Opioids, wildfires, PTSD among Florida Cabinet priorities

Attorney General Pam Bondi wants new laws to protect people who report sexual misconduct; Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam wants to make sure the state is prepared for a higher-than-normal risk for wildfires; and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis wants to expand worker compensation benefits for first responders to include post-traumatic stress disorder. While Florida's three Cabinet members can't sponsor or vote on bills, or sign them into law, they hold important leadership roles in state government and each is working with lawmakers to pass legislation and make budget recommendations.

Trumpa s tweeted choice for Florida governor enters the race

A congressman who recently won President Donald Trump's tweeted endorsement for the job of Florida governor entered the race Friday, saying he wants to "drain the swamp in Tallahassee." Ron DeSantis joins a crowded field seeking to replace Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who leaves office in 2019 due to term limits.

Most Insiders see Irma as boost to Scott

Gov. Rick Scott received generally high marks for his handling of the hurricanes hitting Florida and its sister territory, Puerto Rico, but his PR team lately has been working ferociously to push back against assorted reports raising questions about his emergency management record before and after the storms hit. Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio joined calls for a congressional investigation into the deaths of 14 Floridians in a sweltering Broward County nursing home.

Official: Irma was ‘lethal’ for Florida citrus, other crops

Florida's famous oranges are still falling from trees and rotting on the ground weeks after Hurricane Irma, and the state's agriculture commissioner said Thursday there will be fewer Florida vegetables on Thanksgiving tables and a shortage of poinsettias at Christmas. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Florida farmers updated the state Senate Agriculture Committee that the storm damaged crops of all kinds, with losses topping $2.5 billion.

Costly citrus: Florida’s ‘decimated’ crops could send prices climbing

In this Jan. 4, 2010, file photo, oranges ripen on a tree in a grove in Clermont, Fla.The price of a mimosa at brunch or bag or oranges at the grocery store may jump in the coming weeks, experts say, after hurricane Irma left some of the state's orange producers with no crop to sell this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/John Raoux, File In this Jan. 4, 2010, file photo, oranges ripen on a tree in a grove in Clermont, Fla.The price of a mimosa at brunch or bag or oranges at the grocery store may jump in the coming weeks, experts say, after hurricane Irma left some of the state's orange producers with no crop to sell this year.

Commissioner Adam Putnam Issues Emergency Order

Commissioner Adam H. Putnam Issues Emergency Order Waiving Fee to Replace Concealed Weapon and Security Guard Licenses Damaged or Lost in Hurricane In the wake of Hurricane Irma, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam today issued an emergency order to waive the fees to replace Florida concealed weapon licenses and security guard licenses that were lost or destroyed during the hurricane. "Hurricane Irma devastated Florida, and the last thing someone needs to worry about is paying a fee to have their concealed weapon license or security guard license replaced," said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.

From sugar mills to hog farms, U.S. agriculture braces for Irma

Hurricane Irma sent farmers and food companies scrambling to protect processing facilities, farm fields and animal herds in the South and Southeastern parts of the United States on Wednesday. Florida sugar and citrus processors rushed to secure rail cars and equipment that could be crushed, blocked or turned into flying projectiles.

In Wake of Hurricane Harvey, Consumers Should Research Charities Before Giving

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey and historic flooding across southeast Texas, Commissioner Adam H. Putnam encourages Floridians to visit FloridaConsumerHelp.com to research charitable organizations before donating money to help those in need. "Our hearts go out to the people of Texas, and I hope that Floridians can respond with the same generosity that our state has received time and time again," Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam said.

Commissioner Adam Putnam One of First Individuals Awarded 2017 US Water Prize

Last night Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam was presented with the 2017 US Water Prize in acknowledgement of his leadership on water issues in Florida. The prize was award by the US Water Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the nation about the true value of water and advancing policies and programs that manage water resources to advance a better quality of life for everyone.

WPB hosts Democratic candidates for governor

Before the storm that arrived Friday as a Category 4 hurricane is gone, some parts of Houston and its suburbs could get as much as 50 inches of rain. Before the storm that arrived Friday as a Category 4 hurricane is gone, some parts of Houston and its suburbs could get as much as 50 inches of rain.

Gov. Scott forms new PAC ahead of likely U.S. Senate run

Ahead of a likely 2018 run for U.S. Senate , Gov. Rick Scott has set up a political action committee designed to appeal to younger and Hispanic voters. The super PAC, called New Republican and announced last week, is meant to sell the GOP 's philosophy to young voters who want less government in their lives, Scott said.

Forest fires continue to plague Florida

There are still 110 active fires covering 20,285 acres, according to the Florida Forestry Service. The destructive wildfires, which have been burning from the Florida-Georgia border down to Miami-Dade County, led Gov. Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency on Tuesday, which remains in effect Sunday.

Wildfires burn over 126,000 acres across Florida this year

At least 126,000 acres have burned in wildfires across Florida since January, surpassing the five-year average of acreage burned in a typical year, officials said. Florida's fire season peaks this month, during the driest part of the year in the state, and experts warn that the fire risk may worsen in the coming weeks.

Negron: Farmland isn’t only option for Okeechobee plan

Senate President Joe Negron appears willing to look beyond sugar farmland to carry out his proposal to reduce the flow of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee into bays on both coasts. The Stuart Republican, speaking at the Capitol this week, maintained his desire to buy 60,000 acres for a reservoir south of the lake to store and clean water.

Crisafulli says he won’t run for agriculture commissioner

Former House Speaker Steve Crisafulli bowed out of a potential race for agriculture commissioner on Tuesday, leaving the 2018 campaign for the Cabinet position without a clear front-runner. Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, comes from a family with deep roots in the state's citrus industry and had made no secret of the fact that he was considering a bid for agriculture commissioner.

Killer flesh-eating screwworm found in Florida

In this February 2013 file photo, a Key deer forages for food in the National Key Deer Refuge in the Florida Keys. The New World screwworm , which can kill livestock within two weeks, was found on animals in Big Pine Key and No Name Key in Florida earlier this month, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Flesh-Eating Worms Have Returned to Florida

The adults lay eggs in open wounds, and the hatched larvae burrow, corkscrew-like, through flesh. Screwworms ate their way into livestock, dogs, deer, and even humans in the U.S. until they were wiped out in 1982, in one of the most successful national eradication campaigns ever.

Florida reports success in invasive snail eradication effort

Agriculture officials say efforts to rid Florida of a destructive, parasite-carrying snail have been so successful that nearly half the core areas under surveillance can be dropped from the program. In a statement Friday, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said over 164,000 giant African land snails have been eliminated since the invasive species was discovered in Miami-Dade County in 2011.

Governor: 4 Zika cases likely came from Florida mosquitoes

Florida likely has the first cases of Zika transmitted by mosquitoes on the U.S. mainland, the state's governor said Friday. No mosquitoes in the state have tested positive for Zika, but one woman and three men in Miami-Dade and Broward counties likely contracted the virus through mosquito bites, Gov. Rick Scott said during a news conference in Orlando.

Putnam: Orlando Gunman Cleared Background Checks

This undated image shows Omar Mateen, who authorities say killed dozens of people inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday. The gunman who carried out a massacre early Sunday in an Orlando nightclub passed all of the legally required background checks for his weapons, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam told reporters Monday.

There’s no fun these days in Florida’s political parties

This summer may be remembered not only for a blue moon and the welcome end to a bitter presidential primary, it may also mark the time America's century-old political parties went on life support. At the top of the ticket, both the Florida Democratic Party and the Republican Party of Florida have anointed presidential frontrunners who are seen by most voters more negatively than positively.