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Jim Saunders - News Service of Florida

Jim Saunders is the Executive Editor of The News Service Of Florida.

It’s dubbed a “jungle” primary system. And the Florida Republican and Democratic parties want no part of it.

Now, the Florida Supreme Court will decide whether a proposed constitutional amendment that would overhaul the state’s primary-election system will go before voters in November 2020.

Pointing to a “hierarchical relationship” with local governments, the state has asked an appeals court to uphold a 2011 law that has threatened tough penalties if city and county officials approve gun regulations. 

Five years after Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment aimed at land and water conservation, environmentalists on Monday urged the state Supreme Court to wade into a battle about how money can be spent.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday proposed a $91.4 billion state budget for next year, touting plans to funnel more money to public-school teachers and continue “momentum” on environmental issues.

A federal appeals court Wednesday overturned the dismissal of a lawsuit about whether the Florida High School Athletic Association improperly prevented Christian schools from offering a prayer over the stadium loudspeaker before a 2015 state championship football game.

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Rejecting arguments of environmental groups, a divided federal appeals court has backed a decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue a permit sought by the phosphate company Mosaic for expanded mining operations in Florida.

Despite objections from attorneys for utility customers, the Florida Public Service Commission on Tuesday continued moving ahead with plans for carrying out a new law that supporters say will help make the state’s electric system better able to withstand hurricanes.

State regulators Tuesday approved moving forward with a new 448 area code in Northwest Florida, while Tampa also could see an additional area code in the coming years.

Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee has sent a memo to county elections supervisors with direction about complying with a federal judge’s ruling on felons’ voting rights --- but questions remain about how the state will move forward. 

Senate President Bill Galvano
News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday continued his full-throated support of a plan to increase minimum teacher salaries in Florida to $47,500, but Senate President Bill Galvano cautioned it might be difficult to carry out.

COURTESY: WLRN

Six years after a middle-school student’s suicide drew national headlines, a federal appeals court has rejected a civil-rights lawsuit filed on behalf of a Polk County girl who was arrested and accused of bullying and harassment that allegedly led to the death.

In a 95-page ruling, an administrative law judge Friday backed a decision by the Manatee County School Board to terminate a contract with a charter school that he said showed “gross financial mismanagement,” including failing to pay salaries and payroll taxes, getting cut off by food suppliers and facing a shutoff of water service.

More than 34 years after the nude body of a 14-year-old girl was found in Pinellas County, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday signed a death warrant for convicted murderer James Dailey.

State regulators next week will take up proposed rules that could help set the stage for an expansion of underground power lines in hurricane-weary Florida.

In a blow to environmental groups, an appeals court Monday overturned a circuit judge’s ruling that said state lawmakers improperly diverted money that flowed from a 2014 constitutional amendment designed to boost land and water conservation.

The latest data available showed nearly 20.8 million wireless subscriptions in Florida -- roughly a cell phone for every resident
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Floridians continue hanging up on traditional phone service.

With cell phones in hand --- or in their back pockets --- and access to broadband technology, hundreds of thousands of Florida residents and businesses stopped using landline phones in 2018, a new state report on the telecommunications industry shows.

Christopher D’Arcy, owner of D’Arcy Kennel LLC in St. Petersburg, wants a judge to order the state to pay damages for the loss of value of his property, including racing dogs that the lawsuit said could previously be sold for up to $50,000.
Rainer Hungershausen

Alleging an unconstitutional “taking” of property, a Pinellas County greyhound-kennel owner has filed a lawsuit against the state because of a dog racing ban approved by voters in November.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed 38 bills, including a controversial measure that will make it harder for groups and citizens to put proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot. 

Nearly a year after a federal judge’s ruling allowed early-voting sites on college and university campuses, state elections officials and plaintiffs in the case remain locked in a legal battle.

Florida lawmakers finished the 2019 legislative session Saturday by passing a budget for the upcoming year.

In what would be the largest budget in state history, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday released a proposed $91.3 billion spending plan that would increase school funding, pump money into water-quality projects and trim taxes.

After the appointment last week of former Rep. Danny Burgess to head the state Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Gov. Ron DeSantis has scheduled special elections that could keep open three Florida House seats throughout the 2019 legislative session.

The State Board of Education is expected Wednesday to approve a report that details a shortage of certified science, English and math teachers in Florida’s public schools.

Pointing to the possibility of the issue arising in future mass shootings, an appeals court Wednesday asked the Florida Supreme Court to resolve questions about how much money a state agency can be required to pay because of allegations it was negligent in the deaths of four children.

In a closely watched case, an appeals court this week agreed to put on hold a circuit judge’s ruling that said Florida lawmakers and the state Department of Health have violated a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

Siding with a Broward County sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot a man, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously ruled that law-enforcement officers can use the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law to be shielded from prosecution.

Offering extensive details of what she described as a “catastrophe,” an administrative law judge has backed a state decision to revoke the license of a Broward County nursing home where residents died after Hurricane Irma.

An appeals court Friday sided with the Florida Department of Health in a battle about turning over thousands of death records to a Broward County nursing home that was shut down by the state after residents died following Hurricane Irma.

Attorney General Pam Bondi is seeking to block Miami-Dade County’s top prosecutor from getting involved in a Florida Supreme Court case and supporting arguments that a 2017 change to the “stand your ground” self-defense law is unconstitutional.

WUSF Public Media

In an unusual move, Attorney General Pam Bondi on Sunday publicly criticized Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen for not pursuing an investigation into alleged irregularities in the handling of election ballots in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

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