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PolitiFact Florida

When Florida lawmakers began their annual 60-day session, two priorities were protecting students from bullies and government workers from sexual harassment.

The negotiation and passage of Senate Bill 7026 — a 100-page gun control and school safety measure that is awaiting Gov. Rick Scott's signature —  prompted some Democratic lawmakers to question whether LGBT and black victims of gun violence matter less to Republican leaders than white, affluent ones.

Latvala Formally Exits Governor’s Race

Mar 10, 2018
Courtesy Latvala for Governor campaign

Former state Sen. Jack Latvala, who resigned his seat after a sexual-harassment investigation, formally withdrew from the gubernatorial campaign Friday.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

The National Rifle Association has filed a federal lawsuit over gun control legislation Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed, saying it violates the Second Amendment by raising the age to buy guns from 18 to 21.

Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed legislation tightening gun restrictions in the state. Among other things, the legislation raises the legal age for gun purchases to 21, institutes a waiting period of three days, and allows for the arming of school personnel who are not full-time teachers.

In a statement, Scott's office highlights mental health provisions in the bill:

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran says the state’s pending school marshal program is the “first-of-its kind” in the nation.

And the Congressman representing Parkland said mass shootings went up 200 percent in the decade after the national assault weapons ban expired.

WUSF's Steve Newborn gets to the bottom of these claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

www.colorbox.com

Florida is a step closer to living up to its nickname as "The Sunshine State."

Donna Shalala, the former University of Miami president and Health and Human Services secretary, is officially running as a Democrat to replace retiring Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, according to Federal Election Commission paperwork filed Monday.

Shalala, 77, has never run for elected office, but her presence shakes up a crowded Democratic primary in a district that includes most of Miami Beach, downtown Miami and coastal Miami-Dade County. The district favors Democrats, as Hillary Clinton defeated President Donald Trump by 19.7 percentage points there in 2016.

The white Republican leaders of the Florida Legislature believe giving guns to school staff members will help protect students.

But black members in both houses warn it could endanger them — particularly children of color, who are often disciplined more harshly than their white peers in school.

Momentum has stalled for a bill that would have allowed human trafficking victims to sue hotels that do not take action and train employees to prevent such atrocities. The measure’s sponsor isn’t saying why she pulled the plan.

First responders being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder could soon have extended benefits under a bill passed Monday by the Florida Legislature. 

Monday was supposed to be the day that DACA ended.

But court rulings have blocked President Trump from phasing out the program, at least for now, and negotiations have stalled out in Congress. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program protects undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children from deportation.

Gina Jodan/WLRN

The Florida Senate has agreed to advance a bill that would increase school safety and restrict gun purchases following a rare weekend session in the wake of last month's shooting at a high school that killed 17 people.

Florida Senate Tees Up Gun Safety Legislation For Monday Vote

Mar 5, 2018

The Florida Senate held a rare Saturday session, discussing legislation aimed at making schools safer, following the February 14th mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 14 students and three faculty members dead.

Lawmakers Approve Post-Hurricane KidCare Aid

Mar 5, 2018

Despite an earlier assertion from a top Medicaid official that the state could be giving a “freebie,” lawmakers have agreed to fund Florida KidCare health-insurance premiums for more than 6,000 children living in 48 counties that were impacted by Hurricane Irma.

The Florida Senate passed a bill that would ban injecting racing greyhounds with anabolic steroids.

A familiar name in Sarasota County wants to replace outgoing Congressman Tom Rooney. Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican who has served eight years in the Florida Legislature, wants to move to Washington, D.C.

Leona Rosado / Land O' Lakes Student

Students across Tampa Bay are expected to participate in a national school walkout on March 14 - the one-month anniversary of the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.

Many Tampa Bay schools are letting staff help students organize events, rather than punishing them for missing class or disrupting campus.

Nobody sat in the back row.

Students filled the front rows at the center of the auditorium at Tampa’s King High School during an optional voter registration campaign put on Wednesday by the Hillsborough County Elections Office. They were chattering when they walked in, but the room silenced when county officials started speaking.

They were ready to build on a political movement started by students in South Florida after a deadly school shooting there two weeks ago.

Some gun safety proposals passed their first Florida Senate committee without an assault weapons ban. While top GOP lawmakers are calling the effort bipartisan, some Democrats pushing for more gun reforms disagree.

Governor Rick Scott’s plan for responding to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School includes $50 million in additional funding to expand mental health services for children and youth. 

The progression has become numbingly repetitive — mass bloodshed unleashed by a gunman, followed by the stories of the fallen, the funerals, the mourning, the talking heads and the calls for change that dwindle into nothingness.

President Donald Trump says the deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school is the top issue he wants to discuss with the nation's governors.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

The possibility of stricter gun laws loomed large over the first gun show in Tampa Bay since the Parkland school shooting,

PolitiFact Florida

In the wake of the shootings at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, accusations are going around at a fast clip. 

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

The volunteers were out early, canvassing the area near Tampa's downtown Gaslight Park while many of the people living there were just starting their day.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says he would support raising the age limit to 21 for those wanting to purchase AR-15-style rifles.

"If you are 18 years of age, you should not be able to buy a rifle," Rubio said at a CNN town hall meeting Wednesday night. "I will support a law that takes that right away."

Rubio, who has an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association, said he does not support arming teachers, but does support background check regulation reform.

Florida lawmakers are once again looking for ways to help the sunshine state reclaim its title as the Hollywood of the South. 

After a major tragedy like the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, people offer condolences with the pledge to keep victims in their “thoughts and prayers.” But many have become disillusioned by the phrase.

The deadly shooting happened on Ash Wednesday, a day of repentance for many within the Catholic and Protestant Christian traditions. Religious leaders in South Florida say faith communities can offer more besides prayers.

Do Florida politicians really want to create a "sanctuary state," as the speaker of the state House claim? 

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