Commentary: Coverage of 1 Million COVID Deaths Must Include the Pandemic of Bad State Responses

This week, the United States officially hit the sad mark of one million COVID-19 deaths. The mainstream media coverage has detailed how this death toll has varied based on age, race, and vaccination status. However, it has conspicuously ignored how these COVID-19 deaths have occurred independently of differing state policies regarding economic and education restrictions.

Many Democrat-run states imposed severe restrictions in 2020 and 2021 that did nothing to stop the virus and much to harm small businesses and ordinary Americans. Job Creators Network called on policymakers to “flatten the fear” when it became clear the virus couldn’t be controlled by hiding at home or a big government response, yet we were ignored by blue-state officials. Any reckoning of the nation’s COVID response at one million deaths must incorporate these unforced errors that exacerbated the pandemic’s wrath.

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Okaloosa County Received $3.2 Million to Expand Manufacturing Operations at Shoal River Ranch Gigasite

Okaloosa County received $3.2 million to expand operations at the Shoal River Ranch industrial gigasite, a massive 10,000-acre site near Eglin and Hurlburt Field Air Forces bases.

The funds were made available through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund and will go toward expanding roads, rail lines, and utility infrastructure in an area located seven miles east of Crestview with access to Interstate 10, Highway 90, and the Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad.

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Corporations Stay Quiet on Abortion After Disney’s Disastrous Tangle with DeSantis

Ron DeSantis

Corporations previously outspoken about hot-button social issues have stayed quiet on the likely overturning of Roe v. Wade after a dramatic fight between Disney and Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis over the company’s political activism.

Following the leak of a draft opinion indicating the Supreme Court is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats are trying to ram through a bill legalizing third trimester abortions; however, corporations are largely staying out of the fray, following Disney’s disastrous battle with Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that ended with the company losing its special tax privileges.

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DeSantis Signs Bill Dedicating More Than $44 Million in Support for Florida Foster Families

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed a bill into law dedicating $44 million in support to Florida foster families.

At a news conference held at Miami-Dade College, he said, “signing the bill should leave no doubt … that this state stands committed to the proposition that every life counts. All these kids deserve an opportunity and we’re going to do what we can to make sure that their dreams and hopes and aspirations can become a reality and a loving home.”

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs Bill to Guarantee Visitation Rights for Patients and Their Families

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the No Patient Left Alone Act into law Wednesday. The bill guarantees that Floridians can visit their loved ones in hospitals, hospices and long-term care facilities regardless of a public health emergency.

In Florida, and nationwide, families have been kept apart as loved ones died in hospitals, hospices and long-term care facilities due to coronavirus safety protocols. In late 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reinstated federal visitation protections for long-term care facilities, which includes waiving visitation policies for hospitals allowing them to prohibit patient visitation.

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White House Refuses to Weigh In on Biological Men Competing in Women’s Sports

The White House dodged a question on transgender participation in college sports during Monday’s press briefing.

Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki if the Biden administration thought it was fair that biological males are now competing against women in college sports.

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Florida Universities Can Now Ask Students About Their Political Beliefs

Florida’s public colleges and universities can now administer surveys to students and employees asking about their personal political beliefs and their impressions of the campus climate starting Monday, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law in 2021 requiring the Florida Board of Education (BOE) “to conduct an annual assessment of the intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity” that is “objective, nonpartisan, and statistically valid” and “considers the extent to which competing ideas and perspectives are presented and members of the college community … feel free to express their beliefs and viewpoints on campus and in the classroom.” The results will then be compiled and published, according to the law.

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Commentary: The Disney Company Is Now Unjust

Walt Disney established the Disney Company in 1923 for the sole purpose of entertaining children with fun-loving characters. It is one of the most iconic companies in the world, loved by most families. Disney’s theme parks are an important vacation attraction for most families located on three continents. Disney is the leading producer of family movies.

Disney’s new CEO Bob Chapek is now transforming Disney into Woke-Disney with his opposition to what the left mendaciously calls “Don’t Say Gay,” a Florida law forbidding public schools from teaching inappropriate gender identity or sexual orientation in grades K-3. The law does not use the word gay.

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DeSantis Signs Law Enforcement Bill into Law, Includes Signing Bonuses for Officers Who Move to Florida

Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed into law a measure that incentivizes law enforcement officers to move to or stay in the state through monetary awards.

