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2020 Florida Legislature

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.

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

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

Death Penalty Ruling Caps Busy Week For Florida Supreme Court, Legislature

Jan 25, 2020

Week two of the 2020 legislative session is in the books.

But bigger news was made this week at the Florida Supreme Court than at the building across the street, a Capitol chock full of lawmakers who are starting to develop session intrigue.

On Friday's Roundup, we discussed the parental consent bill that requires parents of minor girls seeking an abortion to approve of the abortion before a doctor can perform it. Also, lawmakers in Tallahassee are considering a bill that would establish a statewide Office of Resiliency, along with a statewide Sea Level Rise Task Force.

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.

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.

Clifford Williams says he relied on his faith during more than four decades behind bars, including five years on Florida’s Death Row.

Parental Consent Bill Advances In Senate On Roe V. Wade Anniversary

Jan 22, 2020
Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

A Senate panel on Wednesday split along party lines as Republicans pushed through a bill that would require teenage girls to get consent from their parents before having abortions.

A bill sponsored by state Rep. Cyndi Stevenson (R-St. Augustine) that would establish a statewide Office of Resiliency along with a statewide Sea Level Rise Task Force unanimously passed a House Subcommittee Tuesday afternoon.

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.

Dignity Florida is backing bills aimed to change how pregnant incarcerated women are treated. The push comes after a woman gave birth alone in a jail cell. 

Two French teachers and their American students sit in a classroom
Kerry Sheridan/WUSF

A House education panel on Thursday unveiled an early budget recommendation that includes $462 million for teacher pay raises after conducting a “budget exercise” for the coming fiscal year.

Armed Guardians work at the Manatee School for the Arts.
Manatee School for the Arts

Two Democrats who are critical of Florida’s school guardian program have filed long-shot legislation seeking to redirect money earmarked for training and arming school personnel toward other school security measures.

A decade ago a fight broke out in Florida over whether to require businesses to use the federal E-Verify system to ensure employees are eligible to work in the United States. The solution at the time was an executive order by then-Governor Rick Scott requiring state employers use E-Verify. Now the idea is back: pitched by governor Ron DeSantis and it’s no less controversial than it was a decade ago.

This week marked the start of Florida’s 2020 Legislative session. Until at least mid-March, state lawmakers will discuss and approve bills that touch virtually every aspect of life in Florida. Some are brand-new; others are “deja vu."

A bill in the Florida legislature would make Bible classes mandatory electives in public high schools. The original bill filed in the House during the last legislative session died in committee.

To end its losing battle to block oil exploration in Everglades wetlands, Florida plans to purchase 20,000 acres in Broward County.

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