Venezuelans living in Lakeland are rejoicing over the Biden administration’s decision to grant them Temporary Protected Status, or TPS. The status would grant them protection from deportation until Sept. 9, 2022, and the ability to obtain a work permit. More
Pinellas won the legislative battle over where to locate a new $50 million home for the Second District Court of Appeal, but Lakeland may see some eventual benefit, the Tampa Bay Times reports. After the Legislature chose Pinellas on Friday night, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, called the selection “step one in a multi-year plan” and added, “Senator (Kelli) Stargel has always been a staunch advocate for Polk County, and her long-term vision for addressing the juridical needs of the area will be realized.”
The Florida House of Representatives has joined the Senate in approving $50 million for a new District Court of Appeal building. But the latest Senate budget proposal no longer specifies Lakeland as the preferred home for the court and instead says the location is yet to be determined, Florida Politics reports. That leaves the location subject to negotiation as budget talks proceed.
Mike Musick and Shandale Terrell will face off May 4 in a runoff for a seat on the Lakeland City Commission since none of the four candidates received a majority in today’s election. Terrell led with 39.74% of the vote to Musick’s 33.65%. Among the other candidates, Steve Frankenberger received 20.94% of the vote and Ken Post got 5.67%. More
Among the four candidates running for Lakeland City Commission in Tuesday’s election, Steve Frankenberger leads in the dollar amount of campaign contributions collected while Shandale Terrell leads in the number of donors. Mike Musick is somewhere in the middle, and Ken Post has accepted donations only from himself and his wife. More
A Pinellas state senator’s attempt to move the 2nd District Court of Appeal headquarters from Lakeland to St. Petersburg picked up little support at a Wednesday Appropriations Committee meeting, but he says his battle is far from over. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, tells Bay News 9 that House Speaker Chris Sprowls is from Pinellas “and will have an obviously oversized influence into where this decision ultimately comes down.”
State Sen. Kelli Stargel’s effort to keep the Second District Court of Appeal headquartered in Lakeland has sparked a rival proposal from a Pinellas senator, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Sen. Jeff Brandes has offered a measure to divert the $50 million courthouse project to St. Petersburg in what the newspaper calls “a direct public challenge to a fellow Republican that’s rare in Florida’s GOP-dominated capital.”
The home of the Second District Court of Appeal would remain in Lakeland instead of moved to St. Petersburg, under the Florida Senate’s proposed budget. The budget being shepherded by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, includes $50 million to build a new court facility in Polk County, Florida Politics reports. The Legislature last year approved $21 million to build a Second DCA building in St. Petersburg, but the item was vetoed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The court is currently operating from temporary quarters in Tampa.