Tampa Bay, Florida news | Tampa Bay Times/St. Pete Times
Friday, October 20, 2017

Writers

Michael Auslen, Times / Herald Tallahassee bureau

Michael Auslen, Times / Herald Tallahassee bureau

Michael Auslen covers state government and politics in the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau. He is originally from Arvada, Colo., and graduated in 2014 from Indiana University with degrees in journalism and political science. Michael has previously worked for the Indianapolis Star, USA Today and Dow Jones.



Heroin is seen shortly after being emptied out of a baggie and put into a spoon before being injected. As the state has cracked down on prescription pills, the use of heroin and fentanyl has surged. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Tampa Bay Times]

As Florida's opioid crisis worsens, what are state officials doing?

TALLAHASSEE — Opioids, mostly heroin and fentanyl, killed an average of 14 people a day in Florida during the first half of 2016.At that rate, based on data released in May by the state's medical examiners, last year's fatal overdoses are...
Updated: 4 months ago
State Reps. Paul Renner (left) and Chris Sprowls.

Paul Renner wins speaker's race for 2022

Rep. Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, has won the race for speaker of the Florida House in the 2022-2024 term. Renner, who was elected to the House in a 2014 special election, beat out Tampa Rep. Jamie...
Updated: 4 months ago
Sens. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, and Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, were among the highest-ranking local lawmakers on the Florida Society of News Editors'

Half of Tampa Bay lawmakers earn D grades on open government but some stand out with high marks

In a new ranking of their voting records on open-government issues, the Florida Society of News Editors has bad news for state lawmakers. Most of them don’t score very well. The group, made up of three dozen Florida news...
Updated: 4 months ago
Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.

Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.Lawmakers passed the measure, SB 8A, in a special session after failing in...
Updated: 4 months ago
Gov. Rick Scott

Rick Scott signs medical marijuana, 37 other bills into law

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.
Updated: 4 months ago
People gather in Orlando for a vigil earlier this month honoring the 49 lives lost in the June 2016 shooting at Pulse.

LGBTQ activists say Rick Scott promised to ban discrimination and never delivered

In the wake of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando last year, Gov. Rick Scott’s staff told LGBTQ rights activists in backroom meetings that he would sign an executive order banning discrimination on the basis of...
Updated: 4 months ago
Gov. Rick Scott

Rick Scott signs tough new mandatory minimums for fentanyl into law

Gov. Rick Scott has signed into law tough, new minimum mandatory prison sentences for people cought with more than 4 grams of deadly fentanyl or carfentanil. The measure (HB 477), which passed in the final...
Updated: 4 months ago
John Morgan to raise funds for Richard Corcoran as both consider run for governor

John Morgan to raise funds for Richard Corcoran as both consider run for governor

Thursday night, the state's most famous liberal trial lawyer will raise money for the conservative Republican speaker of the House. At the Orlando home of one of his firm's lawyers, John Morgan will be on hand to raise money for...
Updated: 4 months ago

As Cabinet races heat up, money flows to ag commissioner candidates

The end of session last month brought the first chance for some of the highest-power candidates for the Florida Cabinet to raise funds. With all three Cabinet seats open in the 2018 election, would-be attorneys general, commissioners of...
Updated: 4 months ago
Then-Rep. Baxter Troutman cracks a cattle whip on the House floor in 2007.

Former state Rep. Baxter Troutman files for agriculture commissioner

Citrus grower and former state Rep. Baxter Troutman is joining the growing field vying for commissioner of agriculture. The Winter Haven Republican served in the House from 2002 to 2010. He opened his campaign account...
Updated: 4 months ago