Florida Legislative Session

Florida lawmakers wrapped up the 2017 legislative session last week, three days behind schedule. This week, WUWF caught up with some legislators from Northwest Florida to get their impressions, as they wait to see what the governor will do and if they’ll be called back for a special session to deal with medical marijuana regulations.

The 2017 regular session of the Florida Legislature is in its second week. To get an early update, and to discuss some bills and projects of local interest, WUWF called on District 1 Republican Rep. Clay Ingram of Pensacola.

Facing a proposed ten percent budget cut, Florida’s 12 state universities and their leaders are pledging to soften that blow as much as possible for students.

Rep. Larry Ahern, who chairs the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, says the 10 percent target reductions for each school are aimed at a projected $1.7 billion shortfall.

“Agencies are precluded from submitting across-the-board reductions,” said Ahern. “So what you will be listening for today is how each of these entities would make specific decisions to meet the target.”

"Gone with the wind" by Marcin Wichary via Flickr https://flic.kr/p/5jhTyw

Governor Rick Scott has announced he will veto a bill passed during this year's legislative session that would have allowed the Florida Department of Transportation to raise the speed limit on certain highways to 75 miles per hour. Any speed limit increase would have required a study of the highway in question. The Governor made the announcement after being lobbied by law enforcement agencies across the state and by  Florida AAA.

Uiniversity of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the work to be done to come up with a budget agreement during the final week of the 2014 Florida Legislative Session.

Unlike the federal government, the state must have a balanced budget. According to Harper, one indicator of a healthier state economy since the Recession is that Florida no longer has to dip into its reserves to pay the state’s debt service. “We’re now back down to the level where the state is actively contributing to reserves,” he says.