Home Briefs | The Phoenix Flyer

Briefs | The Phoenix Flyer

Teacher in her classroom

Traditional public school educators left out from DeSantis roundtable on masks at schools

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday afternoon held a roundtable discussion about masks at schools, but he didn't invite or include traditional public school educators, even as the new public school year looms and families and educators face decisions on mask-wearing. In addition to health officials on the roundtable, the participants included two nontraditional public charter schools and a rising senior from a Tallahassee private school. Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran was not a panelist. A Department of Education spokeswoman said she was unaware of the roundtable on Monday afternoon, but would look into it further. That day, the Florida Association of District...

Lawsuit targets DeSantis administration for blocking extra federal unemployment benefits in FL

The DeSantis administration broke state law when it cut off enhanced federal unemployment benefits of $300 in June, according to a lawsuit filed in Broward County trial court. The complaint, filed on behalf of 10 Broward residents struggling to scrape by on unemployment compensation, alleges that Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity are in violation of a statute requiring them to cooperate with federal labor officials “to the fullest extent … necessary to secure for this state all advantages available under the provisions of federal law relating to reemployment assistance.” The $300 supplement was scheduled to end...

FL athletes will play a big role in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo

California will have the largest number of athletes — 126 — at this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo, but Florida is second in line, with 51 athletes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Overall, 613 athletes in 46 states will compete in the games, with the opening ceremony  on Friday and the closing event on Aug. 8. Of the total athletes participating, 322 are from nine states with populations over 10 million: California, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia and North Carolina, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Of the 51-member Florida team, Miami had the most athletes — 10. A...

Democrats in Congress unite around ‘climate corps’ that could employ youth, prevent fires

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged on Tuesday to include a Civilian Climate Corps in a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill later this year, as a broad swath of Democrats rallied around a framework of employing thousands of young people to do conservation work. Schumer, (D-N.Y.), appeared with a handful of congressional Democrats, led by U.S. Rep Joe Neguse of Colorado and spanning the ideological spectrum from moderate Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware to liberal firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. They said they were united behind the idea of an expansive youthful workforce to address climate issues. The speakers were...

U.S. Sen. Manchin says he’ll back Stone-Manning nomination, as committee vote is set

The U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee is expected to vote Thursday on the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning to lead the Bureau of Land Management, with Chairman Joe Manchin III planning to vote to approve her — a major step forward for her confirmation after weeks of aggressive Republican opposition. Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, and ranking Republican John Barrasso of Wyoming on Monday announced the committee meeting. Following the scheduling announcement, Manchin spokeswoman Sam Runyon said in an email the chairman will vote in favor of the nomination. With all committee Republicans on the record against her nomination, Stone-Manning,...

Federal appeals court sides with CDC on cruise ship rules; DeSantis vows to go...

A federal appeals court has dealt Gov. Ron DeSantis a setback in his legal fight with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the agency’s restrictions on operations of cruise ships. U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday in Tampa on June 18 blocked the CDC from enforcing the rules, including a requirement that most passengers and crew be vaccinated against COVID-19, concluding that it lacked authority to impose them. On Saturday, a split three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit stayed that ruling, allowing the regulations to remain in place pending further argument. If not for...

Labor report: As demand for workers increases, FL cuts unemployment benefits

Florida’s labor report Friday cites 69,300 new private-sector jobs in the economy over the past month and an increase of 907,000 jobs since the COVID-19 pandemic forced 1.3 million workers off their jobs in spring 2020 to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Still, 523,000 Florida workers were unemployed in June, comprising 5 percent of the labor force, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reported. That is slightly higher than in May but far below the spike to more than 14 percent in Florida when the pandemic took hold in the United States last year. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate...

School gardens and nutrition education: Grants for FL schools to expand access to local...

Kids in Tampa will soon grow produce in a local garden, to distribute to their communities. Others will learn how to make healthy snacks at their local YMCA. Miami-Dade kids could soon serve as "community ambassadors" and lead workshops promoting the benefits of eating fresh produce. And up in Northeast Florida, Putnam County schools will get to expand school gardens, working "to craft a true farm to plate for Putnam County students." It's all because of a federal initiative to bolster what's called the "farm to school" program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded grants to 45 states and Washington D.C., in...

McConnell blasts nomination of Stone-Manning as public lands chief

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday joined the ranks of GOP senators opposing the confirmation of Tracy Stone-Manning, the president’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management, possibly signaling the confirmation could soon move beyond the Energy Committee. The strongly critical statement from McConnell, of Kentucky, was not a surprise, but the timing could signal the increasingly bitter confirmation battle will soon progress to the full Senate and involve leadership of both parties. A deciding vote in the evenly split Senate could be cast by Vice President Kamala Harris. Prior to McConnell’s statement, GOP opposition to Stone-Manning had mostly...

Miller-Meeks and Gallego lead bipartisan push to expand veterans’ free access to national parks

WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa testified Tuesday before the House Natural Resources Committee hearing in support of bipartisan legislation that would give veterans and Gold Star families free lifetime access to national parks and public federal lands. “No one is more worthy of experiencing open access to the incredible places that these men and women have fought to keep us free and their families who have also made the ultimate sacrifice along with them,” the Iowa Republican said. Miller-Meeks is a veteran and worked on the bill, the “Veterans in Parks Act,”  with Rep. Ruben Gallego, an Arizona Democrat who is also a...

LATEST STORIES