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Finding a cure for Alzheimer’s: Gov. Scott announces $4.8-million in grants

When Florida lawmakers approved legislation in 2014 to help prevent or cure Alzheimer’s disease, the numbers had already been rising:In 2000, an estimated 360,000 Floridians had been stricken by Alzheimer’s disease. The estimate rose to 450,000 in 2010 and by 2025, it would be 590,000, according to the legislative analysis.This week, Gov. Rick Scott announced $4.8-million in grant funding for 30 projects, in hopes of stemming the tide of what Scott called a “heartbreaking disease.”The money is provided from the 2014 law that included the Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program, designed to help the prevention, diagnosis,...
Florida Phoenix

Florida Republicans are back with more bills targeting undocumented immigrants for the 2019 session

In recent years, some Florida Republicans have campaigned hard on cracking down on undocumented immigrants -  but have had little to show for their efforts at the end of each legislative session. This year, they are trying again.Sarasota House Republican (and soon to be state Republican Party chair) Rep. Joe Gruters introduced a bill this week for the 2019 session that would prosecute anyone who has been ordered out of the country and is later found in Florida.Brevard County Republican Rep. Thad Altman has introduced legislation that would require employers to use the E-Verify internet system to confirm whether...
cell phone

Proposed new law targets people holding cell phones while driving

Florida was one of the last states in the country to impose sanctions on motorists who text while driving, but critics call the current law essentially toothless. Now a Republican member of the Florida House from Tampa  wants to go much further in the name of public safety, proposing legislation that would prohibit motorists from holding a cell phone at all while driving.Currently, texting while driving in Florida is a “secondary offense.” That means a law enforcement officer must see another violation taking place before they can cite a driver for texting.47 states currently impose bans of some sort...
Health care

Florida leads nation in signups to Affordable Care Act

The deadline for Floridians to sign up for health care benefits through the Affordable Care Act in 2019 expired over the weekend, and when final numbers are posted later this week by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, there could be close to million people who signed up for benefits in Florida, by far the most of any state in the nation.As of December 8, 999,045 Floridians had signed up to the federal health insurance program. The next closest state was Texas, where 542,580 had signed up.The deadline to sign up in most parts of the country expired...
Ron DeSantis

Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis’s inner circle

Here’s a look at who Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis has picked to head up the key positions in the governor's office:Shane Strum, Chief of StaffNow working as a health care executive, Strum served as Chief of Staff for former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist. He served as vice chancellor of business development for Keiser University after serving as a 2010 transition adviser to outgoing Gov. Rick Scott.He was senior vice president for the South Broward Hospital District Board of Commissioners, which operates under the Memorial Healthcare System and is an independent special taxing district that includes hospitals across southern Broward County, the...
Florida Phoenix

Here are Gov.-elect DeSantis’s picks for five state agencies

In the run-up to his Jan. 8 inauguration, Florida Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis is building his administration, appointing people to head state agencies. Here are five he’s named so far, with background information provided by the governor’s office:Ken Lawson for Executive Director of the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO).Lawson was previously Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and CEO of the state’s public-private tourism agency, VISIT FLORIDA. Lawson served as a Judge Advocate General in the U.S. Marine Corps. (DeSantis was also a JAG – in the U.S. Navy).A native Floridian, Lawson received his bachelor’s and law...

Former Trump spokeswoman is new Ron DeSantis spokeswoman

Florida Governor- Elect Ron DeSantis just named a former Trump White House spokeswoman as his new Communications director. She is Helen Aguirre Ferré, who worked as Trump’s Director of Media Affairs  for Latino and African-American news outlets from January 2017 through August 2018.A Miami Shores native who is in the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame, she also worked for the Republican National Committee, wrote a periodic column for the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, hosted a public affairs television show, appeared on Unavision, and served as chair of the board of trustees at Miami-Dade College.After leaving the Trump...
bus for free college

They’re sticking with the union: More Fla adjunct professors joining forces

The push for adjunct professors in Florida to collectively organize accelerated this week, with instructors at seven more state colleges filing to unionize.If the instructors at all of these schools ultimately decide to vote to unionize, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Florida Public Services Union would be representing 9,000 adjunct professors, more than half of all of the adjunct faculty in the Florida College system.Adjuncts are part-time professors who are not on a track to become tenured. An estimated 16 percent of part-time faculty in Florida are living below the poverty line and 27 percent of part-time faculty...
MSNBC screenshot

Florida U.S. Rep. Al Lawson takes heat for voting to cut off debate over...

Florida U.S. Rep. Al Lawson is coming under fire for being one of a handful of Congressional Democrats who voted this week for a stealthy measure that killed any hopes of a U.S. House debate on possibly ending American military support for Saudi Arabia’s ongoing war in Yemen.Lawson’s vote on a procedural rule attached to the national Farm Bill was critical, as he was one of just five Democrats in the House of Representatives to support the Republican-led measure. It only passed by three votes. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan had inserted language into the rule preventing U.S. representatives...
High School

Numerous government officials are to blame in the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas...

A new 157-page draft report on the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School reveals the myriad failures on the part of school officials, law enforcement officers and mental health providers on the day that shooter Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 students and staff members.The February 14 shooting at the Broward County high school has reverberated in Florida and around the country, and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission has been reviewing what happened and how it can be fixed. The solutions will undoubtedly mean a more strict environment at schools, according to the document.The...

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