Florida Legislative Session 2013

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Florida Roundup: Gun Control, Medicaid, Venezuela

Nicolás Maduro, former vice president under Hugo Chavez, wins Venezuela's presidential election with 50.7% of the vote. His challenger Henrique Capriles received 49.1%.
Credit chavezcandanga / Creative Commons/Flickr

Join us for an hour of conversation about the week's news on The Florida Roundup, live at noon on WLRN:

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Top News This Week In South Florida: Dolphins Referendum, Venezuelan Election And Medicaid

Join us for an hour of conversation about the week's news on The Florida Roundup, live at noon on WLRN.  Here's what we're watching:

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Education
11:50 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Lawmaker Warns Parent Trigger Bill Confuses Empowerment With Involvement

Sen. Bill Montford wants to see more parents involved in their children's schools. He says the parent trigger bill isn't needed because they are already empowered.
Credit billmontford.com

Sen. Bill Montford, a Democrat from North Florida, doesn't like the Parent Empowerment in Education bill. It's much better known as the parent trigger bill.

“We know overall that the majority of students that are successful have parents that are involved,” Montford said. “It's critical to have parent support and involvement in the schools.”

Montford is CEO of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents.

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Community Contributor
10:32 am
Thu April 11, 2013

'Medical Marijuana' Contradicts A Physician's Do-No-Harm Mantra, Doctor Says

Pot can't be classified as a drug, says Dr. David A. Gross.
Credit Wikipedia Commons

A patient, we’ll call him John, called my office several years ago, frantic over the behavior of his son Aaron. “My son thinks there are helicopters circling our home, following his movements,” he said.

At my office the next day, dad was frantic. Aaron, who appeared disheveled and preoccupied, presented his experiences in a matter-of-fact style. He was certain some authority had singled him out to be placed under surveillance. He had no insight into the psychotic nature of his thinking.

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Politics
6:00 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Hey, Everybody! Florida Is Looking At A Budget Surplus Next Year

Tax revenues are up, enabling Florida lawmakers to spend $4 billion more than last year.
Credit athrasher/flickr

Florida lawmakers are doing something they haven't done in years: adding money to state programs.

The recession sent the state into multi-billion-dollar budget shortfalls that led to big cuts in education and state government payrolls.

But this year, lawmakers have money to play with. Gov. Rick Scott has proposed a budget of more than $74 billion for the fiscal year that starts in July. That's about a $4-billion increase in spending over the current year.

So where did the extra money come from?

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Community Contributor
2:01 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Unlike Most States, Florida Forbids Nurse Practitioners From Prescribing Some Drugs

Florida law restricts nurse practitioners from prescribing all kinds of medicine.
Credit Wikipedia Commons

Once upon a time, nurses were not allowed to take blood pressure – only the doctor could do that. Times change.

  But they haven’t changed enough. For 19 years, nurse practitioners in Florida have tried to get the right to practice to the full extent of our education and capability, which includes prescribing scheduled substances. So far, our efforts have been fruitless.

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Medical Marijuana
10:00 am
Wed April 3, 2013

What's Snuffing Out Medical Weed In Florida?

SURVIVING ON POT: ALS patient Cathy Jordan has outlived her prognosis by decades, she believes, because of marijuana.
Credit Rick Stone

    

A medical marijuana bill sponsored by two South Florida Democrats has reached the end of the line in Tallahassee.

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Education
9:44 am
Mon April 1, 2013

New State Budget Would Boost Spending on Education, Teacher Pay

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 1:36 pm

The Florida House has released its proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Speaker Will Weatherford says education was prioritized over everything else.

“The big winner is education,” Weatherford said. “We invested over a billion dollars into our K-12 education system from last year.”

He said that amounts to a 6.2 percent increase in overall education funding.

Weatherford said they created “a silo of funds” to be funneled down to the districts, including up to $676 million available for teacher pay.

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Feral Cats in Florida
8:01 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Feral Cats Bill Pits Animal Welfare Advocates Against Conservationalists

Feral cats are a contentious topic in Florida.
Credit Austin Evan / Flickr Creative Commons

Animal welfare advocates are at odds with wildlife conservationalists as the Florida Senate prepares this week to look at a controversial feral cat bill. 

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News
3:46 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Media Frenzy Erupts After FAU Student Told To ‘Stomp On Jesus’

Gov. Rick Scott is calling for a detailed report from Florida Atlantic University after one of its students claims he was disciplined for refusing to step on the name of Jesus.
Credit StateImpact

Sometimes people stand up for their beliefs by refusing to stand on them.

Ryan Rotela, a junior at Florida Atlantic University and devout Mormon, claims he was thrown out of class by his instructor after refusing to step on the name of Jesus as part of a classroom exercise.

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

What You Should Know From This Week's South Florida News: Dueling Governors And Dolphins Stadium

The day before President Obama speaks at PortMiami about the economy, Governor Scott says the federal government hasn't given the state enough money to support the ports.
Credit interbeat / Flickr, Creative Commons

On The Florida Roundup, here are some of the items on our rundown:

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Transportation
5:11 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Why Hasn't Florida Banned Texting And Driving?

39 states ban texting while driving. An additional 5 states make it illegal for novice drivers to text and drive.
Credit Jason Weaver/Flickr

Steve Augello lives in Spring Hill Florida, just outside of Tampa. Like a lot of dads, he always made his 17-year-old daughter, Alessandra, check-in with him when she was out. Augello also had a rule.

“You weren’t allowed to have that cell phone out while you’re driving,” Augello remembers telling Alessandra. “I even tested her a few times I called her when she was driving and it always went right through to the recorder.”

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Transportation
4:00 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Gov. Scott Wants Florida Reimbursed For Port Improvements

PortMiami is undergoing a massive expansion project, which includes deepening the channel for larger cargo ships, building a tunnel for tractor trucks and connecting the port to the Florida East Coast railway tracks.
Credit Ed Webster/Flickr

President Barack Obama will be visiting PortMiami Friday to talk about the economy.  Gov. Rick Scott, meanwhile, is asking the federal government to repay Florida for the money it has spent on port improvements.

Although Scott often criticizes the federal government for spending too much, he says this is different.

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News
6:20 am
Thu March 28, 2013

South Florida Seniors To Lawmakers: Hands Off Our Arcades

Above: 75-year-old Emma Illel plays one of the games at Cleopatra Arcade in Boynton Beach. Below: Outside Cleopatra, a message for Florida lawmakers
Credit Christine DiMattei

Playing cards -- even though you hate it.

Going shopping -- although you already have a closetful of clothes.

Staying home and watching television? Yawn.

Golf?  Not on your life.

Many of the senior citizens who gathered Tuesday in solidarity at Boynton Beach’s Cleopatra Arcade paint a grim picture of a future without their beloved senior arcades.

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Community Contributor
2:00 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

With Majority Of Floridians In Favor, Lawmakers Debate Medicinal Marijuana

Goldstein's daughter would benefit if medicinal marijuana is approved in Florida.
Credit Photo provided

My dedication to legalizing medical marijuana results from personal experience. My daughter has epilepsy, and although she was always compliant with her medication, she continued to have occasional seizures. When she moved to California for her job, and had yet another seizure, she met with a neurologist, who recommended that she join a medical marijuana dispensary. That was in 2000. She has not had another seizure since.

But she cannot come home to visit us in Florida. Because of our marijuana laws, she cannot legally maintain her doctor-recommended medical regimen.

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