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Mar 23, 2023

Major Voucher Expansion Headed to DeSantis

TALLAHASSEE — A massive expansion of Florida’s school-choice programs that would make all students eligible for taxpayer-backed vouchers is headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis, after the Republican-controlled Senate passed the measure Thursday amid warnings from Democrats.

Dec 21, 2022

DeSantis signs bill aimed at expanding toll relief

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Dec. 15 signed Senate Bill 6A, establishing the Toll Relief Program through the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), which will provide account credits to frequent commuters using toll roads across the state. The program will give Floridians with 35 or more toll transactions per month a 50% credit to their account.

The legislation, originally proposed by DeSantis in September of this year, was successfully passed during the recent Legislative Special Session. The Toll Relief Program begins on Jan. 1, 2023, and runs through Dec. 31, 2023.

Oct 31, 2022

Gas prices to jump as ‘holiday’ ends

Florida motorists can expect to pay more at the pump as the state’s month-long gas tax “holiday” ends.

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas Monday stood at $3.29, about a dime cheaper than at the start of October. But the AAA auto club said that likely will change quickly when the state’s 25.3-cent-a-gallon gas tax returns Tuesday, after being suspended in October by lawmakers and Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Jun 28, 2022

Paid work equals volunteer time in bright futures law

Paid employment can be substituted for volunteer hours to qualify for Bright Futures scholarships, under a bill signed Monday by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis said the measure (HB 461) will help students who have to work and are unable to meet volunteer-hour requirements.

Jun 28, 2022

New Laws: From big budget to strawberry shortcake

By Jim Turner

Nearly 150 laws that Florida legislators passed this year are set to hit the books Friday. The new laws range from a record $109.9 billion budget to naming a state dessert.

Some of the measures face legal challenges, such as a bill that would prevent abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and a bill that would restrict how race-related concepts are taught in schools and workplace training.

In all, lawmakers sent 280 bills to Gov. Ron DeSantis. Of that total, 149 that were signed or were awaiting signatures Monday had July 1 effective dates. Seventy-five took effect immediately when signed. Others are slated to take effect Oct. 1, Jan. 1 or at other times.

Apr 14, 2022

Above-normal hurricane season on the horizon

Researchers have put forward a second above-normal forecast for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season. Colorado State University researchers on Thursday predicted 19 named storms, with nine growing into hurricanes, for the season that runs from June 1 to November 30.

Apr 6, 2022

New Florida law aims to recruit law enforcement officers

Florida will provide $5,000 bonuses among other incentives to recruit new in-state law enforcement officers and current out-of-state officers under a bill signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday.

Feb 25, 2022

House Passes Measure on Race-Related Instruction

Overriding objections from Democrats who called the measure “wrong on all levels,” the Republican-controlled Florida House on Thursday passed a bill that would limit how race-related concepts are taught in schools and in workplace training sessions.

Feb 8, 2022

Transgender Athlete Legal Fight Put on Hold

A challenge to a controversial state law that bans transgender females from participating on girls’ and women’s sports teams has been put on hold while another Florida case plays out in a federal appeals court.

Feb 8, 2022

Dentists, Hospitals Wary of Medicaid Changes

Florida House members Monday backed a proposal that would revamp the managed-care system that serves about 4 million Medicaid beneficiaries, but key parts of the plan are fueling opposition from dentists and hospitals.