Florida Legislature

News
6:03 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Beer Tastings At The Grocery Store? The Florida Senate Might Make It So

Half-gallon beer growlers are legal in 47 states. Florida isn't one of them. That could change during the legislative session that begins in March.
Credit stuartwainstock/flickr

How about getting a taste of beer as you fill your grocery cart? A bill moving through the Florida Senate would enable stores like Publix and Costco to offer their customers samples of beer.

Senator Nancy Detert, R-Venice, says it’s only fair.

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Politics
6:24 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Florida Senate President Considers Proposal To Legalize Marijuana Strain

A strain of marijuana that doesn't get users high has been found to help children who suffer from chronic seizures. The strain, known as Charlotte's Web, is currently available only in Colorado. Lawmakers are considering a proposal to make the strain legal in Florida.
Credit tylerericsson1/flickr

Desperate pleas from parents of sick kids got the attention of legislative leaders in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee last week.  

“We just need solutions quickly. We don’t have time. Time is not on our side,” said Seth Hyman from Weston. “Rebecca unfortunately could have a seizure today back in our hotel and die.”

“All the medications he’s on – it’s not a guarantee. He’s actually suicidal right now,” said Renee Petro from Uthia, talking about her son Branden. “He wants to kill himself. He’s 12.”

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Politics
8:08 am
Wed January 15, 2014

More Tanning Salons Than McDonald's: Why The Tanning Bed Bill Is Back

Credit Newtown graffiti / Flickr CC

  

The World Health Organization lists tanning beds among the most dangerous forms of cancer-causing radiation.

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Session 2014
7:00 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Keys Lawmaker Takes On Lobster Mobsters

The penalties may get tougher for illegally catching large numbers of spiny tailed lobsters.
Credit Richard Elzey/Flickr

It’s illegal to take lobsters out of season or out of traps that don’t belong to you. But Keys State Representative Holly Raschein (R-Monroe County) says the issue is that the penalty for stealing three lobsters is the same as stealing 300.

RELATED: Inside The Life Of A Florida Keys Lobster Catcher 

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Education
1:03 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Another School Choice In Florida: Single-Sex Classrooms

These boys are part of the All Male E.A.G.L.E. Academy at Bond Elementary School in Tallahassee. The acronym stands for Extraordinary Ambitious Gentlemen Leading in Excellence.
Gina Jordan/StateImpact Florida

A handful of public schools in Florida have either all-girls or all-boys classrooms. More could be coming.

Rep. Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah, is behind a bill that would have one school in districts throughout the state offer only single-sex classes. The proposed legislation would create a pilot project in designated districts for two years.

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The Florida Roundup
11:00 am
Fri January 3, 2014

The Year Ahead For South Florida

What are your predictions for Florida in 2014?
Credit april-mo / Creative Commons/Flickr

 

2014 is a big election year for the Sunshine State.  The governor’s race is expected to be a very expensive one. Jobs and the economy will be key issues.  And in the statehouse, medical marijuana, the cost of hurricane insurance, and water quality all are on the legislative agenda.

In our first show of the year, we'll look at what issues and news will be important in 2014.

 

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Year In Review
7:43 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Florida Is Weird. But Here's What Was Weirdest This Year.

Credit Sammy Mack, John Spade, Roberto Koltun, Andrew Derksen / WLRN, Flickr, El Nuevo Herald, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Cooperative Pest Survey Program

Florida can be a pretty weird place, and it's something of a holiday tradition for news organizations throughout the state to put together lists of the weirdest stories of the year. (Read our "Why South Florida Can't Have Nice Things" roundup from last year.)

We decided to go straight to the people on the front lines: WLRN-Miami Herald News anchors, producers, editors and reporters. Here are what they thought were the most bizarre Florida stories of 2013. 

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Year In Review
7:12 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

LISTEN: Florida Lawmakers Reflect On Partisan 2013

Credit eGuide Travel / Flickr CC

This wasn’t a pretty year in Washington and Florida lawmakers are as upset about it as voters. Matt Laslo has this look back at the highs and lows from our congressional delegation. 

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Politics
2:41 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Ethics Commission Refuses To Close Complaints Against Miami Lawmaker

Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, addresses the House of Representatives on May 2, 2013.
Credit Myfloridahouse.gov/MarkFoley

Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, hasn’t put his issues with the Florida Commission on Ethics behind him.

Fresen is refusing to pay a $1,500 fine related to his work as a legislative aide in 2003. He was fined because he didn’t file a required financial form.

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News
12:59 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Florida Drivers Can Soon Use Smartphones To Show Proof Of Insurance

Proof of auto insurance will soon be as close as your smart phone.
Credit samsungtomorrow/flickr

Florida drivers are required to carry proof of insurance.

Those who are pulled over in Miami-Dade County and can’t show proof of coverage will get a $129 ticket. (It drops to $10 if proof is provided with 30 days that the driver had insurance at the time of the citation.)

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Medical Marijuana
10:20 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

What Do South Florida Doctors Think About Legalizing Pot?

Credit Vlado / Flickr CC

The state Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday for and against legalizing medical marijuana. Their decision will determine whether a proposed state constitutional amendment will get on the ballot next November.

If the amendment is approved, it would allow doctors to prescribe pot under Florida law. It would also allow registered, regulated marijuana businesses to cultivate, transport, and sell the drug.

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The Internet
7:56 am
Wed December 4, 2013

In Florida, 'Revenge Porn' Is A Moving Target

Credit fridgeirsson / Flickr CC

Lovers in happy times often take intimate photos and videos of each other. But after an angry break-up, those images can become weapons.

It happened to Holly Jacobs, a Ph.D.-level researcher who lives in Florida. A month after her break-up, someone -- and she suspects her ex-boyfriend -- posted nude pictures and sex videos of her all over the Internet, sometimes on specialty "revenge porn" web sites.

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Elevation Zero
6:06 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Tallahassee Silent On Sea-Level Rise

The Army Corps of Engineers has several scenarios for sea level rise in South Florida. Predictions range from 3 to 7 inches by 2030 and 9 to 24 inches by 2060.
Credit Ahurey eM/flickr

If the state uses projections from the Army Corps of Engineers, policy leaders should be planning for a possible two-foot sea-level rise by 2060.

But so far, it’s largely been up to local governments to figure out how to handle higher water.

“Sea-level rise is something that will impact millions of people throughout the state,” said Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach. “It’s preposterous to think we wouldn’t think about that, but in reality, we’re not doing a damn thing.”

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News
5:34 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Florida House Dems Back Senate Tweaks of Stand Your Ground

The Stand Your Ground law is being revisited due to last year's death of Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin, shot by Sanford, Fla., George Zimmerman.

Florida House Democrats met with reporters Wednesday to say they don't want to turn Thursday’s Stand Your Ground hearing into a publicity stunt.

The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee will take up a bill by Democratic state Representative Alan Williams. The measure would repeal the 2005 Florida law that says people don't have to retreat in a situation where they fear for their lives.

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Politics
4:06 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Government Watchdog Finds $1 Billion In Savings For Florida Taxpayers

Florida Taxwatch has come up with suggested cost savings for the state for the last five years. Lawmakers and the governor have acted on $4.2 billion in recommended savings so far.
Credit Jordan Michael/WLRN

Florida TaxWatch, a nonprofit government watchdog group, is out with its annual list of ways the state can cut costs and be more efficient -- without cutting services.

The report, called Modern Management & Sensible Savings, found $1.2 billion that could potentially be returned to state coffers. Lawmakers could act on the recommendations when they convene for the annual legislative session next spring.

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