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Live Annotation of the State of the Union Address

Jan 30, 2018
The White House

President Trump is planning a bipartisan pitch to Congress with his first State of the Union address, but he will have his work cut out for him with a public that is more divided than ever.

Open Florida Primary Proposal Debated

Jan 27, 2018
Flickr

An effort to let voters decide if they want open primary elections advanced Friday, but moving to such a “top-two” system continued to draw questions from members of the state Constitution Revision Commission.

AP

One of the most sensitive topics in Florida politics has to do with oil rigs creeping closer to our shores. Recently, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke took Florida off the table when it comes to offshore oil drilling. That was lauded by Gov. Rick Scott - but it led to charges he flip-flopped.

Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP

Several prominent mayors from around the country boycotted a meeting with President Donald Trump Wednesday because of a Justice Department crackdown on what's commonly referred to as "sanctuary cities." But many went.

One of those was Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. He said the benefits outweighed any controversy.

Duke To Use Tax Savings To Cover Hurricane Tab

Jan 25, 2018
NOAA.gov

Duke Energy Florida customers will be spared paying more than $500 million in costs related to Hurricane Irma because of the utility’s savings under the new federal tax overhaul, Duke said Wednesday.

ProCon.org

Former felons could have their Florida voting rights restored under a proposed constitutional amendment headed to voters in November, a measure that could have a significant impact on a state known for historically close elections.

Two CRC Proposals Tackling Felon Voting Rights Pass

Jan 22, 2018

Florida Felons have been fighting for the right to vote for years now, and while a grassroots petition movement within the state has spurred interest in the issue, two proposals in the Constitutional Revisions Commission look to tackle the controversy from another angle.

Gillum Proposes Corporate Tax Increase

Jan 22, 2018

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum proposed his tax plan Friday as part of his bid for governor.

Florida lawmakers want to tighten the rules for low-income families getting cash assistance. A bill moving in the House would withhold benefits longer for those who don’t meet work requirements. 47,013 Florida families are enrolled in the program, as of October 2017.

Two Democratic Lawmakers are hoping Florida gets involved in a movement that would change the way Floridians vote for the President.

Florida may require its 12 public universities to do a survey on the "intellectual freedom" and "viewpoint diversity" allowed on campuses.

Florida House of Representatives

The Florida governor, lieutenant governor and Cabinet members wouldn't be able to accept political contributions while the Legislature is in session under a bill moving through the House.

A state lawmaker is defending one of her staffers, who is accusing former Senator Jack Latvala of sexual harassment, sexual assault and coercion. Florida Senate employee Laura McLeod is the second woman to come forward publicly with allegations against Latvala.

The Florida House is rolling out dozens of recommendations on the state’s hurricane response efforts. Equipping emergency shelters and preparing healthcare facilities top the list.

Tampa Democrat Enters Attorney General Race

Jan 16, 2018

State Rep. Sean Shaw, a Tampa Democrat and the son of the first black chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court, entered the campaign for attorney general Tuesday and took issue with the performance of outgoing Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Roberto Roldan/WUSF

The mayors of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater laid out their priorities for 2018 at the State of the Bay discussion on Friday.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

The year that was - 2017 - turned out to be quite the year for news. And quite the year for fact-checks about everything from "fake-news" - last year's catchword - and all sorts of dubious claims.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

New regulations on Tampa's massage parlors and bath houses have been approved by the city council.

As the 2018 legislative session gets under way Republicans are forging ahead with a plan to make it harder for future lawmakers to raise taxes.  The initiative has broad support among GOP leaders, and they’ve got enough members to send the idea to the ballot.

Florida Governor Rick Scott stopped at a Jacksonville mechanical company Wednesday to rally support for his proposed $180 million tax cut package.

His proposal comes as the state faces budget uncertainty.  


Negron Targets Sexual Harassment As Legislative Session Opens

Jan 10, 2018

Senate President Joe Negron reiterated his chamber will have “zero tolerance” for sexual harassment or misconduct against employees and visitors, as he gave an opening address Tuesday for the 2018 legislative session.

Negron also talked of the need to address impacts from Hurricane Irma and to further build up the state university system.

And Negron said the Senate will work with Gov. Rick Scott on his request for additional pay raises for law-enforcement officers and with House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’ Lakes, on expanding school choice.

The Florida House is wasting no time pursuing one of Governor Rick Scott’s session priorities.  One committee will take up a tax and fee measure on the opening day.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Public records advocates are opposing a number of bills that will be considered by the Florida legislature this year.

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis filed paperwork Friday to formally enter Florida's 2018 gubernatorial race, after landing praise from President Donald Trump and rounding up a list of wealthy financial backers.

AP Photo/Steve Cannon

Two state lawmakers from Tampa Bay want to change the way some special taxing districts are run in the state.

Bills filed by state Senator Tom Lee (R-Brandon) and state Representative Jake Raburn (R-Valrico) would place new regulations on community redevelopment agencies (CRAs). These agencies funnel tax dollars back into neighborhoods - many of which are impoverished.

Alex The Shutter, Flikr

A Florida lawmaker has filed a bill that proposes eliminating the observance of Daylight Saving Time.

Floridians would not have to set their clocks an hour forward each spring and an hour backward each fall if the bill passes.

WNYC.org

President Donald Trump planned to lunch with Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Sunday, as he spends the holidays in Palm Beach.

Facebook Live

Is the only tax that half the voters in the country pay the payroll tax? That's what U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said. We tackle that claim and another by Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam that Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum wants the entire state to be a "sanctuary" for people in the country illegally.

The Florida Channel

State Senator Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) resigned from the Senate Wednesday, just a day after a report concluded there was evidence that he sexually harassed several women.

Florida’s U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is slamming the Republican tax bill. Both houses of Congress passed the measure Wednesday on largely party line votes. Nelson says the package benefits corporations more than working people. 

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