DeSantis Awards Nearly $30 Million for Florida Communities

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) awarded more than $28.4 million in funding for economic growth and infrastructure to 23 Florida communities on Tuesday. The funding came through primarily two state grant funds that are designed to assist communities with development and disaster preparation.

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DeSantis Won’t Order COVID Shots for Children

On Wednesday, reports came out that the State of Florida would be the only state in the country to not pre-order COVID shots for children five and under. Yesterday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis confirmed that Florida would not be recommending COVID shots for Florida’s youngest residents.

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Al Lawson Files to Run for Florida’s Second Congressional District After Redistricting Fight

Congressman Al Lawson (D-FL-5) has filed to run in Florida’s second congressional district against incumbent Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL-2). Lawson currently holds the seat for district five, but the months-long congressional redistricting fight to preserve the boundaries of district five was secured in favor of the new maps earlier this month. Therefore, Lawson is seeking to unseat Dunn.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has backed the redistricting process including proposing the boundary changes for district five, claiming that it was an unconstitutional, racial-based gerrymander. District five, as of right now, snakes from Tallahassee across North Florida to Jacksonville’s northside. It comprises a majority minority district.

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Florida Chamber of Commerce Releases Legislative Report Card

The Florida Chamber of Commerce, one of Florida’s largest trade associations, released their annual Legislative Report Card and also announced their Distinguished Advocates for the 2022 Legislative Session. The chamber describes itself as an organization that supports free enterprise policies and has historically backed Republicans over Democrats.

The chamber said that their calculated average grade for all of Florida’s lawmakers was a 68 percent, equating to a “D.”

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Florida Conservatives Fear Censorship over Radio Station Buyout

A new group backed by Democrats and leftist initiative funder George Soros has purchased a historically conservative Spanish language radio station in South Florida as part of an 18-station buyout. The station being bought out is Miami’s Radio Mambí.

The buyout is being headed up by Jess Morales Rocketto, a former Hillary for America and AFL-CIO employee, and Stephanie Valencia, a former White House staffer during the Obama administration.

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DeSantis Signs School Safety Bill

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed a school safety bill Tuesday that the Florida Legislature passed during its Special Legislative Session. The bill is built off of the recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission designed to make schools safer and offer resources to students and school employees.

DeSantis signed the bill on the heels of the Florida Freedom First budget where over $140 million was designated for mental health and approximately $210 million for school safety.

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DeSantis Restores Funding for Rogue School Districts

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) restored the standard amount of funding for 12 school districts who defied state law and imposed mask mandates during the last school year. The districts were previously ineligible for approximately $200 million across all 12 districts.

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Florida Democrat Lawmakers Seeking to Expand Red Flag Law

Florida’s Democrat lawmakers are pushing gun control legislation through the Florida legislature. Specifically, they are seeking to expand Florida’s red flag law that currently allows law enforcement officers to seek a court order to confiscate a person’s firearms if they court decides that person is a threat to themselves or others.

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Florida Officials React to Texas School Shooting

In the wake of the tragic shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Tex. earlier this week, Florida politicians are reacting to the tragedy and offering their solutions to the issue of school shootings. Markedly, Florida’s Democrat and Republican politicians had very different approaches to solving the crisis.

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Florida Republicans Won’t Rule Out Complete Abortion Ban

Florida’s Republican lawmakers have not ruled out the possibility of a total and complete abortion ban if the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade case and abortion law is returned back to the states.

In a report covered by POLITICO, Republican leaders have not indicated their outright support for such legislation, but they said they will follow the lead of the Republican Party as the legislature proceeds.

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DeSantis Won’t Support World Health Organization Pandemic Treaty

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) announced this week there is “no way” he would be supporting the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global pandemic treaty. The treaty began making waves online after news began to spread of the WHO’s annual meeting that started on Monday. The WHO is currently considering amendments from President Joe Biden’s administration to authorize the WHO to have control over when an international health emergency is declared, essentially nullifying American sovereignty over health crises.

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DeSantis Cracks Down on Illegal Drug Traffickers

Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed HB 95 which cracks down on the penalties for the sale and distribution of opioids in Florida, which includes fentanyl. The signing comes as DeSantis has worked with the Florida Legislature to pass numerous pieces of legislation to fight the influx of illegal immigrants, and often times, illegal drug traffickers into Florida.

In the announcement, DeSantis swiped at the President Joe Biden (D) administration for their lack of action regarding the influx of illegal immigrants on the southern border.

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DeSantis Approves Numerous Budget Items

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), this week, approved millions of dollars that were debated during the 2022 Legislative Session’s budget conferences. One of the largest recipients of state dollars is cancer research who will be receiving $100 million.

At a press conference on Wednesday, DeSantis made the announcement alongside his wife, First Lady Casey DeSantis, who battled breast cancer.

