Tia Mitchell, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Tia Mitchell

Tia Mitchell covers state government and politics in the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau. She joined the politics team in late 2011 after working as a general assignment reporter in the Times' Tampa bureau for most of the year. Tia is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a degree in journalism. She has worked at the Florida Times-Union newspaper in Jacksonville and has also interned at the Tallahassee Democrat and the Ocala Star-Banner. She is originally from Louisville, Ky.

Phone: (850) 224-7263

Email: tmitchell@tampabay.com

Twitter: @TBTia

  1. House approves charities reforms, Senate version passes final committee

    Blog

    Agriculture Commisioner Adam Putnam's massive overhaul of state laws governing charities is speeding ahead.

    The House overwhelmingly approved its version of the proposal, House Bill 629, today. The Senate version, SB 638, is ready for a floor vote, too, after gaining approval from the Appropriations Committee today. ...

  2. Bipartisan House vote restores local control of e-cigarette regulations

    Blog

    Over the objection of Republican leaders, a bi-partisan coalition in the House approved changes to an e-cigarettes regulation bill to addresses concerns from anti-smoking groups.

    No one ever questioned the intent of the proposal itself, which is to restrict the sale of electronic cigarettes and other non-tobacco products to minors. But anti-smoking groups -- the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and American Cancer Society -- and local governments disliked three lines of the House version, HB 169, that also prohibited cities and counties from passing their own, stricter ordinances in the future....

  3. Former Lt. Gov. Carroll admits to receiving Allied Veterans cash

    Blog

    From the Associated Press:

    Newly released records show that former Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll changed her income tax filings after investigators asked about money she received from a purported veterans charity accused of running an illegal gambling operation.

    Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that Carroll was paid nearly $100,000 by Allied Veterans of the World in 2009 and 2010 but she didn't report the total on her financial disclosure forms or to the Internal Revenue Service....

  4. Legislature decides to stay out of juvenile justice funding spat

    Blog

    Counties had hoped a last-minute budget deal would end their lengthy battle with state over juvenile justice costs. But the House and the Senate have not added the topic to their growing budget negotiations list, and time is running out.

    "Lights are dimming on that issue quickly," said Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, the Senate's criminal justice budget chief....

  5. Budget negotiations begin tonight

    Blog

    The House and Senate have agreed on overall budget figures and negotiations will begin tonight, Speaker Will Weatherford and President Don Gaetz announced this afternoon.

    The talks begin at 6 p.m. with a brief organizational meeting. The smaller budget conference subcommittees will begin the actual negotiation process starting at 6:30 p.m.

    Weatherford said the relatively short window -- the Legislature is coming off a weeklong holiday break and has only two weeks to finalize the budget  -- means contentious issues are likely to be "bumped" to the next level of review sooner....

    Comparing final budget allocations to the previous versions and proposals.
  6. FAMU prez Mangum questions feasibility of FSU engineering split

    Blog

    From today's paper, a story about the potential political fallout for Gov. Rick Scott and others if the proposed separation of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering is approved:

    House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, has not said whether he will support the split. In the past, he has defended the autonomy of the Board of Governors, which oversees the 12 state universities....

  7. Proposed split of FAMU-FSU engineering school stirs political waters

    Blog

    From today's paper:

    An effort by Florida State University and its well-connected allies to get its own engineering school could be turning into an election-year liability for Gov. Rick Scott.

    Not only would the plan cost millions of dollars, it also would mean splitting up FSU's joint school with nearby Florida A&M University, an idea that is stirring outrage among supporters of the state's historically black university and others worried about the fallout....

  8. Plan to split FSU-FAMU engineering school stirs political waters

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — An effort by Florida State University and its well-connected allies to get its own engineering school could be turning into an election-year liability for Gov. Rick Scott.

    Not only would the plan cost millions of dollars, it also would mean splitting up FSU's joint school with nearby Florida A&M University, an idea that is stirring outrage among supporters of the state's historically black university and others worried about the fallout....

    The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering was created at Florida State University in 1982. FSU supporters say having a separate school would lift the university’s profile.
  9. Juvenile justice funding becomes latest state budget dispute

    Blog

    An article in Friday's paper outlines the budget dispute between counties and the state over juvenile justice costs and how the Legislature is being asked to find a solution:

    For years, county officials say, they've had to shoulder too much of the cost of dealing with young offenders. In recent years, they say, the state has erroneously billed them $140 million for juvenile justice costs, sparking legal action....

  10. Juvenile justice funding snared in state budget dispute

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — For years, county officials say, they've had to shoulder too much of the cost of dealing with young offenders. In recent years, they say, the state has erroneously billed them $140 million for juvenile justice costs, sparking legal action.

    Now, with the annual legislative session drawing to a close, the costs are at the center of the latest budget dispute.

    Lawmakers have proposed a new funding formula that counties agree would avoid future billing disputes. But only the House proposal, HB 5305, also reimburses counties for previous overpayments through small annual installments....

  11. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson seeks local Medicaid expansion solution for Florida

    Blog

    U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is keeping the Medicaid conversation alive this week, publicizing talks with federal officials about an alternative plan he devised that would use local dollars to pay the state's share. Here is an excerpt of a story in Thursday's paper:

    Expanding Medicaid to cover thousands of uninsured Floridians has mostly been ignored by Republicans during this year's legislative session, but U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is making a last-ditch effort to get it done....

  12. Bill Nelson seeks local solution to expand Medicaid in Florida

    Health

    TALLAHASSEE — Expanding Medicaid to cover thousands of uninsured Floridians has mostly been ignored by Republicans during this year's legislative session, but U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is making a last-ditch effort to get it done.

    Medicaid is a joint state-federal program, though most of the expansion called for under the Affordable Care Act would be funded by Washington. Still, Florida Republicans have balked, claiming that in the future, the burden on state funds would be too great....

  13. Florida lawmakers will re-evaluate funding model for safety net hospitals

    Health

    TALLAHASSEE — With the federal government making clear last week that no new Medicaid money is coming Florida's way, legislators say it's important they re-evaluate a new funding model that safety net hospitals say will cost them hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

    "Tiering" is set to take effect in July unless the law is changed before session ends May 2. It requires counties that use local dollars to draw down more federal money for hospitals to begin sharing that money statewide....

  14. In Legislature dominated by GOP, black caucus struggles

    Blog

    An excerpt from a story in Sunday's paper about Florida's legislative black caucus and its affiliated caucus foundation:

    But records of past years' fundraising and interviews with caucus leaders indicate that less than 10 cents of every dollar raised actually go to college scholarships for the students whose names were projected on large screens at the gala.

    Legislators are prohibited from accepting contributions from lobbyists during regular sessions. But they can solicit lobbyists' money for a charity: the black caucus foundation led by former legislators....

  15. Randy Avent is Polytechnic's first president

    Blog

    From the News Service of Florida:

    Randy Avent, associate vice president for research at North Carolina State University, was offered the position of president at Florida Polytechnic University, the state's newest university, on Monday.

    Avent must still negotiate with the Lakeland-based school’s board of trustees on a contract that is expected to be between $310,750 and $550,000 a year. He must also be confirmed by the Florida Board of Governors....