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Florida Legislature

  1. Gov. Rick Scott's family history of alcohol abuse could decide 'liquor wall" bill

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott must decide Wednesday whether to let Walmart and other big-box stores sell liquor, and he says a factor in his decision is the history of alcohol abuse in his family.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott is considering a veto of a bill that would allow Walmart, Target and other big box retail stores to sell liquor. [Andres Leiva | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. John Morgan 'prepared to invest $100M' in medical marijuana

    State Roundup

    John Morgan spent nearly $7 million pushing two statewide ballot initiatives to expand medical marijuana throughout the state of Florida.

    Personal injury lawyer John Morgan says he's ready to invest $100 million in medical marijuana. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Will Rick Scott sign or veto 'liquor wall' bill? Two big clues here

    Blogs

    Gov. Rick Scott has until Wednesday to decide the fate of one of the most heavily-lobbied bills in years, the removal of the so-called "liquor wall" so that Walmart, Target and other big box stores can sell liquor. Publix and local chain liquor stores tried mightily to kill the bill but it squeaked through the …

    If a single House member voted differently, the "liquor wall" bill would not be on Gov. Rick Scott's desk.
  4. Supporters of state parks tell Rick Scott: 'Veto this bad budget'

    Blogs

    Another statewide advocacy group wants Gov. Rick Scott to reject the state budget and call the Legislature back to work. Supporters of state parks asked Scott to "veto this bad budget" passed two weeks ago, accusing lawmakers of turning their backs on land conservation and park protection.

    Tubing at popular Itchetucknee Springs State Park
  1. Gov. Rick Scott's family history of alcohol abuse could decide 'liquor wall" bill

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott must decide Wednesday whether to let Walmart and other big-box stores sell liquor, and he says a factor in his decision is the history of alcohol abuse in his family.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott is considering a veto of a bill that would allow Walmart, Target and other big box retail stores to sell liquor. [Andres Leiva | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. John Morgan 'prepared to invest $100M' in medical marijuana

    State Roundup

    John Morgan spent nearly $7 million pushing two statewide ballot initiatives to expand medical marijuana throughout the state of Florida.

    Personal injury lawyer John Morgan says he's ready to invest $100 million in medical marijuana. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Will Rick Scott sign or veto 'liquor wall' bill? Two big clues here

    Blogs

    Gov. Rick Scott has until Wednesday to decide the fate of one of the most heavily-lobbied bills in years, the removal of the so-called "liquor wall" so that Walmart, Target and other big box stores can sell liquor. Publix and local chain liquor stores tried mightily to kill the bill but it squeaked through the …

    If a single House member voted differently, the "liquor wall" bill would not be on Gov. Rick Scott's desk.
  4. Supporters of state parks tell Rick Scott: 'Veto this bad budget'

    Blogs

    Another statewide advocacy group wants Gov. Rick Scott to reject the state budget and call the Legislature back to work. Supporters of state parks asked Scott to "veto this bad budget" passed two weeks ago, accusing lawmakers of turning their backs on land conservation and park protection.

    Tubing at popular Itchetucknee Springs State Park
  1. Gov. Rick Scott's family history of alcohol abuse could decide 'liquor wall" bill

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott must decide Wednesday whether to let Walmart and other big-box stores sell liquor, and he says a factor in his decision is the history of alcohol abuse in his family.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott is considering a veto of a bill that would allow Walmart, Target and other big box retail stores to sell liquor. [Andres Leiva | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”
  3. Potential new laws further curb Floridians' right to government in the Sunshine

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — From temporarily shielding the identities of murder witnesses to permanently sealing millions of criminal and arrest records, state lawmakers did more this spring than they have in all but one of the past 22 years to chip away at Floridians' constitutional guarantees to access government records and …

    The Legislature passed 17 new exemptions to the Sunshine Law, according to a tally by the First Amendment Foundation.
  4. While Hillsborough, St. Pete colleges take a budget hit — public universities get more

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — As Senate President Joe Negron aims to make Florida's 12 public universities "elite" destinations, state lawmakers this spring voted to give an extra $232 million next year to those institutions — while simultaneously cutting $25 million that has helped the state's 28 state colleges serve …

