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Florida Legislature

  1. House's testing bill set to expand, setting up negotiations with Senate

    Blogs

    Lawmakers in the Florida House plan to take a priority proposal aimed at reforming the standardized testing schedule in K-12 public schools and transform it into a broader education policy bill — a move …

    Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah
  2. Four extraordinary days at the Florida Capitol: How Artiles went from defiance to resignation

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Last Monday afternoon, at the start of the state Legislature's seventh week of session, Sen. Audrey Gibson raced up three floors to present one of her bills to the Florida Senate's Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee.

    Frank Artiles, R-Miami, resigned his seat in the Florida Senate on Friday.  (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)
  3. Hooters 'calendar girl' and Playboy 'Miss Social' were Frank Artiles' paid consultants

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Just months before his resignation Friday, Sen. Frank Artiles scored a coup in November when he unseated Democrat Dwight Bullard with an aggressive $1 million campaign in a district that favored Democrats.

    Heather Thomas, a waitress and bartender in Tallahassee, was paid $2,000 by Frank Artiles political committee for consulting. Her job application for a previous role showed she had no previous political experience. [Facebook]
  4. Replacing Artiles: Who's in and who's out (so far)

    Blogs

    Miami politics went into overdrive Friday following state Sen. Frank Artiles' resignation, as elected officials and their political consultants scrambled to figure out who might run in a yet-to-be-scheduled special election to replace the freshman Miami Republican.

  5. Frank Artiles, Miami state senator, resigns after racist, profane remarks

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Sen. Frank Artiles resigned from the Legislature on Friday, consumed by a scandal that erupted three days earlier over a diatribe of insults the Miami Republican unleashed against two lawmakers at a Tallahassee bar.

    Republican state senator Frank Artiles, R-Miami, resigned Friday for using racial slurs and obscene insults in a private after-hours conversation with African-American colleagues. [Associated Press]
  1. House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes
  2. Controversy over Miami lawmaker's racial slur engulfs Florida Legislature

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Controversy raged in the Florida Capitol for a second day over Sen. Frank Artiles' racist and sexist tirade, distracting and slowing down the Legislature on Thursday, just two weeks before the end of the annual lawmaking session and building pressure on the Miami Republican to resign — or risk …

    Sen. Frank Artiles, R- Miami, is showing no signs of stepping down. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Florida's top court green lights voting right for felons ballot question

    State Roundup

    Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

    TALLAHASSEE — Voting rights advocates and civil rights attorneys cheered the Florida Supreme Court's unanimous ruling Thursday approving language of a proposed amendment that would restore voting rights for convicted felons, saying the decision is a major step toward …

    The Florida Supreme Court's ruling that approved the language of a proposed amendment restoring voting rights for convicted felons was hailed by advocates on Thursday.  [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Welfare changes in Florida include tougher penalties for recipients

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Welfare recipients in Florida would face tougher penalties for failing to meet work requirements and some food stamp recipients could become ineligible if lawmakers in the Florida House have their way.

    Rep. Dane Eagle said the bill is intended to encourage employment.
  5. It's up to Rick Scott now: Should local governments be allowed to regulate Uber?

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE

    Years of fighting among local governments, the Legislature and ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft could soon come to an end.

    Taxi cab drivers wait at an offsite area for fares at Tampa International Airport Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee for voted 7-2 Tuesday in favor of a statewide ride-sharing legislation that was proposed by Senator Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg. SB 340 would prevent local governments from passing their own regulations, making the Public Transportation Commission powerless to oversee the companies.
  1. Hooters 'calendar girl' and Playboy 'Miss Social' were Frank Artiles' paid consultants

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Just months before his resignation Friday, Sen. Frank Artiles scored a coup in November when he unseated Democrat Dwight Bullard with an aggressive $1 million campaign in a district that favored Democrats.

    Heather Thomas, a waitress and bartender in Tallahassee, was paid $2,000 by Frank Artiles political committee for consulting. Her job application for a previous role showed she had no previous political experience. [Facebook]
  2. Frank Artiles, Miami state senator, resigns after racist, profane remarks

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Sen. Frank Artiles resigned from the Legislature on Friday, consumed by a scandal that erupted three days earlier over a diatribe of insults the Miami Republican unleashed against two lawmakers at a Tallahassee bar.

    Republican state senator Frank Artiles, R-Miami, resigned Friday for using racial slurs and obscene insults in a private after-hours conversation with African-American colleagues. [Associated Press]
  3. Controversy over Miami lawmaker's racial slur engulfs Florida Legislature

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Controversy raged in the Florida Capitol for a second day over Sen. Frank Artiles' racist and sexist tirade, distracting and slowing down the Legislature on Thursday, just two weeks before the end of the annual lawmaking session and building pressure on the Miami Republican to resign — or risk …

    Sen. Frank Artiles, R- Miami, is showing no signs of stepping down. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Florida's top court green lights voting right for felons ballot question

    State Roundup

    Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

    TALLAHASSEE — Voting rights advocates and civil rights attorneys cheered the Florida Supreme Court's unanimous ruling Thursday approving language of a proposed amendment that would restore voting rights for convicted felons, saying the decision is a major step toward …

    The Florida Supreme Court's ruling that approved the language of a proposed amendment restoring voting rights for convicted felons was hailed by advocates on Thursday.  [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times]
  5. Legislative complaint seeks to expel Miami lawmaker from Senate over 'racist rant'

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Forced by Florida Senate leaders to show contrition, Miami Republican Sen. Frank Artiles stood on the chamber floor Wednesday morning and told his colleagues he was sorry for insulting them in private using curse words and a racial slur.

