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Florida Legislature

  1. Facing possible House impeachment, judge abruptly resigns


    Duval Circuit Judge Mark Hulsey III, the subject of an investigation over allegations that he made sexist and racially intensitive comments from the bench, abruptly resigned his judgeship Monday on the eve of the start of a highly unusual impeachment investigation by the Legislature.

  2. Florida lawmakers continue to file education-related bills


    It never fails. With every Florida legislative session, lawmakers can't seem to help filing bills on hot-button education issues. They resonate with parents, generating buzz as the Legislature focuses on other drier concerns.

  3. Senator behind gambling expansion worked for resort owners


    TALLAHASSEE — A powerful state senator trying to push through a dramatic expansion of gambling in Florida recently worked for the company that owns an iconic Miami Beach hotel interested in adding slot machines.

    Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, (right), is pushing through a major gambling bill that would allow slots machines in Miami-Dade, helping a former client of his, Turnberry Associates, which owns the inconic Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. Galvano acknowledged to the Associated Press that he did legal work for Turnberry three years ago, but said that didn't influence his drafting of the bill. Galvano is pictured here with House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, whose brother, Michael, is a lobbyist for Turnberry. Campaign finance records show that since 2010 the Fontainebleau has donated nearly $2.3 million in contributions, including more than $800,000 to the Republican Party of Florida. Political committees run by Galvano have received $90,000 in campaign contributions, while one controlled by Senate President Joe Negron has received $75,000.  [Phil Sears | Associated Press]
  4. Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri lobbies on behalf of sheriffs in Tallahassee.
  5. These are the gun law changes Florida lawmakers could take up in 2017


    Legislators have proposed several law changes for the upcoming 2017 session that would either expand or restrict gun ownership and possession.

    The Florida House
  1. Florida lawmakers boost education spending, expand online learning


    TALLAHASSEE — Teachers won raises. School districts got a boost in per-pupil funding. Charter schools nearly doubled their construction and maintenance dollars.

        1. Gov. Scott once took aim at mosquito districts as 'tax burden'


          The full story is here.

        1. FLORIDA GUNS, PART 1: More guns could mean safer citizens, advocates argue

          State Roundup

          TALLAHASSEE — Picture this different view of public life in Florida.

          A memorial outside Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June. Despite the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, gun rights supporters argue looser restrictions will make public spaces safer. [Cherie Diez | Tampa Bay Times]
        2. FLORIDA GUNS, PART 2: Gun-control advocates push for tougher laws

          State Roundup

          TALLAHASSEE — Since the summer shooting that devastated Latin night at Pulse, an Orlando gay nightclub, state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith has worn a rainbow-patterned ribbon on his lapel.

          In this image taken Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 and made available by Mark Lea, shows the pistol of alleged shooter Esteban Santiago at the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Santiago opened fire in the baggage claim area killing five travelers. [Mark Lea via AP]
        3. FLORIDA GUNS, PART 3: Shootings boost prospects for gun groups

          State Roundup

          TALLAHASSEE — Marion Hammer's phone rang as news bulletins reported that five tourists were shot to death at Fort Lauderdale-International Airport.

          Marion Hammer, the National Rifle Association's longtime Tallahassee lobbyist, (right) prior to the Florida House Judiciary Committee hearing about open-carry gun legislation last year. She's talking with Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart.