Budget negotiations between House and Senate aren’t just stalled, they’re not happening

With a little over two weeks left to go in a legislative session, the direction of which has now been overcome by the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, budget negotiations between the House and the Senate aren’t just stalled, they’re not happening.  The first indication that the annual back-and-forth between the two chambers…

FSBA Session Spotlight — February 19, 2018

Today, we begin the 7th week of the Legislative Session with only a few more weeks remaining before the scheduled adjournment on March 9.  As we start the week, please be sure to watch our Legislative Weekly video which features FSBA Executive Director Andrea Messina offering heartfelt comments on the horrible tragedy at Marjory Stoneman…

Age limits and waiting periods for assault weapons? Florida legislators are considering it

After visits to Parkland left them horrified at the ease with which a gunman could kill 17 people in six minutes, Florida legislators in both the House and Senate are doing something they have resisted for years: drafting legislation to limit access to semi-automatic rifles.  “We owe it to victims of families on what I…

Florida gets reprieve on ESSA revisions

Florida has received another extension to update its federal education accountability plan.  Commissioner Pam Stewart was to have submitted revisions today, which already was a continuation from the original Jan. 4 deadline. But Stewart contacted the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday to request another, as the state grapples with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High…

A rattled Florida Legislature concedes it should do more to address mental health after Parkland school shooting

In the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting, Florida lawmakers vowed to push harder on an issue they acknowledged they had failed: mental health in schools.  Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, filed a mental health pilot program in schools early this year, which sets aside $40 million to connect students to community…

FSBA Session Spotlight — February 15, 2018

As we all struggle to cope with and respond to the tragic events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School yesterday, Senate leaders have stepped up their plans to pursue funding for expanded mental health services and to “harden” schools for better security. In a press conference this afternoon, Senate President Negron outlined these plans and,…

FSBA Session Spotlight — February 14, 2018

Our hearts go out to those touched by today’s terrifying and heartbreaking shooting at one of our public high schools. We are so grateful to the heroes – law enforcement and other first responders, school personnel, and so many others — who stepped up to protect and comfort our students in this tragic situation.  Please…

Florida Senate committee tackles mental health, charter schools and “Schools of Hope”

While House Democrats continued to blast Republican efforts to recast Florida education policy, Democrats in the Senate found common ground with the opposite party Wednesday on some similar issues.  GOP leaders on the Senate PreK-12 Appropriations Committee accepted several Democrat amendments to chairwoman Kathleen Passidomo’s priority bill, SB 1434, which aims to refine and revise some…