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Florida Legislature

  1. Aramis Ayala gets prominent backers in death penalty dispute with Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Ex-prosecutors, former state Supreme Court justices, civil rights organizations and families of homicide victims from across the country have filed briefs supporting embattled Central Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala in her legal battle with Gov. Rick Scott.

    Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala announced in March that her office will no longer pursue the death penalty as a sentence in any case brought before the 9th Judicial Circuit of Florida. [Orlando Sentinel via AP]
  2. As budget talks crash, Corcoran wants 'continuation' budget, no new spending

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A bitter stalemate over spending forced the Legislature to suspend work on a budget Monday, stirring more bad blood among Republicans and putting an on-time adjournment in doubt.

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes and Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, talk during a joint session of the Florida Legislature in March. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Tampa Bay area business leaders lobby on contentious transit bill

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — More than a dozen top business local executives went to Tallahassee with an appeal in the days following last week's political showdown between three GOP senators from Tampa Bay over a regional transit bill.

    Keep talking. Please.

    Rick Homans is president of the Tampa Bay Partnership.
  4. 'The House is prepared to walk away,' K-12 education budget chairman says

    Blogs

    If House Republicans follow through this week on plans to vote on a budget for 2017-18 that simply mirrors this year's, they will have to scrap a slew of top education priorities they had sought this year and worked for months to craft -- including their  Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, addresses a luncheon audience at the James Madison Institute in Tallahassee, Fla. on Jan. 26, 2017 with Miami Republican Rep. Michael Bileca, left.

  5. House's testing bill set to expand, setting up negotiations with Senate

    Blogs

    Lawmakers in the Florida House plan to take a priority proposal aimed at reforming the standardized testing schedule in K-12 public schools and transform it into a broader education policy bill — a move …

    Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah
  1. Aramis Ayala gets prominent backers in death penalty dispute with Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Ex-prosecutors, former state Supreme Court justices, civil rights organizations and families of homicide victims from across the country have filed briefs supporting embattled Central Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala in her legal battle with Gov. Rick Scott.

    Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala announced in March that her office will no longer pursue the death penalty as a sentence in any case brought before the 9th Judicial Circuit of Florida. [Orlando Sentinel via AP]
  2. As budget talks crash, Corcoran wants 'continuation' budget, no new spending

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A bitter stalemate over spending forced the Legislature to suspend work on a budget Monday, stirring more bad blood among Republicans and putting an on-time adjournment in doubt.

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes and Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, talk during a joint session of the Florida Legislature in March. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes
  4. Controversy over Miami lawmaker's racial slur engulfs Florida Legislature

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Controversy raged in the Florida Capitol for a second day over Sen. Frank Artiles' racist and sexist tirade, distracting and slowing down the Legislature on Thursday, just two weeks before the end of the annual lawmaking session and building pressure on the Miami Republican to resign — or risk …

    Sen. Frank Artiles, R- Miami, is showing no signs of stepping down. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  5. Florida's top court green lights voting right for felons ballot question

    State Roundup

    Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

    TALLAHASSEE — Voting rights advocates and civil rights attorneys cheered the Florida Supreme Court's unanimous ruling Thursday approving language of a proposed amendment that would restore voting rights for convicted felons, saying the decision is a major step toward …

    The Florida Supreme Court's ruling that approved the language of a proposed amendment restoring voting rights for convicted felons was hailed by advocates on Thursday.  [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times]
  1. As budget talks crash, Corcoran wants 'continuation' budget, no new spending

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A bitter stalemate over spending forced the Legislature to suspend work on a budget Monday, stirring more bad blood among Republicans and putting an on-time adjournment in doubt.

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes and Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, talk during a joint session of the Florida Legislature in March. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Tampa Bay area business leaders lobby on contentious transit bill

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — More than a dozen top business local executives went to Tallahassee with an appeal in the days following last week's political showdown between three GOP senators from Tampa Bay over a regional transit bill.

    Keep talking. Please.

    Rick Homans is president of the Tampa Bay Partnership.
  3. Hooters 'calendar girl' and Playboy 'Miss Social' were Frank Artiles' paid consultants

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Just months before his resignation Friday, Sen. Frank Artiles scored a coup in November when he unseated Democrat Dwight Bullard with an aggressive $1 million campaign in a district that favored Democrats.

    Heather Thomas, a waitress and bartender in Tallahassee, was paid $2,000 by Frank Artiles political committee for consulting. Her job application for a previous role showed she had no previous political experience. [Facebook]
  4. Frank Artiles, Miami state senator, resigns after racist, profane remarks

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Sen. Frank Artiles resigned from the Legislature on Friday, consumed by a scandal that erupted three days earlier over a diatribe of insults the Miami Republican unleashed against two lawmakers at a Tallahassee bar.

    Republican state senator Frank Artiles, R-Miami, resigned Friday for using racial slurs and obscene insults in a private after-hours conversation with African-American colleagues. [Associated Press]
  5. Controversy over Miami lawmaker's racial slur engulfs Florida Legislature

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Controversy raged in the Florida Capitol for a second day over Sen. Frank Artiles' racist and sexist tirade, distracting and slowing down the Legislature on Thursday, just two weeks before the end of the annual lawmaking session and building pressure on the Miami Republican to resign — or risk …

    Sen. Frank Artiles, R- Miami, is showing no signs of stepping down. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  1. As budget talks crash, Corcoran wants 'continuation' budget, no new spending

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A bitter stalemate over spending forced the Legislature to suspend work on a budget Monday, stirring more bad blood among Republicans and putting an on-time adjournment in doubt.

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes and Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, talk during a joint session of the Florida Legislature in March. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Controversy over Miami lawmaker's racial slur engulfs Florida Legislature

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Controversy raged in the Florida Capitol for a second day over Sen. Frank Artiles' racist and sexist tirade, distracting and slowing down the Legislature on Thursday, just two weeks before the end of the annual lawmaking session and building pressure on the Miami Republican to resign — or risk …

    Sen. Frank Artiles, R- Miami, is showing no signs of stepping down. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. In breakthrough for water plan, Gov. Scott endorses reservoir, faster fixes for dike

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott added some tension to the feud between the House and Senate over priority legislation Monday and endorsed Senate President Joe Negron's proposal to build a deep-water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee on existing state lands to reduce the need to discharge polluted water into …

    Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, greets Florida Gov. Rick Scott on the floor of the Senate during the first day of the 2017 session. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  1. As budget talks crash, Corcoran wants 'continuation' budget, no new spending

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A bitter stalemate over spending forced the Legislature to suspend work on a budget Monday, stirring more bad blood among Republicans and putting an on-time adjournment in doubt.

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes and Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, talk during a joint session of the Florida Legislature in March. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Controversy over Miami lawmaker's racial slur engulfs Florida Legislature

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Controversy raged in the Florida Capitol for a second day over Sen. Frank Artiles' racist and sexist tirade, distracting and slowing down the Legislature on Thursday, just two weeks before the end of the annual lawmaking session and building pressure on the Miami Republican to resign — or risk …

    Sen. Frank Artiles, R- Miami, is showing no signs of stepping down. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Miami lawmaker's leadership and 'gun-bill fatigue' disarm Legislature

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — When Anitere Flores declared, unprompted, a month ago there were a lot of controversial gun-rights measures she wouldn't support this year, the Miami Republican state senator truly set the tone for the Legislature's gun debate in 2017.

    Anitere Flores, right, speaks with fellow Sen. Ren? Garc?a on the floor of the Florida Senate last month. Both have been central in stemming the flow of gun legislation this session.
  1. As budget talks crash, Corcoran wants 'continuation' budget, no new spending

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A bitter stalemate over spending forced the Legislature to suspend work on a budget Monday, stirring more bad blood among Republicans and putting an on-time adjournment in doubt.

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes and Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, talk during a joint session of the Florida Legislature in March. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Controversy over Miami lawmaker's racial slur engulfs Florida Legislature

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Controversy raged in the Florida Capitol for a second day over Sen. Frank Artiles' racist and sexist tirade, distracting and slowing down the Legislature on Thursday, just two weeks before the end of the annual lawmaking session and building pressure on the Miami Republican to resign — or risk …

    Sen. Frank Artiles, R- Miami, is showing no signs of stepping down. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. In breakthrough for water plan, Gov. Scott endorses reservoir, faster fixes for dike

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott added some tension to the feud between the House and Senate over priority legislation Monday and endorsed Senate President Joe Negron's proposal to build a deep-water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee on existing state lands to reduce the need to discharge polluted water into …

    Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, greets Florida Gov. Rick Scott on the floor of the Senate during the first day of the 2017 session. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  1. As budget talks crash, Corcoran wants 'continuation' budget, no new spending

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A bitter stalemate over spending forced the Legislature to suspend work on a budget Monday, stirring more bad blood among Republicans and putting an on-time adjournment in doubt.

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes and Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, talk during a joint session of the Florida Legislature in March. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Controversy over Miami lawmaker's racial slur engulfs Florida Legislature

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Controversy raged in the Florida Capitol for a second day over Sen. Frank Artiles' racist and sexist tirade, distracting and slowing down the Legislature on Thursday, just two weeks before the end of the annual lawmaking session and building pressure on the Miami Republican to resign — or risk …

    Sen. Frank Artiles, R- Miami, is showing no signs of stepping down. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Large counties push back on House's proposed $200M charter school incentive

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Administrators at some of Florida's largest school districts are speaking out in opposition to House Republicans' $200 million "schools of hope" plan that would pit new, specialized charter schools against the districts' perpetually failing traditional public schools.

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, and House Minority Leader Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, talk on the floor on House Chamber. Corcoran is pushing one of his top priorities, to spend $200 million to attract out-of-state charter schools to Florida. Cruz and the Democrats object to the plan, and are raising transparency concerns that the Republicans will include this in the budget with little discussion. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times]