    Florida Senate President Joe Negron talk to members in the chamber. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times].
  5. State Supreme Court rejects massive expansion of slot machines

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — In a major defeat for counties that wanted to authorize slot machines by referendum, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously ruled that Florida counties have no legal authority to ask voters to approve slot machines at existing pari-mutuel race tracks or jai-alai frontons without …

    In 2008 about 800 Vegas-style slot machines were installed in the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Hollywood Florida. The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday against expanding the use of slot machines in parimutuels throughout Florida. [Willie J. Allen Jr. | Times]
  1. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”
  2. While Hillsborough, St. Pete colleges take a budget hit — public universities get more

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — As Senate President Joe Negron aims to make Florida's 12 public universities "elite" destinations, state lawmakers this spring voted to give an extra $232 million next year to those institutions — while simultaneously cutting $25 million that has helped the state's 28 state colleges serve …

    Florida Senate President Joe Negron talk to members in the chamber. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times].
  3. How profitable will medical-marijuana shops be? Very, says confidential pitch for investors

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — As differences over pot shop restrictions burned a medical marijuana bill to ashes in Tallahassee, one of Florida's largest legal cannabis operators courted millions of dollars from new investors and touted a lucrative plan to open dozens of storefronts around the state.

    Medical marijuana products are on display in the "Garden" at Surterra Wellness Center, 2558 E Fowler Ave. in  Tampa. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  1. Florida Legislature 2017: What passed and what failed

    State Roundup

    State legislators filed about 1,900 bills in the 2017 session. Only 12.6 percent, or 234 bills, were passed by both the House and Senate chambers. As of Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott has signed 20 …

    Lobbyists track the action in the Florida Senate during the final week of the Florida Legislative session at the Capitol in Tallahassee. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. State lawmakers pass $82.4 billion budget that heads now to Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The budget Gov. Rick Scott didn't want to see is heading for his desk.

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, center, stands with Reps. Michael Bileca, right, R-Miami, and Chris Sprowls, R- Clearwater, on Monday at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee. The Legislature’s session had been extended three extra days.
  3. Stop charter schools from profiting off taxpayers? Nope, deal kills proposed ban.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Lawmakers were on track this spring to enact long-sought safeguards to stop businesses from turning a profit off public money intended for charter school capital projects.

    Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, said he doesn't know why the new rules on charter schools, aimed at making them more accountable, were left out. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times]
  1. Florida Legislature 2017: What passed and what failed

    State Roundup

    State legislators filed about 1,900 bills in the 2017 session. Only 12.6 percent, or 234 bills, were passed by both the House and Senate chambers. As of Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott has signed 20 …

    Lobbyists track the action in the Florida Senate during the final week of the Florida Legislative session at the Capitol in Tallahassee. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. All eyes on Gov. Rick Scott as he considers budget veto options

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott keeps a veto pen on his desk, but considering his total frustration with the 2017 Legislature, it looks more like a machete.

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott could target his political enemies.
  3. State lawmakers pass $82.4 billion budget that heads now to Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The budget Gov. Rick Scott didn't want to see is heading for his desk.

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, center, stands with Reps. Michael Bileca, right, R-Miami, and Chris Sprowls, R- Clearwater, on Monday at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee. The Legislature’s session had been extended three extra days.
  1. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”
  2. While Hillsborough, St. Pete colleges take a budget hit — public universities get more

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — As Senate President Joe Negron aims to make Florida's 12 public universities "elite" destinations, state lawmakers this spring voted to give an extra $232 million next year to those institutions — while simultaneously cutting $25 million that has helped the state's 28 state colleges serve …

    Florida Senate President Joe Negron talk to members in the chamber. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times].
  3. Veto schools bill and education budget, critics urge Gov. Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott faces mounting pressure from school superintendents, teachers unions and parent groups to veto $23.7 billion in base funding to K-12 public schools next year — as well as a controversial $419 million education policy bill that lawmakers unveiled and passed in the span of just …

    Joining other superintendents from large counties, Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Mike Grego is urging Gov. Rick Scott to reject the education budget and a massive education bill, HB 7069. [DIRK SHADD | Tampa Bay Times]