FL Legislature 2021

Seminole Tribe joins fray in lawsuits over gambling deal bringing sports betting to FL

BY: - August 31, 2021

As was inevitable, the plot thickens as Florida’s contentious new gambling laws come under legal attack on multiple fronts. The issues relate to federal court in Washington D.C., and federal court in Tallahassee. On Tuesday, the powerful Seminole Tribe of Florida filed documents in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to intervene in a lawsuit […]

Gov. DeSantis has lost a key vaccine ruling on cruises; federal judge blocks state law

BY: - August 9, 2021

A federal trial judge has delivered a major legal defeat to Gov. Ron DeSantis, blocking the state from  forbidding ships from demanding proof that passengers have been vaccinated against COVID-19. U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams in Miami delivered the 59-page ruling on Sunday, issuing an injunction that frees Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings to begin voyages […]

Massive gambling compact approved; expansion of gambling poised to change FL landscape

BY: - August 6, 2021

It’s official.  Federal authorities green-lighted Florida’s gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida on Friday, marking the start of a new cultural era by allowing digital gambling statewide for the first time in Florida history. The 30-year compact, worth $2.5 billion to the state of Florida in just the first five years, was ratified […]

Gambling: Feds’ silence signals green light on compact between FL and Seminole Tribe

BY: - August 6, 2021

Florida’s 30-year, multibillion-dollar gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe appears to have passed its federal review by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. Friday marks Day 46 since the compact was submitted by the Tribe for a 45-day review period. Philip Bristol with federal Office of Indian Gaming told the Phoenix on […]

Clock is running down on federal decision about multibillion FL/Seminole Tribe gambling compact

BY: - August 4, 2021

While Gov. Ron DeSantis and Seminole Tribe Chairman Marcellus Osceola signed an expansive gambling agreement last spring with great fanfare, the final word on the multibillion-dollar deal could be delivered in silence. Thursday marks the end of the 45-day review period during which the U.S. Department of Interior, and specifically its Bureau of Indian Affairs, […]

COMMENTARY

Florida Wildlife Corridor subverted by a gold-medal Tallahassee Switcheroo

BY: - July 29, 2021

I watched some of the opening Olympic ceremonies last week for one simple reason: I had read that Florida has more athletes in Tokyo right now than any state besides California. And they’re not just there to get away from the smell of the red tide fish kills, either. Floridians are competing in every sport […]

Sales-tax holiday on back-to-school purchases starts Saturday

BY: - July 28, 2021

A Florida sales-tax holiday on back-to-school supplies begins Saturday and ends 10 days later, on Monday, Aug. 9. Consumers will be exempt from paying Florida’s 6 percent sales tax and local-option sales taxes on clothing costing up to $60 per item, school supplies costing up to $15 per item, and up to $1,000 in value […]

Despite Gov. DeSantis’ concerns, some FL juveniles facing felonies have been helped by “diversion” programs

BY: - July 27, 2021

On the juvenile justice front, Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed legislation last month, concerned that minors would be able to expunge serious felonies from juvenile records. But the public may not know that programs aimed at diverting youths from going to prison already include at least some felony offenses, according to juvenile justice advocates. And those […]

FL and other states are set to rake in new gambling revenue; who will benefit?

BY: - July 20, 2021

The American king and queen of gambling destinations are Las Vegas and Atlantic City, which rake in nearly $10 billion a year in gross gaming revenue, according to the American Gaming Association. But gambling wealth does not necessarily translate into prosperity for all. Gambling activities and public education funding are often linked — an ideal […]

Labor report: As demand for workers increases, FL cuts unemployment benefits

BY: - July 16, 2021

Florida’s labor report Friday cites 69,300 new private-sector jobs in the economy over the past month and an increase of 907,000 jobs since the COVID-19 pandemic forced 1.3 million workers off their jobs in spring 2020 to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Still, 523,000 Florida workers were unemployed in June, comprising 5 percent of […]

FL’s competing gambling interests pour at least $62 million into PACs

BY: - July 13, 2021

Gambling-related campaign contributions flooded into Florida in June, according to campaign finance records, indicating the immensity of the gambling wealth up for grabs in the state. On Monday, the Florida Phoenix reported that sports-betting titans FanDuel and DraftKings poured $20 million into a campaign to legalize sports betting by amending the Florida Constitution in 2022. […]

Boys are way behind girls when it comes to reading. Why is this happening and how can it be fixed?

BY: - July 13, 2021

Florida boys do not read as well as girls. That’s what all sorts of data show. In 2019, for example, 4th and 8th grade girls alike scored 9 points higher than boys in Florida, according to a federal reading exam called the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s report card. […]