Briana Michel

Briana Michel

Briana Michel is a multimedia journalist based in Tallahassee, Florida. She is a graduating broadcast journalist student at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. During her matriculation at FAMU, she served as the editor-in-chief of the award-winning Journey Magazine, writes for the Famuan and is a producer for FAMU News 20 at Five. She joined the Phoenix team as a reporter intern during the 2023 Florida Legislative Session.

Transgender ‘public accommodations’ bills do more than simply restrict bathroom use

By: - April 14, 2023

The nationwide crackdown on transgender and non-binary people’s access to public accommodations is progressing through Florida’s Legislature. Two companion bills, HB 1521 and SB 1674, may be broader than they first appear to be. Kara Gross, legislative director and senior policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, said the bills don’t just […]

Contentious anti-trans ‘bathroom ban’ is quickly moving through FL Legislature

By: - April 7, 2023

Florida could be next in line to criminalize transgender adults who intentionally enter a restroom or changing facility opposite their sex at birth, according to two bills hastily moving through the Legislature. Similar bathroom bans are advancing through legislatures around the country — some are already expected to take effect this summer. The American Civil […]

Abortion rights advocates ‘call out’ Senate president on eve of 6-week ban’s full Senate hearing

By: - March 29, 2023

On the eve of a near-total abortion ban hearing, Florida lawmakers and abortion rights advocates rallied for what may be their final shot to protest a fast-tracking Senate proposal. They had one goal in mind: to call out the Senate president. Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, a Republican representing Southeast Florida counties, had earlier favored a […]

Good news in health care: career boost for nurses, genetic counseling ‘game-changer’

By: - March 24, 2023

Despite what feels like a revolving door of overreaching health care legislation, especially around access to abortions and gender-affirming care, Floridians now have good health news: In the last 24 hours, state lawmakers have advanced bills expanding telehealth authority for genetic counselors and boosting authority of certified nursing assistants.   On Friday, the House Health & […]

Public-sector bill will dismantle unions, but they’re not going down without a fight

By: - March 23, 2023

Dozens of union members from around the state lined the Fourth Floor Rotunda of the Florida Capitol Thursday, game-day style, to welcome lawmakers before a meeting of the full Senate. They raised signs and sang the union anthem, “Solidarity Forever,” opposing what they saw as an impending attack on public workers.    “They know we’re […]

Florida six-week abortion bill passes first test in the House, ends with tears and anger

By: - March 16, 2023

A contentious six-week abortion ban in Florida made it through its first committee hearing early on Thursday, in a party-line vote of 13-5, which came after about more than 150 testimonies from people who traveled to the Capitol. The meeting ended with heartache. Abortion rights advocates, medical personnel and other citizens stepped in and out […]

FL six-week abortion bill up for hearing Thursday; advocates face toughest protest rules in decades

By: - March 16, 2023

Abortion rights organizations and anti-abortion groups in Florida are facing some of the most restrictive protest conditions in decades as lawmakers pursue a six-week abortion ban and new rules in the Capitol make it tougher to rally and demonstrate. Barbara DeVane, a longtime Florida lobbyist for the National Organization for Women, said the DeSantis administration […]

Just 30 seconds? Despite complex bills, Floridians are limited on public testimony in Legislature

By: and - March 14, 2023

“This Florida government makes us students feel like you are our No. 1 bully–” a transgender Floridian started to say in front of more than a dozen Florida lawmakers Tuesday in opposition of a bill that would limit the use of certain pronouns in public schools. But before the speaker could finish the thought, Rep. […]

Gender-affirming care for minors draws a crowd of hundreds and ends with tears

By: - March 14, 2023

It’s been almost two weeks since two Florida Republicans filed a bill that would make it a crime for doctors to provide treatments such as hormone therapy and puberty blockers to transgender minors.  But by Monday, more than 100 people rallied to advocate for the “life-saving” care for transgender minors and some adults — in […]

Iowa is DeSantis’ next stop on a still-silent but sure campaign run

By: - March 9, 2023

After his State of the State address this week, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis will make his debut in Iowa on Friday — ahead of an expected run in the upcoming 2024 presidential race. Democrats aren’t keeping silent about GOP presidential hopefuls. Iowa Democratic Party Chair Rita Hart hosted a Thursday 20-minute virtual press conference to […]

It’s not clear when new abortion restrictions will show up in the 2023 session; Is that on purpose?

By: and - March 3, 2023

On the first day of the 2022 Legislature, Jan 11, 2022, then-Rep. Erin Grall, who has been at the forefront of abortion restrictions in Florida, suddenly filed a bill that would become Florida’s 15-week abortion ban. The Senate’s version was filed on that day as well. This year, it appears that the first day of […]

With 2023 Legislature opening March 7, ACLU warns of brazen attacks on Floridians’ civil liberties

By: - March 1, 2023

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida says the GOP agenda for the 2023 legislative session threatens our democracy and they warn of brazen attacks on Floridians’ civil liberties. On Wednesday, the ACLU staff and council offered insight into multiple pieces of legislation and they say, without a doubt, those bills will end up on […]