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Jim Turner- News Service of Florida

Jim Turner is a reporter for the News Service of Florida.

Gov. Ron Desantis at a table with members of his staff.
The Florida Channel

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday announced the creation of an Interstate 95 checkpoint on Florida's northern border to screen motorists traveling from the New York City area, in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

GOVERNOR'S PRESS OFFICE

Gov. Ron DeSantis will get a chance to let athletes at Florida colleges do something he couldn’t do while playing baseball at Yale: make money off the field from their names and images.

Florida Lawmakers Agree On $92 Billion Budget, Will Vote Next Week

Mar 15, 2020
News Service of Florida

Legislative leaders completed a roughly $92 billion budget on Saturday afternoon, settling numerous education and health care issues as they fine-tuned the state spending plan in anticipation of an economic hit from the novel coronavirus.

Bryan Avila listening
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

A slimmed tax-cut package is heading to Gov. Ron DeSantis, after lawmakers late Friday sought to bolster state reserves that could be needed as the novel coronavirus damages tourism and other key industries.

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Florida is getting closer to imposing stiffer fines for bear poaching and expanding rules against shark “finning.”

Sen. Manny Diaz Jr.
News Service of Florida

After starting a school-voucher program last year, Florida lawmakers appear ready to speed up its expansion.

Representative Blaise Ingolia
News Service of Florida

Florida cities and counties would get letter grades for economic and non-economic factors, under a bill that drew mostly bipartisan support Tuesday from the House Appropriations Committee.

Senators pressed forward Tuesday with a proposal that would provide $100 million a year for Florida Forever, as the House and Senate go into budget talks far apart on the land-buying program.

The Senate Agriculture, Environment and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee backed a proposal (SB 332) by Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, that would funnel $100 million annually to Florida Forever. The money could come from a trust fund that receives real-estate tax dollars under a 2014 constitutional amendment aimed at land and water conservation.

Gov. Ron DeSantis expressed concerns Monday about legislative proposals that would further prevent local governments from regulating short-term vacation rentals.

Local governments would be barred from licensing food truck vendors in their communities, as part of broader deregulation proposals that cleared final House and Senate committees Thursday.

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Florida’s timber industry remains amid tons of strewn trees from Hurricane Michael as talks continue over the distribution of a $380 million federal-recovery grant allocated in November for the 2018 storm.

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Florida college athletes won't get revenue-sharing paydays when they leave campus, as lawmakers continue moving forward with efforts to allow off-field compensation for athletes.

Floridians would get sales-tax breaks before hurricane season and the new school year, while taxes on commercial leases and cell phones and other communications services would be trimmed, under a tax package rolled out Tuesday in the House.

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Strip clubs, casinos, breweries and cigarette makers could be benched from a proposal that would let Florida college athletes market themselves off the field.

The Florida Senate released an initial $92.83 billion budget proposal Thursday that would provide across-the-board pay raises for state employees, increase money for teacher salaries and help fund water-quality projects.

Gov. Ron DeSantis would get more than the $625 million he requested for environmental projects, Florida Forever would see a funding cut and Visit Florida would be shuttered, under parts of a House budget proposal released Tuesday.

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request to boost fines on environmental lawbreakers drew support Monday in its first legislative appearance.

Athletes at Florida universities and colleges would get a “bill of rights” guaranteeing financial aid and health coverage as part of a House draft proposal intended to allow athletes to cash in on their names and images.

Bryan Avila listening
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

A proposal is once again in play to eliminate an untouched pool of state money set aside in 2014 to help build and renovate professional sports stadiums.

Florida’s aerospace agency has launched a new front in its effort to make the Sunshine State more enticing as a potential player in the nation’s up-and-coming Space Force.

The Florida Senate is moving quickly to prevent towns like Key West from banning the sale of sunscreens that contain potentially coral reef harming chemicals.

Gaining initial legislative support last year might have been the easy part for controversial and expensive toll-road projects envisioned to cut through more than 300 miles of mostly rural land from Collier County to the Georgia border.

House Speaker Jose Oliva offered support Tuesday to lawmakers who want Florida’s college athletes to be able to cash in on their names and images, as three influential House committees prepare to jointly discuss the issue next week.

“Enforcement time” has come for motorists caught texting and driving by Florida Highway Patrol troopers.

Florida Congressional Seats map
Florida Supreme Court

Florida’s population growth remains on track to garner new congressional seats in the coming years, though the state might not be adding new residents as fast as officials had believed.

Senate President Bill Galvano defended the need for Florida to market its tourism industry against negative images of hurricanes and polluted waters, as a battle is again shaping up with House leaders over the future of Visit Florida.

Florida wildlife officials Wednesday backed a 10-year plan to manage the state’s growing black bear population, with the plan maintaining hunting as an option.

Florida wildlife officials moved quickly Wednesday to try to close a “loophole” that allowed a citizen of Saudi Arabia to legally buy a handgun and ammunition used to kill three people Friday at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Suncoast Parkway vista
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Critics of toll-road projects in rural areas from Collier County to the Georgia state line have combined efforts to try to halt plans for the new pavement.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and members of the state Cabinet on Monday named a Coral Gables securities lawyer to become Florida’s third top financial regulator in less than two years.

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