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Arthenia Joyner

A change to the Victims of Wrongful Incarceration Act is now in effect. The updated Florida law seeks to make it easier for more exonerees to receive compensation for their wrongful incarceration.

Florida’s political and corporate elite are nervously anticipating Monday, when  House Speaker Richard Corcoran has promised to name his picks to the Constitution Revision Commission.

Retiring Senators From Tampa Bay Area Earned Respect

Apr 20, 2016
Florida Senate

When Florida’s legislative session reaches its final days, senators honor retiring colleagues with videos and floor speeches. Some of the accolades are more heartfelt than others.

This year, as they saluted Democrat Arthenia Joyner of Tampa and Republican Nancy Detert of Sarasota, it was clear that the sincerity was real.

Pool/Edmund D. Fountain/Tampa Bay Times

A relative of one of the boys buried at a shuttered reform school and a representative of Jackson County would be part of a task force that establishes a memorial and determines where unclaimed remains should be re-interned, under a proposal backed Thursday by a Senate panel.

Pool/Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times


Florida may pay for burials of students whose remains were once on the grounds of the now shuttered Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys.

Proposals Would Provide Aid to Dozier Families

Nov 3, 2015
Pool/Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

Two Democratic lawmakers filed bills Tuesday that would direct the Florida Department of State to preserve historical resources from the shuttered Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys and to provide money to help families reinter bodies of children found at the Jackson County site.

The bills (SB 708 and HB 533), filed by Senate Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, and Rep. Ed Narain, D-Tampa, come after extensive excavation work by University of South Florida researchers at the former reform school.

In-fighting in the Florida legislature is getting increasingly personal. But some observers are saying Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, may have crossed a line.

A proposal allowing guns to be carried on public college and university campuses is gaining steam in the legislature. While the bill applies to all public higher educations in Florida—One school, Florida State University—is dominating the conversation.

Members of the democratic caucus met Thursday in two back-to-back conferences, one on pensions and the other on environmental policy.

Florida Senate

Florida has dodged a bullet in recent years when it comes to hurricanes, but that hasn’t stopped gun-loving conservatives from looking ahead to the next emergency. A Senate committee Thursday approved a measure giving evacuees the right to bear arms.

Temperatures and tempers soaring, some residents snapped after Hurricane Andrew leveled South Miami in August, 1992. Fights broke out in long lines for ice. There was looting.

Is that the right atmosphere to encourage survivors to haul out their guns?

A comprehensive prison reform package cleared another Senate committee Wednesday. But, at the bill’s next stop, the measure may look a little different due to some bipartisan concerns with the omnibus bill.

WUSF/Mark Schreiner

Gov. Rick Scott gave his State of the State address Tuesday and talked about issues that affect Floridians, like jobs and education.

Scott did not address medical marijuana, Medicare and Medicaid, reform of the state prison system or some other hot topics up for discussion in this year’s Legislative session.

After the address, WUSF's Carson Cooper talked with USF political science professor  John Bertalan about what the governor did - and didn't - address. 

State Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, the Senate Democratic leader, gave a response to Gov. Rick Scott's State of the State. Her remarks as prepared for delivery:

On the road to his first election, Republican Governor Rick Scott promised Floridians that under his 7-step economic plan, “total job growth will accelerate, the number of new business start-ups will increase, wages and salaries will grow, and the productivity and vitality of Florida’s economy will soar.”

Two Democratic lawmakers have filed a bill to make it easier for minors to have their records expunged.

Rep. Mia Jones (D-Jacksonville) says getting a record expunged is particularly problematic for African American youth who want to do things, like get a job, go to school, or join the army—but can’t because of mistakes made when they were younger.

“It puts them in a situation where they become the marketplace for recidivism. And, we want to be able to help to clear their records once they become 18 as opposed to waiting until they’re mid-to-late 20s.”

WFSU

Gov. Rick Scott has rejected a request from Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater to consider a search for a new head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Scott wants the cabinet to consider changes at the departments of insurance regulation, financial regulation, and revenue. The exchange comes as Democratic lawmakers call for an investigation into the ouster of former FDLE head Gerald Bailey.

Tampa's Arthenia Joyner Elected Head of Senate Democrats

Nov 17, 2014

Sen. Arthenia Joyner will now lead the Democratic Party on the floor of the state Senate, a little more than a half century after spending a couple of weeks in the Leon County Jail as part of local civil-rights struggles.

Joyner, a Tampa Democrat, was unanimously elected Monday by the Senate Democratic Caucus to be the minority party's leader the next two sessions.

The selection was first announced in May as the 2014 session came to a close.

Sen. Oscar Braynon of Miami Gardens was elected the party's leader pro tempore, making him second in line.