Florida House, Senate Approve Social Media Restrictions for Minors

Kid on Phone

The Florida state House and Senate on Thursday approved legislation to impose tight restrictions on social media access for minors.

Under the plan, young Floridians under 16 years old would be barred from access several social media platforms, which in turn would be required to delete the accounts of underaged persons, Politico reported. It would also require that websites producing sensitive content, such as pornography, work to verify the age of users.

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Foreign-Owned Social Media Platforms Could Face New Florida Restrictions

People on Phones

Foreign-owned social media platforms such as TikTok could face a big change in the Sunshine State if a bill currently being advanced by the Florida Senate gets signed into law.

Senate Bill 1448 is sponsored by state Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, and would add transparency for social media platforms operating in Florida that are owned by foreign adversaries.

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More than 4,000 New Law Enforcement Recruits in Florida

Florida Police Officer

More than 4,000 police officers have moved to Florida or become new recruits through Florida’s law enforcement recruitment bonus program.

The program was first launched in April 2022 after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law allocating $125 million for bonuses to benefit local police officers, sheriff’s deputies, paramedics, EMTs and firefighters statewide.

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Fani Willis Claims She Repaid Nathan Wade for Luxurious Vacations in Undocumented Cash Transactions

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade both testified Thursday in the first day of proceedings to determine if she should be removed from the prosecution due to their previously undisclosed romantic relationship.

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GOP Rep Demands Inquiry into House Intel Committee Chair After Warning of Security Threat

A Republican congressman has demanded an inquiry into the GOP chairman of the House Intelligence Committee for allegedly compromising national security after he made a public statement about highly classified information.

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Florida House Reworks Bill That Would’ve Restricted State Guard Deployments

Florida National Guard

A bill that would have possibly prevented Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis from sending the Florida State Guard to the nation’s southern border has been rewritten to remove that provision.

Instead, House Bill 1551, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Giallombardo, R- Cape Coral, was replaced by a committee substitute authored by the Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee.

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Judge Warns Fani Willis Could Face ‘Disqualification’ in Trump Case Due to Nathan Wade Relationship

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee warned on Monday that District Attorney Fani Willis could face “disqualification” from prosecuting her case against former President Donald Trump as a result of her admitted relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, who she appointed to oversee the case.

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Bill Ackman on Washington Post Hit Piece: ‘The Public Has Been Again Misled’

Bill Ackman, the highly successful investor and Harvard graduate whose criticism of Claudine Gay’s history of plagiarism led to her resignation as President of Harvard University, published a lengthy tweet on his X account Saturday evening responding to an article about him published by The Washington Post earlier in the day, “How a liberal billionaire became America’s leading anti-DEI crusader.”

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Florida Abortion Activists Allegedly Caught Submitting Fraudulent Petition Signatures

Keep Abortion Legal

Florida authorities have caught multiple individuals involved in petition fraud related to a radical effort to enshrine late-term abortion into Florida’s state constitution.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced this week that inspectors arrested a “paid petition circulator” and issued an arrest warrant for a second petition circulator after they submitted 133 invalid constitutional amendment petitions in numerous counties.

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Florida Nonprofit Begins Quest for 1 Million Signatures, Getting Medicaid on 2026 Ballot

Medicaid Expansion

A nonprofit group is gathering signatures to put Medicaid expansion in Florida on the ballot in 2026.

“Our mission is to let voters decide whether Florida should expand Medicaid, bring billions of our tax dollars home, increase jobs, grow our economy, and provide access to care to over one million people,” said the group, Florida Decides Healthcare. “Together, we can make health care a reality for all Floridians.”

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‘There’ll Probably Be Some Changes’: Trump Hints at RNC Shake-Up When Asked About McDaniel

Former President Donald Trump suggested in an interview Sunday that “some changes” could be coming to the Republican National Committee when asked about Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel’s performance.

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Florida to Send 1,000 National Guard Troops to Texas Border

Ron DeSantis Texas Border

On Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) announced that the state of Florida will be sending up to 1,000 of its National Guard troops to Texas to assist state authorities in securing the border.

According to the New York Post, a press release from the governor’s office explained that the troops will be deployed “based on Texas’ needs,” and will include such duties as helping to repel illegal aliens trying to come across the southern border. It is the first time ever that the Florida National Guard has been deployed to somewhere outside of the state.

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Jacksonville Sheriff Released Racist Manifesto Just Six Months After Shooting, Suicide

TK Waters

Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters released in January the manifesto written by Ryan Palmeter, who fatally shot three people in a racially motivated attack that happened last August at a Dollar General in Florida last year before turning the gun on himself.

The manifesto was released following the completion of an investigation into the circumstances that led to the shooting by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department.

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DeSantis Calls for Constitutional Reforms to Address Spending, Border

DeSantis Speaking

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday that he is calling for constitutional reforms to hold leadership in Washington D.C. accountable for the crisis Americans face due to weak border policies and unchecked spending.

The second-term GOP governor and former presidential candidate is calling for a balanced federal budget, congressional term limits, laws being made equally applicable for citizens and members of Congress and line-item veto authority for the president.

