DOJ Indicts Radical Activists for Attacking Florida Pro-Life Facilities

Following attacks on over 78 pro-life groups across the nation, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has finally indicted two pro-abortion activists for attacking pro-life facilities in Florida.

Twenty-seven-year-old Caleb Freestone and 23-year-old Amber Smith-Stewart “targeted pregnancy resource facilities and vandalized those facilities with spray-painted threats,” according to the DOJ. The threatening language that the two used to vandalize the pro-life facilities mirrors that of the terrorist group Jane’s Revenge.

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Florida’s DeSantis Announces Sweeping Reforms That Include ‘Teacher Bill of Rights’

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held a news conference in Jacksonville on Monday to propose sweeping changes to education, including a Teacher’s Bill of Rights which will empower educators to be leaders in their classrooms.

In the proposed legislation, teachers will have their paychecks protected, while $1 billion will go towards teacher pay increases. School board members will have a maximum term of eight years, instead of twelve.

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DeSantis-Appointed College Trustee Clashes with Officials Over Prayer

A New College of Florida (NCF) Board of Trustees member recently appointed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis clashed with board officials by requesting to open every meeting in prayer. DeSantis appointed six new members to the NCF board of trustees earlier this month, a decision anticipated to move the college’s mission in a more conservative direction. Eddie Speir, one of the new appointees, announced on Twitter that he requested to begin every board meeting with prayer; however the request was denied by board chair Mary Ruiz and legal counsel David Smolker.

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Florida Democrats Still in Disarray After DeSantis’ Massive Midterm Victory

Florida Democrats still have no clear leader or plan for the future two months after Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis swept the state in the November midterm elections, numerous lawmakers and leaders told The Washington Post. DeSantis won his reelection by 19 points after winning his initial election by only 0.4 points in the former battleground state. There is no clear frontrunner to replace Manny Diaz, former Florida Democratic Party chair, following his recent resignation, and Democrats both within and outside Florida appear to be giving up on the third most populous state, according to the Post.

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Audit of Florida Veterans’ Nursing Homes Finds Staffing and Procurement Issues

The State Florida Auditor General released this week the results of an audit into the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, which analyzed the department’s nursing home staffing, time and attendance records and followed up a 2019 audit.

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Florida Supreme Court Upholds Law Forbidding Local Governments from Over-Restricting Gun, Ammo Sales

The Florida Supreme Court has upheld a law that forbids local governments from restricting sales of guns and ammunition beyond state law. 

In a 4-1 ruling, the court said local officials could face stiff penalties if they try to enforce the restrictions that go beyond the Florida law.

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Florida Legislative Committee Wants Accountability from Audited Entities

Florida State Capitol

The Joint Legislative Auditing Committee met in Tallahassee Thursday to discuss issues that have been found in some school districts, municipalities and private entities that have repeatedly not been addressed and also discussed ways to ensure more compliance.

According to Auditor General Sherrill Norman, who was in attendance during the most recent committee meeting, she and her staff were asked to produce “a list of things that would help address the barriers we had in completing our work.”

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The College Board’s Pilot AP African-American Studies Course Gets the Boot from Ron DeSantis’ Administration

The administration of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has rejected the College Board’s request for state approval of its new Advanced Placement (AP) African American Studies (APAAS) course. In a copy of a letter obtained by The Star News Network, the Florida Department of Education’s (FDOE) Office of Articulation wrote to Brian Barnes, senior director of the College Board Florida Partnership, that the state “does not approve the inclusion of the Advanced Placement (AP) African American Studies course in the Florida Course Code Directory and Instructional Personnel Assignments.”

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DeSantis, State Legislature to Further Limit Chinese Influence in Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he’s considering banning Chinese entities from purchasing property in Florida and that the state legislature was looking at ways to further restrict the communist country’s influence in Florida.

“We don’t want to have holdings [in Florida] by hostile nations. If you look at the Chinese communist Party, they’ve been very active gobbling up land … and when they have interests that are opposed to ours and we see how they have wielded their authority especially with President Xi [Jinping], who’s taken a much more Marxist-Leninist turn, that is not in the best interest of Florida to have the Chinese Communist Party owning farm land, owning land close to military bases.”

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Audit Finds Florida City Has Fixed 23 Out of 31 Problem Areas from 2020 Report

A follow-up audit for the city of Palm Bay by the State of Florida Auditor General found the city of Palm Bay has corrected all but eight of the 31 issues found in the 2020 report.

