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Senate Rules Committee

Kendall protestors call for ‘bully’ Frank Artiles to resign

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On Thursday, dozens of protesters gathered outside Frank Artiles‘ office in Kendall to protest racist and sexist slurs he used against Florida Senate colleagues. Constituents from his district called for his resignation, chanting outside the shuttered district office. The protest comes as elected officials, community leaders and organizations throughout the country demand he resigns from the Senate. “Frank Artiles is a bully,” said Miami-Dade Democratic chair Juan Cuba. “This latest embarrassment is only the most recent in a long string of hateful…

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Senate continues to roll bill making secretary of state an elected position

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A bill to make Secretary of State an elected, Cabinet-level post advanced Wednesday through the Senate Rules Committee. Legislation by Fernandina Beach Republican Aaron Bean (SB 882) rolled through the committee with neither debate nor discussion. Historically, the Secretary of State in Florida was elected by the public, but that changed in 1998 when constitutional changes removed that position from the elected Cabinet of the executive branch. Bean has argued in committee meetings that four is an odd number for the…

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Senate Rules panel temporarily postpones prejudgment interest bill

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A Senate bill that would allow plaintiffs to recover prejudgment interest on noneconomic claims, including pain and suffering, was suddenly postponed during its final review panel Thursday. Sen. Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican, moved to yank the bill (SB 334) from consideration during its public comment period before the Rules Committee. When done during a hearing, such a move suggests a lawmaker has counted votes and determined a measure isn’t going to pass. The bill is being pushed by Sarasota…

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Senate redistricting bill clears last review panel

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A bill aimed at streamlining the handling of political redistricting court cases cleared its last committee Thursday. The legislation (SB 352) was OK’d by the Senate Rules Committee on a 7-3 party-line vote. It’s now ready for the full Senate. It also “encourages” courts “to follow certain procedures to maintain public oversight when drafting a remedial redistricting plan,” the bill’s analysis says. That’s because bill sponsor Travis Hutson, an Elkton Republican, was concerned that previous redistricting cases were decided “behind…

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Senate Rules Committee stands its ground on Stand Your Ground

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A Florida Senate committee overwhelmingly approved the latest attempt to expand the state’s Stand Your Ground self-defense law. On Thursday, the Senate Rules Committee passed the measure after advocates said it would stop unnecessary prosecutions. Opponents alleged it would stop a lot of necessary prosecutions, as well. Senate Bill 128 would allow gun defendants to demand pretrial hearings on their claims of self-defense, putting the burden of proof on prosecutors to prove the defendants used the guns not in self-defense.…

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New Florida Senate seal limited to U.S. and Florida flags

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The Florida Senate is going to change its official seal one more time. The Senate last year voted to remove the Confederate battle flag from the official seal but did not make a final decision on what the new seal should look like. A temporary version without the battle flag was placed in the Senate chamber earlier this month. That design includes the U.S. flag along with four other foreign flags. But the Senate Rules Committee on Thursday approved a…

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Don Gaetz strikes back against ‘bully’ Jack Latvala

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For the first time in recent memory, a sitting Florida senator invoked the Senate Rules during a floor session to call out a colleague specifically for impugning his integrity. State Sen. Don Gaetz, a Niceville Republican and previous Senate President, raised a “question of personal privilege” to defend his honor against attacks made in the press by Clearwater Republican Jack Latvala. Latvala is vying for the next Senate presidency against Stuart Republican Joe Negron; Gaetz previously committed his support in that…

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