Florida

Budgets in Brief - November 13 2017 | 11-10-2017

FL REPUBLICANS SEEK TO MAKE IT HARDER TO RAISE TAXES: On a party-line vote, FLORIDA’s GOP-led House Ways & Means Committee approved a proposal that would ask voters next year to pass a constitutional amendment to require a two-thirds supermajority...

Governors In Brief - October 23 2017 | 10-20-2017

SNYDER SIGNS MI POLICE MICONDUCT LAW Looking to prevent police agencies from hiding misconduct that leads to terminations, MICHIGAN Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed legislation last week that requires law enforcement agencies to keep records of the circumstances...

Higher Cost Of Disasters Could Portend Cost Shift To States | 10-20-2017

This past week, as firefighters continued to battle deadly wildfires in Northern California, officials there said this could become one of the Golden State’s worst ever fire seasons, coming on the heels of a historically wet winter and the hottest...

Governors In Brief - October 16 2017 | 10-13-2017

VT GOV ISSUES CYBER SECURITY ORDER Saying his state needed to do more to address cyber security, VERMONT Gov. Phil Scott (R) issued Executive Order 18-17 to create the Governor's Cyber Security Advisory Team, a group tasked with developing a plan...

Governors In Brief - October 2 2017 | 09-29-2017

BAKER TO FORM MA TRANSPORTATION TASK FORCE Responding to a business group’s report that called for an independent review of state transportation infrastructure needs, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said he will issue an executive order...

Politics In Brief - October 2 2017 | 09-29-2017

DHS CONTACTS STATES ABOUT 2016 ELECTION HACKING The Department of Homeland Security directly notified election officials in 21 states last month that they had been targeted by hackers connected to the Russian government during the 2016 election campaign...

Governors In Brief - September 18 2017 | 09-15-2017

ABBOTT ORDERS FREE REPLACEMENT GUN CARDS: TEXAS Gov. Greg Abbott (R) directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to waive the cost of replacing licenses to carry handguns for residents who lost their cards as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Residents...

Autonomous Vehicle Enactments Accelerating In States | 09-08-2017

Nevada became the first state to authorize the operation of autonomous vehicles on its roads in 2011. A few states, including California, Florida and Nevada, enacted laws dealing with such vehicles over the next few years, with the exception of 2014,...

Health & Science - September 4 2017 | 09-01-2017

Health In Florida FLORIDA Gov. Rick Scott (R) extends for 60 days an earlier executive order declaring the opioid crisis to be a state of emergency. The extension is the second since Scott issued his original order on May 3 (ORLANDO SENTINEL).

Crime & Punishment - August 21 2017 | 08-18-2017

Crime In Florida A FLORIDA court rules that lawmakers overstepped their authority when they endorsed legislation broadening the Sunshine State’s “stand your ground” law that allows residents to use lethal force in self-defense. Miami...

Trump Promises Opioid Emergency Declaration | 08-18-2017

President Donald Trump said his administration is preparing to declare a federal emergency aimed at addressing the national opioid abuse crisis, but what that means to beleaguered governors seeking to quell the crisis remains unclear. The president...

New Front Opens In GOP Fight Against Unions | 08-18-2017

After Republicans won control of the Iowa Senate last year, giving them control of both the legislative and executive branches of that state’s government, they enacted a package of labor reforms curbing the collective bargaining rights of public...

Education - July 24 2017 | 07-21-2017

Education In Kentucky The KENTUCKY High School Athletic Association adopts rules making the Bluegrass State the first to require all high school softball pitcher and first and third basemen to wear protective masks when in the field. The rule goes...

Crime & Punishment - July 17 2017 | 07-14-2017

Crime In Florida Corrections officials in FLORIDA agree to settle a lawsuit that accused the Sunshine State of discriminating against deaf and disabled prisoners. Tenets in the resolution include the state agreeing to provide sign-language interpreters...

Crime & Punishment - July 10 2017 | 07-07-2017

Crime In Florida A FLORIDA court rules that an expansion of the Sunshine State’s “stand your ground” law is unconstitutional. Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch said lawmakers overstepped their authority in requiring prosecutors to disprove...

Health & Science - July 3 2017 | 06-30-2017

Health In California CALIFORNIA Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D) announces he would shelve SB 562 - a Senate-approved bill that would implement a statewide single-payer health care system in the Golden State – for the year without a vote in...

