Jim Saunders - News Service of Florida

Jim Saunders is the Executive Editor of The News Service Of Florida.

After an intense debate spread over two days, the Florida House last week approved a bill that would revamp regulation of the controversial oil and gas drilling process known as "fracking."

The bill, in part, would bar local governments from imposing moratoriums on fracking, while requiring the state Department of Environmental Protection to undertake a wide-ranging study that would include looking at potential risks and economic benefits of the process.

  In a key step for supporters of legalizing medical marijuana, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would go on the November 2016 ballot.

Nearly a year after same-sex marriages started in Florida, a legal decision could be looming in a dispute about birth certificates for children of same-sex couples.

State regulators will hear arguments Tuesday on a proposal by Florida Power & Light to build a power plant in Okeechobee County, but critics question the need for the nearly $1.2 billion project.

FPL contends the natural-gas plant is the "best, most cost-effective option" to meet a need for additional power generation starting in 2019. The project, designed as what is known as a combined-cycle plant, would be built on an undeveloped site owned by FPL in northeast Okeechobee County.

Almost a year after regulators gave approval to the controversial plan, Florida Supreme Court justices are ready to take up a battle about Florida Power & Light's investment in a natural-gas drilling operation in Oklahoma.

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