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Charles McBurney

Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

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With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round. Off: Mandy O’Callaghan has stepped down as policy chief for the House Health Quality Subcommittee. Off: Edward Metzger is no longer legislative assistant for Fort Myers Republican Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen. Off: Adam Miller is no longer district secretary for Jacksonville Republican Rep. Charles McBurney. On: Kelly Milner is the new district secretary for Democratic Rep. Amanda Murphy of New Port Richey. Off: Alex…

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Stand Your Ground bill dies in Judiciary panel

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Capping two days of ‘will he or won’t he’ guessing, House Judiciary Chairman Charles McBurney on Thursday did not call up a bill that would change the state’s Stand Your Ground law. Thursday’s meeting was the committee’s last get-together for the 2016 Legislative Session. When asked why, the Jacksonville Republican told reporters, “I had concerns from the members, I had concerns from certain groups, I had concerns from victims and victim groups, so we kind of put the pause button on the…

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Stand Your Ground bill still in legislative limbo

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There were still no definite answers Wednesday on whether the House will consider a Senate-approved change to the state’s Stand Your Ground law. The Senate bill, backed by state Sen. Rob Bradley, “shifts the burden of proof from the defendant to the prosecution” in pretrial hearings on whether a use of force was justifiable, according to a staff analysis. Those hearings determine whether a defendant can claim self-defense at trial. The House version died in the Criminal Justice Subcommittee in November…

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House bill to expunge juvenile records OK’d unanimously by Judiciary panel

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A bill to “streamline” the process for minors to expunge their criminal records bill passed unanimously in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. A pair of Tampa Bay area Republicans – Rep. Chris Latvala of Clearwater and prime co-sponsor Rep. Chris Sprowls – filed the bill (HB 147) in September. The bill would cut a break to juvenile lawbreakers who aren’t “serious or habitual offenders.” For them, the legislation would allow juvenile criminal records to be expunged “five years after the date of the…

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Arguing Florida lawmakers agree on one thing: silence the Supreme Court

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Lawmakers couldn’t agree on congressional redistricting but they do seem to agree on one thing: Muzzling the Florida Supreme Court. The latest special session ended last week with no new map to apportion Florida’s 27 U.S. House districts. It did result in lots of rhetoric, including from some Democrats, on “judicial overreach” and breaching the separation of powers. A majority of justices declared the current map violated the “Fair Districts” constitutional amendments, passed to combat gerrymandering, or the drawing of…

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House judiciary panel will take up reforms to state high court

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After a tense summer for relations between the state’s judicial and legislative branches, House Judiciary Committee Chair Charles McBurney says he will allow his panel to take up proposals to reform the Florida Supreme Court, though he said it’s too early to get specific as to what changes that reform might entail. As first reported by Jessica Bakeman of Politico Florida, McBurney said his committee should consider a broad range of possible reforms. “Whatever ideas that are out there, I think we…

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Florida mental health summit: ‘We will impact the 2016 legislative Session’

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In the wake of the Florida Times-Union’s powerful dive into dangerous gaps in the state’s mental health system of care, advocates pushing for change say they’re getting their strategy in place to press legislators hard to enact reforms in 2016. “We’re coordinating a statewide advocacy effort, bringing together mental health professionals, advocates, families, and consumers, to really have an effect on the 2016 legislative session,” says Denise Marzullo, CEO of Mental Health America of Northeast Florida. Marzullo is bringing two…

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