Crime & Punishment - June 19 2017 | 06-16-2017

Nevada Gov Vetoes AB303 & AB259 Citing his belief that the bill infringed upon executive branch authority, NEVADA Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) vetoes AB 303 , which would have barred the Silver State from utilizing private prisons (LAS VEGAS SUN...

Education - June 19 2017 | 06-16-2017

Florida Signs SB 436 FLORIDA Gov. Rick Scott (R) signs SB 436 , a measure to ensure that students are able to express their religious views in class assignments, on their clothing or jewelry or by praying during the school day (ORLANDO SENTINEL). ...

Health & Science - June 19 2017 | 06-16-2017

Louisiana Signs A Trio Of Bills LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signs a trio of bills aimed at addressing the Pelican State’s severe opioid crisis. Those measures include: SB 55 , which requires doctors to check the state’s prescription...

Environment - June 5 2017 | 06-02-2017

California Rejects AB 378 The CALIFORNIA Assembly rejects AB 378 , a bill that would have extended the state’s cap-and-trade program – which limits the amount of greenhouse gas emissions businesses are allowed to emit and charges those...

Budgets In Brief - May 22 2017 | 05-19-2017

AK Lawmakers Vote To End Oil Subsidies ALASKA’s Senate has approved a House proposal eliminating cash subsidies for oil companies. But there’s still a wide gap between the two chambers over what to do about subsidies owed but not yet paid...

Business - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Illinois Approves SB 1502 The ILLINOIS Senate approves SB 1502 , a measure that would require online companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon to disclose to consumers what data about them has been collected and shared with third parties. It is...

Health & Science - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Florida Amended HB 1397 The FLORIDA Senate declines to hear an amended version of HB 1397 , which would have created rules for the Sunshine State’s nascent medical marijuana industry, killing the measure for the year. Rules to regulate the medical...

Health & Science - May 8 2017 | 05-04-2017

Oregon Approves SB 719 The OREGON Senate approves SB 719 , which would establish a process for a judge to issue an “extreme risk protection order” if a person is found by clear and convincing evidence to pose a risk of suicide or threat...

Scott Finally Declares FL Opioid Emergency | 05-04-2017

Amidst criticism he has not done enough to deal with the growing opioid abuse issue in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott (R) last week declared such abuse to be a public health emergency. The declaration allows the state to accept $54 million in federal grant...

Business - May 1 2017 | 04-28-2017

Texas Approves HB 100 The TEXAS House approves HB 100 , which would establish a statewide framework for regulating ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. The measure, which would also override local regulations already in place, would establish...

Sanctuary Cities Split Country | 04-28-2017

To anyone who has watched the national political culture split into two poles over the last decade or so, it should be little surprise that the country is moving in opposite directions on so-called sanctuary cities, those which bar local officials from...

Environment - April 17 2017 | 04-14-2017

Florida Approves SB 10 The FLORIDA Senate approves SB 10 , which authorizes the use of state and federal funds to build a deep-water reservoir to store and clean water before it is released into the Everglades and to avoid toxic discharges into the...

Budgets In Brief - April 17 2017 | 04-14-2017

NH HOUSE FAILS TO PASS BUDGET NEW HAMPSHIRE’s Republican-controlled House failed to pass the budget proposed by the chamber’s Finance Committee for the first time since the 1960s, due to limited Democratic support and a “large faction”...

A Master Idea | 03-31-2017

Dedicated members of “Arnie’s Army” know the great golfer Arnold Palmer was a native of Latrobe, PA. But in later years Palmer loved to winter in Florida, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill near Orlando is one of the most...

Governors in Brief - April 3 2017 | 03-31-2017

MORE GOVS NOW PONDERING MEDICAID EXPANSION : With the failure of the Congressional proposal to overturn the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, a growing number of governors are expressing openness to expanding their states’ Medicaid programs...

City-State Power Struggle in FL | 03-31-2017

Several bills before the Florida Legislature would significantly limit the power of local governments in the state. They include HB 17 , which would require cities to obtain legislative approval before adopting new regulations impacting businesses; SB...

Politics in Brief - April 3 2017 | 03-31-2017

FL PASSES TERM LIMITS FOR JUDGES: The FLORIDA House narrowly approved legislation - the first of its kind in the nation - limiting the terms of judges and Supreme Court justices in the state to 12 years. HJR 1 still has to pass the Senate and be approved...

