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News Service of Florida

Sign reading "Vote precinct precinto"
Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF

A coalition of groups has asked a federal judge to require 32 Florida counties -- including a handful of Tampa Bay area ones -- to offer Spanish-language ballots and other election materials, the latest move in a legal battle that started last year. 

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday he intends to keep Noah Valenstein as the state’s environmental secretary, a move that quickly drew praise from a number of conservationists. 

Wikipedia.com

Getting the state to come to the rescue of sports teams trying to build or refurbish stadiums could soon become a thing of the past.

Photo Courtesy of Florida Department of Environmental Protection

There is little chance the Florida Senate will revisit a controversial state law that has impacted public access to some beach areas, according to top Republicans in the chamber.

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

In the final step in reshaping the Florida Supreme Court, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday named Carlos Muniz to the high court. 

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried added sexual orientation and gender identity to workplace protections at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Fried, the lone Democrat to hold one of the state’s three Cabinet positions, is the first to add such protections to hiring rules that address race, religion and disability.

Wikimedia Commons

University of Central Florida President Dale Whittaker on Friday has acknowledged a “broken culture” at his school, after receiving an investigative report on the improper use of state funding to construct a major campus building.

Flckr

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday rescinded 46 of the last-minute appointments former Gov. Rick Scott, now a member of the U.S. Senate, made in his final days in office.

The selections to various boards yanked by DeSantis Friday required Senate confirmation.

Among the names pulled were Andy Pollack, placed by Scott on the State Board of Education, and Carlos Beruff, named by the former governor to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Just hours after the inauguration Tuesday of Gov. Ron DeSantis, his predecessor, Rick Scott, was sworn into the U.S. Senate.

Twitter

Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis on Friday named an ardent opponent of Medicaid expansion to lead the state Agency for Health Care Administration and backed former state Sen. Dana Young to lead the tourism-marketing agency Visit Florida.

In an Orange County case watched by the insurance industry and health-care providers, the Florida Supreme Court on Friday unanimously ruled against an insurer in a dispute about payments in the state’s personal-injury protection auto insurance system.

Nick Evans / WFSU News

The Florida Supreme Court said the state needs four more circuit judges, while Hillsborough County should have four more county judges.

Office of Florida Governor

As lawmakers return to the Capitol in early January for committee meetings, a Senate panel will look at a newly approved constitutional amendment designed to expand the rights of crime victims.

University of Central Florida

Amid increased scrutiny about the financing of university building projects, House panels in January will discuss improper spending at the University of Central Florida and oversight issues in the higher-education system.

MyFlorida.com

Gov. Rick Scott will exit the governor’s mansion proclaiming an unemployment rate that is nearly 8 percentage points lower than when he moved in.

NOAA.gov

When lawmakers return to the Capitol in January to prepare for the 2019 legislative session, four Senate committees will delve into the impacts of Hurricane Michael, according to a Senate calendar.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

The Florida Senate could be ready to move quickly on proposals that seek a single-subject requirement for constitutional amendments placed on the ballot in the future by the Florida Constitution Revision Commission.

Office of Gov. Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott distributed $29.5 million from the state’s Job Growth Grant Fund to projects in Pasco, Orange, Escambia and Gadsden counties. The money comes from an $85 million pool set aside by the Legislature this year for regional infrastructure projects.

About 300 nursing homes across the state have been given another six months to meet a state mandate that they have generators and fuel that can help keep buildings cool.

Florida House of Representatives

The 2020 elections are still nearly two years away, but races continue to take shape in the Tampa Bay region.

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Brightline got the green light Wednesday from the state to negotiate for land to add high-speed passenger rail service from Orlando to Tampa --- a link envisioned to eventually connect with Brightline’s existing service in South Florida.

Tourists at Clearwater Beach.
WUSF Public Media

A Senate Democrat this week filed a proposal that could refuel a debate about beach access in Florida.

Julio Ochoa

An appeals court will hear arguments Jan. 8 in a legal battle about whether a ban on smoking medical marijuana violates a 2016 constitutional amendment.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

The commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said he is “deeply troubled” that Attorney General Pam Bondi thought he would not pursue investigations into potential criminal activity related to last week’s elections.

Steve Newborn

A Leon County circuit judge Tuesday ordered the suspension of recount deadlines in the races for governor, agriculture commissioner and a state House seat to give Palm Beach County elections officials time to finish recounting ballots. 

Daylina Miller/WUSF

Eight years after shocking the political establishment by becoming Florida governor, Republican Rick Scott declared victory late Tuesday night in his campaign against U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

@mattcaldwellFL

Republican state Rep. Matt Caldwell declared victory Tuesday night as he held a narrow advantage in the contest to succeed term-limited Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Less than three hours before a 5 p.m. deadline, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration Friday filed a notice to appeal a Tallahassee judge’s order that struck down a 2017 medical marijuana law as unconstitutional.

Though one justice wrote that voters should “beware,” the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a challenge to three proposed constitutional amendments on the November ballot --- including a measure that seeks to ban offshore oil drilling and vaping in workplaces.

Justices overturned a ruling by Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers that would have blocked the constitutional amendments in a case focused on whether the proposals improperly “bundled” unrelated issues into single ballot measures.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

A federal judge has rejected a request from the Florida Democratic Party to force the state to extend a voter-registration deadline because of Hurricane Michael.

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