Florida Poll Has Trump and DeSantis Tied, but Questions Remain About Polling Data

A new poll shows Florida Governor Ron DeSantis statistically tied with former President Donald Trump in the Sunshine State’s presidential primary race, a reversal of fortune for DeSantis from a few months ago. 

But Fort Meyers, Florida-based pollster Victory Insights has provided no topline or key demographic background data on the poll, raising more questions about surveys used to power a narrative that DeSantis is more electable than Trump.

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Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz Declares ‘Huge Victory’ as Pentagon Cancels ‘Child-Friendly’ Drag Show at Nevada Air Base

The Department of Defense has put a stop to a “child-friendly” drag show event slated for Thursday at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

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Florida Audit Finds Accounting, Management Issues with Miami-Dade School District

A recent audit of the Miami-Dade County School District has revealed several issues with accurate record-keeping and sound financial management.

The Florida Auditor General found nine separate issues, ranging from IT and security concerns to failing to correct deficiencies in annual inspections. 

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Despite Inflationary Pressures, Record Numbers of Tourists Visited Florida

People on the beach during daytime

Florida is one of the top destinations for vacationers and the state’s economy has experienced a boost as other states continue to feel the effects of shutting down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Florida experienced record tourism numbers in the first quarter of 2023. Around 37.9 million visitors poured into the Sunshine State between January and March, the largest number of visitors ever recorded in a single quarter, according to Visit Florida estimates.

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Tea Party Patriots Action Condemn House Speaker McCarthy for Debt Ceiling Deal, Urge Republicans to Vote in Opposition

Tea Party Patriots Action (TPPA), the national conservative nonprofit group founded at the height of the Tea Party Movement, is condemning House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-20) for negotiating an increase of $4 trillion to the national debt over the next 18 months and calling on House Republicans to vote against the bill.

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Florida Among the Handful of States Enacting New, Sweeping School Choice Legislation

So far in 2023, six states signed school choice legislation into law, giving millions of families and their children education options, including access to taxpayer-funded vouchers.

Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Utah, South Carolina and Oklahoma all signed legislation into law that makes at least some, if not all students within the states, eligible for taxpayer funded vouchers or a tax credit that can be used on education expenses such as private school tuition, textbooks and transportation. Under the legislation enacted in 2023, millions of students across the country are now able to attend schools outside their designated zip code or apply to receive funding in order to seek a private or a homeschool education.

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Russia Issues Arrest Warrant for Senator Lindsey Graham

by Ailan Evans   Russia issued an arrest warrant for Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina Monday, following comments he made about the war in Ukraine. The warrant was issued by Russia’s Interior Ministry on Monday, with an additional announcement that a criminal investigation had been opened into Graham, according…

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Louisiana Republican State Senator Joins Democrats to Kill Bill to Protect Minors from Gender Transition Hormone Drugs and Surgeries

Louisiana State Sen. Fred Mills (R-Acadiana), a former Democrat and a pharmacy owner backed by the pharmaceutical industry, joined with Democrats of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee to kill a bill, already passed by the state House, that would have protected minors from life-altering gender transition procedures.

HB648, a bill that would “prohibit certain procedures to alter the sex of a minor child,” including providing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries such as elective double mastectomies and castrations, was killed in committee, by a vote of 5-4, with Mills, the GOP chair of the committee, breaking the tie to side with the Democrats.

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs 27 Bills into Law in Marathon Session

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis put his pen to work, signing 27 bills into law this week covering topics such as crime, regulation of drones and other issues.

Most of the new laws signed on Thursday will go into effect on July 1, the first day of the fiscal year.

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Florida National Guard, Law Enforcement Begin Work with Texas Operation Lone Star

Florida National Guard, state troopers, and other personnel are in “full force,” assisting with Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security mission, Operation Lone Star (OLS), at the Texas-Mexico border, Gov. Ron DeSantis says.

On May 16, Abbott requested aid from his fellow 49 governors to help secure its border. Within hours, DeSantis announced Florida’s pledge to help. Within a few more hours, 24 governors had pledged their support.

