FL Legislature 2021

U.S. trial judge nixes Florida caps on donations for citizen initiatives

BY: - June 16, 2022

A federal judge in North Florida Wednesday struck down two Republican-backed laws that critics said would unfairly limit the rights of citizens to amend the state’s Constitution. Adopted in 2021, Senate Bill 1890 would have capped at $3,000 individual donations to political action committees that support or oppose proposed constitutional amendments. The American Civil Liberties […]

Federal appeals court hobbles DeSantis’ attack on social media companies; cites First Amendment

BY: - May 23, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis was certain in his faith that a federal appeals court would side with him on his attempt to punish social media companies that he accuses of censoring conservative voices. On Monday that court — the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit — let him down. It decided against him on […]

Gov. DeSantis: FL pension board pressured Twitter to OK Elon Musk’s purchase offer

BY: - April 25, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis has praised Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover of Twitter Inc., OK’d Monday by the company’s board subject to shareholder approval, as a “blow for free speech.” The governor, who has targeted social media companies in the past for alleged discrimination against conservative voices, said during a news conference Monday that the state […]

Who influenced divisive FL college survey on political leanings? Many questions still unanswered

BY: - April 8, 2022

Last summer, the state university system made a deal with Florida State University for up to $75,000 to develop an objective, nonpartisan, and statistically valid college survey — a project pursued by GOP lawmakers who felt the state’s campuses were too liberal leaning. Since then, not much is known about the survey that would go […]

Trial lawyers defend U.S. judge against attacks by DeSantis, legislative leaders

BY: - April 7, 2022

It’s tempting to shrug one’s shoulders when politicians blast away at judges who rule against them — as when Gov. Ron DeSantis and legislative Republican leaders unloaded at U.S. District Judge Mark Walker after he struck down key portions of last year’s voter suppression law. In fact, such attacks are dangerous, undermining faith in the […]

Statewide faculty to FL college students, staff: ignore new ‘viewpoint diversity’ survey

BY: - April 4, 2022

A faculty union representing higher education institutions is calling on students and staff to ignore a survey intended to measure so-called “viewpoint diversity,” including exploration of ideological and political perspectives at universities and community colleges in Florida. In a Monday letter to its members by email, the United Faculty of Florida claims that the survey […]

Senate OKs Ladapo as surgeon general; to Dems, he’s ‘not the right person for the job’

BY: - February 23, 2022

The Florida Senate confirmed Joseph Ladapo as surgeon general on Wednesday, even as Democrats criticized the doctor over his stance on COVID-19 safety and other concerns. State Sen. Lori Berman, a Democrat representing part of Palm Beach County, urged colleagues to vote against Dr. Ladapo — a favorite of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who chose Ladapo […]

Moody splits with Senate on fate of failed petition drives to broaden gambling in FL

BY: - February 21, 2022

Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Florida Senate have rendered conflicting opinions about whether the Florida Supreme Court should rule on the validity of two proposed constitutional amendments on gambling that failed to qualify for the ballot. One initiative, sponsored by an organization calling itself Florida Education Champions, and largely financed by sports-betting giants DraftKings […]

With gambling expansion in disarray, FL Senate moves ahead with new gaming commission

BY: - February 17, 2022

Although Florida’s 2021 compact to expand gambling statewide was struck down in federal court, the Florida Senate Thursday forged ahead with development of a Florida Gaming Control Commission created alongside the compact to regulate expanded gambling. The Nov. 22 ruling is being appealed, with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the Department of Interior and the […]

Testimony: FL’s new elections restrictions are driving local supervisors from office

BY: - February 15, 2022

Some of the officials who supervise Florida elections are considering retiring under the threat of $25,000 fines if they make mistakes, according to testimony produced Tuesday in the federal trial over the GOP-dominated Legislature’s new voting restrictions. Mark Early, supervisor of elections in Leon County, seat of Florida’s state government, offered that take during Day […]

Amid fear and censorship, FL school districts are pulling books off shelves in public schools

BY: - February 15, 2022

In Central Florida, in a county named Polk, the “The Kite Runner,” a bestseller, is in quarantine. In Flagler County, in Northeast Florida, “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” has been pulled from school library shelves. And in Hillsborough County in the Tampa Bay area, “The Bluest Eye” was challenged by a parent who felt the novel’s […]

Two election supervisors at federal trial doubt new law will interfere with general election

BY: - February 14, 2022

Two county supervisors of elections, under questioning by attorneys for the state and the GOP, testified Monday that they don’t expect Florida’s new voting restrictions to materially change the way they administer elections. Christina White, supervisor for heavily populated Miami-Dade County, said she plans to place ballot drop boxes for the November general election at […]