Palm Bay city Manager Suzanna Sherman responded to the Auditor General and detailed the findings that needed to be addressed, but had not yet been fully corrected.

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Florida Cracks Down on Companies That Hire Illegal Foreign Nationals, Won’t Comply with E-Verify Laws

The state of Florida is cracking down on companies that aren’t complying with E-verify laws in an attempt to ensure they aren’t hiring people who are in the country illegally, including the American National Red Cross.

The state Department of Economic Opportunity sent letters to six companies putting them on notice that if they don’t reply by Monday, January 16, their business licenses will be suspended and they won’t be able to operate in Florida.

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Florida House Speaker Demands Information on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion ‘Prevalence’ on College Campuses

Republican House Speaker Paul Renner of Florida requested Thursday that state public colleges and universities submit documentation about the “prevalence” of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) offices and programs on campus, Florida’s Voice reported.

The requests were delivered to every president’s office in the Florida College System and the State University System, according to Florida’s Voice. The request furthers a demand from Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Dec. 28 which required colleges and universities to submit a report detailing the amount of state funding used on DEI and critical race theory programs.

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Florida Officials Unveil Bill That Would Ban Tracking of Firearm and Ammunition Purchases

Florida officials introduced legislation Tuesday that would prohibit financial institutions from collecting data on firearm and ammunition purchases, alleging that it violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, according to a press release.

In September, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved the use of a merchant code for firearms stores, which financial institutions, such as credit card companies, can voluntarily adopt to track firearm-related purchases. The “Florida Arms and Ammo Act” would fine credit card companies up to $10,000 per violation, according to WTSP10News.

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DeSantis Wants to ‘Further Advance Protections for Innocent Life’

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who signed a 15-week abortion ban into law last year, wants more protections for Florida’s unborn babies.

“The upcoming 2023 Florida legislative session starts in March, and we look forward to working with the Florida Legislature to further advance protections for innocent life,” press secretary Bryan Griffin shared with The Daily Signal on Tuesday afternoon.

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Report Shows Florida’s Pension System Facing Headwinds

The Florida Retirement System has shrunk over the last year and some analysts are saying that it will not survive on its current course, with new legislation likely not to have much of an impact.

According to the Department of Management Service’s annual comprehensive financial report, the Florida Retirement System has had a net income loss of $21,773,027 in the 2022 fiscal year, after beginning the year at $202,082,182,546 and ending the year at $180,226,404,807.

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AG Moody: ‘Bombshell New Evidence’ in Florida’s Lawsuit over Biden Deportation Policies

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said her office received “bombshell new evidence” that the Biden administration “wrongfully withheld” from her office until just days before they went to trial on Monday.

Her office filed a lawsuit last year against the Biden administration over altering federal immigration deportation policy, including expanding a parole program President Joe Biden announced last week that he planned to expand. Moody is asking the court to halt the administration’s implementation of the policy, arguing it violates federal law and is unconstitutional.

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Conservative Christopher Rufo Among the Appointees to New College of Florida’s Board of Trustees by Gov. DeSantis

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed conservative activist Christopher Rufo and five other people to the New College of Florida Board of Trustees with the goal of restructuring the university’s curriculum to a “classical liberal arts model.”

Rufo, a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and filmmaker known for his activism against Critical Race Theory, was appointed on Friday along with Hillsdale College Professor Matthew Spalding, Claremont-McKenna College Professor Charles Kesler, former Emory University Professor Mark Bauerlein, Inspiration Academy founder Jason Speir and attorney Debra Jenks. 

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Florida AG Urges Biden to Demand Action from Mexico Counterpart to Combat Fentanyl Crisis

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody called on President Joe Biden on Friday to “confront Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador” and “demand action” to stop the flow of illicit fentanyl being brought into the U.S. from Mexico by the Sinaloa Cartel and its gang affiliates.

The presidents are scheduled to meet in Mexico City on Monday.

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DeSantis Activates National Guard to Take on Migration Crisis

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday announced that he would activate the state National Guard to help the federal government address the rising tide of illegal migrants entering the nation through the Florida Keys.

An archipelago situated in the state’s southeast, the islands provide a critical landing point for many migrants traveling to the United States via the Caribbean Sea.

