Audits Find Financial Issues with Some Florida Charter Schools

Classroom

The Florida Auditor General’s office has released two reports that detail significant issues and financial trends in the Sunshine State’s charter schools, charter technical career centers and district school boards.

There are 720 charter schools and charter technical career centers operating in Florida, with the majority in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. State law requires these schools to be annually audited by an independent certified public accountant.

Read More

Cost Estimates for Florida Abortion Amendment Could Be Affected by Lawsuit

Abortion Rally

Florida state officials said on Monday that litigation could affect cost estimates for a proposed constitutional amendment that could enact a right to abortion statewide.

The Office of Economic and Demographic Research held a Financial Estimating Conference Monday to review the financial impact of the ballot initiative, which will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Read More

New York Judges Disbar Rudy Giuliani for ‘False Statements’ About Election Fraud, But Don’t Consider the Evidence

A panel of five New York appeals court judges this week unanimously disbarred former President Donald Trump’s former attorney, Rudy Giuliani, over statements he made about election illegalities in the 2020 presidential election.

Read More

More Police Officers Relocating to Florida from Other States

Sarasota Police

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody welcomed new police officers to the state after they relocated from Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico and New York.

“Florida is the most pro-law enforcement state in the nation because we back our blue,” Moody said. “We’ve been spreading the word about all the great incentives to join our ranks, and individuals like the new Sarasota recruits have answered the call – leaving behind places where their service was not as appreciated as it is here.”

Read More

IRS Data Shows Florida Had the Country’s Biggest Population Gains

People Packing

New migration data from the Internal Revenue Service shows Florida added 245,334 residents in 2022, the most among states.

The total inflow, not adjusted against those leaving the state, was 466,210 in 2022 as 277,527 tax filers with a combined adjusted gross income of $26.6 billion decamped to Florida. 

Read More

Jacksonville, Florida Will Pay $775 Million in Public Funds Toward $1.4 Billion Jaguars Renovation

J.C. Bradbury

The Jacksonville Jaguars became the second NFL team this week to get a large sum of public money for a stadium renovation when the City Council voted 14-1 to approve $775 million toward a $1.4 billion renovation of EverBank Stadium.

The Jaguars and NFL are expected to pay $625 million toward the project, using NFL G-4 loans along with funds from items such as naming rights through the new 30-year lease and non-relocation agreement.

Read More

Florida Governor Signs into Law Two Bills Intended to Help Veterans

Florida Veterans

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed two bills on Thursday intended to support Florida veterans and their spouses.

House Bill 725 expands the eligibility for admissions to a long-term care facility for veterans to include spouses and surviving spouses of qualifying veterans.

Read More

Tampa Electric Wants Rate Hike Despite Opposition from Customers

Big Bend Power Station

Customers of one of Florida’s largest utilities had the opportunity to voice their opinions during a public hearing held by Florida regulators last week.

The Tampa Electric Company filed a petition with the Florida Public Service Commission in April to increase base rates for 810,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Hillsborough County and portions of Polk, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

Read More

Florida GOP Sen. Rick Scott Now Deadlocked with Likely Democrat Challenger in Reelection Bid, Poll

Florida Senate Race

Florida GOP Sen. Rick Scott is now essentially deadlocked in his November reelection bid with likely Democrat challenger former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, according to a new poll.

A Florida Atlantic University Poll released Wednesday shows Scott leads Mucarsel-Powell 45-to-43% among likely voters.

Read More

Soros and Democratic Dark Money Bankrolling ‘Grassroots’ Campaign Pushing Abortion in Florida

Stop Abortion Rally

The organization behind a ballot initiative that could reverse Florida’s six-week abortion ban goes to lengths to promote its “grassroots” credentials, all while taking in millions from liberal dark money groups and other deep-pocketed sources, campaign finance records show.

Floridians Protecting Freedom (FPF), one of the main groups pushing for a 2024 ballot measure that would enshrine the right to an abortion in the state’s constitution, touts its “grassroots” campaign and fundraising in several press releases it has sent out in recent months. However, the group has taken in massive sums of cash from a sprawling liberal dark money network and organizations backed by wealthy liberal donors.