Health & Science - March 6 2017 | 03-03-2017

Health In Florida The 11 TH U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules that a 2011 FLORIDA law limiting the ability of doctors to ask their patients about their gun ownership is unconstitutional. The court left intact a portion of the law that bars doctors...

New York And Florida Agencies Top Cybersecurity Rankings | 02-10-2017

The New York State Education Department, Florida Governor and Wisconsin Government were the state entities with the strongest cybersecurity standards of 600 local, state and federal government organizations analyzed and ranked in February 2016 by the...

Autonomous Vehicle Laws Accelerating in States | 12-09-2016

Nevada became the first state to authorize the operation of autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles in 2011. In the years since then, seven other states - California, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, North Dakota, Tennessee and Utah - and the District of Columbia...

Governors In Brief - November 7 2016 | 11-04-2016

Scott Asks Feds to Speed Up Zika Funds FLORIDA Gov. Rick Scott (R) urged the Obama administration to expedite federal funds to help the Sunshine State battle the growth of the Zika virus. Congress approved $1.1 billion in emergency funds in September...

Crime & Punishment - October 24 2016 | 10-21-2016

Crime In Florida The FLORIDA Supreme Court rules that death penalty verdicts must be unanimous. The ruling strikes down a Sunshine State law that allowed for capital punishment verdicts when just 10 of 12 jurors agree. It is yet to be determined how...

Politics In Brief - October 24 2016 | 10-21-2016

VA Voter Registration System Slowed to Crawl by ‘Unprecedented Activity’ VIRGINIA’s online voter registration system slowed down last Monday - the last day to register to vote in time for the Nov. 8 election - to the point of being...

Politics In Brief - October 17 2016 | 10-14-2016

Effort to Reverse Gun Control Laws Fails in CA An effort to qualify referendums for the November 2018 ballot on six gun control laws passed in CALIFORNIA this year has failed. Organizers only managed to collect an average of about 166,000 signatures...

Business - August 22 2016 | 08-19-2016

New Jersey Signs SB 1923 NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) signs SB 1923 , legislation that bars the state’s public worker pension fund from investing in companies that refuse to do business with Israel. The Garden State becomes the third state...

Public Pension Return Rates Lagging In States | 08-19-2016

Investment returns for large public pension plans in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015 were significantly lower than the plans’ assumed rates of return, according to money management news source Pensions & Investments . The one-year return...

Social Policy - August 22 2016 | 08-19-2016

Social Policy In Florida U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle makes permanent an injunction blocking a FLORIDA law that would have barred all state funding to clinics like Planned Parenthood and required the inspection of as many as 35,000 women’s...

Budgets In Brief - August 15 2016 | 08-12-2016

Leaner Sales Tax Holiday Season This Year Seventeen states are holding annual “back to school” sales tax holidays this year, but many of them are scaling back those events to reduce the revenue hit. FLORIDA is cutting the length of its...

Daily Fantasy Sports Industry Has Some Successes, Momentum | 08-05-2016

The daily fantasy sports industry had a few wins this spring in its first full year of pushing to make its games explicitly legal across the country. And while the question of whether the games are legal remains unclear in much of the nation, and their...

FL Gov. Scott Orders Free Zika Tests | 08-05-2016

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) ordered Sunshine State health officials to provide free Zika testing for all pregnant women. Scott directed county health departments statewide to conduct the test, and also said the state would provide additional lab services...

Texas et al Win Challenge To Obama Immigration Policy | 07-15-2016

Twenty-five states joined Texas in challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration policy in November 2014, expanding temporary relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants. Fifteen states also filed amicus, or “friend...

Little Correlation Between Gun Laws and Worst Mass Shootings | 07-08-2016

Three of the eight states where the deadliest mass shootings since 1984 have occurred - California, Connecticut and New York - are among those with the strictest gun laws, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. None of those shootings took...

Politics In Brief - July 11 2016 | 07-08-2016

CO Redistricting Initiative Stricken from November Ballot The COLORADO Supreme Court has voided an initiative bound for the state’s November ballot (Initiative 132) that would have turned over the job of drawing legislative and congressional...

Texas Abortion Ruling Reverberates In Other States | 07-01-2016

Last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a 2013 Texas law requiring doctors and clinics that perform abortions to meet hospital-like standards resulted in the almost immediate effective invalidation of similar laws facing legal challenge...