Florida

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...

States Vary In One Measure of Recession Readiness | 06-17-2016

New Hampshire was the most “service-level solvent” state in fiscal year 2014, meaning it had the most “fiscal slack” to raise taxes or increase spending in an economic downturn, according to a study by the Mercatus Center at George...

States Consider Host of Pro- and Anti-LGBT Bills | 06-03-2016

Thirty-eight states have considered legislation this year aimed at either protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals from discrimination or denying such protection, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. The majority of the...

Majority of States Have Minimum Wage Higher Than Federal Standard | 05-20-2016

As of last month, 29 states had a minimum wage that was higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two of those states, California and New York, have also passed laws that will gradually...

Majority of States Looking at Daily Fantasy Sports | 05-13-2016

Thirty-three states have considered legislation related to daily fantasy sports this year, according to LegalSportsReport.com and LexisNexis State Net legislative data. DFS bills have been passed in four states, including Virginia, which enacted two....

Crime & Punishment - May 16 2016 | 05-13-2016

Crime In FL A FLORIDA judge rules the Sunshine State’s death penalty law is unconstitutional because it does not require jurors to reach a unanimous decision on an execution sentence. The state’s current system requires 10 of 12 jurors...

Politics In Brief - May 16 2016 | 05-13-2016

CO Has Most Female Lawmakers COLORADO has the highest percentage of female legislators in the nation, at 42 percent, according to analysis of National Conference of State Legislatures data by InsideGov.com. Although that rate is significantly higher...

Drone Laws Passed In Over Half of States In Last Few Years | 05-05-2016

Since 2013, 27 states have enacted laws addressing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The laws generally define what UAS or drones are and specify how they can be used by law enforcement...

Social Policy - May 2 2016 | 04-29-2016

Social Policy In FL The FLORIDA Supreme Court temporarily blocks implementation of a Sunshine State law imposing a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion. The court stayed the law while it determines if it will hear a case challenging...

Florida Man | 04-08-2016

It is sometimes hard to fathom why perpetually unpopular Florida Gov. Rick Scott even ventures out of the governor’s mansion anymore. After making news last month for getting kicked off of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” for refusing to...

Social Policy - April 11 2016 | 04-08-2016

Social Policy In TN The TENNESSEE House approves SB 1556 , which would allow private practice counselors and therapists to refuse to see clients whose cases go against their principles. The measure, which would require therapists to refer those patients...

Crime & Punishment - April 4 2016 | 04-01-2016

Crime in KY The KENTUCKY House unanimously endorses SB 63, which would require Bluegrass State law enforcement agencies to develop policies for handling DNA evidence from rape kits. The bill, which also sets timelines for submitting rape kits to the...

Coming and Going | 04-01-2016

Hey Yalies, are you sick of paying the big Connecticut tax bill on that mega-endowment of yours? Well, you have options! Taking a page straight from the Rick Perry playbook, Florida Gov. Rick Scott says you are more than welcome to move the 300-year-old...

Health & Science - April 4 2016 | 04-01-2016

Health In NE The NEBRASKA Legislature rejects LB 1032, which would have expanded Medicaid in the Cornhusker State to cover and additional 97,000 low-income residents (KTICRADIO.COM [WEST POINT]). Health In FL FLORIDA Gov. Rick Scott (R) signs...

Social Policy - April 4 2016 | 04-01-2016

Social Policy In GA GEORGIA Gov. Nathan Deal (R) vetoes HB 757, which would have allowed faith-based organizations to deny services to those who violate their “sincerely held religious belief” and preserve their right to fire employees...

More States Oppose Obama Immigration Policy Than Support | 03-18-2016

Texas and twenty-five other states have filed suit to block President Obama’s executive actions in November shielding undocumented immigrants from deportation for three years, according to the Pew Research Center. Twelve states have filed an amicus...

Business - March 14 2016 | 03-11-2016

Business In CA The CALIFORNIA Senate gives final approval to SB 7b, which would raise the legal smoking age in the Golden State to 21. It moves to Gov. Jerry Brown (D) for consideration (SACRAMENTO BEE). Also in CALIFORNIA , the Senate endorses SB...

Evasive Action in Action | 03-11-2016

It was a simple question: “Do you think Muslims in the state of Florida hate America?” The query came from MSNBC’S “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough, and it was directed at Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Although it might seem...

Crime & Punishment - March 14 2016 | 03-11-2016

Crime In FL FLORIDA Gov. Rick Scott (R) signs HB 7101, which requires that at least 10 out of 12 jurors recommend the death penalty in order for a capital punishment sentence to be carried out. The law still leaves a final decision on sentencing to...

Few States Focusing On Self-Driving Vehicles | 03-11-2016

Since 2011, when Nevada became the first state to authorize the operation of self-driving cars, five other states -- California, Florida, Michigan, North Dakota and Tennessee -- have enacted legislation, and Arizona’s governor has issued an executive...

Majority of States Have Good Samaritan Laws | 03-04-2016

States have enacted numerous laws to combat the epidemic of opioid-related deaths plaguing much of the United States. Most common are so-called “Good Samaritan” laws that generally give a person civil or criminal immunity for seeking help...

Crime & Punishment - March 7 2016 | 03-04-2016

Crime In VT The VERMONT Senate approves SB 241, which would make the Green Mountain State the first to legislatively legalize the sale and possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use. The measure, which would allow residents 21 and...

Education - February 22 2016 | 02-19-2016

The FLORIDA House approves HB 833, which would require Sunshine State public schools to provide 100 minutes of recess each week in kindergarten through fifth grade. The measure, which would also apply to sixth-grade students enrolled in schools with one...