“While other parts of the country are mistreating, marginalizing and defunding law enforcement, in Florida we continue to prioritize and appreciate our law enforcement officers,” DeSantis said during a Friday news conference while accompanied by Attorney General Ashley Moody and House Speaker Chris Sprowls. “This legislation encourages Floridians to pursue careers in law enforcement and attracts high quality law enforcement officers from other states who are sick and tired of the mistreatment they experience to bring their skills to Florida. From $1,000 scholarships to $5,000 bonuses to $25,000 adoption incentives, we are putting our money where our mouth is, and we are backing the blue.”

HB 3 includes a wide range of law enforcement initiatives, including incentives to encourage both out-of-state residents and Floridians to join state and local law enforcement agencies. It includes signing bonuses for every new recruit, costs covered for training programs and relocation expenses, pay raises and $1,000 bonuses. The bill also created a Law Enforcement Academy Scholarship Program for children of law enforcement officers, and adoption benefits for officers.

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Biden Seeking More Everglades Conservation Money

President Joe Biden (D) is seeking more than $400 million in additional Florida Everglades conservation dollars on top of the over $1 billion already set to be spent on the ecosystem this year. In a budget proposal released to the public, it would be the largest restoration investment in American history.

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21 States Join Lawsuit to End Federal Mask Mandate on Airplanes, Public Transportation

Twenty-one states have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued mask mandate on public transportation, including on airplanes.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are leading the effort. Moody filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida along with 20 other attorneys general. DeSantis said the mask mandate was misguided and heavy-handed.

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DeSantis Signs Multiple Education-Related Bills

In the last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed numerous education-related bills into law. Along with the nationally famous Parental Rights in Education Bill, DeSantis signed legislation installing term limits for school board members, limiting restraints on students, and ensuring school staff had an “individualized seizure action plan.”

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Judge Asking for More Information Regarding Florida Election Integrity Bill

Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker is asking attorneys to file briefs about the potential effects of recently passed SB 524 on an existing lawsuit regarding last year’s SB 90 on election integrity. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has yet to sign SB 524 but it will make further changes to Florida’s elections process.

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CDC Lifted Indoor Masking Recommendations for Florida, Weeks Behind DeSantis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced they no longer recommend indoor masking for residents of states like Florida. The announcement comes after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has already been defying the CDC’s recommendations and took it a step further, saying the Florida Department of Health is recommending against COVID shots for children.

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Gov. DeSantis Signs Bill Ending End-of-Year Florida Standards Assessment Test

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signed SB 1048 into law, which replaces the Florida Standards Assessment test, the major end-of-year exam students take with a new assessment called Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST).

He announced the new system at Florosa Elementary School in Okaloosa County along with parents and teachers. Okaloosa County was among the first where students attended in-person instruction while students throughout the country were still at home, DeSantis said.

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DeSantis Hints at Budget Vetoes Ahead of Signing

The Florida legislature recently passed the largest budget in state history totaling $112.1 billion and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is already hinting at vetoes to the record budget ahead of signing the appropriations.

Since DeSantis took office in January 2019, his vetoes have incrementally increased each year, culminating in $1.5 billion being slashed from 2021’s budget. However, DeSantis ensured the City of Hialeah Education Academy that they will be receiving $2.9 million from the state. DeSantis made the announcement for additional education STEM funding from the Hialeah school.

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Florida Groups Celebrate Successful Legislative Session

The Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida TaxWatch have both announced their satisfaction with this year’s recently concluded Florida legislative session. They are organizations that advocate for free markets, taxpayers research, and a government watchdog, respectively.

One of the efforts the Chamber was backing was its repeat effort to pass COVID liability protections for Florida businesses. The bill, SB 7014, would extend the liability protections to an additional 14 months, all the way to June 1, 2023. The bill builds on last year’s SB 72, which said businesses who are sued over COVID procedures would have to prove there was a “good faith effort to substantially comply with authoritative or controlling government-issued health standards or guidance at the time the cause of action accrued.”

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Touts Legislative Victories

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis touted many of the conservative policy victories and personal legislative victories in a speech Monday. The speech took place during the closing of the 2022 Florida legislative session. The session, this year, had been described as a “culture war” and DeSantis and Florida’s Republicans passed a number of priorities.

One of the hallmarks were DeSantis dubbing this year’s session as “year of the parent in the state of Florida.”

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Election Reform Bill Headed to Gov. DeSantis

An election reform bill is heading to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk. He’s expected to sign it.