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Biden Reverses Course on Cuba Policy, Florida Officials Condemn

President Joe Biden (D) announced this week the United States will be loosening restrictions on Marxist countries, namely Cuba and Venezuela. Travel restrictions will be lightened to Cuba and flights will be authorized to Cuban cities outside of Havana and travel will be permitted for educational purposes.

In reaction, Florida Republicans and Democrats have condemned the actions saying that going soft on the dictatorial regimes will only embolden Castro and Maduro.

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Judge Lifts Stay in Florida Congressional Redistricting Case

Florida Judge Layne Smith lifted a stay on an injunction against his ruling related to Florida’s congressional redistricting case. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and the State of Florida appealed Smith’s original ruling that said the proposed and passed congressional redistricting maps were unconstitutional.

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Florida Judge Set to Block DeSantis’ Congressional Maps

Congressional maps proposed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and pushed through the Florida Legislature during the 2022 Special Session are set to be blocked by a Florida judge. Leon County Circuit Judge Layne Smith said he would make the order official either Thursday or Friday.

Smith said he would order the construction of new maps since, he said, the DeSantis-proposed maps were discriminatory against black voters in Congressional District 5, in North Florida.

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DeSantis Sets Fundraising Record

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) set a new 2022 gubernatorial campaign fundraising record. During April, DeSantis raised approximately $10.5 million. Around $2.3 million was raised by his reelection campaign and $8.2 million was raised by DeSantis’ political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis.

In total, DeSantis has raised over $113 million for the election cycle, which is over 10 times the amount of his next closest competitor, Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13).

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State of Florida Attorneys Respond to Redistricting Lawsuit

Attorneys representing the State of Florida, particularly Secretary of State Laurel Lee, issued an 18-page document consisting of their arguments against the groups filing suit. Leon County Circuit Judge Layne Smith is scheduled to hear a request for a temporary injunction to block the maps from proceeding.

Much of the focus of the redistricting process has been centered around District 5 currently held by Congressman Al Lawson (D-FL-5). Civil rights groups and Lawson have said that the new map backed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is “infected by racial discrimination” for eliminating a historic minority majority voting district.

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Charlie Crist Rakes In $1 Million for April, DeSantis Polls Well in North Carolina

Florida’s two likely gubernatorial candidates have had successful months in preparation for the 2022 election. Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) pulled in another $1 million during the month of April and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) finished second in a hypothetical GOP presidential poll in North Carolina.

Crist issued a press release and indicated the million-dollar month was from contributions from both his campaign and his Friends of Charlie Crist political committee. It is unclear how much money is coming from each entity. However, individual donors who give less than $50 consist of approximately 44,000 of the contributions and the large donations are funneled through the political committee.

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Abortions Are Down in Florida

Recent data from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) shows abortions numbers are down in Florida from year-to-year. Records indicate there have been just over 16,500 abortions so far in 2022, and if the trend continues, would be a 38 percent decrease from 2021.

During 2021, there were 79,811 abortions, which was a 6.6 percent increase from 2020. The data also showed that the overwhelming majority of abortions performed were elective which backs up other data points from across the country.

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Florida Officials React to SCOTUS Leak

In the wake of the national news that an initial draft of a United States Supreme Court decision had been leaked to the public indicating the high court’s intentions to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case, Florida officials have both been chanting and jeering the news. Florida’s anti-abortion politicians have said this could be a good indicator, while pro-abortionists are worried this will lead to more restrictive abortion laws.

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Democrat Officials Think DeSantis Might Be ‘Unstoppable’

Ron DeSantis

Democrat operatives are continually showing signs that they feel they cannot win in Florida in the 2022 gubernatorial election observing that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis seems “unstoppable.” A recent report from Politico showed that Democrats in Florida and Washington, D.C. are not feeling confident, the latter determining how many resources will be sent to the Sunshine State to attempt to unseat Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

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DeSantis Hints at Special Session for Constitutional Carry

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), once again, made a plea for the Florida Legislature to get a constitutional carry bill to his desk. He made the promise to get the policy push done by the time he is no longer governor and even floated the idea of a special session to get it done.

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Florida Democrat Gubernatorial Candidate Charlie Crist Says Biden Will Go Down as ‘One of the Best’

In a question-and-answer article with the Tallahassee Democrat, Florida Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) said President Joe Biden (D) will go down as “one of the best [presidents] we’ve ever had.” His comments come as he has become the Democrat frontrunner for the 2022 Florida Democrat gubernatorial primary.

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DeSantis Teases Additional Legislation Regarding Disney’s Tax Status

Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) was a featured guest on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle hosted by Laura Ingraham and said his administration is working on additional legislation to address Disney’s tax status after the Florida Legislature repealed the 1960s-era law that established the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

The district allowed Disney to operate relatively autonomously with the ability to tax at its own rate, provide its own police, and supervise its own utilities. Florida Republicans have indicated that the repeal of the improvement district was long overdue.

