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Jim Saunders - News Service of Florida

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

Four months after Florida Power & Light received approval for a similar program, Duke Energy Florida is asking regulators to sign off on a $1 billion plan that would add 10 solar-power plants in the state.

Duke filed a proposal last week at the state Public Service Commission for what it has dubbed the “Clean Energy Connection” program, which would start operating two of the proposed plants in January 2022, four in January 2023 and four in January 2024.

TALLAHASSEE --- As powerful Hurricane Dorian threatened to crash into the state’s East Coast last September, Florida Power & Light brought in crews and took other steps to prepare for potentially massive electricity outages.

Woman applying sunscreen
iStock

Gov. Ron DeSantis late Monday signed 28 bills into law, including a controversial measure that will prevent local governments from imposing bans on certain types of sunscreen.

Backing one of Senate President Bill Galvano’s priorities, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed a bill that will revamp a program that helps people with intellectual or developmental disabilities live in their homes and communities.

back of a school bus from the outside
Hillsborough County Schools

Continuing to gradually finish the work of this year’s legislative session, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday signed 21 bills, including measures aimed at improving school-bus safety and preventing bear poaching.

One of the bills signed Thursday is dubbed “Jordan’s Law,” after Jordan Belliveau Jr., a 2-year-old boy who was murdered in 2018 in Pinellas County. Jordan’s mother was charged in the murder.
JordansLaw.com

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed 21 bills into law, including measures aimed at better protecting vulnerable children and preventing inappropriate pelvic exams on women.

Bull statues on USF campus
CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

State university system Chancellor Marshall Criser next week will present guidelines for reopening university campuses in the fall, after students were sent home in March to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Tall building
Google Maps

With more than 700 COVID-19 deaths linked to long-term care facilities, the state Agency for Health Care Administration said Sunday it has issued emergency orders to bolster testing of staff members at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

In a case that could have important implications for the medical-marijuana industry, Florida Supreme Court justices Wednesday waded into a battle about whether the state has properly carried out a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized marijuana for patients.

Duke Energy power trucks
Duke Energy

In what one regulator called a “no-brainer,” customers of four major utilities will get a break on upcoming electric bills as they grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

TALLAHASSEE --- In an issue that has drawn heavy debate in the Legislature, a divided appeals court Wednesday backed the Palm Beach County School Board in a fight about whether charter schools should get a cut of voter-approved tax dollars.

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Nearly three years after lawmakers passed a controversial measure that sought to bolster charter schools, the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down a constitutional challenge by county school boards.

empty jury box
iStock

Trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at courthouses across the state, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady on Monday extended a suspension of jury trials and many other in-person court proceedings through May.

MARIA TSYRULEVA/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Pointing to his “discretionary” powers in dealing with emergencies, Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking a circuit judge to toss out a lawsuit aimed at forcing statewide beach closures because of the novel coronavirus.

Gov. ron DeSantis in front of a podium
Facebook

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Saturday that state officials are looking at the possibility of putting people who test positive for the coronavirus in facilities such as hotels to help prevent them from spreading the virus to family members.

Here Are 10 Big Issues From The 2020 Florida Legislative Session

Mar 21, 2020
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Florida lawmakers finished the 2020 legislative session Thursday by passing a $93.2 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

As they finished most of their work Friday night, lawmakers could celebrate bills they had passed during the 2020 legislative session. But hundreds of other proposals died along the way. Here are a dozen high-profile issues that didn’t pass:

As the stock marketed plummeted Monday morning, House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, indicated that fears about the novel coronavirus could affect the ongoing negotiations about a new state budget.

CDC brochure talking about after-travel health precautions to limit the spread of coronavirus
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Two Florida seniors who had traveled abroad have become the state’s first residents to die from the novel coronavirus, the Florida Department of Health announced late Friday.

In a major victory for abortion opponents, the Florida Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would require parental consent before minors could have abortions.

Duke Energy power trucks
Duke Energy

Duke Energy Florida customers next month will start seeing extra charges on their bills to cover the utility’s costs of preparing for Hurricane Dorian, a mega-storm that threatened to smash into the state in September before turning away.

In a case that has drawn national attention, a federal appeals court Thursday rejected arguments that a Death Row inmate should be given another chance to show he is innocent in the 1985 murder of a 14-year-old girl in Pinellas County.

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

With supporters pointing to attacks on churches and synagogues, a House panel Tuesday approved a measure that would allow people to carry concealed weapons at religious institutions that share properties with schools.

The Florida Supreme Court said Thursday that unanimous jury recommendations are not necessary before death sentences can be imposed, as justices backed away from a 2016 decision that revamped the state’s capital-punishment system.

The 4-1 ruling offered a clear picture of how much the Supreme Court has changed since last January, when a conservative majority took control after the retirements of longtime justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince.

Gov. Ron DeSantis formally started the 2020 legislative session Tuesday by urging lawmakers to boost pay for many public-school teachers, continue addressing Everglades restoration and water quality and curb business regulations.

Pointing to a “narrow timeframe” for meeting petition-signature requirements, backers of a proposed constitutional amendment to allow recreational marijuana use in Florida said Monday the measure will not go on the November ballot.

A sharply divided federal appeals court Thursday upheld the conviction of former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown in a charity scam, rejecting her arguments that a juror had been improperly dismissed because he said the "Holy Spirit" told him Brown was not guilty.

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have overhauled and deregulated the state’s electric-utility industry, saying part of the proposal’s wording would mislead voters.

The ruling was a victory for state leaders, business groups and utilities that fought the amendment, which was proposed for the November ballot by a political committee known as Citizens for Energy Choices.

Electrical tower
Pixabay

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have overhauled and deregulated the state’s electric-utility industry, saying part of the proposal’s wording would mislead voters.

The ruling was a victory for state leaders, business groups and utilities that fought the amendment, which was proposed for the November ballot by a political committee known as Citizens for Energy Choices.

11th Circuit Court of appeals building
U.S. Federal Court of Appeal

A federal appeals court Friday cleared the way for a lawsuit that alleges the Florida House and Senate have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing closed captioning on online videos of legislative meetings.

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