FL Senate panel backs new abortion restrictions on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade

BY: - January 22, 2020

On the 47th anniversary of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling establishing a woman’s right to an abortion, a divided Florida Senate committee on Tuesday advanced legislation that would create new legal barriers for young women seeking to terminate a pregnancy. In a 9-7 vote, with Democrats in opposition, the Senate Rules Committee voted for […]

ERA ratification: Proponents say looming battle will heat up courts and elections

BY: - January 22, 2020

The Equal Rights Amendment, proposed in 1972 to guarantee that equality of rights shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex, has surged into the public spotlight after decades of neglect. Whether it becomes the 28th amendment enshrined in the U.S. Constitution will be decided in a series of court battles, but ERA […]

Trump impeachment trial gets personal

BY: - January 21, 2020

WASHINGTON — Even before opening arguments were made in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate, things got testy.  U.S. House Democrats and Trump’s lawyers sparred for hours Tuesday over the parameters for the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history, offering a preview of their substantive arguments and setting the tone for […]

Dignity for incarcerated pregnant women: Lawmakers push for reforms

BY: - January 21, 2020

Advocates for pregnant women inmates came to the state Capitol Tuesday to retell the traumatic story of Tammy Jackson, an inmate at the Broward County jail who was forced to give birth in an isolation cell. Jackson miraculously performed a seven-hour labor by herself without medical assistance or medication. Another horrific tale comes from an […]

Getting driving privileges back for millions of FL motorists

BY: - January 21, 2020

More than 2 million Florida motorists have had their driver’s licenses suspended because, in many cases, they failed to pay fines, fees, or other court costs associated with traffic violations, such as speeding. Now state lawmakers want to help those Floridians get their driving privileges back, arguing that it is critical for them to be […]

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Republican legislation could wipe out LGBTQ protections, gay-rights advocates say

BY: - January 21, 2020

The day before the Florida Legislature began its 2020 session, lawmakers filed legislation making it a felony for a doctor to provide medical help to transgender youth. Advocates say the last-minute measure is part of a slate of bills in the annual legislative session that could undermine civil rights and protections for LGBTQ residents in […]

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Marches will celebrate passage of ERA, as fight looms with GOP leaders

BY: - January 17, 2020

Equal Rights Amendment activists will celebrate this weekend after lawmakers in Virginia on Wednesday made that state the pivotal 38th one to ratify the ERA, an achievement nearly 50 years in the making. Casting a cloud on the parade is notice that the federal office that archives important records will not accept Virginia’s ratification, having […]

One Year Anniversary Parkland tragedy

Lawsuit alleges Marjory Stoneman Douglas commission violated open meeting laws

BY: - January 17, 2020

In what began as criticisms of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission – set up to review school safety following the 2018 Parkland mass shooting– has now led to a lawsuit. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed the lawsuit this week, on behalf of groups and individuals, including students, claiming that the […]

FL Senate ready to act on a bill that would block local governments from banning sunscreen

BY: - January 17, 2020

The Florida Senate is poised to block cities, like Key West, from banning the sale of sunscreen. When the Senate holds its first floor session of the 2020 session on Wednesday, the first bill on the agenda is a measure (SB 172), sponsored by Republican Sen. Rob Bradley, that would preempt local regulation of over-the-counter […]

Florida is projected to gain two seats in Congress. Here’s why that’s a huge deal

BY: - January 17, 2020

WASHINGTON — Florida is projected to gain two U.S. House seats in the coming years, new data show — a change that would increase the state’s influence in national politics and could lead to more money for federally funded projects and services like roads and health care facilities. The Sunshine State is one of seven […]

FL Supreme Court advisory opinion on Amendment 4 is a win for governor, GOP; voting rights advocates vow to fight on

BY: - January 16, 2020

The Florida Supreme Court sided with Gov. Ron DeSantis and legislative Republicans in an advisory opinion issued Thursday in which the court said 2018’s Amendment 4 requires ex-felons to pay any fines, fees, or restitution before they recover their right to vote. The five-member court (there are two vacancies at the moment) was unanimous on […]

Bipartisan Senate panel: It’s time to get low-level drug offenders out of state prison

BY: - January 16, 2020

Florida lawmakers on a key Senate panel want to keep low-level offenders out of state prison, particularly drug offenders who need treatment, not incarceration. The panel — the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee — voted unanimously to reform criminal sentencing guidelines to accomplish that goal, with both Republicans and Democrats supportive of the measure. The concept […]