It’s the second election reform bill in two years the legislature has passed after a 2020 election audit “passed with flying colors, in terms of how that’s going,” Gov. Desantis said last year.

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Progressive Group Sues State of Florida over Redistricting Maps

Democracy Docket, a self-described “progressive” voting advocacy group, has sued the Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee and Attorney General Ashley Moody for not having an approved congressional redistricting map finalized months ahead of candidate qualifying.

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Governor Ron DeSantis Blasts Biden over Conversations with Venezuelan Leaders

Governor Ron DeSantis blasted the Biden administration for conversations with leaders of Venezuela, as reports detail Biden is considering purchasing oil from the South American country.

The U.S. is looking to ease the impact of the decision to ban the purchase of Russian oil and has turned to countries like Venezuela and Iran—instead of producing energy in America. 

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Peter D’Abrasco of The Star News Network Discusses the Florida Anti-Grooming Bill with Stephen K. Bannon on WarRoom

group of kids outside during the day playing spike ball

Thursday morning on WarRoom Battleground, host Bannon welcomed The Star News Network’s Pete D’Abrasco to the show to talk about the anti-grooming legislation passed in Florida.

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Florida Legislature Passes Illegal Immigration Crackdown Bill

The Florida Legislature has passed SB 1808, known as an immigration crackdown bill, and it will be sent to the desk of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The bill will keep ban the state from contracting with companies who transport illegal alien.

The bill was passed largely along party lines with two House Republicans joining Democrats and voting “No”: State Representatives Vance Aloupis (R-Miami) and Rene Plasencia (R-Orlando). The final House vote was 77-42 in the affirmative.

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Florida Senate Passes Parental Rights in Education Bill Biden Education Secretary Calls ‘Hateful’

Miguel Cardona and Ron DeSantis

The Florida State Senate passed its Parental Rights in Education bill, a measure that would ban classroom teaching on gender identity and sexual orientation in grades K-3.

The Senate approved the bill Tuesday by a vote of 22-17.

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Florida Legislature Passes Updates to Parkland Law

The Florida Legislature has passed HB 1421 which updates and provides additional provisions to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act originally passed in 2018. It passed without a single “no” vote from either legislative chamber.

The bill’s additions clarify expectations for public and charter schools and will institute updated training for school officers.

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Governor DeSantis Announces $20 Million Grant to Help Students Obtain Credentials in Cybersecurity

Governor Ron DeSantis hosted a news conference on the USF Tampa campus Wednesday to announce a $20 million grant from the Florida Department of Education to Cyber Florida at USF to “strengthen the state’s ability to fill high-demand careers in cybersecurity and information technology (IT).”

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DeSantis Signs Bill Blocking Families, Patients from Filing Lawsuits Against Healthcare Providers over COVID

Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill this week that at least 35 organizations asked him to veto. Now health-care providers have liability protection from being sued by patients and family members over COVID-19-related injuries, deaths and refusal to try available treatment.

The new law provides liability protection to health-care providers that follow “government-issued health standards” that “include the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines, which many say aren’t working,” the groups wrote in a letter to DeSantis. “Some medical professionals have stated that these CDC protocols have led to unnecessary medicines, ventilation and deaths.”

Shawn McBride, director of The American Freedom Information Institute, Inc. who led the 35-group coalition asking DeSantis to veto the bill, told The Center Square that while DeSantis “signed a bill that may allow CDC protocols to continue in some hospitals, we’ve laid the foundation to help more folks get to medical freedom.”

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DeSantis, Ladapo Announce New COVID Guidelines for Floridians

Dr. Joseph Lapado and Ron DeSantis

In an effort to “Buck the CDC” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and recently appointed Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo announced new COVID guidelines for Floridians. They are entitling the effort “Buck the CDC.”

In a flyer pushed out by the governor’s office, the new guidance includes four proposals: end corporate masking, right to try treatments, keep kids in school, and reduce isolation.

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Six Democrats Are Running for Governor in Florida

Democrats in Florida have a while to go to decide who they’ll vote for during the primary election scheduled for Aug. 23. So far, six candidates are running ahead of the filing deadline of June 17. Three have held public office, three have never run for any public office.

Long-term Florida politician Charlie Crist is running for governor a third time after having lost his bid in 2014. He’s the only candidate in state history to run for governor as both a Republican and a Democrat. Crist was elected as Florida’s 44th governor as a Republican in 2006. He ran for governor as a Democrat in 2014 and lost.

