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Pinellas County Democrat Jennifer Webb is sponsoring the Florida Competitive Workforce Act in the House

Advocates say Florida will lose out in attracting businesses unless the state adds protections...

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters on Wednesday that he would warmly invite retail giant Amazon to bring its headquarters to the Sunshine State after the company abandoned plans last week to locate in New York City. But LGBTQ advocates say that until the Legislature passes statewide non-discrimination policies for LGBTQ workers, Florida will continue to lose out in attracting major corporations.A bipartisan group of state lawmakers hopes this year might finally be the year that the Florida Competitive Workforce Act becomes a law.The bill expands the state’s 1992 Civil Rights Act to include nondiscrimination protections for sexual orientation...
Lively Tech welder

Not all students go to college: Gov. DeSantis wants kids to get into career...

During the campaign season, then-candidates Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum found common ground: Expanding career and technical education programs that can prepare kids for work without getting a four-year college degree.Now as governor, DeSantis is following through on some of his career tech goals.DeSantis recommended about $507-million for “workforce education” in his proposed 2019-10 budget, up from $483-million in the current year.The increase includes $4-4-million in federal dollars, for a total of $71.6 million for high school and post high school career and tech programs. The money would be used to build a quality career and technical education system...
right whales

Groups ask court to block Trump-issued permits to harm thousands of Atlantic marine creatures

Saying that the Trump administration’s approval for five corporations to conduct loud underwater blasting to find oil and gas along the Atlantic seaboard will “irreparably harm marine species from tiny zooplankton … to the great whales,” environmental groups went to federal court today seeking an injunction to stop the permits.The National Marine Fisheries Service has authorized one company to harm more than 50,000 dolphins and another company to harm 20,000 more, the groups say. The blasts are as loud as a jet engine and happen every 10 seconds for months at a time. Underwater, they can be heard up...

Helping addicts survive: FL lawmakers advance statewide needle exchange program

Five Florida cities made the top ten list for new U.S. HIV cases in 2016, the most recent year of data analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.That distinction makes the time ripe for Florida to expand statewide a needle-exchange pilot program first introduced in Miami-Dade County four years ago, says state Sen. Oscar Braynon, a Democrat from Miami who is sponsoring a proposal in the Florida Senate. The measure passed unanimously in the Senate Health Policy Committee on Tuesday.“The program has been quite a success,” Braynon said at the Capitol as he presented the bill. “Miami-Dade...
Schools

DeSantis plan: FL families could be well over poverty threshold and still get public...

Gov. Ron DeSantis’s proposed school voucher expansion across Florida is not targeted specifically for poor families – which have historically been beneficiaries of the programs that allow students to attend private schools with public dollars.New details emerging about the governor’s “Equal Opportunity Scholarship Program” -- proposed last week-- show students could be eligible for a “scholarship” (voucher) to attend private school if their family’s household income is as high as 265 percent of the federal poverty level.That would be roughly $68,000 for a family of four, according to 2019 figures from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services...
I voted sticker

Bill Nelson urges voting fix

With the crazy-fast flood of news events, it’s hard to remember an electoral problem that took Florida’s center stage just a mere four months ago: the issue of voters getting disqualified because the signature on their mail-in ballot didn’t match the signature they had on file at the county Supervisor of Elections office.Former Democratic Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, who lost by a whisper in November in his contest against Republican Rick Scott, is now urging the state Legislature to deal with the mismatched signature issue.He’s pointing to a new appeals court ruling on Feb. 15, which says the...

Calling it a humanitarian crisis, Florida congressional reps call on Trump to stop...

President Trump is scheduled to give a speech on the crisis in Venezuela in Miami this afternoon, but Miami-Dade Democratic Congresswoman Donna Shalala says he shouldn’t speak today unless he’s prepared to give Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to the approximately 150,000 Venezuelan nationals in the U.S.The Department of Homeland Security grants Temproary Protected Status to citizens of certain countries that are suffering from ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or “other extraordinary and temporary conditions.”Venezuela is facing a major political, economic and social crisis, with hyperinflation, an acute scarcity of food, medicine and other basic goods – and it also...
Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio critical of Trump’s “national emergency” over wall

President Donald Trump announced Friday that he is declaring a national emergency, circumventing the legislative branch to secure border wall funding.“We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border, and we’re going to do it one way or the other, we have to do it,” Trump said in a speech from the White House Rose Garden.“I’m going to be signing a national emergency, and it’s been signed many times before. It’s been signed by other presidents. From 1977 or so, it gave the presidents the power. There’s rarely been a problem. They signed it,...
Dan Daley

House Speaker won’t seat winner of District 97 seat until after the legislative session...

Florida Democrats are blasting Republican House Speaker Jose Oliva for not placing Dan Daley in the House District 97 seat before the end of the spring legislative session.Daley, a Coral Springs Commissioner and a Democrat, was declared the winner in HD 97 this week after he was the only candidate to qualify to run for the seat vacated last month by Jared Moskowitz. But Oliva is citing Florida election law in choosing not to seat him until the scheduled date of the general election, which is set for June 18.The seat became open after Gov. Ron DeSantis picked Moskowitz,...
David McCallister (right, with Florida state Senator Dennis Baxley)

Confederate monument advocate wants to fight for Trump in Tallahassee

(UPDATED) David McCallister, a lawyer who led the effort to maintain a controversial Confederate monument in Hillsborough County during the summer of 2017, has filed to run in the special election in the state House District 38 seat in Pasco County later this year.The seat became vacant after Gov. Ron DeSantis picked Republican Danny Burgess to take over the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.“I regret that I didn’t prevail,” McCallister said in reflecting upon his unsuccessful efforts as the head of Save Southern Heritage to keep a 106-year-old Confederate statue in the front of a Hillsborough County Court annex. “That...

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