A signing ceremony for the texting while driving bill (SB 52) has been set for 2-3 p.m. May 28th in Miami, according to an email listed on Project Sunburst, a website that displays executive staff emails in the Governor’s office, but Jackie Schutz, a spokesman for Gov. Rick Scott, wouldn't confirm the information.
She said the governor hasn’t yet received the bill and he is still "reviewing the legislation....
Fighting fraud that costs the state millions of dollars and impacts poor residents who rely on public assistance payments,The Department of Children & Families on Tuesday announced a new system to crack down on cheaters.
“Florida has the highest per capita rate of reported identity theft nationally,” with more than 70 percent of ID theft tied to government-related services, said DCF Secretary David Wilkins, speaking at a a press conference with Deputy CFO Jay Etheridge and Tallahassee Police Chief Dennis Jones....
New executive editor at News Service
Jim Saunders has been named the new executive editor of the News Service of Florida. Saunders replaces founding executive editor David Royse, who will become the News Service’s associate editor of special projects....
Attorney General Pam Bondi is turning to Florida businesses to expand her “zero tolerance” campaign to crack down on human trafficking in the state, which has seen an increase of teen runaways, the homeless and immigrants as prime victims.
Bondi met with a handful of business leaders who joined her at a press conference Tuesday to discuss a public-private partnership, with a “tool kit” to help train employees at all levels to recognize signs of human trafficking....
It's been a busy session for movers and shakers.
Capitol TV reporter becomes new DCF press secretary
Whitney Ray, a reporter for the Capitol News Service, has been named the new press secretary for the Department of Children and Families. Ray, a graduate of the University of Arkansas, has had 12 years experience in the TV news business. He's replaced by Matt Horn, previously with KSNW-TV in Wichita, Kansas....
05/03/13 Blog05/03/13 Blog
A controversial bill that critics say is rooted in anti-Sharia legislation and proponents say ensures U.S. and Florida rights are guaranteed in court has definitely been killed this session. It's the third year the bill failed -- it called for American law to trump foreign law that isn't constitutional in family courts in Florida.
The bill was scheduled for a third reading Friday, but it would have taken a unanimous vote to advance the bill in the Senate. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, decided not to try for a unanimous vote because on Thursday, the bill (SB 58) failed to get the two-thirds vote needed to bring it to the Senate floor and the vote was 25-14, one vote short. The bill passed the House April 18th by a vote of 79-39....05/02/13 Blog
A controversial bill that backers say aims to keep foreign law from being used over Florida law in family courts is “effectively dead,” Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, chairman of the Senate’s Rules Committee, said after that body's meeting Thursday.
After two days of drama and four years of trying, a texting-while-driving ban is headed to Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s desk for consideration.
The Senate on Thursday accepted a House-amended version of SB 52/HB 13 and voted 39-1 to approve the ban. Supporters concede it’s not the ideal bill they want, but called it a “first step” in a path filled with road blocks, even to the 11th hour....05/02/13Gubernatorial
TALLAHASSEE — After two days of drama and five years of trying, a texting-while-driving ban is headed to Gov. Rick Scott's desk.
The Senate on Thursday accepted a House-amended version of HB 13 and voted 39-1 to approve the ban. Supporters concede it's not the ideal bill they want but called it a "first step" in a path filled with roadblocks.
"It sends a clear message that too many people have been killed on the road because of texting and distracted driving," said Karen Morgan, manager of public policy for AAA. ...05/01/13 Blog
For Sen. Nancy Detert and the backers of a bill extending foster care from age 18 to 21, Wednesday’s House session was a nail biter.
Named the Nancy C. Detert Common Sense and Compassion Independent Living Act, House Bill 1036, which is co-sponsored by the entire Senate, was temporarily postponed Wednesday morning as Democrats, protesting inaction on health insurance reform, demanded that all bills be read in their entirety. The House is using a robotic auto reader to speed-read bills....05/01/13 Blog
A controversial bill that would raise the standards for suing a nursing home for punitive damages appears to be finished for this session.
Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, said the bill (SB 1384) “hasn’t moved at all in the House, so unless some movement in the House” it looks like time has run out. Galvano also said the bill is off the Special Order calendar in the Senate....05/01/13 Blog
The House on Wednesday voted 110-6 to pass a bill to restrict texting while driving, but it still faces an uphill battle if it’s going to become law.
On Tuesday, the House approved an amendment sponsored by Rep. Jose Oliva, R-Miami, which would allow cell phone records to be used as evidence only in the "event of a crash resulting in death or personal injury."
The question now is whether the Senate will approve the amended version. If the Senate rejects this amended version and makes changes, the bill (SB 52) would have to go back to the House to be approved and its chances of being heard again in the House and approved by the time session is over looks unlikely. Complicating the matter, the Democrats, angered over inaction on health insurance reform, have demanded that all bills be read in their entirety, which has slowed the process....05/01/13 State Roundup
The House on Wednesday voted 110-6 to pass a bill to restrict texting while driving, but the legislation faces an uphill battle if it's going to become law.
On Tuesday, after much emotional debate, the House approved an amendment sponsored by Rep. Jose Oliva, R-Miami, that would allow cellphone records to be used as evidence only in the "event of a crash resulting in death or personal injury." ...04/30/13 Blog
A bill that will sever the parental rights of a rapist if a child is conceived as a result of the attack, passed the House on Tuesday by a vote of 115-0. The bill (SB 964), sponsored by Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington, is now headed to Gov. Rick Scott.
Current law allows for the court to terminate a parent's right if the termination is in the best interest of the child but does not include rape as grounds for termination of parental rights....