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Dara Kam - News Service of Florida

Dara Kam is the Senior Reporter of The News Service Of Florida.

Clifford Williams says he relied on his faith during more than four decades behind bars, including five years on Florida’s Death Row.

Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis has heard from troubled teens struggling with depression, anguished homeowners whose dwellings were decimated by Hurricane Michael and first responders trying to remain stoic after horrific disasters.

ProCon.org

Siding with Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Florida Supreme Court decided Thursday that a state law requiring payment of “legal financial obligations” properly carried out a constitutional amendment restoring voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences.

Over the objections of the National Rifle Association, a Senate panel Monday unanimously signed off on a far-reaching measure that would close the gun-show “loophole,” create a record-keeping system for private gun sales and set aside $5 million to establish a “statewide strategy for violence prevention.” 

Felons voting rights
Daniel Rivero WLRN

As a legal battle continues over a constitutional amendment that restored voting rights to felons in Florida, a federal appellate court Friday ended a separate, bitterly fought challenge to the state’s clemency process.

Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. A Sebring bank. A yoga studio in Tallahassee. A naval air base in Pensacola.

As sales boom in retail establishments throughout Florida, state regulators are now keeping tabs on CBD products that marketers claim can ease arthritis, anxiety and sleeplessness. 

Felons voting rights
Daniel Rivero WLRN

Felons in a federal lawsuit who have completed their time behind bars but can’t afford to pay court-ordered fees and fines can continue to register to vote but cannot cast ballots yet, under an order issued this week by a federal judge.

As state lawmakers ponder how -- and if -- to respond to teens’ skyrocketing use of electronic cigarettes, one university student is influencing the Florida Senate leader’s stance on the issue.

A federal judge on Tuesday excoriated lawyers representing Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration, accusing the state of trying to "run out the clock" to keep felons from voting in next year's elections.

After dropping an attempt to keep secret the identities of two plaintiffs, the National Rifle Association has relaunched a federal court challenge to a Florida law that raised the age to purchase rifles and other long guns.

In moves that will pave the way for Gov. Ron DeSantis to appoint two more justices to the Florida Supreme Court, the U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Justice Robert Luck’s appointment to a federal appeals court and set the stage for Justice Barbara Lagoa to join him.

Delivering a victory to Democrats, a federal judge Friday declared unconstitutional a decades-old Florida law that requires candidates who are in the same party as the governor to be listed first on the ballot.

The National Rifle Association condemned a proposed constitutional amendment that aims to do away with assault weapons in Florida as a “classic example of impermissible political rhetoric” designed to inflame voters’ emotions.

Ignoring the conclusions of a Senate special master, a key committee voted along party lines Monday night to uphold Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ouster of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

The Senate Rules Committee’s 9-7 vote was a prelude to a Wednesday vote by the full Senate, which is meeting in a special session to decide the embattled law enforcement official’s fate.

Suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel faced a legislative showdown Monday in the fight to get his job back, amid procedural wrangling that began before senators even began considering his fate.

Family man. Business man. Policy leader.

Those are the words Sen. Wilton Simpson’s website uses to describe the lawmaker, who on Tuesday will be tapped by his colleagues as the Senate’s next president.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is facing a showdown about one of his highest-profile decisions: the ouster of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, whose fate now rests in the hands of the Florida Senate.

Florida education czar Richard Corcoran bristles at being called a disrupter.

A split appeals court on Tuesday refused to grant the state’s request to revisit a decision that could revolutionize the way medical marijuana operators do business in Florida.

Former Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel
News Service of Florida

In a final pitch to a Senate special master, former Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel’s lawyer is insisting that the suspended law enforcement officer wasn’t to blame for two deadly mass shootings that led to his ouster by Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier this year.


In a state where razor-thin election margins have become the norm in major races, Democrats are seeking to make inroads by trying to do away with a decades-old Florida law that requires candidates who are of the same party as the governor to appear first on the ballot.


Mary Shedden

Shortly after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an omnibus elections bill Friday, a coalition of voting-rights and civil-rights groups announced they had filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state's plan for carrying out a constitutional amendment designed to restore felons' voting rights.

More than 100 inmates condemned to death could face a major upheaval, as a revamped Florida Supreme Court ponders whether to undo a 2016 ruling that allowed nearly half of the state’s Death Row prisoners to have their death sentences revisited.

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks with reporters after the 2019 legislative session comes to an end.
News Service of Florida

Crediting himself with “changing the conversation on a number of things” during his first legislative session, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Saturday his agenda contributed to Republican lawmakers passing policies with broad appeal.

Desmond Meade and Neil Volz, who work for a political committee that propelled the amendment to victory in November, called the measure “disheartening” and “disappointing.”
News Service of Florida

With two men who’ve become the faces of Amendment 4 watching from the gallery, Florida lawmakers passed a controversial measure that would require repayment of financial obligations before felons’ voting rights could be restored.

ProCon.org

Seeking to carry out a November constitutional amendment, the Florida Senate on Thursday passed a measure that would require repayment of financial obligations before felons’ voting rights could be restored, an issue that’s been a sticking point as lawmakers grappled with one of this year’s most controversial pieces of legislation. 

Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum agreed Wednesday to pay a $5,000 fine in a settlement reached with a state ethics-commission attorney, who agreed to drop four of five charges of ethics violations related to trips to Costa Rica and New York, a boat ride around the Statue of Liberty and a ticket to the Broadway hit, “Hamilton.”

After paying billions of dollars to settle lawsuits about the dangers of cigarettes, the tobacco industry is engaged in another public-relations battle, one that is swirling in the Florida Capitol, other state houses throughout the country and in Congress. 

Hookers who’ve been convicted of prostitution three times, cyberstalkers and inmates who expose themselves to prison workers wouldn’t be eligible to have their voting rights automatically restored, under a House proposal aimed at carrying out a constitutional amendment approved in November.

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