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Florida News

  1. As state budget talks wind down, which local projects are making the cut?

    News

    TALLAHASSEE —With the big ticket items in the state budget resolved or in the hands of the top leaders in the House and Senate, the rest of the Florida Legislature hunkered down into marathon negotiations over the weekend to dole out hundreds of millions of dollars for local projects back home.

    With time running out to negotiate next year's proposed $83 billion budget, the Florida Senate has included $1 millions for the 

Clearwater Marine Aquarium. But the Florida House hasn't included any money for the aquarium so far. [DOUG CLIFFORD | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. After outcry, lawmakers scrap plans to fully slash funding for 'Moonlight' alumni's school

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Lawmakers in Tallahassee are largely reversing course on plans to cut $650,000 in state grant funding to the Miami arts school whose alumni helped create the Oscar-winning film Moonlight and the Broadway hit "Hamilton."

    Andre Holland and Trevante Rhodes in Moonlight (2016). A24 Films.
  3. Florida House marijuana bill moves closer to Senate version

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — State lawmakers are inching closer to an agreement on medical marijuana after more than 70 percent of voters declared they wanted to allow patients with debilitating conditions to use the drug.

    House majority leader Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero
  4. Meet the descendant of a Confederate soldier who is blocking Florida's first slavery memorial

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A proposal to create the first slavery memorial in Florida unanimously passed the state House on Friday with roaring applause — but its prospects in the Senate are uncertain after one committee chairman stalled the legislation over a "philosophical objection" to the concept.

    Sen. Dennis Baxley, seen here in 2007. [Tampa Bay Times]
  5. Lawmakers set to defund Miami school that educated makers of 'Moonlight' and 'Hamilton'

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida lawmakers are on the brink of cutting $650,000 in state grant funding to the Miami arts school whose alumni helped create the Oscar-winning film "Moonlight" and the Broadway hit "Hamilton."

    Andre Holland and Trevante Rhodes in Moonlight (2016). A24 Films.
  6. This tax cut would cost Florida's local governments $644 million. And it just advanced in the Senate.

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — An election-year tax break for Florida home­owners that cities and counties say would hurt basic services emerged Friday as the key to a budget deal in the Legislature.

    Rep. Richard Corcoran and Sen. Joe Negron (SCOTT KEELER | TIMES)
  7. Florida House approves ban - and penalties - on 'sanctuary' cities

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida's Republican-led House voted Friday to outlaw "sanctuary" cities and to impose harsh penalties on elected officials or communities that seek to thwart that ban.

    State Rep. Jason Fischer says it should be “offensive to everyone” to encourage illegal activity.
  8. Video: Watch as this giant alligator stalks two cranes on a Florida golf course

    Wildlife

    It has been a few days since we've had a video of a giant alligator. So we were glad to see this amazing Facebook post on Friday.

    Bill Pruitt shared video of a giant gator lumbering along after two sandhill cranes on a golf course Friday. [Image from video]
  9. Look what Uber did: Longtime Hillsborough County agency faces extinction

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A Hillsborough County board that regulates taxis and waged a years-long war against Uber is on track to be abolished by the state Legislature.

    Taxi cab drivers may no longer be regulated by Hillsborough County's Public Transportation Commission, as a Florida House bill that eliminates the board passed the chamber on Friday. The Senate is scheduled to vote on, and expected to pass, the same bill next week. [CHRIS URSO | Tampa Bay Times]
  10. For once, Florida Democrats have possible votes to block key Republican initiative

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — As a sign of "increasing weight" in the legislative process, Senate Democrats have enough votes to block a key priority of House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who wants to increase the property tax exemption for homeowners.