TALLAHASSEE — Florida Supreme Court justices held a one-hour, sometimes testy hearing Thursday on a proposed medical marijuana amendment to determine the constitutionality of ballot language.
"Misleading" language is one of the primary complaints from Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has asked the court for an advisory opinion on the amendment proposed by People United for Medical Marijuana. In her brief, Bondi states that the amendment "hides the fact that the Amendment would make Florida one of the most lenient medical-marijuana states, allowing use for limitless 'other conditions' specified by any physician."...
Florida Supreme Court justices on Thursday peppered the attorney for the group backing a proposed medical marijuana amendment with lots of questions on several issues concerning the language and intent of the amendment during an hour-long hearing.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, legislative leaders and other opponents have raised numerous objections to the proposed state constitutional amendment, which People United for Medical Marijuana wants to put on the 2014 ballot if the group can get the 683,149 signatures it needs by early next year....
In his election bid, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist is making an issue of renewable energy. He touted alternative energy as a way to attract new industries and new jobs to Florida on the Nov. 18, 2013, edition of MSNBC’sThe Ed Show.
"We’re the Sunshine State, and we’re hardly doing any solar energy production," Crist told host Ed Schultz. "We should be the global leader in solar energy."...
Tampa Bay Times reporter becomes Board of Governors spokeswoman
Tampa Bay Times reporter Brittany Davis has been hired as the new director of communications for the Board of Governors, which oversees the state university system. She starts her new job Dec. 11th just as there's a change of leadership in the university system, with Marshall Criser III becoming chancellor Jan. 6....
New member appointed to board overseeing oil spill disaster funds
Attorney General Pam Bondi has appointed Dr. Pamela J. Dana to the board of directors for Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., which is now charged with creating and administering the recovery fund for disproportionately affected counties impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Disaster.
Eight counties that were most affected by the disaster are slated to receive the biggest amount from civil fines resulting from the oil spill, though 23 counties will receive a portion of the money....
State's first Insurance Consumer Advocate back on the job
Steve Burgess, who was the state's first Insurance Consumer Advocate in 1990, has returned to the position for a third time.
Burgess, 65, of Tallahassee, became the first insurance consumer advocate when he was appointed by then-Insurance Commissioner Tom Gallagher. Burgess held the position until 1997 when he was involved in a showdown with then-Insurance Commissioner Bill Nelson. Burgess returned to the position from 2004 to 2007 when Gallagher, then CEO, put him back in the job....
Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz filed a brief to the Supreme Court Friday afternoon opposing a proposed medical marijuana constitutional amendment on Friday afternoon, stating it’s “misleading and inaccurate rhetoric.”
Their objections largely mirror arguments by Attorney General Pam Bondi, who also filed her brief against the amendment late Friday afternoon. She said the proposal “hides the fact that the Amendment would make Florida one of the most lenient medical-marijuana states, allowing use for limitless ‘other conditions’ specified by any physician.”...
Florida House Reps. Joe Saunders and Holly Raschein are once again pushing a bill that bans discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender Floridians in the workplace.Their efforts this year jive with a move in the U.S. Senate to pass a similar law, which state supporters called "fortuitous."
Also fortuitous: In his first tweet since declaring his candidacy for governor, Democrat Charlie Crist took advantage of the opportunity to support gay rights -- “Thanks to GOP @HollyRaschein & Dem @RepJoeSaunders for their bipartisan bill to end LGBT discrimination in workforce. I’ll sign it!”...
11/05/13 State Roundup
Legalizing medical marijuana could cost Florida in excess of $1.1 million each year, but any other financial or tax impact of offering the drug to the seriously ill is unclear, according to a state economic panel.
The Office of Economic and Demographic Research's Financial Impact Estimating Conference finished its analysis of the medical marijuana ballot initiative Monday and concluded that "increased costs from this amendment to state and local governments cannot be determined."...
Legalizing medical marijuana could cost the state in excess of $1.1 million to operate each year, but any other financial or tax impact of offering the drug to the seriously ill is still unclear, according to a state economic panel.
The Office of Economic and Demographic Research’s Financial Impact Estimating Conference finished its analysis of the medical marijuana ballot initiative on Monday and concluded that “increased costs from this amendment to state and local governments cannot be determined.”...
11/03/13 State Roundup
On the first day of Florida's new texting-while-driving ban, state Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, was already announcing a proposal to make the law tougher.
The current law makes texting while driving a secondary offense, which means an officer can't ticket a motorist only for typing or reading messages while behind the wheel. Rather, the driver has to first commit another violation, like swerving or running a red light. ...
On the first day of Florida’s new texting-while-driving ban, state Sen. Maria Sachs, the Senate Democratic leader pro-tem, was already announcing a proposal to make the law tougher.
The new law makes texting while driving a secondary offense, which means an officer can’t ticket a motorist only for typing or reading messages while behind the wheel. Rather, the driver has to first commit another violation, like swerving or running a red light....
The battle to get the medical marijuana issue to voters in 2014 has encountered one more challenge.
On Wednesday afternoon, Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz submitted a notice of intent to file a brief to the Supreme Court as “interested persons” opposing the ballot initiative....
Statements made during a U.S. Senate hearing that Stand Your Ground laws actually benefit African Americans are “ludicrous,” Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee said after attending Tuesday’s panel in Washington, D.C.
Williams, chairman of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, is aiming to repeal the law in Florida and will be pushing the effort during a House hearing Nov. 7th....
The Department of Children and Families today announced that longtime Broward County prosecutor Kristin Kanner has been named the new director of the state’s Sexually Violent Predator Program.
Here's the release:
For more than 20 years, Kanner has served as an Assistant State Attorney in the 17th Judicial Circuit and has led the office’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit since 2004. ...