Court blocks lawsuit asking Rick Scott to disclose more about his financial assets: Last week, an appeals court blocked a lawsuit aimed at requiring Gov. Rick Scott to disclose more about his financial assets, saying such issues should be handled by the state Commission on Ethics. Scott took the issue to the 1st District Court of Appeal after a circuit judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by attorney Donald Hinkle. The case centered, in part, on whether Scott should have provided more information regarding a blind trust when filing disclosure forms. An appeals court granted what is known as a "writ of prohibition" barring the circuit judge from taking any further action. The ruling agreed with Scott's argument that only the Commission on Ethics "has constitutional authority to investigate Mr. Hinkle's complaint."
Florida lawmaker files bill to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors: Filed last week by state Sen. José Javier Rodríguez, D-Miami, the bill would prohibit licensed mental health practitioners and counselors from practicing conversion therapy on individuals under 18. Florida Democrats filed similar bills banning the practice last year in the Florida Legislature, though those measures died. Conversion therapy is a debunked practice that falsely claims to be able to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.
New bill would move concealed weapons licenses to state law enforcement: Under a measure proposed by state Sen. Lauren Book, Florida's concealed weapons licensing programs would be moved to the FDLE. The proposal came as NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer is urging that the Republican-dominated Legislature move the program from the Agriculture Commissioner's office to the state Chief Financial Officer's office. Democrat Nikki Fried, who will succeed term-limited Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, has questioned the need for the office to oversee the program, which came under scrutiny after reports highlighted errors in background checks.
Civil rights advocates file complaint against school for turning away black child with dreadlocks: Six-year-old Clinton Stanley Jr. was denied entry to the A Book's Christian Academy in Apopka because of a policy that prohibits hairstyles like dreadlocks and Afros. On behalf of Clinton's family, civil rights organizations have filed a complaint, arguing that A Book's policy violates the Civil Rights Act. A Book's student handbook prohibits boys from wearing "dreads," which the complaint says disproportionately penalizes black students.
Battle continues over education law designed to boost charter schools: More than 18 months after the controversial law's passage, state attorneys and 11 county school boards continue to battle in court over whether the measure violates the Florida Constitution. Last week, state attorneys filed a document at the 1st District Court of Appeal disputing the school boards' arguments that the measure is unconstitutional because it intrudes on local school districts and creates a uniform public-school system. The state's lawyers wrote that the school boards' arguments about intruding on local powers "neglect the importance of the state's constitutional authority to provide for and supervise Florida's statewide system of free public schools."