Florida Atlantic University Researchers Say Florida’s Republican and Democrat Voters Nearly Agree on Climate Change

"There's no planet B" sign

Research from Florida Atlantic University suggests that Florida’s Republican and Democrat voters nearly agree on the existence of climate change but differ on the cause. According to the researchers, approximately nine out of 10 Florida Republicans believe climate change exists. Approximately 96 percent of Florida Democrat voters agree.

Regarding the cause of climate change, half of Florida Republicans believe it is a man-made issue, while nearly 75 percent of Florida Democrat voters would concur.

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After 23 Years, a New Proposal Calls for Partisan School Board Elections

 After 23 years since legislation from 1998 shifted Florida school boards to be nonpartisan, Florida Senator Joe Gruters on Tuesday proposed a bill to reverse course and make school board elections partisan again.

Gruters, a Republican from Sarasota, filed the bill SJR 244, which was approved by the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee and is awaiting further review.

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Florida Court Rules Against FDLE in Firearm Case

Black revolver with ammo

A three-judge panel in the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled against the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Wednesday, in a case regarding an individual who was denied the purchase of a firearm by the Department based off an unapproved background check.

The background check in question was issued through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, which FDLE states denied Leonardo Lynch the purchase of a gun because he had a record of mental incompetency or a court-ordered substance abuse treatment – both of which Lynch denied.

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Governor DeSantis Proposes $100 Million for Military Budget and the Florida State Guard

Gov. Ron DeSantis giving a speech

Florida’s military budget could receive more than $100 million in funding as Governor Ron DeSantis announced multiple proposals on Thursday that aim to support Florida’s National Guard, and establish a “civilian volunteer force,” known as the “Florida State Guard.”

According to the Governor’s Office, his proposals would further support the National Guard in giving them extras hands in helping with state-specific emergencies such as natural disasters.

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Florida Bill Could Expand Hope Scholarship Access

Florida Sen. Manny Diaz (R-FL-36) is sponsoring legislation that would expand opportunities for students to be able to attend a school of their choice through a voucher program. SB 506 would amend the Hope Scholarship program to permit students who attend school districts who are not complying with state law to apply for the program and receive a voucher.

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Florida Department of Education Takes Down Web Page with External Links to LGBTQ Advocacy Groups

After The Florida Capital Star sought comment from officials about a web page with hyper-links to LGBTQ advocacy groups on the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) website, the web page was removed.

FDOE officials told The Florida Capital Star that the content on the web page was under review.

The Florida Capital Star also found that at least one Florida school district was using the presence of the resources on the FDOE web page as justification for certain LGBTQ school activities.

When asked to provide the school policies that support advocacy of LGBTQ issues in middle schools, the Leon County School District provided a link to the FDOE web page with the external links  to LGBTQ advocacy groups.

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Florida Democratic Lawmakers File Bills Supporting Abortion Rights

Months after a Florida House Representative Webster Barnaby (R-Deltona) filed an anti-abortion bill (HB 167) in September, which would ban the procedure after fetal heartbeat, Democrats in the Florida legislature filed identical bills in both the House and Senate that would establish a woman’s right to an abortion.

Representative Ben Diamond of St. Petersburg, and Senator Lori Berman of Lantana, filed HB 709 and SB 1036, respectively, known as “Reproductive Health Care Rights.”

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Florida School Board Association Withdraws from National Association

The Florida School Board Association (FSBA) announced they have withdrawn from their affiliation with the National School Boards Association (NSBA). The announcement comes as 26 state school board associations have either cut ties or distanced themselves from the parent organization.

The impetus for the withdrawal stems from the NSBA’s letter to the federal government asking for intervention at local school board meetings. Attorney General Merrick Garland took the NSBA up on their recommendations and announced they would be launching investigations into parents at school board meetings.

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Florida Democrats Oppose Biden’s Decision to Remove FARC from Terrorist List

After the Biden Administration announced its plan to remove a Colombian rebel group known as FARC from the list of foreign terrorist organizations, an outcry of opposition in South Florida and state Democrats soon followed.

