Kathleen McGrory, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Kathleen McGrory

Kathleen McGrory is a state government reporter in the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau. She has been with the Miami Herald since 2006. Her previous beats include breaking news, the Miami-Dade school district and Miami City Hall. She holds degrees from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Phone: (850) 222-3095

Email: kmcgrory@miamiherald.com

Twitter: @kmcgrory

  1. Bill granting in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants stalls

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Thousands of undocumented immigrants fighting for in-state college tuition rates may have had their hopes dashed Thursday when a top state lawmaker announced his committee would not hold a vote on the controversial bill.

    The surprise move by Senate Budget Chairman Joe Negron — which caught Republicans in the House and governor's office flatfooted — means the proposal (SB 1400) will be a long shot for passage during the final two weeks of the legislative session....

  2. In-state tuition bill hits roadblock in Senate

    Blog

    Thousands of undocumented immigrants fighting for in-state college tuition rates may have had their hopes dashed Thursday when a top state lawmaker announced his committee would not hold a vote on the controversial bill.

    The surprise move by Senate Budget Chairman Joe Negron — which caught Republicans in the House and governor's office flatfooted — means the proposal (SB 1400) will be a long shot for passage during the final two weeks of the legislative session....

  3. Senate panel won't hear in-state tuition bill, weakening its chances

    Blog

    Thousands of undocumented immigrants fighting for in-state college tuition rates may have had their hopes dashed Thursday when a top state lawmaker announced his committee would not hold a vote on the controversial bill.

    The surprise move by Senate Budget Chairman Joe Negron — which caught Republicans in the House and governor's office flatfooted — means the proposal (SB 1400) will be a long shot for passage during the final two weeks of the legislative session....

  4. Senate president won't support in-state tuition for undocumented students

    Blog

    The holiday break didn't stop Senate President Don Gaetz from weighing in on one of the most controversial bills of the session.

    On Thursday, Gaetz sent an email to his constituents in Northwest Florida voicing opposition to Senate Bill 1400. The proposal by Sen. Jack Latvala would allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates at Florida colleges and universities. ...

  5. Gaetz: SB 1400 "not limited to Hispanics"

    Blog

    The holiday break didn't stop Senate President Don Gaetz from weighing in on one of the most controversial bills of the session.

    On Thursday, Gaetz sent an email to his constituents in Northwest Florida voicing opposition to Senate Bill 1400. The proposal by Sen. Jack Latvala would allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates at Florida colleges and universities. ...

  6. Uber launches new campaign to get bill across the finish line

    Blog

    With less than three weeks left in the legislative session, Uber is making an aggressive push to get its priority bills across the finish line.

    The luxury-car mobile-dispatching service is throwing its considerable heft behind SB 1618 and HB 1389.

    Originally, the proposals sought to let companies like Uber to circumvent municipalities and win approval from the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. But the bills were watered down in committee, and now would help Uber only in Hillsborough County....

  7. Florida lawmakers make one more push to extend health care to immigrant children

    Health

    TALLAHASSEE — A bill to extend subsidized health insurance to the state's youngest legal immigrants has stalled in the Florida Legislature, due largely to the initial $27.5 million price tag.

    But Rep. José Félix Díaz, a Miami Republican, says the actual price is a lot lower: $7 million to $15 million. He's fighting to have the measure included in the state budget.

    "If we don't act, these kids will not get primary care," said Díaz, whose bill would eliminate a five-year waiting period for coverage under Florida's KidCare program. "They will enter our system with chronic issues."...

  8. SEIU targets Republican lawmakers with constituents in coverage gap

    Blog

    The state healthcare workers' union has a new strategy in its fight to expand Medicaid coverage: reaching out to voters "who've been screwed out of healthcare coverage by their representative's refusal to act."

    SEIU Florida will be knocking on doors this weekend in four state House districts.

    The targeted lawmakers include Republican Reps. Manny Diaz, Jr., of Hialeah; Erik Fresen, of Miami; Kathleen Peters, of St. Petersburg; and Bill Hager, of Delray Beach. Each lawmaker represents more than 4,600 residents who are missing out on coverage, according a union analysis....

  9. Union appeals to Florida voters in the Medicaid 'coverage gap'

    Health

    TALLAHASSEE — The state health care workers' union has a new strategy in its fight to expand Medicaid coverage: reaching out to voters "who've been screwed out of health care coverage by their representative's refusal to act."

    This heat map, created by SEIU Florida, shows the number of residents in each Florida House district who fall in the Medicaid coverage gap....

  10. Flurry of education bills dominate debate in Legislature

    K12

    TALLAHASSEE — As schoolchildren prepared to take the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests for the last time, the state Senate put its unanimous support behind a proposal that would simplify the school grading formula for next year.

    The bill by Sen. John Legg, R-Trinity, would not pause the grading system for three years, as district superintendents had hoped. But schools would not be punished for poor academic performance in the 2014-15 school year, as children begin taking a new test....

  11. Democrats call attention to raising Florida's minimum wage, but it's a losing battle

    Business

    TALLAHASSEE

    They held protests and press conferences. Several even spent the week living on $7.93 an hour. But try as they might, Democratic lawmakers could not spark a discussion about increasing the state minimum wage. "It's a debate that's being had everywhere but Florida," said Sen. Dwight Bullard, the Miami-Dade Democrat leading the charge. "Republicans are blocking it." The GOP had its reasons for not engaging on the issue, some members said, including a belief that increasing the minimum wage would slow job growth....

    From left, Democrats Kionne McGhee and Cynthia Stafford, both of Miami, and Bobby Powell of West Palm Beach were among nine lawmakers who tried living on minimum wage for a week.
  12. Miami-Dade lawmakers seek apology from college president

    Blog

    A day after Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón ignited a war of words by blasting four local lawmakers, the other side fired back.

    In a sign of growing backlash, the response wasn’t limited to the targets Padrón initially criticized for opposing a key MDC funding bill. Instead, the four were joined by seven other members of the Miami-Dade legislative delegation in co-signing a letter that called Padrón’s statements "something we cannot and will not tolerate."...

  13. Weakened voucher bill heads toward House floor vote

    Blog

    Democrats and Republicans clashed Wednesday over a proposal that would expand the state’s school voucher program and create another voucher-like program for children with special needs.

    Democrats made their concerns known by proposing a series of "unfriendly" amendments, one of which would have required students in the voucher program to take the state tests. But each was rejected by the Republican-led chamber, and the bill advanced toward a final vote....

  14. Florida lawmakers clash over school choice

    K12

    TALLAHASSEE — Democrats and Republicans clashed Wednesday over a proposal that would expand the state's school voucher program and create another voucher-like program for children with special needs.

    Democrats made their concerns known by proposing a series of "unfriendly" amendments, one of which would have required students in the voucher program to take the state tests. But each was rejected by the Republican-led chamber, and the bill advanced toward a final vote....

    House Speaker Will Weatherford says he feels good about the bill's chances.
  15. Senate panel won't budge on watered-down charter-school bill

    Blog

    A Senate panel on Wednesday further watered down a proposal seeking to encourage charter school growth.

    The original 39-page bill would have stripped school systems of their power to negotiate contracts with privately managed charter schools by mandating the use of a standard contract.

    It would have also required districts to share their unused buildings.

    The proposal is now two pages, and does little more than clarify that military commanders can establish charter schools on their bases. (Similar language is included in a bill that Gov. Rick Scott already signed into law.)...