Florida Senate

Florida lawmakers are on track to vote on the budget Monday. That makes Friday the last chance for them to get the remaining bills passed. Here's a rundown of some of the Senate’s 11th hour deliberations.

Legislature Won't Finish Its Work On Time

May 3, 2017

The Republican-controlled Florida Legislature, bogged down in a dispute over millions of dollars tied to hospitals and nursing homes, won't be able to wrap up its work on time for the second time in three years.

DXR via Wikimedia Commons

With time running out in their regular session, Florida's legislative leaders are at a stalemate over a new state budget and are starting to lash out at one another over the breakdown.

myfloridahouse.gov

No matter what variation of the “n-word” is spoken, a Florida state senator is learning the term is still offensive as Democrats and Republicans admonished him for using it during an exchange with two African-American colleagues.

DXR via Wikimedia Commons

The Florida Senate is poised to pass a bill that accommodates ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft by not subjecting them to a medley of laws imposed by local governments.

Stadium Funding Appeal Stalls In Senate

Mar 14, 2017

A proposal to discard an unused pool of state sales tax dollars that could be used to build and upgrade professional sports stadiums was put in limbo Monday just before it was scheduled to go before a Senate committee.

The Florida legislative session has begun, which means it’s time to get serious about the state’s budget.  But the past few months of prologue have done little to bring the parties together.

State Senator Wants To Sack Stadium Funding Plan

Jan 4, 2017
Robert Du Bois / Flickr

An unused pool of money for stadium upgrades, deemed "corporate welfare" by critics, faces possible elimination in the Florida Senate.

WUSF Public Media

Republican Joe Negron was sworn in as the new President of the Florida Senate last month and he recently laid out his priorities for education in the state. That includes more money for higher education and boosting the reputation of Florida's universities.

Recounts Ordered In Senate Race Between Rouson, Narain

Sep 1, 2016
Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

After a narrow margins in Tuesday's primary elections, Secretary of State Ken Detzner late Thursday ordered machine recounts in the races for a Tampa Bay Senate seat.

Detzner's orders were triggered by a requirement for recounts when results show a candidate winning by 0.5 percent or less. Canvassing boards will have to submit the recount results by 3 p.m. Sunday.

The recount was ordered in the Democratic primary in Senate District 19, where Rep. Darryl Rouson of St. Petersburg held a 76-vote lead over Rep. Ed Narain of Tampa after Tuesday's voting.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

One of the more heated races coming up during the August 30 primaries is for State Senate District 19. It's a majority-minority district, being vacated by Arthenia Joyner, the longtime Tampa politician and the Senate minority leader.

Reporter Steve Newborn looks into this race with WUSF's political analyst William March, who says it's pitting a lot of black politicians in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties against each other.

Detert's Exit Leads To GOP Primary Battle In Sarasota, Charlotte Counties

Aug 14, 2016

When Sen. Nancy Detert decided this year to run for the Sarasota County Commission instead of seeking another term in Tallahassee, it opened up a seat that Republicans have long controlled.

And as the Aug. 30 primary approaches, five Republicans -- including four current or former office-holders -- are competing to replace Detert.

Recent USF graduates Victor Sims (left) and Frank Cirillo are both running for political office this year.
campaign Facebook pages

CORRECTION posted at 7/5/16 3:30 p.m. Copy and University Beat radio report updated to indicate Frank Cirillo graduated from USF's Tampa campus and not USF Sarasota-Manatee.

This year, while a lot of college students are getting ready to vote in their first presidential election, two recent University of South Florida graduates are running for office.

House, Senate Agree On Health Budget

Mar 4, 2016

House and Senate budget chiefs reached agreement Thursday night on two areas of the state spending plan for the year beginning July 1, striking deals on funding for environmental programs and health care.

The Florida Senate on Wednesday passed legislation expanding aid for students with intellectual disabilities and named the program for Senate President Andy Gardiner, who has made what he calls “people with unique abilities” the signature issue of his tenure as president.

Senate Again Focused On Uber Driver Insurance

Dec 9, 2015
Screenshot from Apple App Store

The Senate isn't ready to match a House proposal that would prevent local governments from regulating popular app-based transportation services, such as Uber and Lyft.

Lawmakers Seek To Shield Seniors From Shady Guardians

Oct 12, 2015

A Southwest Florida lawmaker is renewing a push to better protect elderly Floridians from unscrupulous guardians who take control of seniors' assets.

The Florida Senate will likely jettison the Confederate battle flag from the chamber's official seal.

The Senate Rules Committee on Thursday voted unanimously to revise the Senate seal that now contains the battle flag along with four others that have flown in Florida. The entire Senate will vote on the change during the annual session that starts in January.

The Confederate flag would be replaced with the Florida state flag.

Redistricting Session Falls Apart Amid House-Senate Battle

Aug 21, 2015

A special session called to redraw state congressional lines was derailed Friday, the latest sign of growing acrimony between Republican leaders of the House and Senate.

House Backs Changes For State Workers, Hospitals

Jun 12, 2015

Pitching more competition and choices in the health-care system, the House on Friday passed six bills that include proposals to revamp health coverage for state employees and eliminate key regulations in the hospital industry.

But as lawmakers head into the final week of a special legislative session, it remains unclear whether the Senate will pass any of the bills. Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, remained non-committal Friday, though he suggested the House's proposed changes to employee health insurance likely will not pass.

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