Amongst the outcry were some of the state’s top Democratic elected officials, researchers, and activists who also expressed how Biden’s decision failed to take into account the estimated 150,000 Columbian American voters, as well as the other Hispanic or Latino American voters in Florida who experienced the violence in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

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Supervisor of Elections Claims Third Party Groups Responsible Florida Voter Registration Forgeries

Last week, the Florida Capital Star reported on two Duval County, Florida men being charged and arrested for fraudulently registering dead people to vote. It was revealed that the two men were working as employees for a petition and canvassing company, Grassfire.

Since the story broke, Grassfire has said they hired the two men in June 2021 to work as petitioners, not to register voters.

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Police Determine Florida School Did Not Commit Child Abuse by Forcing Disabled Student to Wear a Mask

Girl with mask on and braids

After an investigation, police have determined that a Florida school tying a mask to a disabled student’s face did not count as child abuse, according to Fox News.

The investigation was initiated after seven-year-old Sofia Bezerra, who has Down syndrome, was found to have a mask tied to her head with a nylon string when she got off the bus after school on October 7th. Her step-father, Jeffrey Steel, said that she had left for school that morning without a mask on since she had received a medical exemption to the school’s mask mandate. Steel said that, as a result of her Down syndrome, his step-daughter has an enlarged tongue and breathes primarily through her mouth, which would make a mask more dangerous for her; when she came home, the mask was wet with her own saliva.

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Florida Mom: ‘Gender Ideology Almost Destroyed My Family’

January Littlejohn knew there was a problem when she picked up her daughter at Deer Lake Middle School in Tallahassee, Florida one September afternoon last year. Her daughter revealed she was interviewed by school officials about gender preference issues. She was asked by officials about changing her name and also about which restroom she preferred to use.

Littlejohn, who is a mother of three children and a licensed mental health counselor, was shocked. Shocked at the fact that the meeting took place without her knowledge.

She had previously informed school officials about the family situation. Her daughter was experiencing stress about her gender at the height of the pandemic and the family was completely caught by surprise. The family found a counselor and began researching the issue.

And now school officials had intervened between her and her daughter over a very personal issue.

She would later explain in a speech to the Florida Family Policy Council how “gender ideology almost destroyed my family.”

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Florida’s COVID Numbers Continue to Decline, Reports Lowest Daily Cases per Capita in U.S.

Florida’s positive coronavirus cases have continued to decline over recent weeks, allowing the state to report the lowest number of cases per capita in the country.

According to data compiled by The New York Times, the state has an average of 1,393 cases per day, as of Friday. The average represents approximately six cases per 100,000.

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Florida Lawmakers Looking to Expand Health Insurance for Children

Florida’s lawmakers are considering expanding state-funded health insurance for children. The idea has gained traction among Republicans and Democrats, and two competing proposals would increase the amount of money beneficiaries can make.

Currently, families making less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for the state’s program, KidCare. However, the same families do not qualify for Medicaid.

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Florida Supreme Court Calls for Additional State Appeals Court

Florida Supreme Court Building

The Florida Supreme Court is calling for creating a sixth state appeals court. One of their reasons for making the call is “serious underrepresentation” of appellate judges from Jacksonville.

“The creation of a new district court, like any other significant change in the judicial system, would be accompanied by some degree of internal disruption, but we conclude that any such internal disruption in the district courts associated with the creation of a sixth district court would be short-lived and would be outweighed by the benefit of enhanced public trust and confidence,” said the Florida Supreme Court’s majority opinion shared by Chief Justice Charles Canady and Justices Jorge Labarga, Alan Lawson, Carlos Muniz and John Couriel.

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Report Shows Lowest Florida Jobless Claims Since Before the Pandemic

The four-week average number of Florida jobless claims reached its lowest mark since before the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Department of Labor (USDL) released the information on Wednesday.

The data reflected 5,343 first-time unemployment claims filed in Florida during the week that ended Nov. 20, which dropped the four-week average to 6,045 claims.

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Judge Denies Stay on Seminole Gaming Compact Ruling

A federal judge has denied a stay on the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s sports betting compact with the State of Florida. A ruling earlier in the week blocked the agreement between the tribe and the state.

As of Thursday, the Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock Sportsbook was still operational and accepting sports bets.

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Florida Men Charged with Falsifying Voter Registration Forms

Two Jacksonville men have been charged with registering dead people to vote. Devin Deangelo King and Jordan Rayeshaun Daniels have both been arrested, and the motive does not appear to be political, but personal financial gain.

