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.

Leon County

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist wants to federally guarantee Sunday early voting in elections

By: - March 7, 2019

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, a Democrat from St. Petersburg, has added an amendment to a massive reform bill being pushed by in Congress that will guarantee early voting hours for every day of the week, Monday through Sunday. The U.S. House of Representatives will vote Friday on HR 1, also known as the “For the […]

plastic bag on roadside

The Legislature’s extreme moves to stamp out local laws

By: - March 7, 2019

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 regulating businesses. The Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Retail Federation and Associated Industries of Florida are backing it. The Florida […]

Republicans and corporate interests pushing anti-union measure

By: - March 6, 2019

Republican lawmakers advanced an anti-union bill Wednesday that would prevent workers from getting paid during the time they conduct union business. Big business is firmly behind the bill. The proposal was introduced at the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference in Washington D.C. last fall, and the conservative James Madison Institute released a report […]

I voted sticker

Republicans in the Florida Legislature propose new election reform

By: - March 6, 2019

While Democrats have been the loudest members of the Legislature proposing electoral reforms, a bill produced by the state Republican-led Senate Committee on Ethics and Elections Tuesday might have the best chance of passage during this legislative session. The committee is chaired by state Senator Dennis Baxley, a Republican from Ocala. He authorized the chief attorney […]

Partisan divide: Democrats and Republicans lay out two visions for Florida at 2019 Legislature kickoff

By: and - March 6, 2019

Republicans and Democrats laid out dramatically different visions for Florida on Tuesday, the first day of the 2019 legislative session. In his inaugural State of the State speech, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis laid out his conservative agenda which toes a hard line against immigration; he spotlighted in the audience the parents of a Jacksonville man […]

Research shows putting young prisoners in solitary confinement is dangerous. Some lawmakers want to ban the practice

By: - March 4, 2019

Putting young prisoners in solitary confinement greatly increases the risk that they’ll commit suicide. With that as a backdrop, a North Florida legislator is pushing legislation that would prevent the Florida Departments of Corrections and Juvenile Justice from holding anyone  younger than 19  in solitary confinement – except under limited  circumstances. Sponsored by state Senator […]

image courtesy SEIU

Battle for Miami-Dade College adjuncts to become unionized gets intense

By: - March 4, 2019

Adjunct professors at Miami-Dade College began voting last week on becoming union members, the latest group of part-time, non-tenured college instructors in Florida pushing for representation. Nationally, adjuncts have been joining unions in large numbers over the past decade as a way to overcome the low wages and insufficient medical benefits that is their fate. In just the past […]

marijuana plant

Want weed to be legal for recreational purposes? So do these state legislators

By: - March 1, 2019

Ten states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. Could Florida become the 11th within the next two years? That’s the idea that some Florida Democrats are advocating. State Sen. Randolph Bracy from Orlando unveiled a resolution calling for the Florida Legislature to place a state constitutional amendment on the 2020 ballot that would give people […]

Actor Kelsey Grammer cut an ad in Florida for Marsy's Law

South FL lawmaker tries to tweak controversial new victims’ rights measure “Marsy’s Law.”

By: - February 28, 2019

(Update) As the Phoenix reported last month, there’s been confusion among Florida law enforcement agencies about how to comply with “Marsy’s Law,” a victims’ rights measure that voters enshrined in the state Constitution last November. Advocates for public information and media access say the law is shielding too much information from public view. Some law […]

Florida Immigrant Coalition

Gov. DeSantis wants to train more Florida sheriff’s deputies to enforce immigration laws

By: - February 27, 2019

Groups that advocate for undocumented immigrants are sounding the alarm about Gov. Ron DeSantis’ plan to expand a federal training program for local sheriff’s deputies to serve as immigration enforcement agents. Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Brooksville this week to applaud the Hernando County Sheriff’s Department for participating in the controversial federal program, which has […]


Florida Democrats in the Legislature propose new statewide election fixes

By: - February 27, 2019

In the wake of last November’s unprecedented three statewide recounts, state Democrats have been promising to unveil electoral reforms. Now, State Sen. Jose Javier-Rodriguez, a Democrat from Miami-Dade County, has made good on that pledge. He’s sponsoring a bill that would require:: – A standardized ballot design. – Uniform guidelines on when local supervisor of […]

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaking to reporters in the Capitol

DeSantis administration is vetting, replacing, and re-upping Rick Scott’s appointees

By: - February 26, 2019

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he will be moving quickly to fill 169 vacancies at agencies and commissions throughout the state – vacancies he created last week when he rescinded former Gov. Rick Scott’s appointees. It’s the second time in two months that DeSantis asked Scott appointees to resign. In January, he rescinded 45 Scott […]