In a highly anticipated decision, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday squashed a broad expansion of slot machines in at least eight counties, saying the decision to allow pari-mutuels to add the lucrative games rests with the Legislature, not voters.
Even while Florida lawmakers have insisted they do not want patients to smoke pot, one of the state's seven licensed medical-marijuana vendors on Tuesday began selling whole-flower cannabis.
Eligible patients would not have to wait 90 days to get medical marijuana if doctors recommend the treatment, under a compromise measure ready for a House vote just days before next Friday's end of the annual legislative session.
The measure, proposed by House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, brings the House closer in line with the Senate's approach to carrying out a November constitutional amendment that legalized marijuana for patients with a broad swath of debilitating medical conditions.
The Seminole Tribe would not be required to guarantee $3 billion in payments to the state in exchange for adding craps and roulette to the tribe's casino operations, under the latest offer in gambling negotiations between the House and Senate.
After years of stalemate, House and Senate leaders appear to be closing in on a deal to revamp Florida's gambling industry and strike an agreement with the Seminole Tribe in what could be a considerable expansion of gambling throughout the state.
The House made what Sen. Bill Galvano, the Senate's chief negotiator on gambling issues, called a "substantial offer" Wednesday morning. The proposal moved toward the Senate's pari-mutuel industry friendly plan, as the May 5 end of the legislative session nears.
Central Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala is pushing forward with a challenge to Gov. Rick Scott's removal of her from 22 death penalty cases, including a high-profile case involving accused cop-killer Markeith Loyd.
Hailed as "a judge's judge," C. Alan Lawson was formally sworn in Wednesday as a member of the Florida Supreme Court in a ceremony marked by high praise for Gov. Rick Scott's first appointee to the seven-member panel.
In a decision that opens the door for a poker room in downtown Miami --- and possibly others throughout South Florida --- an appeals court on Tuesday decided that gambling regulators were wrong to deny a new pari-mutuel permit to a Miami operator.
One case involved a tiny horse track where an employee waved a red rag to start a "race" between two aging nags
Another centered on whether pari-mutuels could continue to offer popular "designated-player" poker-style games at card rooms throughout the state.
And a third focused on a dispute between a public hospital system and an industry giant over building a new medical center in Doral.
A key House committee Tuesday approved a gambling measure aimed at creating a new agreement with the Seminole Tribe, though a tribe representative recently called the proposal a "non-starter" and major differences remain with the Senate.