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Florida Continues to Emphasize Civics Education as National Test Scores Fall

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed several bills over the past few years designed to improve the U.S. history and civics knowledge of Florida students.

The need for such reform was spotlighted by a decline in eighth grade social studies scores on The National Assessment of Educational Progress examinations. These tests designed to measure student achievement in several subject areas in the fourth, eighth and 12th grades.

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Chinese, Cubans, Ecuadorians, Haitians, Dominicans Continue to Land Off Florida Coast

While much of the focus has been on the southern border ahead of the public health authority Title 42 ending May 11, Title 42 never applied to those interdicted at sea.

And a new policy implemented April 27 makes Cubans and Haitians attempting to enter illegally by sea indefinitely disqualified from a new Department of Homeland Security parole process.

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South Carolina Becomes 23rd State to Protect Babies with Heartbeat

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) signed the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act Thursday morning, legislation that protects babies in the state from abortion from the time a heartbeat is detected.

McMaster’s signature on the bill now makes South Carolina the 23rd state to protect babies with a heartbeat, and marks that half of the United States is now protecting babies from abortion at or before 12 weeks.

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Chinese Citizens Sue Florida over Law Banning Them from Purchasing Land Near Military Installations

Chinese citizens living in Florida sued the state Monday over a new law that prohibits people from “countries of concern” from purchasing certain property within the state.

People from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Syria are barred from purchasing property within 10 miles of “any military installation or critical infrastructure facility” and agricultural land under the law, SB 264, signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on May 8. Backed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the plaintiffs allege that Florida’s law, which will take effect on July 1, expands housing discrimination and has “farreaching stigmatizing effects among people of Chinese and Asian descent,” according to the complaint.

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Florida First State to Accept Classic Learning Test as Alternative to SAT, ACT

Florida has become the first state in the nation to officially accept the Classic Learning Test as an alternative to SAT and ACT, the latter of which are considered ideologically slanted to the left.

The legislation, signed earlier this month by Gov. Ron DeSantis, makes the exam eligible as an option for students seeking to qualify for state-funded scholarships to Florida colleges and universities. It also allows school districts to offer the CLT to 11th graders.

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NAACP Issues Florida Travel Warning in Response to DeSantis’ Policies on Black History, Diversity

The NAACP ( National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Board of Directors issued a travel advisory for the state of Florida in what the civil rights organization says is in “direct response” to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ policies on black history and diversity, equity and inclusion programs in state schools.

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Census Data Shows Several Florida Cities Ranked Highly for Population Growth

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that while the exodus from large cities is slowing down, several Florida cities are still among the nation’s fastest-growing municipalities.

The Census Bureau’s latest report shows Florida had three out of the top 15 fastest-growing cities, both in terms of percentage and raw numbers.

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Christian Leader Calls for Immediate Release of Covenant School Shooter’s Manifesto Following Durham Report: ‘FBI Has Been Compromised’

The director of the Christian Defense Coalition told The Star News Network in an interview Friday it is crucial that the FBI release The Covenant School shooter Audrey Hale’s manifesto to the public, especially in the wake of the “scathing report” by Special Counsel John Durham that has led to a firestorm over the federal law enforcement agency’s integrity and analysis.

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Florida Fifth-Grade Teacher Scolds Parents: ‘Your Rights Are Gone When Your Child Is In the Public School System’

A Florida fifth-grade teacher justified her decision on CNN to show her students an LGBT-themed Disney movie claiming that parents who complained about it are “ignorant.”

Journalist and Grabien founder Tom Elliott tweeted a clip of CNN’s interview Monday night with Jenna Barbee, a fifth-grade teacher at Winding Waters School, a K-8 school in the Hernando County district, who is under investigation over possible violation of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, recently expanded to prohibit classroom instruction in sexual orientation and gender identity in all grades from K-12, rather than only K-3.

