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.

Plastic straws available at Table 23 in Tallahassee

The Legislature advances two measures to stop local governments from banning plastic straws

By: - March 26, 2019

Florida legislators really don’t like the idea of local governments banning plastic straws, a movement which has grown in recent years. They dislike it so much they voted to support two different proposals introduced in the House Business & Professions Subcommittee on Tuesday to block cities and county governments from ever banning straws. One bill […]

Critics say lawmakers are thwarting voters again – this time about criminal sentencing changes

By: - March 26, 2019

Families of inmates and advocacy groups were elated last fall when voters approved a Florida Constitutional Amendment that could soon allow some prisoners to be released early. But in the machinations of the state Capitol, inmates who could benefit from Amendment 11 may remain stuck doing time, depending on how lawmakers get their hands on […]

early voting booth

Florida Legislature continues to try to restrict felon voting rights

By: - March 25, 2019

Despite impassioned arguments from former felons – who, in some cases, are paying astronomical restitution bills – Florida Republicans moved legislation Monday to add new voter registration limits for Florida ex-prisoners who have served their time. Voters approved state Constitutional Amendment 4 last fall to automatically restore voting rights to  felons who have served their […]

FL civil rights leader statue will replace Confederate general statue

By: - March 25, 2019

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will soon sign a letter to federal authorities requesting that they approve Florida’s plan to replace a statue of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith in the nation’s Statuary Hall collection with a new statue of civil rights leader and educator Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. That’s according to U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, […]

Kathy Castor

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor hopes to push Gov. DeSantis on climate change

By: - March 25, 2019

By any credible measurement, Florida is in serious trouble when it comes to combatting the effects of climate change. A 2018 report published by Science magazine said no state will suffer more economic damage from a warming planet than the Sunshine State. And Florida is one of a minority of states in the country that […]

Photo: Wikipedia

Republicans want to overhaul redevelopment agencies that help rebuild blighted areas

By: - March 22, 2019

For the past two legislative sessions, state Republicans have tried to overhaul what’s called Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs) that finance improvements in blighted areas. The measures haven’t passed, but now there’s a new attempt in the Legislature that’s gaining traction. State Rep. Chris LaMarca, a Republican from Broward County, has filed a bill that would […]

Wayne Messam

Running for president in 2020? Get in line, with a newcomer mayor from South Florida

By: - March 22, 2019

The emerging field of candidates running for the Democratic Party nomination for president grows each week with a new name added to what is likely the largest primary field ever in American politics. There’s Bernie. Kamala. Beto. And now, Wayne. That would be Wayne Messam. A day after being overwhelmingly reelected to a second term […]

Andrew Gillum speaking in Miami Gardens on Wednesday night (photo courtesy of Kevin Cate)

Andrew Gillum launches major registration campaign to ‘evict’ President Trump in 2020

By: - March 21, 2019

Vowing to turn Florida blue in the 2020 presidential election, former Florida Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum announced Wednesday night that he’s committed to registering one million voters over the next year-and-a-half. “We can deny Donald Trump a second term, right here in the state of Florida!” he said to a cheering crowd gathered at […]

Some legislators want undocumented immigrants to get FL driver’s licenses

By: - March 20, 2019

Republican lawmakers are pushing bills that would deport more undocumented immigrants detained by Florida law-enforcement agencies. On Wednesday, two Democratic lawmakers announced an entirely different legislative proposal: allow undocumented immigrants to get a Florida driver’s license. Although the idea is controversial, twelve other states allow undocumented people to get driver’s licenses, including in the very […]

Florida Capitol

Legislature takes first steps to “clarify” Florida’s felon voting rights law

By: - March 19, 2019

Democrats and voting rights advocates blasted the first bill introduced in the Florida Legislature Tuesday that seeks to add clarity and definitions to Amendment 4, the constitutional amendment that restores voting rights to an estimated 1.4 million felons in the state. The measure, approved by more than 64 percent of Florida voters last fall, calls […]

Is “telehealth” – with big tax breaks – the answer for Florida’s doctor shortage?

By: - March 19, 2019

Florida has a a growing shortage of doctors – and lawmakers say “telehealth” is the answer. Legislation proposed by state Rep. Clay Yarborough, a Republican from Duval County, would increase the use of telecommunications – using remote professionals – to provide services where there’s a shortage of medical services. The shortage is so bad, legislative […]

State Senator Anitere Flores & former U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo

Prominent Florida Republicans blame feds for state’s faulty immigration measures

By: - March 15, 2019

Two prominent Miami-area Republicans say the federal government’s inability to address comprehensive immigration issues is creating a void that’s allowing state lawmakers to push controversial bills like the one now moving through the Florida Legislature. That proposal would ban so-called “sanctuary cities” and compel local law enforcement agencies to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs […]