Florida Legislature http://blog.wlrn.org en Applications For New School Choice Program Higher Than Expected http://blog.wlrn.org/post/applications-new-school-choice-program-higher-expected <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If you want one of the roughly 1,800 new scholarships for students with disabilities that allows parents to mix and match services for their children, you better get an application in soon.</span></p><p>More than 1,200 families applied for a Personal Learning Scholarship Account, or PLSA, in the first week of applications. The scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and are intended for students autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other significant learning challenges.</p> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:55:58 +0000 John O'Connor 36159 at http://blog.wlrn.org Applications For New School Choice Program Higher Than Expected Miami-Dade Has Most To Lose In State Budget http://blog.wlrn.org/post/miami-dade-has-most-lose-state-budget <p>Miami-Dade County is eligible for more money than any other county in the state budget -- $1.8 billion. <span style="line-height: 1.5;">That makes the county more susceptible to budget vetoes before the budget goes into effect in July.</span></p> Thu, 29 May 2014 18:51:36 +0000 Gina Jordan 33072 at http://blog.wlrn.org Miami-Dade Has Most To Lose In State Budget Florida Arts Programs Get Highest Funding Ever From Lawmakers http://blog.wlrn.org/post/florida-arts-programs-get-highest-funding-ever-lawmakers <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Actors' Playhouse executive director Barbara Stein says most of the Coral Gables theater's paid performers are from South Florida.</span></p><p>“We hire some people out of New York, too, but our goal is to hire as many capable and qualified for each production Florida based actors that we can,” Stein says.</p> Tue, 27 May 2014 22:18:24 +0000 Gina Jordan 32829 at http://blog.wlrn.org Florida Arts Programs Get Highest Funding Ever From Lawmakers How South Florida Voters Are Changing Political Culture http://blog.wlrn.org/post/how-south-florida-voters-are-changing-political-culture <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Political Almanac of Florida 2014 gives us a detailed look at the state’s House districts -- all 120 of them.</span></p> Wed, 14 May 2014 18:54:19 +0000 Gina Jordan 32327 at http://blog.wlrn.org How South Florida Voters Are Changing Political Culture In Washington, Millennial Lawmakers Are Reaching Across The Aisle http://blog.wlrn.org/post/washington-millennial-lawmakers-are-reaching-across-aisle Nine of the 147 members of the state legislature in Washington are under 34 years old &#8212; putting them in the &#8220;millennial&#8221; generation.<p>These millennials are bucking some of the recent polling about their generation &#8212; that they don&#8217;t like traditional politics, or identify as either Republican or Democrat (<a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/03/07/millennials-in-adulthood/" target="_blank">according to the Pew Research Center</a>), or that they don&#8217;t trust the government (<a href="http://www.iop.harvard.edu/Spring-2014-HarvardIOP-Survey" target="_blan Fri, 09 May 2014 12:43:47 +0000 editor 32059 at http://blog.wlrn.org In Washington, Millennial Lawmakers Are Reaching Across The Aisle Judge Says Florida Teacher Evaluations Are Unfair, But Constitutional http://blog.wlrn.org/post/judge-says-florida-teacher-evaluations-are-unfair-constitutional <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Florida teachers and education groups sued over a change in state law that enables districts to tie evaluations to student performance.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A federal judge says the state’s way of evaluating teachers is constitutional.</span></p> Wed, 07 May 2014 19:24:10 +0000 Gina Jordan 31958 at http://blog.wlrn.org Judge Says Florida Teacher Evaluations Are Unfair, But Constitutional Watchdog Report Publisher, Dan Ricker; A Call To Serve: Florida Jews And The U.S. Military http://blog.wlrn.org/post/watchdog-report-publisher-dan-ricker-call-serve-florida-jews-and-us-military <div style="font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: medium; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;"></div><div style="font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: medium; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;"><font face="Calibri,sans-serif" size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;"><font face="Times New Roman,serif" size="4"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">05/05/14 - Monday’s&nbsp;</span></font><a href="https://twitter.com/topicalcurrents"><font face="Times New Roman,serif" size="4"><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><b>Topical Currents&nbsp;</b></span></font></ Mon, 05 May 2014 17:00:00 +0000 Bonnie Berman, Joseph Cooper & Paul Leary 31829 at http://blog.wlrn.org Watchdog Report Publisher, Dan Ricker; A Call To Serve: Florida Jews And The U.S. Military Why Florida Lawmakers Can Negotiate The State Budget In Private http://blog.wlrn.org/post/why-florida-lawmakers-can-negotiate-state-budget-private <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Florida Legislature will pass a flurry of bills this week. But the only thing they’re constitutionally required to do is pass a state budget.</span></p><p>Lawmakers settled on a budget worth slightly more than <a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/29/4088269/budget-clock-starts-ticking-for.html" target="_blank">$77 billion – the largest in state history</a>. They’ll vote on the spending plan Friday night to close out the legislative session.