Latest Florida State Legislature News

Editorial Roundup: Florida

Apr. 1, 2020 4:18 PM EDT

Recent editorials from Florida newspapers: ___ March 29 The Miami Herald on Gov. Ron DeSantis denying a reporter access to his coronavirus press conference: Gov. Ron DeSantis denied Mary Ellen Klas, a Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times reporter in Tallahassee, access to his coronavirus press conference on Saturday. It...

Empty chairs sit on the beach, Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Miami Beach, Fla.  Florida's largest county inched closer to economic shutdown as Miami-Dade County's mayor ordered all beaches, parks and “non-essential” commercial and retail businesses closed because of the coronavirus outbreak. Mayor Carlos Gimenez's order Thursday allows several businesses to remain open, including health care providers, grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants and banks.  (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Florida's largest county closes beaches, most businesses

Mar. 19, 2020 7:59 PM EDT

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's largest county inched closer to economic shutdown Thursday as Miami-Dade County's mayor ordered all beaches, parks and “non-essential” commercial and retail businesses closed because of the new coronavirus pandemic. "We must all act as if we are infected...

Senate president Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, signs conference reports during session at the Capitol on Thursday, March 19, 2020 in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Aileen Perilla)

In 66 days, Florida goes from optimism to uncertainty

Mar. 19, 2020 6:49 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Legislature opened its annual session Jan. 14 with fanfare and optimism: Lawmakers' desks were covered with flowers, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the House and Senate leaders delivered messages of hope for the future and there was a buzz of excitement in the air. And there...

Bills that passed, died during Florida legislative session

Mar. 19, 2020 6:44 PM EDT

Florida lawmakers filed more than 3,500 bills for the 2020 legislative session and roughly 200 passed both chambers of the Legislature before it adjourned its annual session on Thursday. The following is a look at some of the bills that succeeded and some of those that died: ____ WINNERS: — A $93.2 billion...

Delaware lawmakers face competing death penalty bills

Mar. 19, 2020 5:21 PM EDT

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Delaware's legislative session has been postponed indefinitely because of the new coronavirus, but legislation awaiting action by lawmakers when they return includes competing bills regarding capital punishment. A Republican-sponsored House bill introduced last week calls for the...

Florida House speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, left, and Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton bump elbow ]s during a press conference on the Fourth Floor Rotunda at the Capitol, Thursday, March 19, 2020 in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Aileen Perilla)

Amid coronavirus threat, Florida lawmakers OK $93.2B budget

Mar. 19, 2020 4:33 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida lawmakers adjourned their 2020 session on Thursday after approving a $93.2 billion budget — including at least $52 million to deal with the coronavirus outbreak — that is on its way to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature. But talk was already swirling...

Visitors enjoy Clearwater Beach, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Clearwater Beach, Fla. Beach goers are keeping a safe distance from each other to help protect from the spread of the Coronavirus. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Navy, Legislature screen as Florida grapples with virus

Mar. 18, 2020 7:20 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Navy is isolating sailors at a major Florida base because they may have contracted the coronavirus, Florida lawmakers will be screened before they are allowed into chambers, and a third beach popular with spring breakers will close next week. State health officials were...

Guests wave goodbye to Mickey Mouse and friends on Main Street USA, in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, after the characters made a surprise appearance in the final minutes before the park closed, Sunday night, March 15, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Walt Disney World announced that all their Florida parks will be closed for the rest of March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel)

Florida virus deaths up to 4; gov mulls gathering guidelines

Mar. 16, 2020 10:30 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said his administration was considering newly announced federal guidelines on public gatherings in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, but the governor said he was not ready to order across-the-board closures of restaurants and bars. On the eve of St....

Coronovirus siphons money from Florida teachers, tax breaks

Mar. 14, 2020 7:54 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — With uncertainty over how the outbreak of COVID-19 could affect the state's economy, Florida lawmakers scaled back tax breaks and reduced spending on teacher raises to help fatten the state's emergency reserves by $300 million as the virus continued to threaten public health and...

Senate president Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, right, confers with Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, during a session Friday March 13, 2020 in Tallahassee, Fla.  The spread of the new coronavirus has stoked worries about Florida's economy, prompting lawmakers to rethink spending on big-ticket items as negotiations continue over the state budget. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

Legislature goes to OT on budget as it wraps up other bills

Mar. 14, 2020 12:12 AM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Legislature paved the way for teacher raises, compensation for college athletes and passed an expanded school voucher program Friday — the last day to consider bills before going into overtime to settle the state budget. Lawmakers scrambled to get a number of...