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Linda Stewart

Democratic lawmakers file bill restricting guns for ‘at-risk’ individuals

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gun control bill

Following the worst mass shooting in U.S. history earlier this week in Las Vegas, two Florida lawmakers announced legislation designed to temporarily prevent access to firearms for individuals at a high risk of harming themselves or others. The bill (HB 231), filed Thursday by Jacksonville Sen. Audrey Gibson and Lantana Rep. Lori Berman – both Democrats –would allow family, household members, and law enforcement to obtain a court order with “demonstrated evidence” the person poses a significant danger to themselves or others, including…

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In Tampa, Richard Corcoran faces hostile crowd angry about school bill

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It was a tough room for House Speaker Richard Corcoran.   Speaking before an unfriendly crowd of public school supporters in Tampa, Corcoran doubled down on his support of an education bill that creates a new system of charter schools to replace underperforming public schools. On Thursday, Corcoran stood beside Rick Scott in Orlando as the Governor signed the controversial HB 7069. To its critics, the most provocative part of the omnibus education bill was Corcoran’s ‘schools of hope’ plan, which includes a $140 million incentive…

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Linda Stewart locks in $2.5 million for PTSD, psychological trauma care

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State Sen. Linda Stewart locked in millions of dollars in the Florida Senate budget to help people suffering psychological trauma, including veterans and victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The Orlando Democrat has secured reinstatement of $2.5 million to heal some of the lingering trauma and psychological damage. The restored funding will be used for the UCF RESTORES Trauma Management Therapy program, an innovative treatment program at the University of Central Florida for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “No amount…

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Senate panel OKs modified bill to protect black bears

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A modified proposal to protect black bears in Florida won support Wednesday in the Senate committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation. But SB 1304 was measurably reduced in scope from Orlando Republican Linda Stewart‘s original bill. Stewart’s initial proposal would have banned bear hunting in Florida for 10 years. The amended bill calls for no such action. The proposal came a day after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that Florida black bear populations are on the rise and don’t warrant listing under the Endangered…

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Measures would promote ADA compliance — and, with luck, discourage litigation

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Legislation beginning to work its way through the House and Senate would help businesses voluntarily comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act — and possibly avoid “drive-by lawsuits” targeting noncompliance. “The ADA was taken away from Americans with disabilities by a handful of law firms — most out of South Florida — that have filed these drive-by lawsuits by the hundreds,” Republican co-sponsor Tom Leek said during a news conference. HB 727, co-sponsored by Democrat Katie Edwards, would authorize the Department of Business…

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Linda Stewart, Amy Mercado introduce bills to protect bears, their food and habitat

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As state Rep. Amy Mercado declares, Florida’s now-annual black bear hunt has become a “slaughter.” Mercado and fellow Orlando Democratic state Sen. Linda Stewart laid out bills Wednesday to ban the hunts for 10 years, as well as steps to keep bears happy enough in the forests and stop raiding neighborhoods. “The bears, we’ve encroached on their homes,” Mercado said. “They were here first. And a slaughter of the bears is unacceptable.” Mercado’s House Bill 491 and Stewart’s Senate Bill…

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Florida Democrats to propose “The Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Act” aimed at closing gender pay gap

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House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz and two of her colleagues have filed the Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Act, aimed at closing the gender pay gap in Florida. Lantana Democrat Lori Berman is co-filing the legislation with Cruz in the House (HB 319), and Orlando Democrat Linda Stewart is filing the bill in the Senate (SB 410). “It is unconscionable that in America today women continue to be paid less for the same amount of work as men,” declared Cruz in a statement issued on Friday. “Our nation was…

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