Florida Democrats made a net gain of two seats in the state House of Representatives on Tuesday, although Republicans kept their firm grip over the 120-member chamber.
Florida voters in the Orlando area called home a 24-year veteran lawmaker from Washington on Tuesday.
In the fall of 2014, more than a quarter of the students who had transferred to state universities after earning associate in arts degrees in the Florida State College System were enrolled at the University of Central Florida.
The Orlando university's ability to enroll 27.2 percent of the state college graduates contrasts sharply with Florida A&M University's enrollment of less than 1 percent of those students, a new report given to the state Board of Education on Wednesday showed.
While state debt has declined 9.5 percent over the past five years, debt for Florida's state universities has risen by 41 percent, according to a report reviewed Tuesday by Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet.
State debt has fallen by $2.7 billion in that period, for a total debt of $25.5 billion at the end of 2015. In the same time, university debt has risen by $1.1 billion, for a total of $3.8 billion, the state Division of Bond Finance report showed.
The Florida university system has set an ambitious goal of having the equivalent of 40 percent of its full-time undergraduate students taking online classes by 2025.
That would more than double the usage of online classes from the 2013-14 academic year, under a goal set by the system's Board of Governors.
A key factor in that transition will be cost, with the idea that students may have an incentive to shift to online classes if they receive breaks on tuition or fees.
President Barack Obama has made Florida eligible for disaster aid in eight counties as the state continues to recover from the impact of Hurricane Matthew.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved aid to the state and local governments for debris removal and emergency protective measures in Brevard, Duval, Flagler, Indian River, Nassau, St. Johns, St. Lucie and Volusia counties. A request for additional federal disaster aid for individuals and businesses and federal aid to repair roads and other public structures is pending.
While Florida has one of the best state college systems in the country, a new report from the LeRoy Collins Institute says the colleges can do better, particularly in helping low-income and minority students pay for their educations and complete degrees.
Among the findings from the non-partisan statewide policy organization, which is housed at Florida State University:
With a 48 percent increase in the number of students seeking counseling, Florida universities are asking for an additional $14.5 million in the coming budget year to hire more mental health professionals, including psychologists, counselors, psychiatric nurses and prevention specialists.
Former state Senate President Don Gaetz is among four candidates scheduled for on-campus interviews next week as the University of West Florida nears completion of its search for a new president.
Under federal indictment, state Rep. Reggie Fullwood was one of nine state House incumbents who successfully turned back primary challengers Tuesday.
Fullwood, a Jacksonville Democrat who is facing an October trial on wire-fraud and tax-related charges stemming from the alleged misuse of campaign funds, had about 45.3 percent of the vote to Tracie Davis' 42.5 percent with all precincts reporting in Duval County's House District 13. In the November general election, he will face Republican Mark Griffin, who won the GOP primary for the seat.