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It’s done. Gov. DeSantis signs law to let sick people smoke weed

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis today signed his first-ever bill into law - the medical marijuana bill that allows sick Floridians to legally smoke marijuana.The new law, supporters say, carries out the will of Florida's voters who...

Firefighters battling cancer look to the Legislature for help

The rows of firefighter boots, arranged en masse outside Florida’s Capitol, were a startling sight.Five hundred boots, each with a card bearing the name of a deceased firefighter and the type of cancer that...

Florida sends too many juveniles to adult prisons. It’s no place for a child, advocates say

Taylor Lawrance will celebrate her 19th birthday Saturday at the Florida Women’s Reception Center in Marion County.As inmate H48955, she will mark her next five birthdays in a women’s prison, where she has been...
Elementary school class

Should teachers stay in the classroom if they can’t pass the state’s General Knowledge Test?

Hundreds of would-be and new teachers have been failing state exams in fundamental subjects and skills, raising concerns about how to maintain a quality teaching force in Florida and fill positions in areas short...

Lawmakers proposing changes to Bright Future scholarships

If past is prologue, a move by the Florida Legislature to raise qualifying test scores for high school graduates seeking the popular Bright Futures college scholarships will hurt minority students.Lawmakers in the state  Senate...

The public’s right to know is threatened in the Florida Legislature

Sometimes I wonder if the Florida Legislature lives to please the National Rifle Association.One potential gift for the NRA and its gun toting supporters in this year’s legislative session includes a little bill that would...

An unequal criminal justice system hurts minorities: There may be one way to fix the inequities

Legal experts, political groupies and citizens following the news were surprised and even outraged last week when a federal judge sentenced former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to less than four years in...
Rich Templin

Meet the “Sunrise Agenda,” a progressive path for Florida

For more than two decades, Florida’s legislative and executive branches have been run by political leadership that worships at the altar of big money campaign contributions. They have pushed an agenda gutting local control of policy-making, gifting...

Congressional Republicans, including two from FL, vote against anti-bigotry resolution

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. House overwhelmingly adopted an anti-bigotry resolution this week, with 23 Republicans – including Greg Steube and Ted Yoho of Florida - voting against the measure.The resolution, whose lead author was...
Florida Capitol

In the billion-dollar education industry, lobbyists abound: “Everybody is trying to get a piece of that pie.”

Some 40 years ago in Miami, Thomas Cerra was a classroom teacher who became a lobbyist, working the halls of the state Capitol and hoping to influence lawmakers on behalf of Dade County public...

State Senate approves bill to let sick people smoke weed: House is next

Sick Floridians are on the verge of having access to smokable medical marijuana.In a 34-4 vote on Thursday, the Florida Senate sent a bill (SB 182) to the House that would let doctors prescribe...
plastic bag on roadside

The Legislature’s extreme moves to stamp out local laws

Republicans in the Florida Legislature have increasingly moved to strip away control from local governments, and this year may have the most extreme proposal yet – a bill to prevent any local government from...

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