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House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green: DHS Secretary Mayorkas’ Refusal to Enforce Laws Produced ‘Catastrophic’ Results

House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green (R-TN-07) delivered opening remarks on Tuesday during a full committee markup for articles of impeachment against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

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Mayorkas Mails Letter to GOP House Saying Impeachment Allegations ‘False,’ Won’t Testify in Process

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday issued a fiery defense against the impeachment articles he faces, calling the allegations “false” and urging Congress to fix the U.S. immigration system through legislation.

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Florida University System Removes ‘Left-Wing’ Sociology Course from Core Requirements

The 17-member board of governors of the Florida university system decided Wednesday to eliminate a sociology course from the core requirements to graduate and to replace it with an American history class, according to a press release.

The new class, Introductory Survey to 1877, will introduce students to America’s founding, slavery, the Civil War and the Reconstruction era and will replace Principles of Sociology as a course requirement, according to a State University System of Florida press release. Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz has previously derided sociology, saying the discipline has been taken over by “left-wing activists,” and Florida University System Chancellor Ray Rodrigues said the move would have a “positive impact.”

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Senator Marsha Blackburn Endorses Senate Candidate Bernie Moreno, Explains Push for the Epstein Flight Logs

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) joined Wednesday’s edition of Outside the Beltway with John Fredericks to discuss her endorsement of Ohio U.S. Senate candidate Bernie Moreno and her continued push to release Jeffrey Epstein’s private plane flight logs.

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Florida Bill Would Give Ex-Convicts Better Shot at Employment

Fork Lift

Ex-offenders in Florida could have an easier time gaining work licenses, permits and other certifications after a new bill passed through committee on Monday.

Senate Bill 1012 is sponsored by state Sen. Alexis Calatayud, R-Miami and would assist ex-offenders in getting a license, permit, or certification for employment. Calatayud stated during the bill’s introduction to the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries that the bill protects individuals who happen to have a criminal history from being “blanket denied” by agencies.

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Trafalgar Pollster Finds 22.5 Point Trump Lead in Final Survey Before New Hampshire Primary

Trafalgar group founder Robert Cahaly on Monday forecast a major victory for former President Donald Trump in New Hampshire ahead of the Tuesday primary election, contending that most supporters of Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis had rallied behind the former president following the latter dropping out of the race.

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SCOTUS Sides with Open Borders Biden Admin, Clears the Way for Feds to Remove Razor Wire Barrier in Eagle Pass, Texas

A divided U.S. Supreme Court sided with President Joe Biden’s administration on Monday, clearing the way for federal authorities to remove razor wire installed in Eagle Pass along the U.S.-Mexico border by Texas law enforcement.

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Florida AG Calls on Congress Again to Impeach Mayorkas as House Proceedings Continue

Secretary Mayorkas

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is once again calling on Congress to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for failing to secure U.S. borders as the U.S. House continues its proceedings this week in an effort to do so.

The U.S. House Homeland Security Committee is scheduled to hold its second hearing on Thursday targeting Mayorkas.

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Fulton County DA Fani Willis Under Fire for Paying Alleged Married Lover to Prosecute Trump, Bar Complaint Filed

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is prosecuting former President Donald Trump and others connected to him, is facing accusations she violated ethics rules by appointing her married lover as chief prosecutor on the case.

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Florida Should Be Able to Lower Rent, Lease Sales Tax for Businesses Soon

Florida’s Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund balance, drained during the COVID-19 pandemic, is expected to exceed its prepandemic level by March, two months earlier than expected, according to the nonprofit group Florida TaxWatch.

That will allow a decrease in state sales tax businesses must pay on payments made to rent or lease of commercial property. The 4.5% business rent tax will be lowered to 2% in June instead of August, according to the Florida Department of Revenue.

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American Idol’s Taylor Hicks to Perform ‘Night Moves’ at the Franklin Theatre

As I learned last year in my original interview, Season 5 American Idol winner, Taylor Hicks is a diverse entertainer. Besides being a soulful singer and songwriter, the artist is an actor and restaurateur. A few weeks after our last interview, Taylor Hicks was asked to make his Grand Ole Opry debut, a milestone desired by many Southern singers.

He made his debut on June 18, 2023. Hicks said, “As long as I’ve been doing this, being able to grace the Opry Stage was something that I will never forget. It’s a big deal. I’ve had a lot of great invitations, and this was definitely up there for sure.”

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Rep. Mark Green Chairs Homeland Security Committee Mayorkas Impeachment Hearing

On one of the most consequential days in the GOP-led House, the process of impeaching United States Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas begins, the markup of the Hunter Biden contempt charges takes place, and the negotiations over the next spending bill continue as the deadline to avert a government shutdown draws closer.

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Florida GOP Removes Embattled Leader

Christian Ziegler

The Florida Republican Party, the nation’s only state political party with two presidential candidates, has ousted its chairman a week before the GOP caucus in Iowa.

The Florida GOP voted Monday to remove embattled Chairman Christian Ziegler, under investigation for rape, and elevated Vice Chairman Evan Power. Seeking the White House in 2024 are Floridians Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, the respective former president and current governor.

