Author

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.

Prosecutors, public defenders seek more funding; ‘We have a serious crisis in the state of FL’

By: - January 24, 2023

For the first time in three years, Florida prosecutors and assistant public defenders got raises in the 2022-2023 budget — some $5,000 to $10,000 along with an inflation adjustment increase of more than five percent. But it’s still not enough in many cases to compete with private law firms, a state attorney and public defender […]

Gov. DeSantis pushes for repealing unanimous death penalty requirement for jurors

By: - January 23, 2023

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that he wants the Florida Legislature to change the state law that requires a unanimous jury to impose a death sentence. Speaking at the Florida Sheriffs Association Winter Conference in St. Johns County, the governor noted that mass shooter Nikolas Cruz — who killed 17 students and staff at […]

DeSantis wants partisan school board elections; proposes shorter term limits on board members

By: and - January 23, 2023

In a series of education initiatives Monday, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed to further politicize local school board elections — a way to get more conservatives on those boards that oversee Florida’s massive public education system. That means that Floridians would go into a voting booth to pick their preferred school board candidate and see […]

More and more ‘special’ sessions: Will FL Legislature ever review changing the way it operates?

By: - January 23, 2023

Since the last regular legislative session in March 2022 — normally a 60-day job to deal with Florida’s business — three “special” sessions cropped up in the state capital located in Tallahassee: The first one was in April, about congressional redistricting. The next two were in May and then December, about salvaging the state’s property […]

Andrew Warren vows that the fight to regain his job isn’t over

By: - January 20, 2023

“If the facts matter, the governor can simply rescind the suspension. If he does not do so, it will be doubly clear that the alleged nonprosecution policies were not the real motivation for the suspension."

Florida’s emergency chief says SW Florida needs more hurricane shelters

By: - January 19, 2023

Florida’s emergency-management director warned lawmakers today that southwest Florida, the site of where Hurricane Ian laid a destructive path in late September, has a shortage of storm shelters. “We do have a deficit of shelter space in southwest Florida,” Kevin Guthrie told lawmakers at a committee meeting Thursday in the Capitol. Noting how Florida is […]

Secretary of State: FL can ‘improve’ the process on informing felons if they’re eligible to vote

By: - January 18, 2023

Ever since the Florida Legislature required felons to pay court fees after they’ve completed their sentences, the state has never provided an accessible system to determine their eligibility to vote — and the issue has rankled voting rights groups. On Wednesday, Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd said his agency is aware of those problems, […]

Problems with short-term vacation rentals in FL persist; will there ever be a statewide solution?

By: - January 18, 2023

At a city commission meeting last fall in Pinellas County’s Indian Rocks Beach, local resident Jerry Newton’s frustration was evident. The problem? Short-term vacation rentals in his community. “Yet another month has passed, Newton said. “In the meantime, there are more hotel rooms and more unfamiliar faces every day next door to our homes. It’s […]

FL prisons have ‘significant vacancies’ in staff positions; lack money for key inmate programs

By: - January 17, 2023

Despite record pay increases for state corrections officers, Florida’s prisons continue to have significant vacancies, a top corrections official told lawmakers Tuesday. “Recruitment of qualified applicants and retention of employees has been very challenging in recent years,” said Assistant Secretary Richard Comerford, of the state Department of Corrections. “We have significant vacancies in maintenance, education, […]

Advocates in FL and around the country are bracing for further erosion of local powers in 2023

By: - January 12, 2023

With the 2023 Florida legislative session less than two months away, supporters of local government control fear that state lawmakers could pass a measure to get rid of an Orange County rent stabilization ordinance during the continuing housing crisis in central Florida. The ordinance came out of a referendum in November, which voters approved, but […]

FL Moms for Liberty say they’d like to see Parental Rights in Education law expanded

By: - January 11, 2023

The Florida chapter of Moms for Liberty, the conservative nonprofit that advocates for parental rights in schools, would like state lawmakers to expand the state law that restricts classroom instruction about gender identity and sexual orientation for children from kindergarten through the third grade. The Parental Rights in Education law, dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” by […]

In Tampa, Rick Scott again calls for resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

By: - January 10, 2023

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott blasted President Joe Biden Tuesday for his trip to the southern border in El Paso and his overall record on immigration on Tuesday, and once again assailed the veracity of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for testifying that the U.S. – Mexican border is “secure.” Speaking in Tampa at […]