State

STATE LEADERS LOOK TO INCREASE GRADUATE DEGREES

By LLOYD DUNKELBERGER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 12, 2016.......... Although Florida's production of graduate degrees has stalled in the past few years, Senate President Joe Negron said Monday he wants to enhance the state's graduate and professional schools as part of a plan to improve the quality of the state's higher-education system.

Negron, R-Stuart, who wants to boost university system funding by $1 billion over the next two years, said one of the quickest ways to elevate the system is to enhance "our graduate programs, particularly law, business and medicine."

COUNTIES TO GET MONEY TO CURB BEAR CONFLICTS

By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

image by FWC

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 13, 2016.......... State money was spread across 12 counties on Tuesday to help reduce the potential for conflicts between Florida's bear and human populations.

Most of the $825,000 in "BearWise" program money will go to lower the cost of bear-resistant trash cans for residents, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a release announcing the grants.

THRASHER TAKES AIM AT GUNS ON CAMPUS

By LLOYD DUNKELBERGER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Landis Hall, FSU User:Chargarther

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 7, 2016.......... In his annual "state of the university" address on Wednesday, Florida State University President John Thrasher reiterated his strong opposition to allowing guns on university and college campuses.

As a member of the Florida Senate, Thrasher helped kill a bill in 2011 that would have allowed gun owners with concealed-weapons licenses to bring their firearms to Florida's university and state-college campuses.

THREE SUPREME COURT NOMINEES WOULD ADD CONSERVATIVE VOICE

By DARA KAM
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, November 29, 2016.......... Florida Supreme Court justices Charles Canady and Ricky Polston will almost certainly have a conservative colleague to join their frequent splits from the court's majority when Gov. Rick Scott appoints a replacement for Justice James E.C. Perry.

Perry's constitutionally mandated retirement gives Scott the opportunity to continue moving Florida's appellate courts to the right, and the three nominees to replace Perry left no doubt this week as to how they would rule if appointed to the state's highest court.

JUDGE HALTS WORKERS' COMP RATE HIKE OVER SUNSHINE ISSUES

By JIM SAUNDERS
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Judge Karen Gievers

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, November 23, 2016.......... Little more than a week before businesses were slated to get hit with increased workers' compensation insurance rates, a Leon County circuit judge Wednesday blocked the hike because of violations of Florida's Sunshine Law.

An organization that files workers' compensation rate proposals for insurers quickly said it would appeal.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA SOARS TO APPROVAL

By DARA KAM
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, November 8, 2016.......... Stunning even some of the proposal's most avid supporters, Florida voters Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana for patients with a broad swath of conditions.

Amendment 2, "Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions," received at least 70 percent of the vote, far greater than the 60 percent required for passage of constitutional amendments in Florida.

CRITICS ASK SUPREME COURT TO BLOCK SOLAR AMENDMENT

By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, November 2, 2016.......... Opponents of a controversial solar-energy ballot initiative asked the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday to again review the ballot language and to strike down the proposed constitutional amendment.

But a spokeswoman for Consumers for Smart Solar, a group sponsoring what is known as Amendment 1, was quick to call the request --- filed with less than a week remaining in the campaign --- "political grandstanding."

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