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DeSantis Admin Orders Florida Universities to Provide Information on How They’re Pushing Woke Programming

Florida colleges and universities are required to submit information detailing how they use state resources to support diversity, equity and inclusion programming, according to a memo from the state’s Office of Budget and Policy obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

All colleges and universities within the Florida College System and the State University System must submit a report explaining how they use state-given resources to provide diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and critical race theory (CRT) programs, according to the memo, which was sent by Office of Budget and Policy Director Chris Spencer to Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz and State University System of Florida Chancellor Raymond Rodrigues. Florida state law requires oversight over higher education curricula, requiring officials to “identify the degree programs offered by public postsecondary educational institutions.”

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After Resisting Policy Change, Florida School District Now Bans Boys from Using Girls’ Bathrooms

After refusing to change its transgender policy for five years, a Florida school district will now require students to use bathrooms on the basis of biological sex rather than gender identity, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Pasco County school district Superintendent Kurt Browning announced Tuesday that the district changed its policy to mandate restroom and locker room use on the basis of biological sex, with private bathroom access for transgender students, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The policy change comes after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to uphold a Florida school district’s policy of separating restrooms by “biological sex” instead of gender identity.

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More than 500 People Apprehended off Key West Since New Year’s Eve

More than 500 foreign nationals were apprehended after attempting to illegally enter Florida on the first two days of the year, an unpreceded number, officials say. They arrived by boat mostly off the coast of the Florida Keys, prompting multiple agencies to issue warnings to Floridians and a national park was forced to close to the public.

The record number of apprehensions in first two days of the year was after the Miami Border Patrol Sector reported a more than a 500% increase in apprehensions in fiscal year 2022.

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Interim Meetings This Week in Preparation for Florida’s 2023 Legislative Session

Florida Senate and House committees are having interim meetings this week to kick off the new legislative session for 2023, and several new committees will be meeting for the first time – and chaired by freshman Republicans.

Originally, the interim meetings were set to take place from Dec. 12-16, but were postponed and instead replaced with a special session. Lawmakers took the opportunity during that special session to address the growing issue of property insurance costs in Florida, as well as recovery after Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole ripped through the Sunshine State in September 2022.

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General Motors Funds Transgender Programs in Elementary Schools

General Motors (GM) gave a grant to an organization that supplies elementary schools with books promoting the transgender ideology.

The automotive manufacturing company donated money to the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) “Rainbow Library Program,” according to a 2021 Social Impact Report published by GM.

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American Catholic Leaders Celebrate Life of Pope Benedict, ‘Defender of Truth’ Who Taught Above All Else ‘God Is Love’

American Catholic leaders are acclaiming the life and work of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, whose scholarly writings emphasized the unity of faith and reason and, most fundamentally, the primary truth of the Catholic faith, which teaches God is Love.

Benedict, who was born Joseph Ratzinger, died Saturday at the age of 95. He became pope in April 2005, following the death of Pope John Paul II, and served until his resignation in February 2013.

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Florida Achieved Economic Milestones in 2022

Florida’s economy reached many milestones in 2022, including recording it’s second lowest unemployment rate in state history and reaching record levels of job creation and budget reserves. It also closed 2022 with nearly $22 billion in surplus, the highest in state history, and decreased its debt by $1.3 billion.

“By keeping Florida free and open, we have created a positive economic environment and invested in our state’s workforce and communities,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said of the state’s economic progress. He’s touted Florida leading the U.S. “in net migration and talent attraction” while “other states continue to struggle at the hands of poor leadership; people and businesses are flocking to Florida.”

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Disney Issues Warning to Park-Goers after Fights Increase Among Guests

Disney reminded its guests to be on their best behavior and show “common courtesy” to other guests in the parks after there has been an increase in fights among visitors.

Disneyland and Walt Disney World added courtesy sections to the “Know Before You Go” section on their website, reminding guests that any unruly behavior could get them kicked out of the park.

“We ask all who come to this happy place to treat others with respect, kindness, and compassion. To help guests have a safe and enjoyable experience, we regularly update our Disneyland resort rules,” reads the Disneyland website.

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New Legislation for Florida Landlords Takes Effect January 1, Meant to Keep Tenants Safer

Landlords in Florida will have a new set of rules to abide by come Jan. 1 when new legislation goes into effect.

Senate Bill 898, also known as ‘Miya’s Law’, is named after Miya Marcano, a 19-year-old student who was killed in her apartment complex in Orlando in 2021 by a maintenance worker who had access to a master key. The law was designed by lawmakers to provide more safety measures for tenants by keeping records of who has access to a tenant’s property.

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2022 Saw More California Businesses Relocate to Florida

Despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s invitation to Floridians to move to California ahead of the November election, California businesses continue to leave, and increasingly to Florida.