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Florida Students Plan ‘Alternative’ Commencement to Oppose DeSantis’ ‘Hostile Takeover’

New College of Florida (NCF) students raised more than $90,000 to hold an alternative commencement ceremony to oppose the “hostile takeover” prompted by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ appointment of conservative trustees earlier this year, according to its GoFundMe page.

The alternative commencement, titled “[NEW] Commencement: On Our Terms,” is scheduled to be held on May 18 at an alternative venue to recognize graduates on the students’ “own terms, separate from the official commencement ceremony,” its GoFundMe description reads. DeSantis appointed six new members to the Board of Trustees, which led to backlash from students who disagree with the conservative members.

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DeSantis Signs Bill Banning Use of Central Bank Currencies

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a measure into law on Friday that bans the use of a central bank digital currency in the state of Florida and further bans the use of CBDCs issued from foreign government reserves and central banks, including China’s digital Yuan.

“I’m just glad we are thinking ahead here in the state of Florida because once this genie is out of the bottle, I think it will be very hard to put back in,” DeSantis said, adding that cash is king, and allows a person to control their own lives.

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DOJ’s Shadowy ‘Community Relations Service’ May Be Behind Covenant Killer Manifesto Coverup, Sources Say

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Metropolitan Nashville Police Department have refused to release the manifesto and related documents of the Covenant School killer, citing spurious reasons for their denials. 

But is a shadowy Department of Justice unit billing itself as “America’s peacemaker” behind the information freeze? Some say the disclosure dance has all the markings of the Community Relations Service. 

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Data Shows Booming Florida Economy Despite Inflationary Headwinds

Data shows that despite lingering inflation, Florida’s economy is excelling.

The latest data from the Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research shows tax revenues are up and federal data reveals the Sunshine State had the nation’s 10th lowest unemployment rate.

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The Star News Network Sues the FBI Over Agency’s Refusal to Release Covenant Killer Manifesto

The Star News Network is suing the Federal Bureau of Investigation alleging the law enforcement agency has broken a critical First Amendment guard in repeatedly denying Freedom of Information Act requests seeking the Covenant School killer’s manifesto. Filed Wednesday, the federal lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court for Middle Tennessee to order the FBI to release Audrey Elizabeth Hale’s manifesto and related documents and to issue a declaration that the agency violated FOIA in denying the request for the information.

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DeSantis Signs Legislation Cracking Down on Teachers Unions

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law on Tuesday that bans automatic payroll deductions for teachers union dues.

Under the “Employee Organizations Representing Public Employees” law, public-employee unions are no longer allowed to automatically deduct dues from paychecks and must annually notify members of union costs. The bill, signed into law by DeSantis Tuesday, passed the state Senate in March, 23-17, and the state House in a 72-44 vote.

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South Carolina Mom Asks School Board ‘Why Are Adult Teachers Allowed to Sponsor a Group Regarding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity with Minors?’

A South Carolina parent challenged the school board of Richland School District Two in Columbia where Blythewood High School (BHS) hosted the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) “No Place for Hate” program that invites children to “explore identity,” and “apply this understanding to recognize the relationship between identity, bias and power.”

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DeSantis Signs Bill Blocking Chinese Property Ownership Near Military Installations

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law Monday a bill that would block Chinese ownership of agricultural land and property near military installations, the latest state to crack down on Communist Party control of U.S. sites.

The law prohibits anyone from China and other totalitarian regimes, including Iran, Russia, Venezuela, Syria, Cuba and North Korea, from having a stake in any property within 10 miles of Department of Defense installations or critical infrastructure. A separate bill, also signed into law Monday, creates additional hurdles for foreign ownership of private schools after federal lawmakers raised red flags over Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ties to a private Florida high school operating a military pre-enlistment program.

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Florida Lawmakers Finish Session by Approving $117 Billion Budget

The Florida legislative session has come to an end after state lawmakers made their final votes on the budget on Friday.

Senate Bill 2500, the General Appropriations Act, passed both chambers on day 60 of the regular session and is set to be far higher than initially planned, reaching an estimated $117 billion, $7 billion higher than the previous year’s budget.