Read More

Federal Judge Strikes Down Florida Gender-Affirming Care Ban as ‘Unconstitutional’

Transgender Protest

A federal judge in Florida on Tuesday struck down the state’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors, which also imposed restrictions for some adults, touting the law as “unconstitutional” because it discriminated against transgender people.

The controversial law was passed in the state and signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2023. It barred medical professionals from administering gender-affirming care to minors, including treatments like puberty blockers and hormones. Florida medical boards embraced rules barring doctors from performing gender surgeries on minors or prescribing hormone treatments for them in 2022.

Read More

Florida’s DeSantis Announces $1.25 Billion Teacher Pay Hike

Florida Teacher Pay

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference in Hialeah on Monday to announce $1.25 billion for teacher salary increases.

DeSantis said the funds for teacher salary hikes are earmarked in the budget over the next five years and pointed out that Florida has ranked tops overall in education by U.S. News and World Report for the past two years.

Read More

Federal Judge Strikes Down Florida Gender-Affirming Care Ban as ‘Unconstitutional’

Transgender Protest

A federal judge in Florida on Tuesday struck down the state’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors, which also imposed restrictions for some adults, touting the law as “unconstitutional” because it discriminated against transgender people.

The controversial law was passed in the state and signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2023. It barred medical professionals from administering gender-affirming care to minors, including treatments like puberty blockers and hormones. Florida medical boards embraced rules barring doctors from performing gender surgeries on minors or prescribing hormone treatments for them in 2022.

Read More

Florida University Civic Center Aims to Become ‘Premier Think Tank’ on Economic Freedom

Carlos Diaz-Rosillo

Florida International University’s civics center has made an international impact in its first four years of existence by bringing together politicians and private sector leaders to promote individual and economic freedom.

The Adam Smith Center for Economic Freedom at the Miami university came about through efforts by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state legislature to bolster Western democratic thought in higher education. In 2023, DeSantis signed additional legislation to boost civic education centers in the state’s public universities.

Read More

Florida Officials Seeking Public Input on Proposed Energy Rebate Programs

Brooks Rumenik

Florida officials are seeking feedback from the public about the Florida Energy Rebate programs currently under development.

The program still awaits approval from the U.S. Department of Energy. Florida has been allocated $346 million to assist residents in reducing energy costs by improving their home’s energy efficiency through qualified upgrades, retrofits and high-efficiency appliances.

Read More

Florida AG Moody Calls on Treasury to Stop Supporting ‘Cuba’s Communist Interests’

Ashely Moody Cuba

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody on Thursday called on U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to stop the agency’s “continued support of Cuba’s communist interests.”

She did so after Cuban-American lawmakers raised the alarm about Chinese spies operating in Cuba, reportedly targeting Cuban-Americans as well as about the Biden administration recently allowing Cuban regime officials to tour TSA facilities at the Miami International Airport.

Read More

Reuters Anti-Trump Propaganda Begins in Pennsylvania

The global news organization Reuters claimed on Friday that women voters in Pennsylvania may now have second thoughts about voting for former President Donald Trump after he was convicted in the controversial New York hush money trial on Thursday.

Read More

Florida’s Public Schools Close as School Choice Takes Off

School with students learning

As Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has pushed school choice initiatives, leading to a spike in charter and private school enrollments, public schools are shutting down.

Across the state, public school enrollment is declining. Duval County Public School District, the sixth-largest school district in Florida and 20th largest in the country, is now considering campus closures due to dramatic dips in their enrollment.

Read More

RFK Jr. Wins Reform Party Nomination, ‘Supercharging’ Fundraising, Bringing Florida Ballot Access

Robert Kennedy Jr.

The Reform Party nominated Independent Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. for president on Thursday evening.

The Kennedy campaign said on Friday that the nomination now grants him “ballot access in Florida” along with a “major fundraising advantage.”

