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05-08 Miami

State workers win on raise, lose on pension

Sen. Jack Latvala got his No. 1 priority, a pay raise for more than 97,000 state workers. But he wasn’t doing any fist-pumps or hip-hip hoorays for the $1,400 hike slated for most workers. The Senate Appropriations Chair explained he went to great lengths in budget negotiations to accommodate the House to secure Senate objectives. To get… Read more »

05-08 Miami

$419M schools bill headed to Gov. Scott, after barely surviving Senate vote

Lawmakers struggled to pass a controversial $419 million, 278-page K-12 public schools bill on Monday, the final day of the annual session — as senators acknowledged parts of the rushed legislation were flawed and would need to be fixed when the Legislature reconvenes in 2018. However, the prospect of a possible veto by Republican Gov. Rick Scott… Read more »

02-24 Miami Herald

Stop charter schools from profiting off taxpayers? Nope, deal kills proposed ban.

Lawmakers were on track this spring to enact long-sought safeguards to stop businesses from turning a profit off public money intended for charter school capital projects. But for the second year in a row, that proposal abruptly vanished and was left out of a late-session compromise House and Senate leaders struck in private. Despite being sought and supported by… Read more »


State bills, budget in hands of Gov. Scott today

To the extent that any legislative session is remembered, the 2017 edition might be remembered as much for what lawmakers didn’t do as for what they did. Supposedly must-pass bills on workers’ compensation and medical marijuana turned out not to be as must-pass as originally thought. A gambling bill that lawmakers said was closer to… Read more »

05-05 TBT

Editorial: Legislature owes Floridians more apologies

The Florida Legislature apologized this spring for decades of violent abuse at a state-run reform school for boys. It apologized to the families of the Groveland Four, the young black men wrongly accused of raping a white woman nearly 70 years ago. Before they approve a state budget and adjourn Monday, legislators owe a few… Read more »

03-27 Miami Herald

School testing reform faces pass/fail exam Friday in House

After several days of private collaboration among lawmakers, one major late-night rewrite and some last-minute tweaks, senators unanimously passed a sweeping education bill on Thursday — the main feature of which is to address excessive testing in Florida’s public schools. HB 549 eliminates only a single test — the Algebra 2 end-of-course exam — and it… Read more »

04-29 Miami Herald

Lawmakers finally cut final budget deal

Behind schedule and late in the evening, House and Senate negotiators agreed Thursday to an $83 billion spending plan for the year that begins July 1, setting up a delayed end to the legislative session. The agreement provides for a modest increase in the main state formula for funding public education, cuts payments to hospitals… Read more »

Florida superintendents deplore Legislature’s proposed education budget

Many of the details remain elusive. But what they know about the Florida Legislature’s proposed education budget, school district superintendents do not like. Among their chief concerns: The base allocation per student is projected to decrease by $27.07 — something that’s unheard of in economic good times — at the same time that the local… Read more »

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