Politics In Brief - February 22 2016 | 02-19-2016

Happy Obama Day? A bill filed by a Chicago representative would make President Barack Obama’s birthday Illinois’s 13th paid state holiday. Rep. Andre Thapedi (D) filed the measure Feb. 2, and is awaiting approval from the Illinois House...

States Still Divesting from Iran | 02-12-2016

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books prohibiting at least some state pension or retirement funds from investing in companies that do a certain amount of business in Iran. Ten of those states also have laws on the books...

Governors In Brief - February 15 2016 | 02-12-2016

Markell Issues Slavery Apology DELAWARE Gov. Jack Markell (D) signed House Joint Resolution 10, which apologizes for the First State’s role in the slave trade in America and for other wrongs committed against African Americans during the Jim...

Crime & Punishment - February 8 2016 | 02-04-2016

Crime & Punishment in NM The NEW MEXICO House approves HB 56, a bill that would add the crimes of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, first-degree child abuse and aggravated burglary to those which would qualify offenders for a mandatory life...

Environment - February 8 2016 | 02-04-2016

Environment in CA The U.S. Department of Interior agrees to stop approving oil and gas permits for drilling that uses hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, off the coast of CALIFORNIA until further study determines the practice is safe. The agreement...

Crime & Punishment - January 18 2016 | 01-15-2016

The Supreme Court of the United States strikes down part of FLORIDA’s death penalty law, saying it violates the constitutional rights of criminal defendants by allowing judges to find aggravating factors that determine whether a defendant is eligible...

Potpourri - December 21 2015 | 12-18-2015

A FLORIDA court rules that a Sunshine State law mandating that dogs which cause severe injury to a person be euthanized is unconstitutional. Judge Andrew Owens rules the statute to be “arbitrary and unduly oppressive” (BRADENTON HERALD). ...

Governors In Brief - December 14 2015 | 12-11-2015

Beshear Issues Pardons In his final act in office, outgoing KENTUCKY Gov. Steve Beshear (D) commuted six sentences and issued 201 pardons last week. Ten of the pardons or commutations were granted to women who had been victims of domestic violence...

FL Lawmakers Push to Loosen Term Limits | 12-04-2015

Legislative terms in Florida are currently limited to a maximum of eight years. But a pair of lawmakers in the state - Sen. Rene Garcia (R) and Rep. Mark Pafford (D) - are looking to change that. They’ve proposed legislation to expand the state’s...

Medicaid Expansion Big Factor in State Insured Rates | 11-20-2015

Massachusetts had the lowest percentage of residents without health insurance last year, 3.3 percent, according to a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Texas had the highest percentage of such residents, at 19.1 percent. All five of the states...

Flurry of Statehouse Action On Daily Fantasy Sports | 11-13-2015

Legislation related to daily fantasy sports (DFS) has been drafted or introduced this year in 16 states, according to LegalSportsReport.com, which covers the legal online sports wagering industry. The bills generally seek to legalize DFS in states that...

FL Senate Remap Effort Fails in Legislature | 11-13-2015

Any hope that Florida lawmakers would be able to determine new boundaries for the state’s Senate districts - in accordance with a settlement they reached with voting rights groups and voters over the map approved in 2012 - ended this month when...

Politics In Brief - November 16 2015 | 11-13-2015

MI Straight-Ticket Voting Ban Fast-tracked legislation moving through the MICHIGAN Legislature would eliminate voters’ ability to cast straight-ticket ballots for candidates of a single party. Supporters of SB 13, which was approved by committee...

Pre-election voting restricted in many states | 09-18-2015

In most states eligible voters can cast their votes before Election Day, either by going to the polls during designated early voting periods or by voting via absentee ballot. But 30 states have no early voting period, although 13 of those states allow...

Majority of Drone Encounters Happening in Five States | 09-10-2015

A little over half (51.6 percent) of the 952 encounters between drones and manned aircraft reported to the FAA since the beginning of 2014 originated from five states, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. More than 20 percent, or 196...

2010 Redistricting Still Not Done in Some States | 09-04-2015

States usually complete the process of legislative redistricting shortly after the U.S. Census Bureau updates its population numbers every 10 years. But the remapping based on the last census in 2010 is still dragging on in a few states. In Florida...

FL Takes Up Court Ordered Remap | 08-14-2015

Florida lawmakers returned to Tallahassee last week for a 12-day special session to draw new congressional districts in accordance with a state Supreme Court ruling that found previous maps drawn by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature...

Solar Power Initiative Touches Off City Feud In FL | 07-31-2015

The Florida League of Cities, which represents more than 400 municipal governments in that state, has filed a legal brief with the Florida Supreme Court urging it to reject a citizens’ initiative bound for the state’s November 2016 ballot...

FL Supreme Court Rejects Congressional Remap | 07-17-2015

The Florida Supreme Court threw the state’s political landscape into chaos this month when it threw out the congressional district map drawn by the Republican-led Legislature in 2010, as well as a revised map drawn by the Legislature last year,...

Governors In Brief - July 20 2015 | 07-17-2015

Investigation Into Planned Parenthood At least four Republican governors have ordered state health officials to investigate the operations of Planned Parenthood clinics in their states after a video surreptitiously captured by an anti-abortion group...

Social Policy - July 6 2015 | 07-02-2015

OH Approves SB 127 The OHIO Senate approves SB 127, which would bar doctors from performing an abortion after a woman has reached 20 weeks of her pregnancy. The measure moves to the House (COLUMBUS DISPATCH). Supreme Court Agrees TX Abortion Clinics...

Politics In Brief - June 22 2015 | 06-19-2015

The head of the Orlando-based group People United for Medical Marijuana announced a “massive, statewide paid petition effort” to get a constitutional amendment allowing medical pot on FLORIDA’s 2016 ballot. A medical pot amendment fell...