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Dara Kam - News Service of Florida

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

Florida legislators are ready to vote on measures that would allow patients to smoke medical marijuana, boosting chances of approval before a mid-March deadline set by Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

Citing a “tremendous safety threat,” Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is asking President Donald Trump to use his executive power to allow banks to do business with state-authorized medical marijuana companies. 

Siding with Florida’s largest cannabis operator, a circuit judge for the second time struck down a law capping the number of dispensaries medical marijuana businesses can run. 

A high-profile effort to repeal the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana morphed Monday into legislation that, according to the proposal’s author, would be worse for patients than doing nothing at all. 

Whether Florida lawmakers will do away with the state’s prohibition against smoking medical marijuana remains up in the air, despite an ultimatum issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Saying they failed to heed the will of voters, DeSantis this month ordered lawmakers to eliminate a ban on smokable medical marijuana and, if they don’t comply, threatened to drop the state’s appeal of a court ruling that found the prohibition violated a 2016 constitutional amendment.

Gov. Ron DeSantis still wants to eliminate Florida’s ban on smoking medical marijuana, but he’s walked back his opposition to a state system that resulted in what the new governor this month called a cannabis “cartel.” 

With one of his chief advisers tweeting the hashtag “NoSmokeIsAJoke,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday he will “very soon” announce changes in how the state is carrying out a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

Newly minted Gov. Ron DeSantis has indicated he may drop the state’s appeal of a court decision that said a Florida law banning patients from smoking medical marijuana is unconstitutional.

Newly minted Gov. Ron DeSantis has indicated he may drop the state’s appeal of a court decision that said a Florida law banning patients from smoking medical marijuana is unconstitutional.

One of the architects of Florida’s medical-marijuana laws anticipates a “new day in Florida” on marijuana issues after Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis takes over Tuesday as the state’s chief executive.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said it’s not productive to any gun-safety dialogue to focus on partisan politics, as Democrats continued to criticize President Donald Trump after two mass shootings over the weekend.
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

In the first of his high-profile administration hires, Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis on Monday tapped Shane Strum, a Broward County Republican who’s worked for two other governors, to serve as his chief of staff.

A Tallahassee judge refused Monday to allow the Florida House of Representatives to intervene in a medical marijuana lawsuit, saying the Republican-dominated Legislature should sue the federal government if lawmakers are unhappy that he struck down a 2017 pot-related statute as unconstitutional.

Wikimedia Commons

Siding with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s campaign and national Democrats, a federal judge early Thursday gave voters until 5 p.m. Saturday to fix ballots that were rejected because of mismatched signatures.

The words on the November ballot appear simple enough: “Voter Control of Gambling in Florida.”

With a 5 p.m. Friday deadline looming, Gov. Rick Scott has sought support from legislative leaders before appealing a Tallahassee judge’s order that critics say would create pandemonium in the state’s medical-marijuana industry if allowed to stand.

In a harshly worded order scolding state officials for treating the Constitution “like a recommendation,” a Tallahassee judge Friday gave the Department of Health two weeks to begin registering new medical-marijuana operators or risk being found in contempt.

In what could be another delay for Florida’s burgeoning medical-marijuana industry, a Tallahassee judge agreed Wednesday to block state health officials from moving forward with the application process for highly sought-after medical marijuana licenses.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Jane Fonda. Alec Baldwin. Tom Steyer. George Soros. Norman Lear.

The star-studded endorsements Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has snagged in his quest to become Florida’s first black governor go on and on, capped by progressive patriarch U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Rick Scott, the wealthiest governor in Florida history, filed a financial disclosure Friday as part of his campaign for the U.S. Senate that revealed new details on his elaborate finances, including hundreds of investments controlled by his wife.

Florida elections officials were wrong to block on-campus early voting sites in Gainesville and Tallahassee, lawyers for the League of Women Voters of Florida told a federal judge Monday.

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