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Former UCF chair stepping down from board

ORLANDO — The former chairman of the University of Central Florida is resigning from the school’s Board of Trustees a day after a Florida legislator suggested shutting down one of the nation’s largest universities due to improper spending. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Marcos Marchena resigned on Thursday. Only two weeks earlier, Marchena stepped down[…]

Key election officials have no previous election experience

TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s new secretary of state and two key election supervisors in some of the state’s most-populous counties have never run an election. The officials have taken over central roles for future elections, with no previous experience besides voting themselves. They include recently appointed Secretary of State Laurel Lee, Broward County Supervisor of Elections[…]

Florida moving to allow smokable medical marijuana

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida House began moving a bill Tuesday designed to comply with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ demand that lawmakers repeal a ban on smokable medical marijuana by mid-March, but there remain differences with a similar bill moving in the Senate. The House Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill on a 14-2[…]

Florida legislator accuses fellow lawmaker of bullying

ORLANDO — A South Florida lawmaker has accused a fellow Democratic legislator of bullying her at a meeting of party leaders, but the other lawmaker says the exchange was being mischaracterized. Florida Rep. Anika Omphroy on Monday wrote a letter to the Florida House speaker saying that Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith lashed out at her[…]

Florida could expand law that allows armed teachers

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Legislature took the first steps to expand a law that now allows some teachers to carry guns in schools when the Senate Education Committee approved a bill Tuesday that would make all teachers eligible for the program. The committee approved the bill on a 5-3 vote, with all Republicans in favor[…]

County with voting problems to spend $15M for new machines

WEST PALM BEACH — A Florida county where voting problems led to the suspension and resignation of its elections supervisor is spending $15.7 million on new voting machines. The Palm Beach Post reports that Palm Beach County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday on the purchase of 900 scanners, 75 scanner components, 10 high-speed digital scanners and[…]

Woman mauled by 2 pit bulls

DAYTONA BEACH — Authorities say a woman was attacked and mauled by two pit bulls in a Florida neighborhood. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that the 34-year-old woman was recovering at a hospital following the Sunday night attack. Daytona Beach police say the woman had just gotten off a bus and was walking home when[…]

US Sen. Scott won’t keep wealth in a blind trust anymore

TAMPA — Multimillionaire U.S. Sen. Rick Scott won’t keep his wealth inside a blind trust account anymore. Scott placed his money inside a trust while he was Florida governor. The move was intended to shield Scott from questions about conflicts of interests, but during his two terms, questions mounted about Scott’s investments. His filings last[…]

Paying for sex in Florida could earn a mandatory sentence

TALLAHASSEE — Soliciting a victim of human trafficking for sex could soon mean a mandatory 30-day jail sentence in Florida. The Senate Criminal Justice Committee unanimously approved a bill Monday that would create the mandatory sentence. Sen. Gayle Harrell said her bill is an attempt to cut off the demand for prostitution that creates the[…]

Florida could increase penalties for killing police canines

TALLAHASSEE — Penalties for seriously injuring or killing a police canine in Florida could soon be on the rise. The Senate Criminal Justice Committee unanimously approved a bill that would make that crime a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. It’s now a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years[…]