While their top relocation destination is overwhelmingly Texas, several major companies have relocated to Florida since Newsom’s been in office.

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Florida Considers Lowering Abortion Ban from 15 Weeks to 12 Weeks

Changes could be coming to Florida’s abortion laws after the incoming senate president, Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, said she would like to see Florida’s abortion ban go from 15 weeks’ gestation to 12 weeks’ gestation.

The state of Florida banned abortion in 1900, but that ban was overturned in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Roe v. Wade case. That ruling itself was overturned by the Supreme Court in June. Anticipating that decision, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis moved to ban abortions from 15 weeks’ gestation, with the law making no exceptions for cases pertaining to rape and incest.

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Florida Investigates Christmas-Themed Drag Show for ‘All Ages’

On Tuesday, Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) announced that it would launch an investigation into a performing arts center that hosted a drag show targeted towards little children.

As reported by the Daily Caller, the investigation is focusing on the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, which hosted the “Drag Queen Christmas” event the day after Christmas; advertisements for the event have since been removed from the center’s website, but archived versions remain available on the Internet.

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Florida COVID-19 Committee Members Emphasize Importance of Restoring Public Trust Related to Vaccine

In response to Gov. Ron DeSantis creating a new Public Health Integrity Committee and filing a petition for a statewide grand jury to investigate potential crimes related to the COVID-19 vaccine, seven doctors on the committee expressed their support for the only governor in America taking such a stand.

The members of the new committee include Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD, Martin Kuldorff, PhD, Tracy Beth Høeg, MD, PhD, Joseph Fraiman, MD, Christine Stabell Benn, MD, PhD, Bret Weinstein, PhD, and Steven Templeton, PhD.

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Miami Sector Border Patrol Reported a 500 Percent Increase in Apprehensions in Fiscal 2022

Border Patrol agents in the Miami Sector have reported a 500% increase in apprehensions in fiscal year 2022.

From September 1, 2021, to October 31, 2022, agents apprehended 2,350 foreign nationals attempting to illegally enter Florida by sea. The majority were Cubans.

They also interdicted 131 maritime smuggling events, a 330% increase from fiscal 2921, Chief Patrol Agent Walter Slosar said.

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Census: Texas Leads U.S. with Largest Population Gains, Florida Leads with Fastest Population Growth

Texas and Florida lead the U.S. in population growth, according to new Census Bureau estimates.

Texas saw the largest population gain in the U.S. Florida had the largest percentage increase and the fastest population growth, according to the data.

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Florida Supreme Court Approves Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Request for Investigation Into COVID Shot Injuries

The Florida Supreme Court approved Governor Ron DeSantis’ (R) request to impanel a grand jury to review evidence regarding COVID shot injuries and misconduct in his state.

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Florida Finishing 2022 with Record $22 Billion Surplus

The state of Florida is reporting a $21.8 billion surplus in 2022, the highest in state history. The state also decreased its debt by $1.3 billion this year, according to a newly published State Debt Report from the State of Florida Division of Bond Finance.

According to the report, Florida decreased its debt by $1.3 billion, increased its revenues by 17% ($8.5 billion), and maintained its AAA bond rating primarily because of its strong growing economy.

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Florida Unemployment Rate Lowest in 10 Largest States

Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 2.6% in November, the lowest of the 10 largest states in the U.S. and 1.1 percentage points lower than the national rate. It was also the 24th consecutive month that Florida’s unemployment rate remained below the national rate.

In November, Florida continued to exceed the national job growth rate for the 20th consecutive month; its employers have added jobs for 31 consecutive months.

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DeSantis Signs Toll Relief, Disaster Relief and Property Insurance Bills into Law

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed three bills into law passed by the state legislature during a recently convened special legislative session. The new laws provide “the most significant property insurance reform in recent history,” disaster assistance to those impacted by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole and extend toll relief to commuters.

On Friday, he signed SB 2-A, to help stabilize the state’s property insurance market, increase competition, and strengthen consumer protections.

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Senate Fiscal Hawks Scott, Johnson, Lee, and Paul Call for an End to Pandemic Spending

While hagglers appeared to have reached a bipartisan framework agreement on a full-year omnibus spending plan, fiscal hawks like Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson are asking an important question: Why haven’t we gone back to normal spending now that the pandemic is over?

On Thursday, the Senate easily passed a a one-week continuing resolution, keeping the government funded through December 23. A worked-over spending plan is expected to be unveiled Monday, as negotiations continue in the shadow of another government shutdown threat in the days before the Christmas break.