Read More

Florida Regulators Reject Request for Oral Arguments in Rate Increase Cases

Florida Power Plant

Florida regulators denied a request for oral arguments on Tuesday in two petitions by utilities seeking electricity rate hikes.

On April 2, Tampa Electric Company and Duke Energy Florida filed petitions to the Public Service Commission requesting rate increases beginning in January 2025 if the commission approves.

Read More

Report Indicates Florida Tort Reform Reduced ‘Nuclear Verdicts’

Courtroom Money

A new report shows that the number of “nuclear” verdicts in the Sunshine State has steadily declined since tort reforms were signed into law in 2023.

Marathon Strategies released its 2024 report on corporate verdicts throughout the U.S., and data shows a 30% rise in juries awarding enormous sums of money in legal cases brought against big corporations. However, Florida is bucking this trend.

Read More

Florida to Bolster Its Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts with New Law

Ron DeSantis

Florida will beef up its efforts to stem human trafficking after legislation was signed into law on Monday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 7063, a bill that will make important updates on how Florida combats human trafficking and extends the lifetime of the statewide Council on Human Trafficking within the Department of Legal Affairs.

Read More

Florida Bar Judge Recommends 60-Day Suspension for Conservative Attorney Exercising His Free Speech During Political Campaign

Chris Crowley

A referee judge for the Florida State Bar recommended suspending decorated Gulf War veteran Chris Crowley’s law license for 60 days over his criticism of an opponent he ran against for the Office of the State Attorney in Florida’s 20th Judicial Circuit.

During the 2018 race, Crowley referred to Amira D. Fox, who eventually won, as “corrupt” and “swampy” and observed that she had “close family ties to the PLO terrorist organization.” The Florida Bar had requested a 91-day suspension for allegedly violating the bar’s ethics rule prohibiting criticism of judges, election officials, and candidates running for office.

Read More

Laken Riley’s Alleged Killer Indicted, Also Accused of Being ‘Peeping Tom’

A Georgia grand jury has formally indicted the man accused of killing 22-year-old student Laken Riley on ten charges, including murder, kidnapping and being a peeping Tom.

Jose Ibarra is charged with malice murder, three counts of felony murder, kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, tampering with evidence and interfering with a 911 call for help, Superior Court of Clarke County records show. The 26-year-old Venezuelan national was also handed down a “peeping Tom” charge related to his activities the day of Riley’s murder.

Read More

Report: Florida Received 58 Cents for Every Dollar Spent on Tourism Marketing

Florida Tourism

State officials say Florida’s tourism marketing organization, Visit Florida, returned only 58 cents for every dollar spent on it in 2023.

The report by the Office of Economic and Demographic Research found that Visit Florida’s public marketing during fiscal years 2019-22 generated a positive 0.58 return on investment.

Read More

Florida Legislature Passes Bill Removing ‘Climate Change’ from State Laws, Awaits DeSantis Signing

Climate Change

Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature has passed a measure to replace mentions of “climate change” in many state laws and has sent it to GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis for him to sign into law 

The bill, which focuses on energy security, removes all explicit mentions of climate change, according to Scripps News, and directs the state only to “promote the cost-effective development and use of a diverse supply of domestic energy resources.”

Read More

DeSantis Touts More Spending for the Developmentally Disabled in Florida

Ron DeSantis

Floridians with developmental disabilities will benefit from a record level of funding for direct services after Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a multi-billion dollar investment from the state.

DeSantis spoke at the Els Center in Jupiter on Monday and announced that as part of the Live Healthy legislation spearheaded by Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, and his Focus on Florida’s Bright Future Budget that $2.2 billion will be going to the Agency for Persons with Disabilities for services through the iBudget waiver.

Read More

DeSantis Signs Two Bills Designed to Bolster Florida Homes Against Hurricanes

Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed two new bills Wednesday intended to strengthen Florida homes against hurricanes and other severe weather events.

DeSantis signed Senate Bill 7028, which will add another $200 million in funding for the My Safe Florida Home Program which allows homes to be assessed after major storm events and assists in improving resilience in structures.

