State News

NEW COLLEGE AWARDS FIRST GRADUATE DEGREES

By LLOYD DUNKELBERGER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

New College of Florida

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, May 25, 2017......... For the first time in its 57-year history, New College of Florida will award graduate degrees to students on Friday.

The Sarasota-based college announced that seven students will earn master's degrees as the class of 2017 participates in commencement ceremonies.

The students are earning their diplomas in New College's data-science program, which began in 2016 and represented the first time the small liberal arts honors college, which has about 875 students, had offered a graduate degree.

BUDGET TIDBITS GO FROM ALLIGATORS TO ZOOS

By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, May 10, 2017......... The more than 400-page state budget approved this week by Florida lawmakers goes beyond spending on high-profile issues such as education, prisons and health care.

The $82.4 billion spending plan, which is headed to Gov. Rick Scott, is sprinkled with numerous local projects that are priorities of individual lawmakers.

Scott in the coming weeks will be able to veto the entire budget, take out individual budget items or let the Legislature's spending decisions stand.

TEN BIG ISSUES OF THE 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

By JIM SAUNDERS
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, May 6, 2017......... Florida lawmakers will gather Monday at the Capitol to pass a new state budget. But for the most part, the annual legislative session ended Friday night when the House and Senate adjourned after a final round of negotiating and maneuvering.

As always, the Legislature considered hundreds of bills during the session, with many passing, many dying quietly and others flaming out because of disagreements between the House and Senate.

Here is a quick look at 10 big issues:

NEGOTIATORS NAIL DOWN $83 BILLION STATE BUDGET

By BRANDON LARRABEE
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, May 4, 2017......... Behind schedule and late in the evening, House and Senate negotiators agreed Thursday to an $83 billion spending plan for the year that begins July 1, setting up a delayed end to the legislative session.

The agreement provides for a modest increase in the main state formula for funding public education, cuts payments to hospitals by more than $500 million, and provides a raise to state employees for the first time since 2013.

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