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DeSantis Signs Bill Nullifying Disney’s Last-Minute Agreements

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation Friday to nullify Disney’s last-minute agreements intended to curb the governor’s state control board implemented to oversee the corporation’s special tax district.

Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District anticipated the governor’s signing of legislation to revoke the company’s self-governing privileges, and made eleventh-hour agreements granting Disney control of the district’s developmental rights and privileges. DeSantis signed the bill to nullify those agreements, as they were made within the three-month window that the state control board was enacted.

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DeSantis Signs Bill to Allow Purchase of Prescription Drugs Outside U.S.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill on Wednesday that will allow the purchase of prescription drugs outside of the U.S.

DeSantis held a news conference in Jupiter to sign the “Prescription Drug Reform Act” into law, a measure that advocates say will lower prescription drug costs for customers in Florida.

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Planned Parenthood Plots Attack to Roll Back DeSantis’ Abortion Ban

Planned Parenthood is planning on launching a ballot measure initiative to roll back Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ newly-signed six-week abortion ban, according to Politico.

DeSantis signed a bill April 16 to protect the lives of the unborn after six weeks gestation with exceptions in cases of rape, incest and human trafficking, or when the mother’s life is in danger. Planned Parenthood, a pro-abortion advocacy group, is attempting to curb the governor’s efforts by attempting to create a ballot initiative allowing for abortions until fetal viability, according to Politico.

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IRS Data Says Florida Is a Top Choice of Americans on the Move

New federal data says Florida is one of the most desired destinations for Americans wanting to move and continues to be the fastest growing state in the country.

According to the 2020-21 IRS migration data, Florida has gained more people than any other state in the U.S since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Sunshine State’s government continues to add more employment opportunities and tax breaks, enhancing the chances migration to Florida could continue on the same trend.

The IRS data is derived from income tax filings.

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DeSantis Signs Bill Allowing Prosecutors to Seek Death Penalty for Convicted Pedophiles

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is advancing his tough-on-crime message by signing a new package of crime bills, including one that would allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty for some found guilty of pedophile-related crimes.

DeSantis, a Republican, signed the bills into law Monday, including one, which allows for the death penalty for those found guilty of “sexual battery against children under the age of 12,” the governor’s office said.

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Trump, DeSantis Heading to the Hawkeye State – on the Same Day

GOP heavyweights, former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, are slated to appear at events in Iowa on May 13.

Trump, who declared his run for the White House late last year, is scheduled to be in Des Moines, an unnamed campaign official told the Associated Press.

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DeSantis Takes Hard Anti-Crime Stance by Signing Three Florida Bills into Law

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law three anticrime bills on Monday that the Republican says will strengthen pre-trial detention and push back against “soft on crime” policies that have made other states less safe.

“One of the main things people say when they come, is that they just want to be in a place that takes public safety seriously.” DeSantis said, noting that Florida’s 50-year-low crime rate is a main driver for people who relocate to the Sunshine State.

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Trip to U.K. Solidifies Possible Financial Help with Property Insurance Reform

As part of the last leg of a four-country trade mission, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis met with political and business leaders in the U.K. to address ongoing and new trade relationships. He also secured a commitment from British companies to increase access to property insurance carriers to stabilize Florida’s market.

While in London, DeSantis met with Foreign Minister James Cleverly and MP Kemi Badenochs, the Secretary of State for Business and Trade and president of the Board of Trade in the UK.

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Florida Lawmakers Pass Bill Allowing DeSantis to Run for President Without Resigning

Florida lawmakers on Friday approved reforms to the state’s “resign to run” requirements that would allow Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to seek the presidency without resigning from his post.

The state requires candidates to resign from their elected posts once they qualify for the ballot when seeking higher office, CNN reported. Lawmakers approved revising the measure to exclude “any person seeking the office of President or Vice President of the United States.”

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Florida House Passes Bill That Would Change How Unions Operate in the State

Florida could change the way unions operate through legislation that proponents say would force union representatives to be more involved and available to their members while ensuring non-members don’t face discrimination.

