Florida Legislative Session 2013

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The Florida Roundup
12:08 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Medical Marijuana Question Goes To Florida Voters This November

How might the medical marijuana ballot question affect voter turnout this fall?
Credit “Caveman Chuck” Coker / Creative Commons/Flickr

On The Florida Roundup: The Florida State Supreme Court allows a proposal to legalize medical marijuana to appear on the November ballot. We’ll see how that could affect the governor’s race.

Governor Rick Scott has a $72.4 billion dollar spending plan for the state: the biggest cut was to the state agency that runs the Medicaid program because the state won’t be receiving federal money under the Affordable Care Act. What will that mean for the approximately 3 million Medicaid recipients in Florida?

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The Florida Roundup
7:02 am
Mon January 20, 2014

DCF, Shakespeare And The Lieutenant Governor

“What’s important is to have a great lieutenant governor,” Governor Scott said at a press conference announcing the appointment of Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera as lieutenant governor. But, Scott added, “I love the fact he’s Hispanic.”
Credit WALTER MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

On The Florida Roundup: After a nine-month vacancy, Gov. Rick Scott picks a new lieutenant governor.  Miami-Dade property appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera becomes the first Hispanic to hold the position.   

The governor’s other announcement this week was a $40 million increase for the Department of Children and Families and child abuse investigations, after the deaths of dozens of children who had contact with the agency. But is money the issue? Or the constant turnover in who leads DCF, which still has an interim secretary?

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Department of Children and Families
6:58 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Scott Wants $40 Million Increase For Child Protection

Credit Tobias Aakerbum / Flicker CC

  In the wake of a wave of children's deaths last year, Gov. Rick Scott is calling on the Florida Legislature to include about $40 million in additional money for child protection in the next state budget, the governor announced Tuesday in Miami.

Scott's budget proposal includes nearly $32 million for the state Department of Children and Families for child protective investigations and $8 million for six Florida sheriff's offices that handle such investigations.

Scott called his proposal a "historic" budget increase for DCF, and Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo agreed.

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News
5:44 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Senator Says Florida's Troubled Unemployment System May Violate Federal Law

Florida's new unemployment benefits system, CONNECT, was supposed to provide convenience and better service. Instead, many applicants are going weeks, even months, without unemployment checks.
Credit floridajobs.org

The trouble with Florida’s revamped unemployment website is getting more attention in Washington. U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is again calling for a federal investigation.

More than 200,000 jobless Floridians use the website to file for weekly benefits worth up to $275.

The new website debuted in mid-October after the state spent four years and $63 million upgrading equipment.

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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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News
9:52 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott Orders Execution For Murderer Of Jimmy Ryce

Credit Walter Michot / Miami Herald

Gov. Rick Scott has scheduled a February execution for Juan Carlos Chavez, who committed the notorious 1995 murder of 9-year-old Jimmy Ryce in Miami-Dade County.

Scott notified Florida State Prison Warden John Palmer of Florida State Prison on Thursday that the execution for Chavez, 46, will be held at Feb. 12.

Chavez was convicted in 1998 of kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of Ryce. The brutal crime spurred the Legislature to pass the Jimmy Ryce Involuntary Civil Commitment for Sexually Violent Predators' Treatment and Care Act, known simply as the Jimmy Ryce Act. 

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DCF
2:51 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

It Won't Take Just Money To Reduce Florida's Abused-Child Deaths, Reps Say

Credit FrauSchütze / Flickr CC

In an outdoor press conference on Fort Lauderdale's Sistrunk Boulevard, in front of a large Christmas tree, State Rep. Perry Thurston urged Gov. Rick Scott to provide sufficient funding for the Florida Department of Children and Families.

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Politics
4:43 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Scott Faces Tough Decision On Next DCF Secretary

Credit FrauSchütze / Flickr CC

Gov. Rick Scott faces a difficult decision in naming a permanent secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, given the demands of the job, the lateness in his term and the scrutiny of lawmakers moving to respond to a rash of child deaths.

Scott has some breathing room after announcing last week that Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo will stay on the job through the end of the 2014 legislative session. He tapped the Miami-based attorney to lead the agency in mid-July, for 90 days, after David Wilkins resigned under fire.

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Jobs
11:04 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Crist, Others Fed Up With Florida's Glitchy Unemployment Website

Credit kbzachry / Flickr CC

A U.S. senator, a Boca Raton lawmaker and a former Florida governor are demanding answers about why a new website is still tying up unemployment benefits for thousands of out-of-work Floridians.

The state's $63 million unemployment website, CONNECT, has been plagued with technical glitches since its Oct. 15 launch. Complaints have been flooding into the offices of Gov. Rick Scott and the Department of Economic Opportunity, which oversees the website. But the state agency won't explain what the problems are.

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StateImpact Florida
1:01 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Gov. Rick Scott Really Wants Florida School Districts To Spend Teacher Money

School districts must come up with their own distribution plans for teacher raises.

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 8:53 am

School districts must come up with their own distribution plans for teacher raises.

nuchylee / freedigitalphotos.net

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Unemployment
7:29 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Did Gov. Rick Scott Keep His 700,000-Jobs Promise?

Gov. Rick Scott helped Hertz break ground last month on the rental car company’s new corporate headquarters. Hertz is relocating to Estero, FL from New Jersey, creating an anticipated 700 jobs in the state.
Credit Florida Governor's Office

Florida’s economy is improving, and soon voters will have to decide whether Gov. Rick Scott deserves enough of the credit to be reelected next year.

Scott made jobs his top priority. He said his administration would make efforts leading to 700,000 new jobs over seven years – a number above the economic growth forecast by state economists.

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Medical Marijuana
1:29 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Florida Supreme Court To Hear Pam Bondi's Argument Against Pot Ballot

Credit TheNewsHerald/Flickr

The campaign to bring medical marijuana to Florida will face what may be a massive roadblock on Thursday. Florida’s Supreme Court will hear arguments on the case brought by Attorney General Pam Bondi. She says the proposed language for the ballot gives too many people access to the drug.

While the case is about what the voters would see on the ballot University of Miami law professor Donald Jones says the court will have to consider the entire argument for medical marijuana.

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Florida Governor
7:33 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Poll Shows Crist Gaining On Scott, Marijuana Support

Credit Illustration / Flickr CC

In the zero-sum game of partisan politics, it's not too often that a pollster can say what Peter Brown said Thursday morning while introducing the latest results of the Quinnipiac University poll on the Florida's governor's race.

"To some degree, this poll has good news for both candidates," said Brown, assistant director of the survey.

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Local Elections
11:25 am
Wed November 20, 2013

UPDATED: Miami's Redrawn District 5 Shows Class, Not Race, Is The New Social Divide

The borders for District 5 broke free of the train tracks, but some question whether the district can be a cohesive community.
Credit Creative Commons via Flickr user Candie_N

UPDATE: 10:30 a.m., Nov. 20: Keon Hardemon will be the next District 5 Commissioner for Miami. In the runoff election against Rev. Richard Dunn Tuesday, Hardemon received more than 72 percent of the vote. He will take office on Nov. 27.

In advance of Tuesday’s elections, City of Miami voters are reading up on the candidates, their platforms and track records, figuring out whom to give their vote to. But in the process, some constituents may discover they’ve been brushing up on candidates from the wrong district.

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