Read More

Meadows, Giuliani and Other Former Trump Aides Indicted in Arizona 2020 Election Probe

An Arizona grand jury on Wednesday indicted former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, and five other former aides to former President Donald Trump on felony charges related to alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Read More

California Judge Who Disbarred Trump’s Former Attorney John Eastman Funneled Money to Super PAC Fighting Election Integrity

California disciplinary court Judge Yvette Roland (pictured above), who disbarred Trump’s former attorney and constitutional legal scholar John Eastman last month, contributed to a Democratic PAC last year which funneled all of the contributions to a Super PAC that seeks to stop “undermining the most basic tenet of our democracy, the right to vote.” Despite the fact that the charges against Eastman were all related to his efforts investigating and stopping election corruption in the 2020 election, Roland did not recuse herself.

Read More

Florida to Teach Public School Students About Communism

Ron DeSantis

Florida school students will receive instruction on the history of communism after a bill was signed into law on Wednesday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed  that will require public schools to implement age-appropriate teaching lessons on the history of communism, beginning in the 2026-2027 school year.

Read More

Florida’s DeSantis Signs Education Reform Bill into Law

Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an education reform bill into law on Tuesday that will have long-reaching implications for the state’s education system.

House Bill 1285 does several things, including addressing school districts with “Turn-Around” status, repeals the Florida College System’s employment equity and accountability program and requires the State Board of Education to establish specialized teaching certificates for classical school educators.

Read More

Florida Governor Signs Five Bills Designed to Protect Children from Predators

Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed five bills on Wednesday designed to protect children from sexual predators.

The new legislation ranges from House Bill 1545, which protects children from grooming activities and other sexual offenses to Senate Bill 1224 which strengthens the role of the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office while implementing training requirements for law enforcement to assess a domestic violence situation properly.

Read More

Florida to Penalize Those Who Expose Law Enforcement Officers to Fentanyl

Desantis Fentanyl

Penalties for those who expose law enforcement officers to fentanyl are set to increase in the Sunshine State after new legislation was signed Monday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate bills 718 and 66. The first creates a second-degree felony for any adult individual who recklessly exposes first responders to fentanyl that results in an overdose or serious bodily harm.

Read More

California Disciplinary Judge Issues 128-page Opinion Disbarring Trump’s Former Attorney John Eastman

California Bar Disciplinary Judge Yvette Roland disbarred Donald Trump’s former attorney and constitutional legal scholar John Eastman.

Read More

Abortion Activists Moan After Florida Supreme Court Ruling Doesn’t Bring in ‘Rage’ Donors

Florida Supreme Court

Abortion activists in Florida are frustrated after the state’s Supreme Court ruling allowing a fetal heartbeat law to take effect failed to produce “rage” donations.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled in favor of a law signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in April 2023 that would prohibit a doctor from performing an abortion after a heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy. McKenna Kelley, a board member of the Tampa Bay Abortion Fund, said that, unlike the aftermath of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in 2022, the Florida ruling had produced little “rage giving” despite a growing demand for funding for abortions, according to Axios.

“It’s really important that if you care about people having access to abortion, you help support us,” Kelley told Axios.

Read More

D.C. Bar Disciplinary Panel Makes Nonbinding Preliminary Determination of Culpability for a ‘Thought Crime’ in Disbarment Trial of Trump’s Former DOJ Official Jeffrey Clark

The disciplinary trial of Donald Trump’s former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark wrapped up on Thursday with the D.C. Bar’s disciplinary panel making a nonbinding preliminary determination that Clark was culpable on at least one of the two counts against him.

Read More

During Jeffrey Clark’s Disbarment Trial, Cyber Security Expert Says Georgia’s 2020 Election Was Not ‘Conducted According to the Law’

The second and final week of the disbarment trial of Donald Trump’s former DOJ official, Jeffrey Clark, began to wind down on Wednesday with more testimony from operations security expert Harry Haury.

Read More

Judge Hands DeSantis Legal Win in Lawsuit over Martha’s Vineyard Migrant Flights

Ron DeSantis Courtroom

A federal judge dismissed claims against Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis brought by attorneys representing migrants he flew to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, in 2022.

