State News

NEGOTIATORS NAIL DOWN $83 BILLION STATE BUDGET

May 05, 2017 - 08:55

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.

BUDGET ON TRACK FOR MONDAY APPROVAL

May 04, 2017 - 09:25

By BRANDON LARRABEE
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, May 3, 2017......... Lawmakers closed in on an elusive budget deal Wednesday, even as Gov. Rick Scott ramped up criticism of the spending plan as he toured the state.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, and Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, announced Wednesday morning that the two chambers have agreed in principle on how to spend nearly $83 billion in the year that begins July 1.

DEADLY FENTANYL TOUCHES OFF SENATE DEBATE

May 02, 2017 - 13:41

By JIM SAUNDERS
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, May 2, 2017......... Grappling with a deadly drug scourge across the state, Florida senators Tuesday had an impassioned debate about whether the state should require mandatory-minimum prison sentences for fentanyl trafficking.

The debate came as senators considered a bill that would impose tough criminal penalties on people who sell fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid often mixed with other drugs, such as heroin. Its potency has led to overdose deaths across Florida --- and the country.

TESTING BILL SHAPES UP AS EDUCATION TRAIN

April 20, 2017 - 13:51

By BRANDON LARRABEE
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, April 19, 2017 .......... A bill aimed at scaling back the number of standardized tests administered in Florida passed its final Senate committee on Wednesday after picking up amendments dealing with recess and other education issues.

The growth of the measure (SB 926) quickly drew complaints, even from some supporters, that it was becoming an unwieldy "train," a term for late-session bills that glom together different proposals in order to ease passage for one or more of the ideas.

DIVIDED SENATE BACKS ENDING 'LIQUOR WALL'

March 23, 2017 - 13:31

By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, March 23, 2017......... A heavily lobbied proposal to knock down a Depression-era ban on liquor being sold alongside groceries narrowly survived the Senate on Thursday, after a passionate debate that included some opponents warning the change could make alcohol more accessible to --- or even "kill" --- children.

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