The Florida Chamber of Commerce has released its legislative agenda (.pdf) for 2011. Last year's agenda became a blueprint (.pdf) for the 2010 Legislative Session and elements of nearly every Florida Chamber priority were adopted, according to the group. Many of its priorities have been proposed by Gov. Rick Scott or are already making their way through the legislature.
Florida voters shot down Amendment 4 — aka Hometown Democracy — during last November's election, but the group that sprung up to oppose it is still kicking, and has sent supporters a video to rally the troops for its next battle.
Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, today announced a piece of legislation to crack down on Florida's pill mills. If enacted, the law will double the penalties and triple the fines for drug violators and use assets seized to fund prescription drug databases in states like Florida. According to a press release, it will also reclassify one of the most abused and deadly narcotics to make it more difficult to obtain.
A Florida House panel approved a pair of measures that would consolidate six state trust funds dedicated to areas ranging from affordable housing to Visit Florida into a giant pot of money worth $400 million-plus, to be used by Gov. Rick Scott for economic development incentives.
Free Market Florida wants to get rid of the EPA's proposed numeric nutrient criteria, a set of water pollution standards that would govern waste in Florida waterways. The group has already launched a campaign against the rules, and its executive director has been making the rounds on the radio and in newspapers. But who exactly is behind Free Market Florida?
Greenpeace today released its fifth edition of Carting Away the Oceans, a report and scorecard that ranks top retailers in the U.S. on their sustainable seafood. Among those receiving failing grades are Florida-based grocery chains Winn-Dixie and Publix.
Lesley Blackner — president of Hometown Democracy, the organization that worked to put Amendment 4 on Florida's November ballot — contacted us in response
According to the leader a state environmental group, growth management may not be dead, but it could use your help.
Attorney General Pam Bondi said she's ordering an independent investigation into the controversial firing of prosecutors who were going after foreclosure mills. Plus: five more important items!
Former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove and talk show host Neal Boortz will speak in Jacksonville on Fri., Nov. 18, as part of Stand Up for America: Debt, Taxes, and You Decide 2012. According to a press release, the event will be a lively and entertaining discussion of the important issues in the news, including the 2012 election, spending, debt, and taxes.
Howard Simon, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, has written a letter to Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., urging him to hold Senate hearings on the state's controversial new voting law as soon as possible.
In an email sent out to supporters Tuesday morning, Republican congressional candidate Mike Yost writes that Washington Democrats like Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, his 2012 opponent, are so far out of touch with reality that it is no wonder the $15 Trillion of current debt is growing.
Five state senators and five state House members have been issued subpoenas by a law firm representing the League of Women Voters of Florida and the National Council of La Raza. Both groups have intervened in the case of State of Florida vs. United States of America and Eric H. Holder Jr. Holder is the U.S. attorney general.
Public Policy Polling released a poll Tuesday showing that Gov. Rick Scott's approval rate among Florida voters is at an all-time low.
State Rep. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami Shores, has been inadvertently caught up in the ongoing controversy over the decision by home improvement giant Lowe's to pull advertising from the TLC show All-American Muslim, a decision made due to pressure from the Tampa-based Florida Family Association.
The Supreme Court announced today that its hearings in the lawsuit challenging the new federal health care reform law will begin on March 26 and will last three days.
The number of Floridians on food stamps increased to more than 3.3 million by November, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families.
State Rep. Richard Steinberg, D-Miami Beach, and state Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, today filed a bill that would authorize and establish requirements for a citizens' veto referendum.
Nezar Hamze, a registered Republican and the executive director of the South Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, tells The Florida Independent that accusations tying his organization to Muslim terrorists are ridiculous.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection late yesterday issued an intent to deny the application for the Angelo's landfill in Dade City — a reaffirmation of its original denial.
In a Monday court filing, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, Attorney General Pam Bondi and a slew of industry representatives filed their opposition to EPA-mandated water pollution standards for the state. Arguing that federal intervention was and remains unnecessary, they ask the court to invalidate the January 2009 determination that required that the standards be implemented.
GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's recent call for a humane path to immigration enforcement makes him the most recent conservative voice calling for solutions that encompass something more than the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants.
Occupy Orlando today launched an effort to end corporate personhood. According to a press release, Occupy Orlando today visited the office of state Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, to present a formal letter asking for his support to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
The Florida Senate redistricting committee has released a revamped draft of how it proposes to redraw Florida's congressional lines. The new map shows a big shift in the district of Rep. Vern Buchanan — a shift that came about because of urgings from Charlotte County residents to lump them in with other coastal residents, according to committee chairman Don Gaetz.
The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association today announced its legislative priorities for the state's upcoming 2012 legislative session, touching on destination casino resorts and immigration and wage issues.
