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Jim Turner- News Service of Florida

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

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.

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.

Wrapping up a long-awaited probe of the botched upgrade of the SunPass toll-collection system, the governor’s chief inspector general said more oversight is needed of state transportation contracts.

Small growers of Florida’s signature crop, expressing concerns about the future of the citrus industry, indicated a willingness Wednesday to pay a higher tax rate if it gets people to drink more orange juice.

State lawmakers got another message to expect a lean year for bringing home budget bacon.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, a former congressman, used a Washington, D.C. term Monday in saying “earmarks” would need to be cut by $84.8 million to help pay for his proposed record $91.4 billion budget.

Gov. Ron DeSantis drew praise as “a true environmental leader” but was also criticized for not putting more money toward the Florida Forever program and failing to adequately prepare the state for climate change as he released a proposed $91.4 billion budget on Monday.

Sen. Randolph Bracy wants to expand the playing field on proposals that would allow college athletes in Florida to get paid for endorsements.

An effort to crack down on alleged fraud in the auto-glass repair industry, particularly along the Interstate 4 corridor, is spurring an insurance battle in the state Legislature.

Florida will get $380.7 million from the federal government to help parts of the timber industry and farms ravaged more than a year ago by Hurricane Michael.

Hurricane Irma continues to challenge Florida’s citrus industry.

Two growing seasons separated from the September 2017 storm that flooded groves and uprooted citrus trees across the state, the industry has seen production rebound quicker than some anticipated.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday questioned a proposal to increase Florida’s minimum wage through the constitutional amendment process, warning about effects on the restaurant industry.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
GOVERNOR'S PRESS OFFICE

Gov. Ron DeSantis, who captained his university’s baseball team, backed California-style legislation Thursday that would allow Florida college athletes to cash in on their names and images.

A Soviet-born South Florida businessman arrested last week on federal campaign-finance charges seemed just “like any other donor,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday.

Map of Florida showing projected toll road projects
State of Florida

Potential environmental impacts from a series of controversial toll road projects could start to be known shortly after the start of the new year.

Will Watts, chief engineer for the Florida Department of Transportation, said Wednesday that preliminary routes for the three projects will be based on input from task forces over the next couple of months, with a focus on what to “avoid and minimize first.”

Florida Senate

Florida lawmakers Monday dug into issues involving climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, phrases mostly kept under wraps by state Republican leaders before last year’s elections.

Vowing that the state won’t forget hurricane-damaged Northwest Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday made his first use of a controversial economic-development program by saying money will go to a pair of roads tied to workforce housing in Bay County.

Florida’s struggling citrus industry is projected to see a 3.3 percent increase in production in the newly started growing season.

Calling the process “an administrative nightmare,” a federal judge on Tuesday urged the Florida Legislature to revamp a state law aimed at carrying out a constitutional amendment that restores voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences.

Lawmakers are already seeking about $120 million for projects and programs in their local communities, while the latest state revenue estimates have spurred the House budget leader to urge “restraint” as the 2020 legislative session nears.

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