The issues are volatile; the players unpredictable; the atmosphere highly charged. The fight over Gov. Jeb Bush's One Florida plan, which would end race, ethnic and sex-based preferences in university admissions and state contracts, is taking place mostly along racial lines. Then there are term limits: a big chunk of the Legislature has to leave office after this session. Will they turn maverick? Expect lots of wrangling over health care and transportation. With 3,000 lobbyists in residence, though, plenty more issues will surface. It may get ugly. It certainly will be interesting.
May 31, 2000
Bush slashes local projects
TALLAHASSEE -- Declaring that he did not come to Tallahassee to "be a big-spending liberal," Gov. Jeb Bush on Tuesday used his veto pen to cut a whopping $313-million from the state's budget.
Governor saves school impact fee
TALLAHASSEE -- Disappointing home builders statewide, Gov. Jeb Bush on Tuesday blocked a plan to sharply reduce school impact fees in 15 fast-growing counties, including Citrus, Hernando and Hillsborough.
May 27, 2000
With budget in hand, time to talk turkeys
It is full of pet projects that fit the "turkey" definition that Gov. Bush declared war on last year.
Switching party ties brings home bacon
TALLAHASSEE -- Switch to the Republican Party, and reap the rewards.
It's good riddance to 2000 Legislature
Tallahassee's air suddenly seems cleaner. The traffic is better. People are smiling all around us. The Legislature is gone.
May 21, 2000
- Riding without a helmet?
If Gov. Jeb Bush signs legislation repealing Florida's helmet law, bikers will be deciding whether or not to ride bareheaded.
- Florida 'barely passing' ethics test
A national report on potential conflicts of interest finds legislators in Tallahassee wanting in several respects.
- House, Senate make $51-billion budget deal
TALLAHASSEE -- The House and Senate struck an overnight deal on a nearly $51-billion state budget that has something in it to make almost everyone happy.
- Education overhaul
In a landmark day of dealmaking, leaders of the Florida Legislature agree to abolish the Board of Regents, add two law schools and one medical school, plus boost pay for public school teachers.
- Wiggy remarks
After being presented with an Afro wig and sunglasses on the House floor Tuesday, Rep. Robert Starks, R-Casselberry, thanks Rep. Al Lawson for naming him an honorary member of the Black Caucus for his support of minority issues.
- Vouchers proposed for disabled students
The legislation would grant private school tuition aid to some students with special needs.
- Butterworth: I won't defend bill
The attorney general calls the House-passed "sovereign lands" bill unconstitutional.
- Late at night, deal was sealed
TALLAHASSEE -- Senate President Toni Jennings vowed to keep the Legislature in session as long as it took to get her way. House Speaker John Thrasher said he wouldn't bend.
Session shaped by last hurrahs
The departure of so many lawmakers -- because of term limits -- helps set the mood at the state Capitol.
- Medical, law schools racing to floor votes
A mix of cash and clout and an atmosphere of compromise among politicians may mean the time is right for setting up three professional schools.
- Senate health package retooled
Republican leaders in the Senate retooled their health care package Tuesday, adding goodies for a number of industries in an effort to win approval for granting patients the right to sue HMOs.
- Limits on legislators who lobby are eroding
Adecade ago, the Florida Ethics Commission placed limits on former legislators who wanted to work as lobbyists for state agencies. [Lucy Morgan column]
- One Florida foes call for another talk with Bush
Foes of the governor's plan say they'll be at the Capitol to meet Gov. Bush to discuss One Florida, whether he agrees to see them or not.
- Ruling protects marine species
A judge says that a new conservation agency, approved by voters in 1998, protects both turtles and manatees -- not just endangered species on land.
- Lawmakers look at ways to hem in vexing judiciary
Several bills would give the governor more control over the judicial branch.
- 2 bills target anti-gun lawsuits
The measures aim to keep state and local governments from holding gun manufacturers liable for gun violence.
- Bill would move adult ed to colleges
But the proposed shift of the programs from school districts to community colleges is running into opposition.
- More school nurses supported
Lawmakers on Friday pledged to work to fund more school nurses in three districts to prove that access to health care will help students stay healthier and learn more.Tobacco farmers labor to bring in state aid
TALLAHASSEE -- Sylvester Curry is the sort of person who makes Florida lawmakers remember why they got elected in the first place. He's a salt-of-the-earth man, a farmer in a worn, dark suit, dirt under his nails, standing at a lectern, asking for help.
- Limits to death row appeals rejected
Florida's high court rules that a new law designed to speed up executions encroaches on its turf.
- Group challenges probation photos' use on Internet
An advocacy group for ex-convicts is suing the state, claiming that online postings of their photos and addresses invade their privacy.
- Thrasher stomps out talk of taxes
The House speaker rejects higher cigarette taxes -- even if tobacco companies go bankrupt -- and a number of other Senate ideas.
- Comparing approaches of Legislature, court
The Florida Legislature passed a law in January to speed up death penalty appeals. The Florida Supreme Court declared that law unconstitutional Friday, but offered its own solutions to delays in carrying out death sentences. Here are some of the major differences:
April 14, 2000
April 13, 2000
April 12, 2000
April 11, 2000
April 10, 2000
- GOP targets land use limits
State lawmakers see a chance to rework the laws that they say have hurt development and agriculture in Florida.
- Among the bills
Here are a few of the bills that Florida environmentalists are warning against.
April 8, 2000
April 7, 2000
April 6, 2000
April 5, 2000
April 4, 2000
April 2, 2000
- Republicans buck Bush agenda
Term limits are forcing many lawmakers out and causing some Republicans to "push the envelope."
- FSU med school: practical or pork?
TALLAHASSEE -- State Rep. Durell Peaden Jr. is a proud product of rural Florida, a country doctor born and raised in DeFuniak Springs, one of the many communities he says has been badly neglected by Florida's medical establishment.
March 31, 2000
March 29, 2000
March 28, 2000
March 24, 2000
- Legislator pulls no punches in development debate
TALLAHASSEE -- Ocala Republican Rep. George Albright took the gloves off Thursday at the Capitol, delivering a scorching diatribe against Florida environmentalists and saying state land planners are people "that have never had a real job or owned land."
- Health secretary: Help 'elect godly and moral people'
TALLAHASSEE -- In a luncheon address to the Christian Coalition of Florida on Thursday, Florida Health Secretary Bob Brooks urged the crowd to keep trying to get more Christians in political posts, so that good can triumph over evil.
March 23, 2000
March 22, 2000
March 21, 2000
Everglades bill passes first test
The measure clears a Senate panel, though lawmakers dispute how much South Florida should pay.
March 18, 2000
- Senate budget rewards teachers
Republican leaders propose boosting salaries by 8 percent as part of a larger effort to recruit and retain more teachers.
- Crist: Justices shaped new law
Florida justices Harding and Wells say they had no substantial input into new limits on death penalty appeals. Rep. Victor Crist says otherwise.
- Lucy Morgan: Old warrior steels for a fight with legislators
The Legislature has done it now. They've gone and gotten Chesterfield Smith's dander up.
March 17, 2000
March 16, 2000
March 15, 2000
March 14, 2000
March 11, 2000
March 10, 2000
|[Times photo: Scott Keeler]
A bill to require locks, like this one, on the triggers of guns kept where children live was proposed last session, but quickly died. The governor has said he would not support further gun control.
March 9, 2000
|March 8, 2000
Law enforcement officlals estimated 9,000 to 11,00 people rallied to hear speakers such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
On bus from Pinellas to capital, 'We're all as one'
Headed for the asphalt hills of the state capital, friends and strangers gathered in a sandy parking lot of a St. Petersburg church Tuesday long before dawn would crack.
As Gov. Jeb Bush delivers his State of the State speech inside the Capitol, a crowd of some 11,000 rallies against his plan to reshape affirmative action. Story
|[Times photo: Scott Keeler]
Gov. Jeb Bush did not specifically mention the protest rally during his State of the State speech Tuesday, but he said he's "doing the right thing."
Bush rolls the video to open Legislature
In his State of the State speech, the governor defends One Florida and puts on a show to help push his Republican agenda.
Connerly in clear as Democrats kick Bush
Freight trains, hurtling past each other. [Howard Troxler column]
Legislators delay judicial plan vote
At issue is a proposal that would give the governor more control over the panels that choose court candidates.
March 7, 2000
High-tone party is prelude to down-and-dirty session
||Florida legislators and lobbyists mingle Monday night at a party hosted by Associated Industries of Florida at its headquarters in Tallahassee.
[Times photo: Scott Keeler]
Before the Legislature even begins, some emotional and contentious issues are looming. But Monday, it was the traditional party for lots of powerful people.
March 6, 2000
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