</p> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 17:56:20 +0000 Gina Jordan 31599 at http://blog.wlrn.org Why Florida Lawmakers Can Negotiate The State Budget In Private LISTEN: Rep. Gaetz On Marijuana, His Mugshot, And Political Culture In Tallahassee http://blog.wlrn.org/post/listen-rep-gaetz-marijuana-his-mugshot-and-political-culture-tallahassee <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Ft. Walton Beach Republican </span><a href="http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/sections/representatives/details.aspx?MemberId=4478" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">Representative Matt Gaetz</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is helping carry on the family name in politics.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">One week shy of 32 years old, he’s one of the state’s youngest lawmakers. He’s now running for the state Senate. His dad is Senate President Don </span>Gaetz<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, also a Panhandle Republican.</span></p> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 17:48:05 +0000 Gina Jordan 31596 at http://blog.wlrn.org LISTEN: Rep. Gaetz On Marijuana, His Mugshot, And Political Culture In Tallahassee Confederate Flags On Display At Florida's Capitol http://blog.wlrn.org/post/confederate-flags-display-floridas-capitol <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Last week, Florida's Capitol hosted confederate flags in its rotunda.&nbsp;</span></p><p>The Sons of Confederate Veterans group got clearance to display the flags in commemoration of their ancestors, who died during the Civil War. April 26 was <a href="http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&amp;Search_String=&amp;URL=0600-0699/0683/Sections/0683.01.html" target="_blank">Confederate Memorial Day, an official state holiday since 1895.</a></p> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 03:59:23 +0000 Jessica Meszaros 31546 at http://blog.wlrn.org Confederate Flags On Display At Florida's Capitol A Day In The Life Of A Tallahassee Lobbyist http://blog.wlrn.org/post/day-life-tallahassee-lobbyist <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Tallahassee is full of lobbyists, and they’re in high gear at the Capitol for the final week of the legislative session.</span></p><p>A lobbyist is someone who is hired by a company or organization to convince lawmakers to pass legislation benefiting their clients.</p> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 20:19:44 +0000 Gina Jordan 31491 at http://blog.wlrn.org A Day In The Life Of A Tallahassee Lobbyist Florida Lawmakers Ready To Strike Popular Energy Rebate Program From The Books http://blog.wlrn.org/post/florida-lawmakers-ready-strike-popular-energy-rebate-program-books <p><a href="http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=52816" target="_blank">An energy bill that is nearing passage</a> in the Florida Legislature would strike an old solar rebate program from the books.</p><p>The program was more popular than expected, and when it ended in 2010, thousands of rebate holders hadn’t received all of the money they were due.</p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 04:01:46 +0000 Gina Jordan 31148 at http://blog.wlrn.org Florida Lawmakers Ready To Strike Popular Energy Rebate Program From The Books Lawmakers Ban Biometric Data Collection In Florida Schools http://blog.wlrn.org/post/lawmakers-ban-biometric-data-collection-florida-schools <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Schools won’t be able to collect the fingerprints or other biometric information of students under </span><a href="https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2014/0188" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">a bill approved by the Florida Legislature</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p>The new requirement is part of a broad package designed to protect kids’ privacy.</p><p>When lawmakers in Tallahassee talk about biometrics, they’re talking about hands and eyes being scanned or fingerprints being collected.</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 23:13:46 +0000 Gina Jordan 30886 at http://blog.wlrn.org Lawmakers Ban Biometric Data Collection In Florida Schools Gambling-Industry Speculates Gov. Scott's Seminole Deal http://blog.wlrn.org/post/gambling-industry-speculates-gov-scotts-seminole-deal <div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;"><p></p><p>In addition to legislation that won't go through, big players like Disney and the Seminole tribe are making sure the odds are against expanding Florida casino gambling.</p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 20:02:37 +0000 Lisann Ramos 30655 at http://blog.wlrn.org Gambling-Industry Speculates Gov. Scott's Seminole Deal Plastic Bags Survive Another Year In Florida http://blog.wlrn.org/post/plastic-bags-survive-another-year-florida <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"Paper or plastic?" is a question you’ll hear at grocery stores for at least another year because a South Florida lawmaker was unsuccessful in his attempt to help cities cut down on plastic bags.</span></p><p>A bill would prevent places like Publix and Walmart from using plastic carryout bags if local governments wanted to ban them. It would also require stores to provide customers with reusable bags.</p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 16:10:13 +0000 Gina Jordan 30622 at http://blog.wlrn.org Plastic Bags Survive Another Year In Florida