Florida Five: A preview of the 2015 Legislative Session – who to watch, what to expect

Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:

The week ahead: Tally turns into Capital City – Tallahassee will become the capital city this week when lawmakers arrive at the state capitol Tuesday for the 2015 Legislative Session and begin debate on how to spend $77 billion. Other issues as well will be considered during the next 10 weeks; developing a state water policy, curbing the use of standardize test in public schools, allowing guns on university campuses, and changing regulations governing alcohol, gambling and marijuana. Read more

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Photo credit: News4Jax.com

Florida legislative session to take up tax cuts, budget beer, guns, pot, potties and more – Conservation land purchases, beer growlers, tax cuts, guns on state university campuses, medical marijuana and even where transgender people can go to the bathroom will all be issues that will come up during Florida’s 2015 legislative session. The only requirement lawmakers have under Florida law is to approve the state budget, but there’s always so much more when the 120 representatives and 40 senators come to the Capitol for 60 days each year. Read more

Delegation holds a strong hand – With a future Senate president leading the way, Sarasota and Manatee counties have one of the most potent delegations of the past 15 years heading into the Florida Legislature’s 2015 session. While Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, won’t become Senate president for four more years, his status as a rising power carries perks and a tremendous influence that the region has not seen in years. One gauge of that power: money. Consider that Galvano has run a political action committee called Innovate Florida since 2006, one that raised less than $90,000 per year for its first seven years. Read more

As Florida’s 2015 session begins: 5 people and 5 issues to watch – The 2015 session of the Florida Legislature begins Tuesday here with new leaders facing fresh challenges and competing demands for a projected $1 billion budget surplus. Gov. Rick Scott ceremonially starts the session Tuesday when he delivers the annual State of the State speech to lawmakers. The 60-day session is scheduled to end May 1. Republicans outnumber Democrats 26-14 in the Senate and 80-39 in the House, with one House seat in Tampa vacant… Here are five legislators and five issues to watch as the session begins. Read more

10 issues to watch in Florida Legislative Session – Lawmakers will gather March 3 in the Capitol for the pomp-filled start of the 2015 legislative session. For 60 days, the House and Senate will grapple with hot-button issues ranging from standardized testing in public schools to reforming the troubled prison system. And that doesn’t even touch on the one must-pass bill of the session: a roughly $77 billion state budget. Here are 10 big issues to watch during the upcoming session. Read more

BONUS: Some education bills stand a better chance than others as legislative session begins

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