    State Sen. Frank Artiles, R- Miami, had been reported to Republican leaders for using offensive language directed at state Sen. Audrey Gibson and others. [Scott Keeler | Times]
  1. Controversy over Miami lawmaker's racial slur engulfs Florida Legislature

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Controversy raged in the Florida Capitol for a second day over Sen. Frank Artiles' racist and sexist tirade, distracting and slowing down the Legislature on Thursday, just two weeks before the end of the annual lawmaking session and building pressure on the Miami Republican to resign — or risk …

    Sen. Frank Artiles, R- Miami, is showing no signs of stepping down. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. In breakthrough for water plan, Gov. Scott endorses reservoir, faster fixes for dike

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott added some tension to the feud between the House and Senate over priority legislation Monday and endorsed Senate President Joe Negron's proposal to build a deep-water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee on existing state lands to reduce the need to discharge polluted water into …

    Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, greets Florida Gov. Rick Scott on the floor of the Senate during the first day of the 2017 session. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Large counties push back on House's proposed $200M charter school incentive

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Administrators at some of Florida's largest school districts are speaking out in opposition to House Republicans' $200 million "schools of hope" plan that would pit new, specialized charter schools against the districts' perpetually failing traditional public schools.

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, and House Minority Leader Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, talk on the floor on House Chamber. Corcoran is pushing one of his top priorities, to spend $200 million to attract out-of-state charter schools to Florida. Cruz and the Democrats object to the plan, and are raising transparency concerns that the Republicans will include this in the budget with little discussion. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times]
  1. Controversy over Miami lawmaker's racial slur engulfs Florida Legislature

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Controversy raged in the Florida Capitol for a second day over Sen. Frank Artiles' racist and sexist tirade, distracting and slowing down the Legislature on Thursday, just two weeks before the end of the annual lawmaking session and building pressure on the Miami Republican to resign — or risk …

    Sen. Frank Artiles, R- Miami, is showing no signs of stepping down. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Miami lawmaker's leadership and 'gun-bill fatigue' disarm Legislature

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — When Anitere Flores declared, unprompted, a month ago there were a lot of controversial gun-rights measures she wouldn't support this year, the Miami Republican state senator truly set the tone for the Legislature's gun debate in 2017.

    Anitere Flores, right, speaks with fellow Sen. Ren? Garc?a on the floor of the Florida Senate last month. Both have been central in stemming the flow of gun legislation this session.
  3. Hospitals, higher ed, hometown spending divide lawmakers as budget battle intensifies

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Hospitals, higher education and hometown spending are all focal points of disagreement after Senate and House panels approved rival state budgets Wednesday.

    Senate Budget chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, wants to see state employees get a pay raise for only the second time in 10 years. [SCOTT KEELER      |     Times]
  1. Controversy over Miami lawmaker's racial slur engulfs Florida Legislature

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Controversy raged in the Florida Capitol for a second day over Sen. Frank Artiles' racist and sexist tirade, distracting and slowing down the Legislature on Thursday, just two weeks before the end of the annual lawmaking session and building pressure on the Miami Republican to resign — or risk …

    Sen. Frank Artiles, R- Miami, is showing no signs of stepping down. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. In breakthrough for water plan, Gov. Scott endorses reservoir, faster fixes for dike

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott added some tension to the feud between the House and Senate over priority legislation Monday and endorsed Senate President Joe Negron's proposal to build a deep-water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee on existing state lands to reduce the need to discharge polluted water into …

    Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, greets Florida Gov. Rick Scott on the floor of the Senate during the first day of the 2017 session. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Are legislators 'hijacking' the will of voters or injecting common sense?

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida's experiment in direct democracy is being tested this year in the state Legislature.

    Florida lawmakers are considering proposals to implement or modify measures approved by voters in a way that critics say would subvert the will of the public [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  1. Controversy over Miami lawmaker's racial slur engulfs Florida Legislature

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Controversy raged in the Florida Capitol for a second day over Sen. Frank Artiles' racist and sexist tirade, distracting and slowing down the Legislature on Thursday, just two weeks before the end of the annual lawmaking session and building pressure on the Miami Republican to resign — or risk …

    Sen. Frank Artiles, R- Miami, is showing no signs of stepping down. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Large counties push back on House's proposed $200M charter school incentive

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Administrators at some of Florida's largest school districts are speaking out in opposition to House Republicans' $200 million "schools of hope" plan that would pit new, specialized charter schools against the districts' perpetually failing traditional public schools.

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, and House Minority Leader Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, talk on the floor on House Chamber. Corcoran is pushing one of his top priorities, to spend $200 million to attract out-of-state charter schools to Florida. Cruz and the Democrats object to the plan, and are raising transparency concerns that the Republicans will include this in the budget with little discussion. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Legislature vows transparency on negotiating education policy. History says otherwise.

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE Florida lawmakers last week set into motion a budget process that will result in several highly consequential policy reforms affecting public education to become law this year in one form or another.