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Lori Berman

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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Analysis shows some lawmakers crossing party lines

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The Senate’s reputation for bipartisanship in Tallahassee appears to be well-earned, while the names of House and Senate members who most frequently voted against their parties included a few surprises, according to an analysis of votes in the 2017 legislative session.

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On open records, half Florida’s legislators rate F or D

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Half of Florida’s legislators failed or nearly failed in a review of their support for public records and meetings given by Florida newspapers and an open-government group after this year’s legislative sessions. In a “scorecard” produced by the Florida Society of News Editors and based on information provided by Florida’s First Amendment Foundation — which tracked a priority list of public records exemptions — the 160 legislators totaled three Fs, 77 Ds, 71 Cs, and 9 Bs. Each year FSNE completes a project devoted to Sunshine…

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Gwen Graham gets backing of Amy Mercado, Lori Berman, Barbara Watson

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham announced the endorsements of three key Democratic women lawmakers Friday afternoon. The former congresswoman has picked up the endorsements of state Reps. Amy Mercado of Orlando, Barbara Watson of Miami Gardens, and Lori Berman of Lantana. Graham is campaigning against fellow Democrats Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Winter Park affordable housing developer Chris King, striving for the 2018 primary nomination for governor. Mercado, vice chair of the House Progressive Caucus, said in a news release issued…

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House OKs VISIT FLORIDA, Enterprise Florida funding cuts

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House members on Monday approved a measure dealing with VISIT FLORIDA and Enterprise Florida funding on a 74-34 vote. If vetoed, however, the “conforming bill” would need 80 votes to overcome Gov. Rick Scott‘s red pen. Both chambers have begun discussing the 2017-18 state budget, which wasn’t completed on time to finish the 2017 Legislative Session last Friday. That caused a rare extension to Monday, using the weekend to count toward the constitutionally required 72-hour “cooling off” period before lawmakers can vote. The…

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Jeff Brandes wants to keep renewable energy bill clean

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A Senate panel approved a bill by St. Petersburg Sen. Jeff Brandes that would implement solar tax breaks approved by Florida voters in last year. More than 70 percent of Florida voters backed Amendment 4 in August, which makes it so the increased value of a home due to renewable energy improvements such as solar panels can’t be included when assessing a property’s value for tax purposes. SB 90, which is supported by environmental groups and solar panel installers, doesn’t…

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Legislative panel pushes for anti-abortion counseling services

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A Florida House panel has advanced a bill that puts state money into the operation of anti-abortion counseling services. The House Health and Human Services Committee pushed the bill (HB 969) to the full floor on Thursday. The bill is meant to structure a 12-year-old pregnancy services program offering women free counseling and prenatal services from a pro-life perspective. The pregnancy center would also provide services including physician referrals, flu and tetanus vaccines and medical screenings. State Rep. Lori Berman…

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