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  • Scientists Challenge Trump to Discuss Climate Change 1, October27, 2016
    The environment and climate change haven’t been a big part of the run-up to the election. But as Matt Galka tells us, a group of scientists from Florida are trying to change that in the final two weeks. Why isn’t climate change part of the national conversation as the country prepares to elect a new […]
    Matt Galka
  • More than Two Million Early Ballots Cast Already 1, October26, 2016
    Florida is on pace for record early voting turnout, and as Matt Galka tells us, both sides say the early numbers are good for their parties. Becky Bush wasn’t going to wait around. She voted early. “I work downtown and it’s convenient,” she said. And to her, this election cycle is “crazy.” So crazy that […]
    Matt Galka
  • Trump train 1, October26, 2016
    Each of Florida’s  five statewide elected Republicans continue to support Donald Trump. But not all of them are jumping whole hog on the Trump Train. Governor Rick Scott was the first statewide elected Republican to jump on the trump train.   He was followed by Pam Bondi, Jeff Atwater, and Adam Putnam. All three supported […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Driver’s license troubles blamed on the move of an aging computer system 1, October26, 2016
    If you are going to be renewing your driver’s license or vehicles tags in the near future, you might want to budget some extra time, just in case, because aging computers at the state agency have become unpredictable. Taking a number at a Tax Collectors officer doesn’t guarantee you speedy service when you are renewing […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Trump Stumps in Tallahassee 1, October26, 2016
    In two weeks we should know who the next president of the United States is, and that means Florida becomes that much more valuable to the candidates. Matt Galka was in Tallahassee for Donald Trump’s rally in the capital…a unique choice for a GOP candidate to head into a perennially Democrat voting county. The trump […]
    Matt Galka
  • Butterfly Magic 1, October24, 2016
    In this time of political strife, questions about secure borders and a wall between the US and Mexico, Mike Vasilinda has a story about a mass migration that won’t give you heartburn. The majestic monarch. Millions are on their way to Mexico. And year after year, one of their favorite resting places is here in […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • FDLE, Other Law Enforcement Ramp Up Counterterrorism Efforts 1, October24, 2016
    State leaders want to ramp up counterterrorism efforts, but as Matt Galka tells us, it starts with an old slogan and you. This gas station in Tallahassee doesn’t seem like where state officials would launch counterterrorism efforts. But the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, and local law enforcement say it’s just the place where […]
    Matt Galka
  • Volunteer Gets Crafty With Hand Painted Yard Signs for Candidate 1, October21, 2016
    In a time of big money campaigns, volunteers in one Florida Congressional race are a real throwback. As Matt Galka tells us, some folks are getting crafty when it comes to yard signs. Meet Herb Shelton. He’s not running for anything so don’t expect to see his name on the ballot. But Shelton has become a […]
    Matt Galka
  • Lawsuit says medical marijuana question not on some ballots 1, October21, 2016
    A lawsuit filed in Southeast Florida alleges that the medical marijuana amendment was left off some mail in ballots.  Attorneys say they aren’t sure if it was a half dozen, ten thousand or a hundred thousand ballots. A quarter million mail ballots have gone out Broward County, 60 thousand have already been returned. At least […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Federal Judge Rules Against Democrats in Registration Case 1, October20, 2016
    Thousands of Floridians took advantage of an extended voter registration deadline in the state, but getting them verified in time to cast a regular early voting ballot may be in doubt. As Matt Galka tells us, Florida Democrats hoped a federal judge could force the state’s hand and not make them cast provisional ballots. Florida […]
    Matt Galka

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  • Lucy Larcom
    "If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it."
  • Sophocles
    "Wisdom outweighs any wealth."
  • Robert Quillen
    "There are glimpses of heaven to us in every act, or thought, or word, that raises us above ourselves."
  • Emily Dickinson
    "Fortune befriends the bold."



House Tackles Court Restructuring

April 15th, 2011 by Mike Vasilinda

Last August, the Florida Supreme Court found three amendments authored by state lawmakers misleading, and ordered them removed from the ballot. Today, the state House approved three bills dramatically changing the structure of the states highest court. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, if the Senate follows suit, the final decision will still be up to voters.

House Speaker Dean Cannon personally argued before the Supreme Court to keep three amendments on the ballot last year. He Lost. Now Cannon is leading the effort to split the court in two, add three justices, and take away its rule-making authority.

Republicans say the changes will make the court more efficient.

Its a complicated state and its grown quite a bit since the constitution was originally passed,” Rep. Chris Dorworth (R-Seminole County) said. “So, allowing for that difference, and splitting will allow it to be more efficient.

The idea is sweetened by increasing court funding. But Democrats say call it what it is: court packing.

Here we have a Florida Supreme Court that struck down several constitutional amendments passed by the 2010 legislature, over many of our objections,” Rep. Darren Soto (D-Orlando) said. “In the very next session, here we have a bill that is trying to change the make-up of the court.

The move is reminiscent of 1937, when then-President Franklin Roosevelt tried to add judges to the U.S. Supreme Court to get favorable rulings.

The nation rejected the issue then; but what happens next in Florida is up in the air.

Until now, the effort to split the court has been driven almost entirely by the House Speaker. But this week the Senate got on board, and that makes passage of the proposal more likely.

Even if lawmakers approve the changes, voters will still have the final say in 2012. Unless the court itself does what it did last year, which was to find the legislative amendments unclear and misleading.

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