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Sen. Joe Gruters

The Florida House Education Committee will hear a bill Wednesday that would merge the state’s two smallest and youngest public universities with its two oldest ones – and that’s not sitting well with some.

Under Brevard County Republican Rep. Randy Fine's proposal (PCB EDC 20-03), Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland would become part of the University of Florida, while New College of Florida in Sarasota would become part of Florida State University.

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

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

After weeks of silence about the event, Republican Party of Florida leaders said Tuesday their big annual fundraiser -- with President Donald Trump as the keynote speaker -- will be held Dec. 7 in Miami.

DeSantis To Join Trump At Villages Event

Oct 2, 2019
Then Rep. Ron DeSantis and President Donald Trump speak in front of a large crowd at a July 31, 2018 rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Gov. Ron DeSantis will be on hand when President Donald Trump visits friendly turf Thursday in The Villages, but two of the president’s other closest Florida allies won’t accompany him.

Republican Party of Florida Chairman Joe Gruters and Congressman Matt Gaetz have prior commitments and will not be able to attend the president’s event, which is happening in the midst of a U.S. House impeachment inquiry into the president.

After a mass shooting in Texas intensified a partisan divide about immigration, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida has decided to postpone a statewide “listening tour” focused on the controversial topic.

“The rhetoric is so charged across the political spectrum that in order to have a truly productive listening tour we’ve decided to delay to a later date,” state Sen. Joe Gruters, who also serves as chairman of the state GOP, told The News Service of Florida in a text message Monday.

Protesters lined up in front of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor's office for a "Close the Camps" rally, aimed at shutting down immigration detention centers.
Ti'anna Davis / WUSF Public Media

Two prominent state senators intend to release proposals for the 2020 legislative session that would set up the Republican platform on immigration, a key issue going into next year’s election cycle.

Sen. Joe Gruters, who doubles as the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, and Senate Judiciary Chairman David Simmons plan to file measures that illustrate different approaches to the thorny topic of immigration, the source of some of the Legislature's most heated controversies in recent years.

A JEA crew works on power restoration in the Egrets Bluee area after Hurricane Irma in Sept. 2017.
JEA

Utilities would have to come up with a 10-year plan to strengthen and bury power lines and be allowed to pass along the cost to customers under a bill passed by the Florida Senate.

A controversial bill that bans local governments from adopting or practicing sanctuary city policies is moving forward, but it comes with some new amendments.

Republican State Senator Joe Gruters, representing Florida's 23rd District, is the new President of the Florida Republican Party. Gruters won handidly during the annual GOP conference in Orlando last Saturday, defeating Charlotte County Republican Bob Starr.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Florida’s new governor Ron DeSantis has wasted no time in putting his stamp on the state.

This week on Florida Matters we take a look at some of his actions so far and talk with journalists about other political happenings like the upcoming mayoral race in Tampa.


The Republican Party of Florida has elected a new leader.

State Sen. Joe Gruters of Sarasota was chosen to lead the state GOP at the party's annual meeting in Orlando Saturday.