Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity provides unemployment benefits worth up to $275 a week to more than 200,000 Floridians. But glitches in the new system are preventing thousands of people from signing up for benefits.
Speaker Will Weatherford introduced a new member of the Florida House this week.
“Members, we have an auto-reader. We had it in the closet just in case we ever had to actually read the bills,” Weatherford said amid laughs from the chamber. “It may be a little bit faster than normal.”
Weatherford's communications director announced on Twitter that the auto-reader's name is Mary.
Within an hour of her debut, Mary had her own Twitter handle - @HouseAutoReader. Some of her tweets include “I'm so bored” and “Anybody have a cure for the hiccups?”
TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida House and Senate are taking ethics and elections seriously this year. Bills to widen voting opportunities by restoring pre-2011 early voting days and hours are making their way through both chambers.
But there's a bill in the House that would originally have increased campaign contribution limits from their current $500 to $10,000.
Gov. Rick Scott's hour-long sit-down with the Legislative Black Caucus on Tuesday was frostily correct and almost completely nonproductive for the black lawmakers, according to two accounts of Tuesday's session in Tallahassee.
The Tampa Bay Times and the Palm Beach Post described the governor as almost completely unyielding on voting rules, ex-felon rights and appointments to the judiciary and other state positions.
As to the 2011 voting law that many say turned the 2012 election into a Florida disaster, the governor said he should not be blamed for that.
Democrats in the Florida Legislature made some gains in Tuesday's election. They weren't enough to end Republican majorities in the House or Senate but they did reduce GOP strength by a measureable notch: Republicans no longer have the supermajorities required for total domination of one party by another.
Boca Raton Democratic Sen. Maria Sachs' victory over Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff of Hollywood was the critical win in the upper chamber.