A Texas-based pro-life group has a serious problem with the way search engines work. Their problem, it seems, is that when a woman searches for “abortion” in Google, she is generally directed to ways in which she can obtain an abortion. Online For Life, a self-described non-profit outreach group, has found a way to change that. The group is buying Google ad space in the hopes of misdirecting women looking for information on abortions.
State Sen. Nan Rich told reporters at the Associated Press Florida Legislative Planning Session that she is concerned the GOP-led Legislature will continue to push right-wing legislation in the upcoming legislative session.
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force today released its final strategy for long-term ecosystem restoration for the region most affected by the 2009 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, which sent more than 20 million gallons of oil into the gulf. The announcement follows extensive feedback from citizens throughout the region, and was developed following more than 40 public meetings.
During a speech given in Texas last night, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder criticized legal challenges launched by states — including Florida — against the section of the Voting Rights Act that requires approval of election laws in certain areas. Holder also affirmed the need for vigilance against laws aimed at rolling back voting rights.
You know what makes Barack Obama happy? Newt Gingrich, says an ad by Restore our Future, a group that supports GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The hardware chain Lowe's is standing behind its decision to pull ads from the TLC reality series All-American Muslim, despite protests and petitions imploring the company to reinstate them.
According to new polling, the majority of Americans do not have definite positions on a health care reform provision requiring everyone to have health insurance. The individual mandate, which is the main subject of Florida's legal challenge to the law, is one of the measure's more controversial sections.
John Morton, director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, announced Friday changes to the embattled immigration-enforcement program Secure Communities, which allows local law enforcement agencies to check the fingerprints of people they arrest with FBI and Department of Homeland Security databases to make sure they are not undocumented criminals.
American Crossroads, a political action committee affiliated with Karl Rove and funded almost entirely by billionaires, has released a new ad taking shots at
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush appeared on Al Punto, a Spanish-language news program, on Sunday to promote his Foundation for Excellence in Education and his particular brand of education reform.
Two groups conceived by former Bush White House Senior Advisor Karl Rove and former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie have new independent expenditure ads opposing Sen.
The Florida Independent's Marcos Restrepo broke news in August that between 40 and 45 construction workers at a South Florida site were being stiffed out of wages they were owed for weeks of labor. Restrepo identified many of the companies involved in the wage theft (Pozo Construction, Florida Shell Construction and BJ&K Construction), each of whom blamed others on the project for the missing money.
Several reports out today detail the bacterial infection behind a string of dolphin deaths that have occurred since last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Brucellosis, a bacterial infection, has been identified in at least five of 21 tests of stranded dolphins.
Participants in a Tuesday conference call hosted by the National Immigration Forum said mandatory E-Verify without immigration reform would harm the U.S. economy.
A board game that was banned in the 1980s will be re-released as Obozo's America: Why Bother Working for a Living? The game features insulting stereotypes about welfare recipients as well as a depiction of a Marxist Clown... juggling Hope and Change balls.
A federal judge has denied the Federal Election Commission's motion to fine a former business partner of Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, over contributions made to Buchanan's 2006 and 2008 campaigns.
An unprecedented part of the most open, transparent, interactive redistricting process ever, or a sham designed by Florida lawmakers to placate the public while they work to draw new district lines to benefit themselves? That's the question dogging the set of 26 public redistricting hearings scheduled by the state Legislature to kick off next week.
Whether or not residents think that guns belong in Florida parks and public buildings, a bill approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott says they do.
With the U.S. Conference on AIDS just three days away, A Day with HIV in America, a project of Positively Aware, seeks to bring together a community of folks who live with HIV, to show their diversity and confront HIV stigmas.
A statewide prescription drug monitoring program continues to be successful in Florida, where it was only recently implemented. The latest stats on the database, known as E-FORCSE, show that the number of practitioners using it has grown significantly in the past month — even though its use isn't yet mandated by law.
With the final decision on whether the Obama administration will keep its original policy requiring health insurers to cover contraception without co-payments looming, women's health advocates fear the president will capitulate to the demands of one of the biggest opponents to the policy: Catholic bishops.
A constitutional law professor told The Palm Beach Post that Gov. Rick Scott's current stance on federal health care reform puts him at odds with the U.S. Constitution.
Miriam Mendiola-Martinez, an undocumented woman who did a stint in an Arizona immigration detention center, is suing Sheriff Joe Arpaio and others for mistreating her during her pregnancy in 2009.
A handful of high-profile Christian activist groups and conservative legislators have declined to lend their support to Florida's proposed fetal personhood
A group of Florida lawmakers is urging the White House to stop delaying action on a rule that would ban the import of tens of thousands of large constricting snakes — snakes that have caused major problems for South Florida.