Florida's sales tax is a huge competitive downside for local retailers who sell the same products as their Internet competitors.
Because online sellers rarely collect the sales tax, it leaves the brick-and-mortar shops at a roughly 7-percent price disadvantage. And that's why business and retail lobbies have been demanding sales tax collection for online sales for years.
The issue arose during the WLRN-Miami Herald Session 2013 Town Hall last month, where we heard from Fort Lauderdale bookseller Donna Mergenhagen.
Lonnie Robinson fell on hard times in the early 80s with drugs and alcohol. Addiction kept him out of college for decades, and he found himself living under a bridge. During the day, Robinson found solace at a Miami Dade College library in Liberty City, where a reading program changed the future course of his life. He graduated from the college in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.
"No other college would accept me," said Robinson, who’s 59. Today, Robinson visits the same library daily, where he hopes to mentor and inspire younger students.
Citizens do not have the right to speak before a public board or commission takes official action, according to Florida’s Constitution. Though Florida citizens have a right to access public records and meetings, they do not have a right to be heard before governmental bodies take official action any given proposal. This means that city council members, county commissioners and other officials could vote on issues without letting citizens have their say.
When they voted on Medicaid expansion in Florida this month, Florida legislative leaders mostly organized along party lines. Now, the Republicans are getting heat from their Democratic counterparts in the House.
It would be nice to know more about state politics. But who can keep track of all those committees and subcommittees, you say. And all the House and Senate bills with long names and random numbers – and who is my legislator anyway?
Jennifer Carroll's days as lieutenant governor and presumed running mate for Gov. Rick Scott's reelection campaign may already have been numbered when she resigned this week because of her connection to an Internet gambling scandal.
Meanwhile, the investigation of a purported charity called Allied Veterans of the World promises to overshadow the political shakeup in Tallahassee and lead to a big change in Florida's gambling landscape.
Florida is one of only 11 states that doesn't prohibit texting and driving. But drivers whose texting leads to an accident and death would be guilty of homicide under a bill filed this week in the Senate and expected to soon show up in the House.
After several failed bills and a decade’s worth of debate, texting and driving remains legal in Florida – and the most recently proposed bill wouldn’t change that. But drivers could be charged with vehicular homicide in the case of an accident.
Burdened with the expense of medical care for more than a million uninsured Floridians, the Florida Hospital Association isn't ready to accept that Medicaid won't be expanded in Florida under Obamacare.
Scarcely a day after a Florida Senate Select Committee voted down the Medicaid plan, the association had mobilized healthcare providers and patients under the banner "The Florida Remedy" to make their case public.
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.
A senator who last month opposed a bill that would create domestic partnerships for unmarried couples will support a new, narrower version when it comes up Tuesday in the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee.