Culture & Society

Key lawmakers now saying they may need to interpret what voters meant in approving Amendment 4 to restore felon voting rights

BY: - December 12, 2018

UPDATE: Governor-elect Ron DeSantis tells the Palm Beach Post that he wants the Legislature to draft a law to “implement” Amendment 4 to restore felon voting rights. DeSantis opposed the amendment. In the weeks since more than 64 percent of Floridians approved Constitutional Amendment 4 to automatically restore voting rights to more than 1.4 million […]

activists at govs office

Thousands ask Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis to address climate change

BY: - December 12, 2018

Hoping to get Florida’s new governor to pay attention to one of the state’s largest environmental problems, officials with several statewide organizations delivered a letter signed by 3,400 Floridians to Ron DeSantis Tuesday urging him to address climate change. “After eight years of total inaction with the governor’s office, Ron DeSantis now has a unique […]


Will Florida try again for state tax incentives to attract the film industry?

BY: - December 12, 2018

Eight years ago, Florida kicked off a program to try to attract the film industry – and the jobs and publicity that come with it – to the Sunshine State. But the state program had problems, and by 2016 it had fizzled. Pinellas County-based actor Ricky Wayne says he’s constantly working these days, but rarely […]

House lawmakers get an eye-opener: Nearly half of FL schools are average to struggling

BY: - December 11, 2018

In a meeting room in the Capitol, a big screen on the wall revealed some data that surprised newly-elected state representative Ardian Zika. The Republican House member representing part of Pasco County looked at the numbers and saw that 43 percent of public schools in Florida got C, D or F grades in 2018 under […]


Voter suppression, nasty politics and stealing an election

BY: - December 11, 2018

Most of us learn from early in life that politics is a grimy, dirty business. It is. There was a time, however, when politicians engaged in unsavory activities and hatched backdoor deals in the shadows, under cover of darkness. But as the Georgia governor’s race illustrated, there are shameless Republicans who are hell bent on […]

Catholic bishops call on Rick Scott to stop this week’s scheduled execution

BY: - December 10, 2018

The state of Florida is scheduled to execute Jose Antonio Jimenez by lethal injection Thursday at 6 p.m. for the 1992 murder of Phyllis Mina. Jimenez was 29 years old when he was convicted of beating and stabbing 63-year-old Phyllis Minas after she caught him burglarizing her Miami-Dade apartment. Governor Rick Scott originally signed a […]

Anna Eskamani

Taking on the status quo: Freshman Democratic lawmaker says no thanks to attending exclusive corporate-sponsored event

BY: - December 10, 2018

Newly-elected Orlando Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani says she plans to fight for her constituents in Tallahassee, and that means the battle has begun in the status-quo world of Florida’s capital. The 28-year-old, independent-minded Eskamani is refusing to attend an event hosted by one of Tallahassee’s most powerful business and lobbying organizations — an unusual rebuff […]

League of Women Voters of Florida: Not so fast on new FL Education Commissioner

BY: - December 7, 2018

The League of Women Voters of Florida is reminding the State Board of Education to do its job on selecting a new Education Commissioner. Essentially, that means doing a national search for the best candidate rather than quickly choosing Governor-elect Ron DeSantis’s choice — former House Speaker Richard Corcoran. “As members of the State Board […]

Should the state require teens to take a standalone class in “financial literacy?”

BY: - December 7, 2018

Lawmakers are gearing up again to change high school graduation requirements and ensure kids who graduate know about financial literacy and money management. That means understanding how to open a bank account, balance a checkbook, complete a loan application, and fill out federal income tax forms, among other finance-related activities. Republican state Senator Travis Hutson, […]

It’s official: Gov. Rick Scott spent more than $63-million in U.S. Senate race

BY: - December 7, 2018

The final, official tally of spending in Florida’s widely-watched U.S. Senate race was reported Thursday, with Gov. Rick Scott spending more than $63 million out of his own pocket to defeat Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson. That’s a whopping amount in the race that sparked lawsuits, recounts and national media attention. All told, the Rick Scott […]

The haves and have nots in state worker pay: Disparity looms large in Florida’s capital.

BY: - December 7, 2018

Tens of thousands of state workers earn an annual salary below the state average of roughly $43,500, but some high-echelon public employees earn six-figure salaries and can be eligible for public pensions as well. In some cases, those salaries are $200,000 to $300,000 and even higher, the Florida Phoenix found in a review of more […]

Orlando state senator moves to remove restrictions against prosecuting rape cases

BY: - December 6, 2018

Democratic state senator Linda Stewart from Orlando filed legislation Wednesday in hopes of trying to remove barriers on prosecuting rape cases. “Many young sexual battery victims do not come forward when they are first assaulted,” Stewart said in press release.  “Sometimes they don’t understand, sometimes they are afraid, and sometimes they are simply ashamed. Each […]