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Orange Juice Prices Set to Rise After Florida Citrus Crops Damaged by Hurricanes and Disease

After Hurricanes Ian and Nicole ravaged Florida causing billions of dollars in damage, the state’s citrus growers are expecting smaller yields. As a result, the price of America’s favorite breakfast beverage, orange juice, is expected to rise in price as supply drops.

Frozen orange juice concentrate was already down in production for the 2020-2021 season and on-tree crop values were down nearly half from the 2016-2017 season, hitting a 10-year low. This season’s yield is predicted to be the lowest in 80 years.

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Florida State Rep. Eskamani Files Bill to Get Rid of Diaper Sales Tax

A bill has been refiled that could permanently nix Florida’s sales tax from diapers and adult incontinence products.

Florida state Rep. Anna V. Eskamani filed House Bill 29, a continuation of an already existing sales tax exemption for children’s diapers, that are tax-free until June 30, 2023. If passed, the exemption would be expanded to also help reduce the cost for the elderly, their families, and those who use adult diapers and other incontinence products.

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Zuckerbucks-Backed Group Back in Wisconsin

The liberal voting activist group that dumped $350 million of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s money on local election offices during the 2020 presidential election is back again with another $80 million to give over the next five years.

And Wisconsin once again will be front and center in the Center for Tech and Civic Life’s “generosity.”

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Florida Leads Nation in Parent-Led Education

Florida ranked first in the United States for parental involvement in education, according to the Center for Education Reform’s Parent Power Index.

The index is released annually and measures the policies that exist in each state. Those policies are ranked by whether they allowed parental choice in what their child’s education would be, and if the needs of the student and their families were considered first.

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DeSantis Announces Plan to Empanel Grand Jury to Investigate Wrongdoing Linked to COVID-19 Shots

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Tuesday that he has petitioned the Florida Supreme Court to empanel a statewide grand jury to investigate “any and all wrongdoing” linked to the COVID-19 shots to bring accountability to those who have engaged in misconduct.

In its petition to the state Supreme Court, the DeSantis administration said that the “pharmaceutical industry has a notorious history of misleading the public for financial gain” and the grand jury will probe “the development, promotion, and distribution of vaccines purported to prevent COVID-19 infection, symptoms, and transmission.”

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Florida Agricultural Commissioner Wants to Ban Land Sales to Foreign Entitities

Florida’s new Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson wants to restrict the sale of The Sunshine State’s farmland to foreign countries after increasing concerns about what foreign buyers – namely Chinese companies closely affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) – are doing with the agricultural land once they purchase it.

Food costs and supply are becoming a point of contention for Floridians and Americans as a whole, and there is worry that the continuation of farmland sales to foreign entities could cause food prices to be intentionally inflated or production could be shut down altogether.

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Border Patrol Apprehend Record Number of Cubans Attempting to Illegally Enter Florida

Nearly every day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, working with multiple law enforcement partners, apprehend Cubans attempting to enter Florida illegally. They’re also apprehending other foreign nationals, including sex offenders.

They’re doing so as U.S. Coast Guard crews continue to apprehend a record number of Cubans. In fiscal year 2022, they apprehended a record high 6,182 Cubans at sea compared to 49 in fiscal 2020.

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Florida School Board Meeting Reveals ‘Everyday’ Violence, Chaos in Schools as Teachers Flee

Dozens of teachers have fled a Florida school district amid startling reports of ongoing student violence and chaos there, a contentious school board meeting revealed this week.

Brevard County’s lengthy school board meeting on Thursday revealed what one teacher called “an everyday basis” of violent and disruptive behavior from students in the district’s schools. 

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Florida County Is New Focal Point of Election Integrity Complaints in Pro-Election Security State

Orange County, Fla., has become a focal point for election security complaints — from alleged ballot harvesting to unauthorized exposure of protected voter information — despite the state’s new emphasis on election integrity.

The office of the Orange County Supervisor of Elections (SOE), which has been led by Democrat Bill Cowles since he was first elected to his position in 1996, has come under scrutiny as whistleblowers have come forward in recent months to reveal an array of alleged election irregularities occurring on his watch.

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Twitter Exec Pushed to Ban Matt Gaetz’s Account After January 6 Unrest

Twitter’s former head of Trust and Safety, Yoel Roth, pushed internally for the company to ban Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida following the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots, despite messaging another employee that such a decision did not align with the company’s policies, according to the company’s internal documents published by author Michael Shellenberger Friday as part of Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s “Twitter Files.”

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