District Judge Allison Burroughs ruled Friday that migrants could sue the charter flight company, Vertol Systems, that contracted with Florida to transport migrants in September 2022. But Burroughs dismissed other claims brought against DeSantis and state defendants, finding the court lacked jurisdiction over them in the case while leaving the possibility of future legal action open.

Read More

Former Fulton County Elections Official Explains Why He Voted Against Certification Twice During Jeffrey Clark’s Disbarment Trial

The second week of the disbarment trial of Donald Trump’s former DOJ official, Jeffrey Clark, resumed its second week on Monday. Clark, who is also a defendant in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ RICO prosecution, is being disciplined for drafting a letter that was never sent to Georgia officials after the 2020 election advising them of their options for dealing with the election illegalities.

Read More

DeSantis Signs Bill to Help Property Owners More Easily Eject Squatters

Florida Squatters

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation Wednesday that he says will end the problem of squatters taking over homes in the Sunshine State.

DeSantis stated that squatters have taken over homes in states like New York and in some cases, have been murdering the homeowners when they attempt to evict them from their properties.

Read More

DeSantis Signs Ban on Social Media for Children Under Age 14

Ron DeSantis Social Media

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a controversial new bill into law on Monday that will prohibit the use of social media platforms by children.

House Bill 3 requires that social media platforms be regulated to prohibit minors under age 14 from having a social media account if the platform allows users to upload content and view content from other users, uses algorithms and has certain addictive features to keep young children scrolling.

Read More

Florida Bans Homeless Encampments

Homeless Camps

On Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) signed a bill into law that bans homeless encampments in the state of Florida.

As reported by Just The News, House Bill 1365, formally titled the Unauthorized Public Camping and Public Sleeping Act, demands that homeless individuals be placed in temporary shelters that will be monitored by state law enforcement agencies, while also banning the use of drugs in such shelters and providing drug and alcohol treatment to occupants who need it.

Read More

Florida Lottery Transferred $2.45 Billion to K-12 Education in 2023

Teacher in Class

The Florida Lottery has become a crucial part of funding for education in the Sunshine State, and according to a recent report from the Florida Auditor General, it continues to grow each year.

In late January, the AG released the financial audit of the Florida Lottery, whose mission is to maximize financial revenue for the benefit of education “in a manner consistent with the dignity of the State of Florida and the welfare of its citizens.”

Read More

DeSantis Sends Coast Guard, Police to Guard Southern Waters Against Haitian Emigration to Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is mobilizing an air-and-sea fleet along with a company of 250 law enforcement officials to safeguard southern waters against a potential mass Haitian emigration to Florida.

Read More

Florida’s DeSantis Signs Three Bills Designed to Combat Illegal Immigration

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed three bills into law on Friday to bolster Florida’s efforts to prevent illegal immigration.

“We’re here today, one, to build off a record of success with respect to combating illegal immigration…if you go back six or seven years in the state of Florida, we were not leading against illegal immigration at all, in fact, we were one of the weaker states,” DeSantis said.

Read More

Florida Prepares for Surge in Illegal Aliens from Haiti

Haitians in Boat

As the government of Haiti appears poised to collapse in the face of a violent revolution by criminal gangs, the nearby U.S. state of Florida is preparing for a tidal wave of illegal aliens from the devastated island nation.

According to Politico, lawmakers in Florida have already issued warnings about the potential national security risk of so many third-world illegals coming to the U.S. as a result of the humanitarian crisis, especially as Congress has not yet determined a definitive policy towards Haiti.

Read More

Florida Parental Rights Law Upheld in Court

Ron DeSantis

On Monday, the state of Florida finally settled a lawsuit that had lasted for several years regarding the fate of a parental rights law that had come to be derogatorily known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

According to The Hill, the settlement agreement determined that the law, the 2022 Parental Rights in Education Act, will be kept in place but will tone down certain portions that were determined to be too close to violations of the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

Read More