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Sen. Joe Negron

Scott Signs Budget, Takes It Easy On Vetoes

Mar 17, 2018
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

With a light touch of his veto pen, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a new $88.7 billion state budget, eliminating only $64 million in spending and projects, the lowest total of his seven-plus years as governor.

The state’s lawmakers are hard at work in Tallahassee as the 2018 legislative session continues. This week on the latest edition of our monthly Florida Matters news roundtable series we’re talking about some of their priorities and how they could affect residents.


Following a tumultuous year that witnessed the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature get mired in scandals and finger-pointing, GOP leaders kicked off a new session on Tuesday where they promised to clamp down on sexual misconduct and pass sweeping education bills.

South Florida’s community college presidents are fighting a legislative proposal they argue would especially hurt low-income people and minorities — who make up the majority of their student bodies.

The leaders of Miami Dade College, Broward College and Palm Beach State College — whose schools enroll about half of all community college students in Florida — are teaming up to oppose Senate Bill 540, a chief priority of Republican Senate President Joe Negron.

Negron Supports Scott On 'Job Growth' Fund

Dec 12, 2017
WUSF Public Media

Senate President Joe Negron backs a still-untapped $85 million “job growth” fund created this year, as Democrats continue to question the need to replenish what critics have called a “slush fund” for the governor.

Senate President Wants To Boost Nursing Home Payments

Dec 11, 2017

Senate President Joe Negron said Friday he thinks Florida's nursing homes should be paid more for providing care to the state's elder and frail residents.

Senate President: `Zero Tolerance' For Sexual Harassment

Nov 3, 2017
WUSF Public Media

Under scrutiny since a high-ranking Democrat resigned after admitting an affair with a lobbyist, Senate President Joe Negron insisted Thursday he has a “zero-tolerance” policy toward sexual harassment and wants to make it easier for workers to complain if they have been mistreated.

Some of Florida's top legislators are going to outline their priorities for the upcoming session.

The Associated Press is holding its annual pre-session planning day on Thursday at the Capitol. The session starts in January.

Scott Vetoes Higher Education Changes

Jun 15, 2017
Office of the Governor

With a stroke of his veto pen, Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday wiped out most of the higher-education policy initiatives that had been advanced by Senate President Joe Negron during the 2017 legislative session.

Things are a bit quieter at the state capital, now that the year's legislative session is over. Many bills were left on the table, as always happens, but one that made it is being cheered by numerous environmental groups. 

Scott Signs Lake Okeechobee Bill

May 10, 2017

A plan to build reservoirs south of Florida's Lake Okeechobee to treat polluted water before it flows downstream became law Tuesday as Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed that and 10 other bills.


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Nearly a decade after the Great Recession, Florida may finally restore one of its main programs that aids students headed to college.

The state Legislature late Monday approved an overhaul of the state's higher education system that is intended to lift schools in the Sunshine State into the ranks of elite counterparts.

After a contentious session that saw top Republicans snipe at one another and Gov. Rick Scott for more than two months, the GOP-controlled Florida Legislature finally called it quits Monday after approving a roughly $83 billion state budget.

The immediate question for legislators is whether or not their escape will be short-lived since Scott continues to hint that he may veto the budget and force the Legislature back into session between now and the end of June.

Florida's top Republican legislative leaders said Wednesday that they finally reached a deal on a new budget that should clear the way for them to end their session early next week.

Can Florida Lawmakers leave Tallahassee on time? The mood in the state capital has gone from one of pessimism, to cautious optimism that leaders can strike key deals in time.

The Florida Senate has approved wide-ranging changes to the state’s higher education system. It’s a top priority of Senate President Joe Negron. But that doesn’t mean it’s a priority for the House.

Environmental groups are raising concerns about the Senate’s dramatically expanded plan to fight massive toxic algae blooms carpeting South Florida waterways.

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.

Sugar Farmers ‘At War’ With Senate President Negron

Mar 7, 2017

Farmers and agricultural businesses south of Lake Okeechobee said Monday that Senate President Joe Negron is at "war" with them in his push for state lawmakers to back a $2.4 billion reservoir project.

Florida’s governor, House speaker and Senate president are circling one another looking for leverage on their own budget priorities.

The U.S. Sugar Corporation could be required to sell land for a water storage plan proposed by Florida Senate President Joe Negron.

 

WUSF Public Media

Florida's incoming Senate President Joe Negron is laying the groundwork to revamp the state's Bright Futures scholarships program, which is funded by the state lottery.

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.

University Plans Could Run Into Budget Crunch

Nov 25, 2016

A tight budget year could cast doubt on Senate President Joe Negron's effort to increase the funding and bolster the quality of Florida's state university system.

But Negron, a Stuart Republican who toured all 12 universities in the spring, said Tuesday that he expects lawmakers to reallocate funding in the $82 billion state budget to meet the Senate and House goals in the 2017 legislative session.

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On Monday, University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft sent a letter to faculty and staff announcing a new direction - a "path to preeminence" - that aims at bringing the school into "the ranks of America's most elite universities in the next few years."

It's more than just a phrase. Schools in the State University System that achieve "preeminence" or "emerging preeminence" get additional funding from the Florida Legislature.

But what do these statuses actually mean?

Associated Press

Florida lawmakers are moving closer to making fantasy sports legal in the state.

WUSF Public Media

State Sen. Joe Negron, who is in line to become one of the top officials in state government, pledged Wednesday to steer $1 billion toward Florida's universities over the coming years.

Florida's Republican legislative leaders say they believe they can get full federal funding for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, even though they propose to use it to buy subsidized private health insurance.

If they are wrong, they will be giving up a huge windfall of federal funding, which state economists last week estimated at $51 billion over the next decade. But if they are correct, they will have accomplished quite a political feat:

They will be able to say they extended health coverage to about 1 million low-income uninsured Floridians without having to go along with two programs they hate: the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. "ObamaCare," and Medicaid, the joint state and federal insurance program for some groups of poor people.

In other words, they can pass Medicaid Expansion without having to admit it, said state Rep. Mark Pafford when Health News Florida told him about the letter. "It looks like they're saying one thing and doing another."

WUSF Public Media

The Senate's special committee on the Affordable Care Act voted along party lines Monday to reject Medicaid expansion, with members saying they want to develop a Florida-specific plan. The vote was 7 to 4.

Sen. Joe Negron, chairman, led the charge of the Republican majority, saying, "I oppose the Washington plan. I want a Florida plan. I think we have the opportunity to build a better system than the one Washington created."