Jack Latvala

Environment
10:35 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Everglades Restoration: Water And Money Flow Into The River Of Grass

Everglades restoration received a sizable cash infusion this week.
Credit Balthazira / Flickr Creative Commons

May was an eventful -- and most would likely say hopeful -- month for the beleaguered Everglades. Gov. Rick Scott signed into law new legislation that will provide hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade to fund Everglades restoration and cleanup.

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Ethics And Politics
6:05 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Ethics Reform In Florida Called 'A Mixed Bag'

The Senate convenes on the opening day of the legislative session to pass an ethics reform bill. Some say the bill actually weakens ethics rules.
Credit LaCrai Mitchell/WLRN-Miami Herald News

At the WLRN Miami Herald Town Hall meeting last month, Barbara Ricano from Sunrise wanted to know:

“After so many ethics violations and repeated ethical issues involving campaigns and elected officials, why are the consequences so minor? Why is there no real teeth to any of the penalties?”

Members of the ethics commission have complained that while they have the ability to fine office holders who commit violations, they don’t have the authority to collect those fines.

Florida Senate President Don Gaetz wants to change that.

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Florida Legislature
11:00 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Democrats In Tallahassee Less Outnumbered Than They Used To Be

REVIVAL: They still don't have a majority in the capitol but Democrats felt new confidence at their recent Awake the State rally.
Credit Rick Stone / WLRN

The election results and new leadership in the Florida legislature have made life a little easier for the state's elected Democrats.

Not that that there's been a substantial change in how the state's laws are made. The elections may have stripped House and Senate Republicans of their super-majorities, but Democrats remain profoundly outvoted and relatively powerless.

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Science
7:02 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Tragic Sinkhole In Tampa Sheds Light On Florida's Geological Predicament

Sinkholes can cause substantial property damage and threaten water supplies.
Credit Southwest Florida Water Management District

The news last week of a Hillsborough County man who disappeared into a sinkhole that opened up beneath his bedroom has sparked a renewed national interest in the Florida sinkhole phenomenon.

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Politics
1:57 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

WLRN Town Hall Tackles The State's Tough Issues Before The Legislature's 2013 Session

Attendees at Monday night's Town Hall session came prepared with hundreds of questions on everything from healthcare to gun control.
Credit WLRN

Education, voting reform, property insurance, and political transparency were among the topics covered during Monday night's Town Hall event on Session 2013 of the Florida Legislature hosted by WLRN and the Miami Herald.  The second annual forum marks the beginning of WLRN's coverage of Session 2013, which convenes March 5 and continues through May 3.

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Politics
2:00 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Bill Would Give Ethics Commission More Power With Expansive Overhaul

A bill, which would give the Ethics Commission more power to collect fines and strengthen conflict-of-interest laws, unanimously passed a Senate committee Tuesday.
Credit adamr / freedigitalphotos.net

A Senate committee unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that supporters called the most expansive overhaul in decades of the rules elected officials must follow, even as the measure obscured what could be a battle with the House over campaign finance laws.

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Town Hall on Session 2013
6:42 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Happening Tonight: Help Us Make Tallahassee Accountable At Session 2013 Town Hall

Credit Flickr/ StevenM_61

 

Tallahassee may be hundreds of miles away, but WLRN and The Miami Herald will bring it to you. 

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The Florida Vote
10:30 am
Wed December 5, 2012

South Florida Elections Officials Blamed For Election's Long Lines, Delayed Count

KEN DETZNER: Florida's secretary of state says South Florida elections officials
Credit Florida Channel

State elections chief Ken Detzner told the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee on Tuesday that it was five "underperforming" counties that caused the delays in reporting the Florida vote count after the Nov. 6 election.

Chairman Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) said he'll call for the elections supervisors from Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Lee counties to testify before his committee next month. "There's enough blame to go around," Latvala said.

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