State Sen. Lauren Book

Where were all the missing Senate Dems during the caucus meeting earlier this week?

BY: - November 18, 2021

Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book was not in attendance Wednesday at a caucus meeting with colleagues. She also was gone when senators debated and voted on special session legislation in the Florida Senate chamber that evening. It’s still not entirely clear why so many Senate Democrats failed to attend a caucus meeting earlier in the […]

Following the Delta surge, FL lawmakers hear about the emerging Mu variant ‘not being responsive to the vaccine’

BY: - September 14, 2021

More COVID-19 mutations are emerging globally including the so-called Mu variant, raising concerns from state lawmakers about whether the strain is resistant to current vaccines used to provide protection against the virus. The World Health Organization has designated the Mu variant as a “variant of interest” and cited that the mutation may potentially reduce vaccine […]

State Sen. Randolph Bracy leads in campaign fundraising for Central FL Congressional seat

BY: - July 16, 2021

Donations from lawyers, lobbyists, political action committees and other individuals have contributed more than $165,000 for State Sen. Randolph Bracy’s campaign for Congress, according to campaign finance data from the Federal Election Commission. In late May, Bracy entered the race in Florida’s 10th Congressional District to replace U.S. Rep. Val Demings, an Orlando Democrat who’d […]

State Senate Minority Leader Farmer pushed out by colleagues from his post, 2 days before 2021 session ends

BY: and - April 28, 2021

2nd update: Sen. Gary Farmer has resigned his role as Senate Democratic leader. His announcement around 2 pm. said Orange County Sen. Bobby Powell, leader pro tempore, is the new leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus through the end of Farmer’s term in 2022, per Senate and Caucus rules. The Caucus later voted to elect […]

FL House proposes expanded Medicaid postpartum coverage for moms and babies, but Senate has not

BY: - April 5, 2021

The Florida House has included millions in its proposed 2021-22 state budget to extend postpartum care for mothers eligible for Medicaid to a period of 12 months or 365 days. Usually it’s been just two months. But so far, the Florida Senate has not moved on the budget issue, creating a standoff on Medicaid expansion […]

FL Democrats put pressure on Gov. DeSantis, Senate to support Medicaid expansion for pregnant women

BY: - March 24, 2021

Two Democratic leaders in the Florida Senate called on Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Senate President Wilton Simpson to support a proposal by the Biden administration for states to expand Medicaid coverage for pregnant women and their newborns. Wednesday, state Sens. Gary Farmer and Lauren Book praised efforts by House Speaker Chris Sprowls for his […]

Ocoee massacre education bill did not include reparations and may not be in school curriculum for awhile

BY: - June 26, 2020

In frank comments about African-American legislation in Florida, State Sen. Randolph Bracy, who is a Black man, said he thinks that some Republicans  “have a concern with having their names attached to reparations for African Americans.” “Some people are concerned about the political fallout,” Bracy said in a phone interview Friday with the Florida Phoenix. […]

Fl Senate approves parental-consent bill; opponents fear an “abortion desert”

BY: - February 6, 2020

In a civil but strenuous debate, the Florida Senate Thursday voted 23-17 to approve a controversial bill that requires parental consent for a minor to get an abortion. The vote came after a crowd of protesters in and around the Capitol rallied for and against the bill earlier this week. And approval of the legislation […]

FL Surgeon General confirmation: Tampa doctor questions Rivkees’ qualifications, considers him a “public health novice”

BY: - February 5, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ appointed surgeon general of Florida, Scott Rivkees, faces questions over whether he is qualified to be the chief state health official in Florida. A Tampa doctor traveled to Tallahassee this week to tell lawmakers that Rivkees isn’t qualified in the key area of public health administration, despite his top medical credentials. Tazia […]

FL Surgeon General defends past “reports about sexual harassment and some impropriety,” as senators weigh his confirmation

BY: - January 16, 2020

With state senators weighing his confirmation, Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees strongly defended his background Wednesday, saying “what has been reported truly is mischaracterization of the facts.” Rivkees, who also heads the Florida Department of Health, was appointed nine months ago by Gov. Ron DeSantis. But after mounting scrutiny last year, he had not been […]

guns from bust

Democratic lawmakers want to require background checks for all gun sales in Florida

BY: - October 25, 2019

For the third time, state Rep. Margaret Good is trying to close the gun-sale loophole that allows firearms to be purchased privately without any background checks. The Sarasota Democrat has filed House Bill 451 for the 2020 Legislature, which starts in January. Her bill would require all Florida firearms purchases to go through a background […]

FDLE probe will continue, despite the death of alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein

BY: - August 13, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein’s death in a New York jail cell won’t affect the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation into his lenient 2008 plea deal for soliciting minors and cushy work-release arrangement. Press aides in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office and the FDLE confirmed Tuesday that the preliminary probe will proceed as planned. “The FDLE investigation on […]