Florida Senate

The Florida House provided a surprising twist in the Legislature’s fight over expanding Medicaid on Tuesday, by suddenly adjourning its 2015 session, that action ensures that a special session will be called to complete the budget.

In his remarks, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli blamed the shutdown on the Senate's unwillingness to drop its resolve to bring up a Medicaid expansion alternative before agreeing to a budget.

Photo via Flickr//Utility, Inc. / https://flic.kr/p/rHLzp9

Legislation moving through the Florida Senate would require law enforcement agencies to set up guidelines for the use of body cameras. One local department appears to be ahead of the curve.

The measure, passed unanimously by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Tuesday, not only mandates policy, but also the training of personnel and the storing of the video. Baker State Senator Greg Evers, the committee chairman, says the recordings would only be used when officers are performing their duties.

Office of Don Gaetz

The Florida Legislature is beginning the third week of the 2014 regular session.  During the session, WUWF is checking in with Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville).

Recapping week two, Sen. Gaetz says the center piece of their work was unanimous passage by the Senate of the Florida GI Bill, HB 7015.  The House passed the bill during the first week of the Legislative Session.


The head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement told legislators Wednesday that the arrest of a former crime-lab chemist will lead to new precautions in handling drug evidence.

FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey gave the Senate Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice an update on Joseph Graves -- the Pensacola crime-lab chemist – who’s accused of compromising hundreds of state drug cases.

Graves is free on $290,000 bond, with arraignment set for February 25th in Escambia County Circuit Court.  More charges may still be pending.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses Florida’s general revenue estimate for Florida, which projects what the sales and use tax revenues will be.   The latest forecast from state economists shows an increase o f$300 million relative to the summer projection. 

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses holiday retail sales, noting that the forecast calls for a relatively soft season.  Specifically, he says Cyber Monday shopping continues to grow at a higher rate than in stores, although the rate of growth is more modest than the 8 to 10 percent clip in years past.  One of the marketing tools created to combat that trend is Small Business Saturday.