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People in Florida Will Soon Be Able to Buy Drugs from Canada

Pharmacist

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Florida’s request to import cheap prescription drugs from Canada on Friday.

Policymakers across the political spectrum have long sought to import drugs from Canada, where drug prices are lower, and Florida’s authorization makes it the first state to import drugs in bulk from America’s northern neighbor. Florida estimates that it may save as much as $150 million on drugs treating things like diabetes, hepatitis C and certain psychiatric conditions.

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Report Finds Some Issues with Florida’s Economic Incentive Programs

Film

The Florida Legislature’s research arm released a report documenting issues with some of the Sunshine State’s economic development incentives and programs.

A review of Florida’s entertainment industry incentives by the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability showed that 1,409 production companies had reported spending an estimated $1.3 billion on average. Companies also saved around $22 million in sales tax, and 57% of production companies said the incentives affected their decision to work in Florida.

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Stephen K. Bannon and John Fredericks Call for Ronna Romney McDaniel to Resign as RNC Chair

WarRoom host Stephen K. Bannon made an appearance on The John Fredericks Show Tuesday morning, where he joined Fredericks in calling on former President Donald Trump to demand the immediate resignation of Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel.

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Unmasking DeWine: Ohio Journalist Jack Windsor Dissects Shocking Veto and Its Potential Ripple Effect on 2024 Senate Race

Ohio journalist and entrepreneur Jack Windsor joined host Michael Patrick Leahy on Monday’s episode of The Tennessee Star Report to discuss the connections and divides behind the shocking decision by Governor Mike DeWine to veto measure that would prohibit genital mutilation of children and transgender males competing in girls’ sports.

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Florida Bill Would Expand Prison Incentive Program Designed to Reduce Recidivism

Danny Burgess

Nonviolent offenders in the Sunshine State could be part of a new incentive program if a new bill becomes law.

Senate Bill 1048 is sponsored by state Sen. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills. It would expand the Florida Department of Corrections’ incentivized prison program, which provides education, life skills, and discharge planning to reduce recidivism.

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Florida Pro-Palestinian University Groups Say Order to Deactivate Violates First Amendment

Two Florida university chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine sued their schools and state officials, alleging a state order to deactivate the groups violated their First Amendment rights.

The University of Florida and the University of South Florida SJP chapters both denied their groups had violated a Florida law prohibiting support for terrorism

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Florida Bill Would Add Penalties for Felonies by Previously Deported Migrants

A new bill has been filed in the Florida Legislature that would increase penalties for criminal migrants who reenter the United States illegally.

Senate Bill 1036 was introduced by state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, ahead of Florida’s legislative session which begins on Jan. 9.

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Florida’s Largest Teachers Union Faces Decertification Under State Law

United Teachers of Dade

The United Teachers of Dade faces decertification after failing to clear a state-imposed threshold requiring that at least 60% of union members pay dues, CBS News reported.

The group is the state’s largest teachers union and represents 27,000 employees in Miami-Dade public schools. UTD on Tuesday sought to renew its certification with the state, but did not succeed due to its failure to meet the threshold, despite its own rapid growth in recent months.

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Florida Man Pleads Guilty for Threatening to Kill Chief Justice

Chief Justice John Roberts

A Florida man pleaded guilty Monday to threatening to kill a Supreme Court justice, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Neal Brij Sidhwaney, 43, placed a call in July to the Supreme Court, leaving an “expletive-laden, threatening voicemail message” where he “repeatedly threatened to kill a specific Supreme Court Justice,” according to the DOJ. Sidhwaney revealed the justice he had threatened was Chief Justice John Roberts during a court-ordered psychological evaluation, Politico reported.

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House Homeland Security Chair Rep. Mark Green: ‘Absolutely’ Bringing Impeachment Articles Against Mayorkas

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., says he is “absolutely” going to bring articles of impeachment against Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for his response to the southern border crisis. 

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Florida Senate Committee Advances Deregulation Bills for School Districts

School Learning

Florida lawmakers advanced three new pieces of legislation this week designed to lessen regulatory burdens for school districts.

Senate Bill 7000, which is titled the Deregulation of Public Schools/Instructional, Administrative, and Support Personnel, is a bill sponsored by the Education PreK-12 Committee and was presented by Sen. Alexis Calatayud, R-Miami, to the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee on Tuesday.

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Florida School Punished for Allowing Boy in Girls’ Sports

A Florida high school has been fined and placed on administrative probation for violating the state’s bylaws by allowing a biologically male student to participate on a female sports team, The Daily Signal has learned.

The move appears to be the first time that a public school has been punished for violating state laws protecting fairness in women’s sports.

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Texas, Florida Troopers Apprehend More Human Smugglers in Border Communities

Texas and Florida state troopers, as well as sheriff’s deputies, continue to apprehend human smugglers in the small border community of Brackettville, in Kinney County, Texas.

A Texas DPS trooper, assisted by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper, recently conducted a traffic stop in Brackettville, which led to a human smuggling bust.

The stop occurred at night in a residential neighborhood when a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper and FHP trooper pulled over the driver of a Chevrolet Camaro.

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