Senate Bill 256 is sponsored by Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill and it would require union members to sign a membership authorization form recognizing Florida as a right to work state before they join.

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DeSantis: Disney Lawsuit Targeting Him ‘Political,’ Lacks Legal ‘Merit’

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday criticized Disney’s lawsuit against him and his political allies, arguing that the case does not have merit and is politically motivated. 

“I don’t think the suit has merit, I think it’s political,” DeSantis told reporters during his trip to Israel, The Hill reported.

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Florida Bill Could Give Residents $1.2 Billion in Tax Relief

The Florida Legislature could be poised to pass a massive $1.2 billion tax package bill that would give residents both permanent and temporary relief

Senate Bill 7062 is a tax package that incorporates the tax cut proposals by Gov. Ron DeSantis that could provide Floridians with more over $3 billion in tax breaks if he signs it into law.

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Report: Disney Set to Lay Off Thousands This Week in Latest Round of Job Cuts

Disney is reportedly expected to lay off thousands of people this week in its largest round of planned layoffs yet as the company looks to cut corporate costs.

The company will cut 4,000 jobs through Thursday, as it looks to lay off 7,000 workers overall, according to multiple media reports.

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Seventeen Attorneys General Support Florida’s Lawsuit to Enforce Prohibiting Medicaid Payments for Gender Transition Procedures

Seventeen attorneys general have filed an amicus brief supporting Florida’s healthcare regulation that denies Medicaid coverage for gender transitioning procedures.

They’re supporting Florida’s motion for summary judgment in the lawsuit August Dekker v. Jason Weida in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida Tallahassee Division.

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Florida Ramps Up Law Enforcement Recruitment Efforts Nationwide

The state of Florida ramped up its law enforcement recruitment efforts nationwide through a job fair held Thursday in all 50 states to encourage more law enforcement officers to relocate to the state.

Expanding on an invitation from Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2021 to law enforcement officers in other states to relocate to a state where he said they would be appreciated, Attorney General Ashley Moody, the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) and the Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) are sponsoring the new national law enforcement recruitment effort.

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Florida Passes Bill Enacting Death Penalty for Sexual Abusers of Children

On Tuesday, the Florida State Legislature passed a bill that would enact the death penalty for those who are convicted of sexually abusing children.

As the New York Post reports, the bipartisan bill passed in the Florida State Senate by a margin of 34 to 5 on Tuesday night, after previously passing in the Florida House of Representatives by a 95 to 14 margin last week. The bill would apply to anyone who is convicted of abusing a child below the age of 12, and would also allow the death penalty to be handed down by a jury vote of at least 8 to 4, rather than a unanimous jury vote as previously required.

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New Whistleblower Alleges Myriad Violations of Florida Law by County Elections Office

A new whistleblower alleges that the Orange County Supervisor of Elections (SOE) office has violated Florida election law in myriad ways, declaring that in Orange County elections there is “no accountability from beginning to end.” 

In a sworn affidavit filed with the Florida Secretary of State’s office, poll worker Robin Wheeler alleges that the Orange County SOE office committed numerous violations of state law, including: having poll workers cast ballots for voters after they left the polling site, hiring poll workers from outside the county and state, changing voters’ addresses without using the required forms, not accounting for ballots, and letting minors cast ballots for their parents.

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Florida Board of Education Approves Expansion of ‘Parental Rights in Education’ Bill to Ban Classroom LGBTQ Instruction in All K-12 Grades

The Florida Board of Education has approved an expansion of the state’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill that would prohibit classroom instruction in sexual orientation and gender identity in all K-12 grades, rather than only K-3.

In March 2022, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed into law H.B.1557, known as the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, a measure that bans classroom instruction by teachers or third parties on the topics of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3, “or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

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Mississippi Governor Signs Series of ‘Pro-Mom, Pro-Life’ Bills to Strengthen Adoption, Pregnancy Care Centers, and Foster Care

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) signed multiple pieces of legislation Wednesday that provide support for mothers and babies, particularly in the areas of adoption, foster care, pregnancy care centers, and parental rights.

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