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DeSantis Announces $80 Million for South Florida Infrastructure

Gov. Ron DeSantis talking at a podium

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced $80 million is being warded to multiple South Florida communities to help develop and revitalize storm infrastructure projects. The projects are a part of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Program.

The City of Miami will receive almost $20 million to support flooding and stormwater inlets. Miami will receive an additional $18.4 million to go to the community of East Little Havana to alleviate repeated flooding issues.

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Pennsylvania Republican Lawmakers Planning Bill to Relocate Illegal Aliens from Covert DHS Flights to Delaware

person sitting in airplane seat

In Pennsylvania, Republican members of the state legislature are drafting a bill that would forcibly relocate illegal aliens brought into the state by Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and instead move them to Biden’s home state of Delaware.

Fox News reports that the legislation was first mentioned in a memo by State Senator Mario Scavello (R-Penn.), who informed his colleagues of his intentions to introduce the bill.

“In the very near future, I intend to introduce legislation to address the influx of illegal immigrants being relocated into Pennsylvania,” Scavello stated. “How many illegal immigrants has the president relocated to his own home state of Delaware? If it is good enough for Pennsylvania, then why not redirect the relocation to Delaware?”

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Susan B. Anthony List Urges Florida Legislature to Pass Pro-Life Bill That Would Stop Late Abortions After 15 Weeks of Pregnancy

On Tuesday, the Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List announced their support for legislation in the Florida Legislature that would stop late abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, according to a press release by the organization.

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Nikki Fried Embraces LGBTQ Issues, Equality Florida Responds with ‘Highest Honor’

Since taking office as Commissioner for the Florida Department of Agriculture, Nikki Fried (D) has made numerous moves backing LGBT advocacy issues. One LGBT advocacy group, Equality Florida, has been a large player in Florida’s progressive politics and receiving an official endorsement can lead to major financial contributions.

Equality Florida previously endorsed then-Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum (D) against Ron DeSantis (R) in 2018. As election day drew nearer, the Human Rights Campaign, another pro-LGBT group, bought more than half a million dollar ad buys encouraging voters to support Florida’s Democrats, including Gillum.

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Republicans Outnumber Democrats in Florida Heading into 2022

In Florida, for the first time in modern political history, the number of registered Republican voters outnumber registered Democrats, raising concerns about whether donors, Washington Democrats and others will focus their efforts elsewhere.

At the same time, Republicans control most of Florida state government, and nationally recognized GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis is headed into a reelection cycle with a huge amount of campaign cash.

Among Democratic ranks, there is a concern that big donors and national Democrats have now come to view Florida as a solidly red state. Despite a $100 million injection from Michael Bloomberg during the 2020 election, former President Trump carried the state and the GOP picked up statehouse and congressional seats.

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Commentary: The Madness of Anthony Fauci

It’s nearly impossible to select the most maniacal comment made by Dr. Anthony Fauci in his nearly 70-minute interview with “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan that aired over the weekend. Joe Biden’s chief coronavirus advisor and miniature global menace spent more than an hour denying responsibility for his documented mistakes, bragging about his self-appointed role as the world’s doctor, hogging credit for the vaccines, and attacking anyone who has challenged his unrivaled ego and track record of failure.

Portraying himself as a victim rather than the cruel, megalomaniacal tyrant he is, Fauci took aim at Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Congressional co-sponsors of the “Fire Fauci Act,” which would zero-out the salary of the federal government’s highest-paid bureaucrat and audit Fauci’s correspondence and financial transactions during the pandemic.

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Gov. DeSantis Proposes Sweeping Changes to Florida’s Education Budget

Ron DeSantis of Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed sweeping education changes that would impact Florida’s budget. He proposes $1,000 bonuses for teachers, $600 million to raise minimum teacher salaries to $47,500, increased per-student funding to $8,000, and ending the annual standardized testing requirement called the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA).

DeSantis had already provided $1,000 bonuses for teachers over the summer for their work during the COVID school year and said he wants to do it again to “keep that momentum going.”

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Commentary: Tennessee Legislature Must Pass Big COVID Test in ‘Special Session’

The red state/blue state dichotomy is not simple.

Nowhere is that more apparent than Tennessee where—despite having one of the most conservative electorates in the country—the leadership has been passive at best in responding to the wishes of their supporters during these days of great crisis.

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Hundreds of Doctors Criticize Florida’s Surgeon General, Call for Close Monitoring

Over 350 doctors from across Florida signed on to a letter asking the Florida Senate to scrutinize Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. The doctors took part in the effort alongside the Committee to Protect Health Care (CPHC), as they outlined numerous questions regarding Ladapo’s positions.

