State

A review of legislation impacting Brooksville & Hernando County

May 31, 2017 - 18:59

(STAFF)

“Things aren’t as bad as when I was here last time. It was a tough session,” said Shawn Foster of Sunrise Consulting Group to the Brooksville City Council on May 15th.

Foster continued, “it was the most onslaught attack that I’d ever seen on local rule in 20 years as staff or as a lobbyist. I think it’ll be back… The leadership that was there, they’ll still be there next year and they’ll still be in charge.”

FAILED

NEW COLLEGE AWARDS FIRST GRADUATE DEGREES

May 27, 2017 - 13:54

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

May 10, 2017 - 16:20

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

May 06, 2017 - 17:23

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

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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