Building a Contentious Legislative Education Train...

Mar 20, 2016

The Florida legislative session is over. Anyone following the Legislature knows it finished on time with the House and Senate working remarkably well together. The Legislature agreed on an $82 billion budget that increased...

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Best and Worst of Florida Legislative Session So Far...

Feb 14, 2016

We’re halfway through Florida’s legislative session and time for a half-time recap. The top priorities of the Senate President and the House speaker—expanding opportunities for the developmentally disabled and an agriculture-friendly water policy—have made...

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No House of Cards, But Good Political Drama...

Apr 26, 2014

I had intended to offer a half-time report on the Florida Legislature’s 60-day legislative session, but the vast majority of the action occurs in the last two weeks — or, more accurately, in the...

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A Fascinating Issue to Watch: The Immigrant Tuition Bill...

Mar 23, 2014

While a legislative issue usually falls predictably along party lines, with the Florida House considered the more conservative chamber and the Senate considered the more moderate body, the immigrant tuition bill shatters the preconceptions...

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Primary Voters, Not Establishment, Should Pick Nominees...

Jun 14, 2012

There was a time when political parties — at least the Republican Party, to which I’ve long proudly belonged — didn’t get involved in primary elections, except perhaps when a favored incumbent faced a...

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Lottery Balls and Last-Minute Deals, How The Senate Redistricts...

Mar 29, 2012

Nearly midnight on the last day of the legislative session, Florida senators were told we would begin an extraordinary session the following week for a second attempt at drawing new political districts. Earlier that...

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Greased Wheels To For-Profit Prisons

Jan 25, 2012

In their quest to privatize state prisons, leaders of the Florida Senate, knowing they lacked the support of their members, last year pulled a sneaky move. They slipped “proviso” language into the state budget...

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Florida Redistricting: More Transparent Than Fair...

Jan 19, 2012

On Tuesday, the Florida Senate voted 34-6 to approve redistricting maps for the state senate and U.S. Congress. Early in the debate, Sen. Don Gaetz, who chairs the reapportionment committee, said, “Vox populi, vox...

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