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DeSantis Calls Out So-Called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Moniker and Migrating Californians Staining Red States Blue

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) was a featured guest with conservative commentator Ben Shapiro and participated in a Q&A segment. In it, DeSantis tells some of the back story behind the recently signed Parental Rights in Education bill as well as deriding Californians for their main export being ideology.

DeSantis specifically pointed out the number of California companies who are moving to states like Texas and Florida and who are bringing their employees with them.

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DeSantis Signs Election Integrity Bill

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill earlier Monday related to election integrity. The Florida Legislature prioritized the legislation in order to ensure Florida’s elections process is safe and secure.

DeSantis signed SB 524, which creates an Office of Election Crimes and Security within the Florida Department of State and will “investigate election law violations and increasing penalties for violations of election laws.”

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Gubernatorial Hopeful Crist Calls DeSantis Supporters ‘Toothless’

Charlie Crist

In a video circulated across social media sites, Florida Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) referred to supporters of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) as “toothless.” Crist is trying to outlast other Democrat candidates for the 2022 Florida gubernatorial nomination to eventually face off against DeSantis in the November general election.

In the video, Crist is speaking at an event and said DeSantis is trying to score “political points.”

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Gov. DeSantis Recommends New Florida Education Commissioner

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) recommended Florida State Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. (R – Hialeah Gardens) to succeed current Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. Corcoran himself was a former Florida House Speaker who is seeking to spend time with family and announced his resignation effective at the end of April.

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Florida Legislature Passes Congressional Redistricting Map, Democrats Protest

A number of Florida’s House Democrats staged a protest on the floor of the Florida House to voice their opposition to Republicans’ efforts around congressional redistricting yesterday. Due to the protest, the Florida House’s procedures were temporarily halted. However, the protest was short-lived, and the House proceeded to approve Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) proposed congressional map.

The Florida Senate had already approved the map, and the House was the map’s final stop.

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Florida Cabinet Officials Take Shots at Biden over Mask Mandate ‘Misery’ and Medical Marijuana Patients’ Rights

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) are both taking shots at President Joe Biden’s administration simultaneously. While each official’s reasoning for opposition to the Biden administration is rooted in different policy priorities, it shows a unique circumstance in which Fried and DeSantis, who are usually at opposite ends of the spectrum, are directing their angst to Washington.

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Florida Democrats Criticize Congressional Redistricting as Legislature Reconvenes

Numerous Florida Democrats and officials criticized the Florida Legislature’s process to approve the new congressional maps as the legislature reconvened Monday. Legislative leaders, last week announced they would be working on the new maps entirely proposed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ (R) office and would not be creating their own.

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New Report Shows Florida Unemployment Dropping

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) released their monthly unemployment figures and the state’s unemployment rate is continuing to drop. Conversely, Florida is also seeing consistent job growth from month-to-month.

According to the report, Florida’s adjusted unemployment rate was 3.2 percent in March, which was a decrease by 0.1 percent from the previous month. The national unemployment rate was hovering around 3.6 percent.

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Gov. DeSantis Tells Illegal Immigrants to Not Come to Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said this week that illegal immigrants wanting to come to Florida “would not be welcome.”

“To those who have entered the country illegally, fair warning: do not come to Florida,” DeSantis said. “Life will not be easy for you, because we are obligated to uphold the immigration laws of this country, even if our federal government and other states won’t.”

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Judge Upholds Florida Abortion Waiting-Period Law

Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey upheld a Florida law requiring women to wait 24 hours before proceeding with an abortion. The judge tossed a lawsuit challenging the Florida law after a seven-year battle. The law was signed by then-Gov. Rick Scott (R) in 2015.

Dempsey said that the plaintiffs were not entitled to a stay on the ruling as they could not demonstrate that “irreparable harm” would be caused, as well as other states having legal waiting periods on the books.

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Dungy Responds to Criticism After Supporting DeSantis Fatherhood Initiative

Former NFL coach Tony Dungy responded Tuesday to critics who called him a “fraud” and a “racist apologist” after he attended a press conference where Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new bill directing millions of dollars toward a fatherhood initiative.

Dungy works with the nonprofit group All Pro Dad, which provides parenting information and hosts events.

At the DeSantis press conference Dungy said, “I asked [Abe Brown], how do those young boys (19, 20, 21) get [in prison]? And he told me it’s not socio-economic, it’s not racial, it’s not education, it’s none of that. 95% of these boys did not grow up with their dad.”

Dungy also cited statistics related to fatherless children and said, “This is going to be tremendous and such a good help to fathers in Florida. This bill is so important. I want to thank all of the men and women that have been behind this. It is going to allow groups like All Pro Dad and people like those here today to do great things for our fathers here in Florida.”

