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2020 Florida Legislature

After Senate approval of the controversial proposal, the House this week will take up a plan that would require parental consent before minors could have abortions.

House Speaker Jose Oliva
Florida House of Representatives

House Speaker José Oliva said he is "open" to supporting an E-Verify bill that would meet the goals of Gov. Ron DeSantis, but expressed doubts about the Senate’s version of the legislation.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida House on Thursday intensified an inquiry into Florida’s domestic violence agency, calling for additional investigations and issuing subpoenas over the former head of the taxpayer-backed organization’s compensation.

About one hundred teachers rallied in downtown Orlando today against Governor Ron DeSantis’ plan to solve a statewide teacher shortage by raising teacher salaries.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called 2020 the year of the teacher. 

Florida may soon be adding to its list of scholarship programs. Rep. Shevrin Jones (D- Broward)  is sponsoring a bill that would help low-income students pay any remaining tuition their other scholarships and grants don't cover.

According to a state analysis, about half of Florida's marriages end in divorce. To curb that number, Republicans want to require couples to read a handbook before they can get a marriage license. 

Hundreds of people lined up outside the main courthouse in West Palm Beach late last year, all of them trying to get their suspended driver licenses reinstated.

“Operation Green Light” was part of a recent initiative by state legislators requiring local court clerks to create driver license reinstatement days. About two million drivers in Florida have suspended licenses — most because of unpaid fines and fees that have nothing to do with unsafe driving.

Vape shops would have to be permitted and regulated by the state, under a House effort to combat an “epidemic” of electronic-cigarette use by teens.

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.

The Florida Senate is moving its version of a plan allowing college athletes to receive pay for their name, image and likeness. Florida is trying to follow California, which passed a law allowing student athletes to earn money from endorsements.

Public school teachers advocating for increased pay have found an ally in the Florida business community. 

Members of both the Council of 100 and the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council have grown vocal in their support of increasing teacher salaries. 

Midpoints can carry a split sensation of dread and relief.

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.

Fines for killing black bears out of season would increase under legislation passed unanimously Wednesday by the Florida House.

Current Florida law requires kids being charged as adults to be held in regular jail while they wait for their trial. New federal standards that go into effect at the end of next year require minors to be held in juvenile detention centers, with few exceptions. Lawmakers are moving forward with a bill to make sure Florida is in compliance.

A bill that removes time limits for prosecuting sexual assault of a minor has plenty of momentum in the Florida House. Meanwhile, its Senate sponsor who remains optimistic the bill will get moving in her chamber.

Florida Supreme Court Questions Clarity Of Proposed Assault Weapons Ban

Feb 4, 2020

Justices on Florida’s highest court questioned Tuesday whether a proposed ballot initiative to restrict assault weapons is too confusing for voters. Justices worried that voters might be confused about what happens to such a firearm when the legal owner dies.

Local communities would no longer be able to use money from tourist-development taxes and half-cent sales taxes on professional sports facilities, under a measure that drew concerns about baseball spring training.

Debate Rages On Florida School Vouchers And LGBT Exclusion

Feb 4, 2020

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said Monday a decision by Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bank to pull contributions to a Florida school-voucher program is a “publicity stunt aimed at earning wokeness points with the radical left.”

Fight Refueled Over Gas Pump Stickers

Feb 4, 2020

  Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried’s office would have to replace stickers that display her smiling face on gas pumps by mid-September under a House budget proposal.

When a baby is getting adopted, the state seals their original birth certificate and they’re issued a new one. According to the Bureau of Vital Statistics, in Florida, adult adoptees can’t get their original birth certificate without consent from both their adoptive and birth parents. However, a bill by Rep. Richard Stark (D-Weston) seeks to change that. 

When a child is born, the first months spent with parents can be crucial for development. A bill in Florida’s House and Senate looks to give parents with a newborn paid time off from work – but not everyone is sold on it.

Within the next decade, 25% of Floridians will be over 60, and so will most new residents relocating to the state. As Florida grays, there’s greater demands on healthcare and related services. State funding has fallen behind. Now Broward County thinks it has an idea to address the coming “Silver Tsunami” but it needs the legislature to help.

Florida Senate building
GOOGLE

Florida’s Legislature is close to approving a bill requiring girls under 18 to obtain permission for an abortion from a parent. Passage would be a political win for Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had pushed for the measure, during an election year when Republicans hope to deliver the state to President Donald Trump.

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.

Florida Senate Takes Aim At Sunscreen Bans

Jan 30, 2020

TALLAHASSEE – Without any debate, the Florida Senate on Wednesday passed legislation that would prohibit local governments from regulating drugs and cosmetics sold over the counter.

The Senate fast-tracked the bill during this year’s legislative session after a similar proposal did not pass in 2019. The 25-14 vote Wednesday came as Key West prepares to enforce a ban on the sale of certain sunscreens next January. 

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.

Officials in Florida are considering legislation aimed at curbing the high number of deaths on the tracks of a new passenger rail line. Brightline is a privately owned rail service operating trains between Miami and West Palm Beach. In its first two years, more than 40 people have been killed by Brightline trains on tracks and at rail crossings, earning it a designation as the nation's deadliest railroad.

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.

Senate's Version Of DeSantis' Teacher Pay Plan Includes Raises For Veteran Instructors

Jan 28, 2020
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

The Florida Senate on Tuesday unveiled an education-budget proposal that includes $500 million for teacher salary increases and no funding for bonus programs, a departure from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ more-ambitious teacher pay plan.

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