“This was a group working with what we call a third-party organization,” said Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan. “… We did not see anything political about it. It was, I think, people who were greedy. There’s an incentive there to get as many as you can in.”

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Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Don Gaetz Extortion Effort

A Florida man, Stephen Alford, has plead guilty regarding his involvement in attempting to extort $25 million from Congressman Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL-1) father, former Florida Senate President Don Gaetz.

The latest development is part of a sex trafficking investigation where Stephen Alford attempted to secure a presidential pardon for Matt Gaetz, as Gaetz continues to face questions surrounding his friendship with former Seminole County, Fla. tax collector Joel Greenberg and Gaetz’s involvement into allegations that he had sex with a 17-year-old arranged by Greenberg.

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University of Florida President Supports Testimony by Political Science Professors

After months of back and forth between University of Florida (UF) and three of its political-science professors who were blocked from participating in a high profile lawsuit against Florida’s new election law, UF President Kent Fuchs approved a report Tuesday that called for that decision to be reversed.

In a separate report sent to an accrediting organization, UF denied that its Board of Trustees or any outside forces influenced their previous decision to prevent professors, Sharon Austin, Michael McDonald and Daniel Smith, from testifying against the law that was approved by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during the 2021 legislative session that ended in April.

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Governor DeSantis Appoints Democrat, Republican to Broward County Commission

During a press conference in Ft. Lauderdale on Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his appointment of Democrat Jared Moskowitz and Republican Torey Alston for two Broward County commission seats.

Moskowitz, the former Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), and Alston, the current Chief of Staff for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), look to replace the seats that were opened due to Dale Holness and Barbara Sharief resigning in order to run for Congress.

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Republicans Overtake Democrats in Florida Voter Registration

For the first time in the state of Florida’s history, Republicans now outnumber Democrats in official voter registration totals. According to the Florida Department of State’s Division of Elections, there are 5,118,657 registered Republicans and 5,114,039 registered Democrats.

The Florida Capital Star reported as early as September that Democrats weree poised to lose their lead. As recent as 10 years ago, Democrats held a 700,000-voter registration advantage.

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Federal Judge Rules Against Sports Betting Agreement with Seminole Tribe

Sports Book Betting

Late Monday, U.S District Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled the deal allows online sports betting through the Seminole Tribe violates the federal law that regulates gambling on tribal lands.

Governor DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida celebrated the approval of the historic Seminole Gaming Compact in August after a 45-day review of the agreement was completed by the U.S. Department of Interior. The agreement included online sports betting that took place off of tribal lands but was processed on tribal property.

“The final approval of this historic gaming compact is a big deal for the State of Florida,” said Governor DeSantis in the release. “This mutually-beneficial agreement will grow our economy, expand tourism and recreation and provide billions in new revenue to benefit Floridians. I again want to thank Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr., Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls for their part in getting this done for our great state.”

However, Friedrich ruled that the deal violates the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, or IGRA. The IGRA requires gambling activity take place on tribal lands. Friedrich wrote that, “over a dozen provisions in IGRA regulate gaming on ‘Indian lands,’ and none regulate gaming in another location.”

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Florida Judge Exonerates Groveland Four

Four men who were falsely accused of raping a white woman in 1949 have been posthumously exonerated. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the three-member cabinet also posthumously pardoned the men in 2019.

Prosecutors motioned to vacate the convictions of Charles Greenlee and Walter Irvin and the charges against Ernest Thomas and Samuel Shepherd.

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Latest Polls Show DeSantis, Rubio Outperforming Democratic Challengers

In a newest poll from St. Pete Polls, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is outperforming his likely Democratic challengers in a hypothetical head-to-head general election. According to the poll, DeSantis would defeat Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) 50.6-44.8 percent. DeSantis would also defeat Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) 51.2-42.3 percent.

Surprisingly, in the matchup between DeSantis and Crist, DeSantis outperformed Crist among young voters by carrying 57.5 percent of likely voters aged 18-29. The youngest age bracket saw the most swing in favor for DeSantis.

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Proposal for $1 Billion in Gas Tax Relief

Ron DeSantis proposing that the Florida legislature provide more than $1 billion in gas tax relief to help Florida families save at the pump.

Amid the rising cost people across the country are paying at the pump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Monday his proposal for $1 billion in gas tax relief, which will be discussed by state lawmakers during the legislative session of 2022.

According to DeSantis Office, if approved, the proposal – or as stated, “gas tax holiday” – would save up to $200 on average per family.

