Among the early bills already being filed for Florida’s 2017 legislative session is a measure from Rep. Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, that would increase penalties for undocumented immigrants who commit violent crimes. Supporters say the measure sends a message to federal immigration authorities and would increase public safety. Opponents question its constitutionality.
Senate President Joe Negron is getting high marks from environmentalists for his campaign to clean up Lake Okeechobee runoff, but the Port St. Lucie Republican isn’t willing, at least yet, to ban hydraulic fracturing in Florida.
After Florida voters gave the nod to pro-conservation candidates and saw through the utility industry’s $25 million campaign to squelch solar power, environmentalists say the time is right for a complete ban on hydraulic fracturing.
House Minority Leader Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, was named Thursday as chief executive officer of Florida CHAIN, a health-care advocacy group that has sought to sway the Florida Legislature on issues such as Medicaid expansion.
As Florida continues to recover from the depths of the recession, the state should have a budget surplus in the coming year, but it may not be big enough to avoid yet another spending battle in the state Capitol.