Working & The Economy

Meet Florida’s first Director of Cannabis

BY: - February 6, 2019

Florida has its first cannabis director. And her marching orders are to give more patients access to legal marijuana. State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Wednesday named Holly Bell as the cannabis director in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Fried has directed Bell, a Nashville consultant with extensive experience in finance and […]

Florida should tackle gun violence in minority communities, lawmaker says

BY: - February 6, 2019

As hundreds of gun-control advocates swarmed the state Capitol in Tallahassee to lobby lawmakers Wednesday, a South Florida Democratic House member called on Governor Ron DeSantis to form a commission to address gun violence prevention in  minority communities. “The creation of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission fell short when it didn’t […]

Female lawmakers push for family-friendly policies and a non-discriminatory workplace

BY: - February 5, 2019

Six months of paid family leave. Fair pay and employment opportunities for women in the workplace. Equal pay for equal work without regard to gender when it comes to state bids and contracts. Those issues and more are part of a series of bills that a group of female lawmakers will be pushing this coming […]

american dollars

FL state pension fund will need more cash to stay healthy

BY: - February 5, 2019

What public employees and retirees may want to know: It will cost counties, school boards and state agencies an additional $123 million in the next budget year to keep the state pension fund financially healthy. That means state and local governments will have to increase their contributions in the coming year. In addition to those […]

COMMENTARY

It’s time to revive Florida’s African American History Task Force

BY: - February 5, 2019

Dear Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran: First, congrats on the gig. As you are by now aware, the job of education commissioner is far more than a title, paycheck and political steppingstone after eight years in the Florida Legislature. Your work – the decisions you make, the policies you push — impacts an estimated 2.7 […]

The Legislature just tried to make it harder for Florida patients to smoke medical weed

BY: - February 4, 2019

A Florida Senate committee on Monday reluctantly advanced a bill that would let Floridians smoke medical marijuana but added a series of barriers that would make it hard for patients to access the drug. Gov. Ron DeSantis has given lawmakers until March 15 to come up with legislation to allow sick Floridians to smoke medical […]

A local government stops using prison labor, saying it’s morally wrong

BY: - February 1, 2019

(UPDATED) Florida’s Department of Corrections has nearly 600 “work squad” agreements with  municipalities, organizations and colleges across the country to use prison labor, but no longer in Gainesville and Alachua County – local officials voted to end the contracts last week. Gainesville City Commissioner Gail Johnson says the issue has been a topic of conversation […]

rick scott

Many in GOP say Trump would set dangerous precedent if he declares national emergency over border wall – but Rick Scott supports it

BY: - January 31, 2019

There are just 15 days left for President Trump and congressional Democrats to find common ground on border security, or the threat of another government shutdown looms. The president has threatened to declare a national emergency to fund a $5.7 billion wall on our southern border, but many Republicans have said that would set a […]

Fixing Florida’s voting woes – lawmakers pledge new reforms

BY: - January 31, 2019

In the aftermath of the November election, the one with seven recounts and a flurry of lawsuits, Democrats have promised a package of electoral reforms that they will unveil in advance of the 2019 legislative session. But Governor Ron DeSantis isn’t convinced that reforms are necessary. “The election stuff is not rocket science,” DeSantis said […]

Florida on the road to allowing sick people to smoke legal weed – finally

BY: - January 31, 2019

Legislative leaders say they intend to meet the March 15 deadline that Gov. Ron DeSantis set for allowing sick people to smoke medical marijuana. But it’s not clear whether that resolution will be acceptable to DeSantis or to advocates for smokable marijuana. “I believe we will get something to the governor by March 15 and […]

Should Florida level the playing field for university performance funding?

BY: - January 30, 2019

Florida has handed out nearly $1 billion in special “performance funding” to its public universities since the fall of 2014. But Florida A&M University, one of the largest and oldest historically black universities in the country, has received less than two percent of that funding – just $17 million. Compare that to the University of […]

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Cabinet wander far afield of Florida, taking symbolic votes to support Israel

BY: - January 29, 2019

The Florida Cabinet made a symbolic vote Tuesday to place online booking platform Airbnb on its list of “scrutinized companies” that the state invests in. The reason? The San Francisco-based corporation in November removed about 200 listings for lodging in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank – a region that’s central in the dispute […]