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Grassroots Parental Rights Group ‘Moms for Liberty’ Began in Florida

A new advocacy group, Moms for Liberty (MFL), was founded by two former Florida school board members who sought a new organization to unite parents against what they see as destructive policies being perpetuated in the public school system.

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Investigation Reveals Florida Democrats Used Dark-Money Organization to Support Candidates

A statewide investigation that made its way into an alleged scheme by Republican state Senator Frank Artile to influence a Miami-Dade County election in 2020, revealed that a dark-money organization was used by Florida Democrats to pay for “sham candidate mailers.”

In an attempt to make gains against a Republican-controlled Florida Senate, Josh Weierbach, the executive director of a progressive group called Florida Watch Inc., had $115,000 on hand leading up to the 2020 election that he wanted to use in support for Senate Democratic candidates, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

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Federal Judge Denies Florida’s Motion on Vaccine Mandates

In an 11-page order released on Saturday, U.S District Judge M. Casey Rodgers rejected Florida’s motion to block a Biden administration rule that requires workers at hospitals and other health-care related facilities be vaccinated against COVID.

The decision was is response to a motion filed by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody seeking a preliminary injunction against the federal rule which takes effect Dec. 6.

Moody’s argument contended that the requirement would increase health-care staffing shortages. However, Judge Rodgers concluded that Florida had shown “irreparable harm” to justify an injunction.

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State and Federal Policies Seek to Expand Broadband Access in Florida

Expanded infrastructure for enhanced broadband internet could be coming to Florida as state lawmakers and the Florida Internet and Television (FIT) addressed new state and federal policies Thursday that aim to provide internet access to more Floridians. 

Following Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act being signed on Monday, which allocated $42.5 billion for broadband with at least $100 million of that going to Florida.

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Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody Investigating Meta/Facebook Marketing Practices Related to Minors

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) announced she is launching an investigation against Meta, the company previously known as Facebook before its recent rebrand. Moody is joining seven other attorneys general in launching an investigation into its targeted marketing practices toward children and teenagers.

“We have serious concerns about how social media is impacting the lives of young people in this country, and as a mother, I want to know how Facebook/Meta is targeting youth and what strategies this Big Tech giant is using to entice children and teens to lengthen engagement on its platforms,” Moody said in an official statement. “I am proud to lead these efforts with our partner states to find out if Meta violated any consumer protection laws and put our children at risk.”

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Flagler County Book Sparks National Controversy over Obscenity Laws

The Flagler County Sheriffs’ Office

The Flagler County Sheriffs’ Office is investigating as to whether or not obscenity laws might have been violated after social media brought a book to the attention of the Flagler County School Board. The book is entitled “All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir Manifesto” and tells the story of a young adult who is black and queer.

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Orlando-Area High School Launching Magnet Culinary School

As the political left continues to advocate against parents who want a say in their children’s education, alternative options to traditional public schools are exploding, including a new culinary magnet program at an Orlando area high school. 

“Our operational mission is for Culinary Arts students to successfully run an internal restaurant, create, prepare, and market unique products, explore food science, as well as cater on- and off-campus banquets and special events,” says Wekiva Culinary’s website. 

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Former Nashville Mayoral Candidate Carol Swain, Other Black Panelists, Describe Their Unexpected Path to Conservative Politics at Event in Franklin

FRANKLIN — Quisha King, a former regional engagement coordinator for Black Voices for Trump, said she was once liberal, but the writings of conservative black economists Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams helped steer her on a different path. King said she her community had no prior access to Sowell or Williams.

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Georgia Governor Orders Probe into ‘Sloppy’ November 2020 Vote Counts in Fulton County

In a rare act for a state chief executive, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has referred the audited November 2020 election results in the state’s largest voting metropolis to the State Election Board after multiple reviews found significant problems with absentee ballot counting that included duplicate tallies, math errors and transposed data.

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Florida Senator Joe Gruters Proposes Bill to Establish Incentives for Film Industry

Senator and Chair of the Republican Party of Florida, Joe Gruters, proposed a bill (SB 956) Tuesday that would offer financial incentives for the film industry to shoot, and produce, movies, television, and digital media projects within the state.

As the bill states, it looks to create the “Targeted High Wage Production Program” within the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), which will be under the supervision of the state’s Commissioner of Film and Entertainment.