Ladapo, upon announcing his appointment to the position, said Florida is “done with fear” and began a process of pushing back against universal mask mandates and vaccine mandates. He was appointed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and some DeSantis opponents called Ladapo “an anti-masker and a vaccine skeptic.”

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Says ‘No’ to 2020 Election Audit

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said he will not be supporting an audit, or a review, into the 2020 election in Florida.

“What we do in Florida is, there’s a pre- and post-election audit that happens automatically,” DeSantis said. “So, that has happened. It passed with flying colors in terms of how that’s going.”

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Commentary: The Left Can Finally Admit What It Wants

I remember a staggering conversation with my high school lunch table in the early 2000s. Everyone agreed with one kid’s statement that there was nothing special about living in America: Life in Canada, or anywhere else, would be identical except for maybe the weather.

At the time, I wondered what was going to happen to America when all these kids grew up. What happens when America’s young adults, far from having any intellectual commitment to freedom, don’t even understand what life would be like without it?

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DeSantis Taking Control of Jacksonville Subsidized Housing Complex Over ‘Deplorable’ Conditions

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he is no longer waiting on the federal government to move take action on a “deplorable” subsidized housing complex in Jacksonville. DeSantis slammed the “lack of interest” from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for allowing the living conditions to become so run down that rats have infested the complex.

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DeSantis Dismisses Talk of 2024 Presidential Bid, but Continues to Campaign Across the Country

Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to dismiss the chatter about a run for high office in 2024.

“I just do my job and we work hard,” the governor said in a recent in-state press event. “I hear all this stuff,nand honestly it’s nonsense.”

He also said “speculation” to the contrary is “purely manufactured.”

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States, Not Congress, Could Pose the Biggest Threat to Tech Companies

Despite calls for increased regulation of the tech industry, Congress has yet to pass any major legislation, leaving it up to the states to take action curbing tech companies’ power and influence.

Meanwhile, state legislatures have introduced and enacted legislation on data privacy, antitrust, and content moderation, while state attorneys general have issued a number of legal challenges alleging anticompetitive business practices.

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Federal Government Approves Emergency Declaration for Collapsed Building in Florida

President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for Florida on Friday in response to a multi-story building collapsing in Miami-Dade County.

The declaration will allow FEMA to “coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures.”

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Conservatives Criticize Washington Post for Misleading Headline on DeSantis

Many conservatives noted that The Washington Post issued a misleading headline on Thursday that mischaracterizes the contents of a bill signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The legislation, HB 233, “requires state colleges and universities to conduct annual assessments of the viewpoint diversity and intellectual freedom at their institutions to ensure that Florida’s postsecondary students will be shown diverse ideas and opinions, including those that they may disagree with or find uncomfortable.” DeSantis signed the legislation on Wednesday in addition to two other bills aimed at boosting civics education requirements throughout the state at all levels.

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Bills to Enhance Civics Education

Classroom full of kids, that are being read a book

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed multiple bills on Tuesday aimed at increasing the level of civics education throughout the state’s schools.

“The sad reality is that only two in five Americans can correctly name the three branches of government, and more than a third of Americans cannot name any of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. It is abundantly clear that we need to do a much better job of educating our students in civics to prepare them for the rest of their lives,” DeSantis said when explaining the need for the legislation. 

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Florida Sales-Tax Collections Exceeds Expectations in April 2021

Florida’s Historic Capitol and Florida State Capitol

The month of April became the ninth consecutive month that the state of Florida exceeded its expected revenue calculations, with 56% of the total revenue gain coming from sales-tax collections.

Sales-tax revenue accounted for $2.7993 billion, which is 19% or  $447.6 million more than the estimated projection of approximately $2.3516 billion that was established by the Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) at the General Revenue Estimating Conference.

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Florida Bans Biological Men from Competing in Women’s Sports

Women's volleyball game

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Tuesday banning biological males from women’s sports.

The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act prohibits biological males from participating in athletic teams or sports designated for female students and requires that a student’s school or institution “request a certain health examination and consent form or other statement from the student’s health care provider to verify the student’s biological sex under certain circumstances.”

“The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act will empower Florida women & girls to be able to compete on a level playing field,” DeSantis tweeted Tuesday. “This will help ensure that opportunities for things like college scholarships will be protected for female athletes for years to come.”

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