own assessments.

Enforcement of the state's environmental laws has plummeted under Gov. Rick Scott and the private company attorney he picked to lead the Department of Environmental Protection, according to a report to be released Thursday by a group that represents government workers who work in environmental regulation.

Both leaders of Florida’s legislative chambers are asking Education Commissioner Tony Bennett to withdraw from a coalition of states developing a new standardized test.

State Reaches Deal With Amazon; Online Retailer To Bring 3,000 Jobs To Florida

Jun 14, 2013
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TALLAHASSSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida has reached a deal to bring major Internet retailer Amazon to the state.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday that Amazon would bring more than 3,000 jobs to the state between now and 2016. The company is poised to spend more than $300 million on new warehouses.

The governor had previously said no to a deal to bring Amazon to the state. He had expressed concerns that signing off on such a deal would result in tax increases for Floridians.

Florida’s private homeowners’ insurance market is “the worse it’s ever been” in the past five years according to Michael Letcher, president of the Home Insurance Buyers Guide.

“To me, the health of the market isn’t how many policies are available in the private market but what kind of choice does a customer have and what kind of ability do we all have to shop our policies,” Letcher said.

Gov. Rick Scott has signed a bill that will allow elections supervisors to expand early voting days and sites.

Scott signed the bill earlier today. It requires elections supervisors to hold eight days of early voting, but gives them the flexibility to hold up to 14 days. That includes the option of the Sunday before Election Day.

Florida was criticized nationally for long lines and counting delays during the 2012 presidential election and many blamed, in part, Scott and the Republican-led Legislature's 2011 decision to cutback early voting from 14 to 8 days.

Gov. Scott Explains Education Vetoes

May 21, 2013
Meredyth Hope Hall /

Gov. Rick Scott spoke to reporters yesterday afternoon about his decision to cut $368 million out of the $74.5 billion budget sent to him by the Florida Legislature.

One of the items he cut would have boosted tuition at state colleges and universities by 3 percent.

“In my case and my wife’s case, we didn’t have parents that could pay for higher education. So the cost of tuition was very significant to us,” Scott said. “I am absolutely committed to keeping tuition low.”

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Governor Rick Scott signed the 2013-2014 state budget into law today after vetoing a 3 percent tuition increase for Florida colleges and universities, as well as over $368 million in lawmaker pet-projects.

Despite pushback from some lawmakers over the tuition issue, Scott said in his veto message that he believes "it is incumbent upon state leaders to ensure the cost of higher education remains accessible to as many Floridians as possible."

Many South Florida voters were still in line to cast ballots during the 2012 election hours after President Barack Obama had been declared the winner.

Twelve years after hanging chads and the infamous election recount, Florida was again a national punchline last November.

Two important health bills are headed to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk: one that provides state money to keep the prescription drug database going, and another that requires insurers to cover oral chemotherapy drugs, not just cancer drugs that are administered by IV. 

A bill that would expand early voting in Florida is now headed to Gov. Rick Scott.

The Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times' Tallahassee Bureau reports the House and Senate approved the bill Friday, the last day of the legislative session. It would allow elections supervisors to hold up to 14 days of early voting instead of the current eight days. It also would expand sites where early voting can be held.

It appears increasingly likely that the legislative session will end on Friday without agreement to accept more than $50 billion in federal funds to cover an estimated 1.1 million uninsured Floridians. 

If Florida doesn't take the money, many of the poorest adults in the state -- those who have incomes under $12,000 a year -- won't be offered coverage on Jan. 1, when the expansion of health coverage under the Affordable Care Act goes into effect.