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs Bills Requiring Vaccine Alternatives for Employees

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed four bills yesterday requiring Florida businesses to accommodate their employees’ alternative to getting the COVID shot. DeSantis used language along the lines of “protecting Florida jobs rather than many supporters of DeSantis using language like “medical freedom.”

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Florida Democrats Propose Bill Regulating Ammunition Purchases

A new gun control proposal by Democratic lawmakers in Florida looks to require a background check each time an individual purchases or transfers ammunition.

The legislation, SB 334 and HB 181, is an attempt to tackle a “loophole” in Florida Statutes that only requires a background check before the purchase of a firearm and does not require any further review.

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Visit Florida Reports Tourism Numbers Up in Third Quarter

People on the beach during daytime

Recent data released by Visit Florida regarding the third quarter of 2021 saw the number of U.S. travelers to Florida exceed the numbers from the same three-month period in 2020, and in 2019, while international travelers slowly make their way back to the state.

The number of domestic travelers in quarter three of 2021 was 31.204 million, 55.3% more than quarter three of 2020. With other countries loosening their COVID-19 border policies, the number of overseas and Canadian travelers was 1.226 million and 85,000, respectively, which toppled 2020 quarter three data by 604.1% and 512.3%, respectively.

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Florida House Passes Bill Ensuring Penalties Related to Vaccine Mandate

The Florida House passed HB 1B in its special session yesterday, ensuring businesses would be penalized if they require an employee gets a vaccine mandate. The bill was largely passed along party lines, however, one Democrat, Rep. James Bush (D-FL-109) joined Republicans by voting in the affirmative.

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Florida Governor DeSantis Announces Request for $25 Million to Repair Freedom Tower Amid Cuban Protests

Ron DeSantis announcing repairs for Freedom Tower

Four months after the island-wide Cuban protests in July, new protests brought together by the Assembly of Cuban Resistance on Monday encouraged Nicaraguan and Venezuelan exiles in South Florida to join in on pro-democracy demonstrations.

The same day, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a request for $25 million to repair the Freedom Tower in downtown Miami that was the main location for processing and documenting Cuban refugees escaping to Miami during the Cold War. The Freedom Tower now serves as a museum and offices for Miami Dade College.

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New Iowa GOP Poll Shows Trump 4-to-1 Favorite Over DeSantis

A new poll released Monday shows that President Donald J. Trump is the overwhelming choice of Iowa Republicans with support from 56 percent of respondents compared to 12 percent supporting Florida Ronald D. “Ron” DeSantis in the poll conducted November 3 through November 5, and November 8 and 12, by Neighborhood Research and Media.

Neighborhood Research and Media asked participants: “If the 2024 Iowa Caucus were today, who would be your first choice for president?”

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Florida-Style OSHA Bill Ready to be Heard on House Floor

A bill that would create a state counterpart to the federal government’s Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) is primed and ready to be considered on the floor of the Florida House. While the bill would not create the new state department outright, it would develop a plan to seek federal approval to create it.

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Florida’s Business Community Not Supportive of Vaccine Mandate Bans

Young girl getting vaccine

As Florida’s special session regarding vaccine mandates began yesterday, Florida’s business community shares concerns and opposition to the prospect of vaccine mandate bans.  

Leading Age Florida represents continuing care retirement communities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. Leading Age CEO, Steve Bahmer, said it is not possible for the facilities his organization represents to be in compliance with state and federal law unless there is a carve out.

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Conservative Commentator Ben Shapiro Speaks at Florida State University

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro spoke to a full house of approximately 1,500 students at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center Exhibition Hall on Florida State University’s (FSU) campus Monday night. The FSU College Democrats had requested that university officials cancel the event.

Shapiro is the host of the Ben Shapiro Show and is also the editor emeritus for The Daily Wire. He is the former editor-at-large of Breitbart News.

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U.S. Rep. Cammack: Biden Administration Won’t Give Flight Info on Illegal Immigrants Being Flown into Florida

Kat Cammack

The Biden administration won’t give members of Congress access to flight manifests of illegal immigrants flown into states from the southern border, Florida Rep. Kat Cammack says.

Those entering the U.S. illegally, violating federal law, are instead being flown into the interior by the U.S. government paid for by taxpayers, a “slap in the face” to all Americans, she says.

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