Critics pounced.

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DeSantis Signs 15-Week Abortion Ban

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed a 15-week abortion ban into law Thursday, marking two days in a row of significant pro-life victories in the Sunshine State. Wednesday, a Florida circuit judge upheld Florida’s 24-hour waiting period for women who were seeking abortions.

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Will Draw Congressional Maps, Legislature Defers

The Florida Legislature announced it will not be drawing the redistricting congressional maps, but instead, will defer to the maps drawn up by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis became involved with the process earlier in 2022 when he submitted his own plans outside of the legislature’s recommendations.

“We are awaiting a communication from the Governor’s Office with a map that he will support,” said Republican leaders in a joint memo. “Our intention is to provide the Governor’s Office opportunities to present that information before House and Senate redistricting committees.”

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Gov. Ron DeSantis Re-Election Fundraising Tops $100 Million

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has raised more than $100 million, according to a campaign contributions report, and is the first candidate to reach the nine figure mark in the 2022 election cycle.

DeSantis has extended his lead over all of the likely opponents for the general election: Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13), Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D), and Florida State Sen. Annette Taddeo (D-Miami).

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NYC Mayor Recruits Floridians, DeSantis Brushes Off New York

Eric Adams

In the wake of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signing HB 1557, the Parent Rights in Education Bill, New York City Mayor Eric Adams launched a set of ads in Florida designed to recruit LGBT Floridians and their businesses to New York.

Adams called the Florida bill “the latest shameful, extremist culture war targeting the LGBTQ+ community.”

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Judge Strikes Down Parts of 2021 Florida Election Reform Law

U.S. District Judge Mark Walker wrote a decision striking down parts of an election integrity bill passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) last year. The provisions that were struck down were the parts that limited the use of ballot drop boxes to voting hours and requiring a third-party to issue a warning to potential voters that their registration application might not be turned in before the voter registration deadline or within the required 14 days.

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Federal Government to Monitor Florida Schools

United States Department of Education (DOE) Secretary Miguel Cardona said their Office of Civil Rights will be monitoring the implementation of the recently signed Parental Rights in Education bill. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed the bill into law on Monday.

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Florida Cabinet Considering Purchasing More Conservation Land

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and the rest of the Florida Cabinet are considering purchasing up to $40 million worth of land deals for conservation purposes. The cabinet consists of Florida’s statewide executive officials: Attorney General Ashley Moody (R), Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D), and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis (R).

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Ron DeSantis Condemns NCAA over Transgender Swimmer Winning Championship

Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) issued a proclamation declaring University of Virginia swimmer Emma Weyant the rightful national champion in the 500-yard freestyle women’s swimming national championship. The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) declared national champion is Lia Thomas, born William Thomas, who was born a man and identifies as a transgender female.

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DeSantis Announces Additional STEM Funding

On the heels of the recently concluded Florida legislative session, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced an additional $289 million for STEM programs, civics education, and after-school and summer learning programs.

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Diaper Tax Break Comes to Florida

Anna Eskamani and Lauren

During the negotiations for the 2022-2023 Florida budget’s tax package, lawmakers included a provision that would include a diaper tax break in Florida. Diapers would become tax-free in Florida for one year starting July 1.

The effort was bipartisan in nature, but Florida Democrat lawmakers Sen. Lauren Book (D-Plantation) and Florida State Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando), were the ones who spearheaded the effort.

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National Republican Group Seeking to Defend Florida Legislation

Ron DeSantis of Florida

The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) announced in a memo that their 2022 priorities are to defend legislative victories by Republicans in states like Florida and the priorities of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). In the memo, the committee derided the efforts of the President Joe Biden administration.

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Florida Legislature Discusses Gas Tax Break as Budget Negotiations Continue

Florida Lawmakers, amid budget discussions, agreed to include $200 million in federal stimulus money to grant Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) request for a state gas tax break. House Appropriations Chairman and State Rep. Jay Trumbull (R-Panama City) and Senate Appropriations Chairwoman and State Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) made the agreement late Wednesday night.

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Florida Legislature Set to Pass Election Integrity Bill

The Florida House is set to vote on SB 524, which establishes an election security office under Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). The bill has been placed on the third reading calendar, which means the next step is final vote for the bill.

The bill has already been passed by the Florida Senate with a vote of 24-14. The bill was largely considered along party lines and was a proposal from DeSantis back in November.

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Florida Legislature Passes ‘Fatherhood’ Bill

Chris Sprowls of Florida

The Florida legislature has passed HB 7065, sending the bill to the desk of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). The bill establishes “fatherhood” programs with a total of $70 million to address Florida’s “fatherhood crisis.”

The Florida Senate previously voted on the bill and unanimously approved it, as did the House with a vote of 117-0 in favor.

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