Florida Phoenix

A glimpse of two key women in the new DeSantis governorship

BY: - January 7, 2019

On the day before Ron DeSantis’s inauguration as governor Tuesday, soon-to-be First Lady Casey DeSantis, and elected Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez made clear that they’ll play active roles in the DeSantis-Nuñez administration. The two women spoke Monday morning at a “tribute” breakfast highlighting “Women Transforming Florida,” and later took questions from reporters. The event is part […]

high school classroom, school, education

FL Supreme Court ends longstanding education lawsuit, ruling against advocates fighting for better schools

BY: - January 4, 2019

The Florida Supreme Court on Friday ended a nearly 10-year-long education lawsuit, ruling against attorneys and advocacy groups fighting to improve education in Florida – particularly for poor minority students. In the close 4-3 opinion, the High Court rejected the assertion that Florida’s K-12 education system violates the state’s Constitution, though lawyers had argued that […]

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist will join felons who’ve served their sentences to register to vote Tuesday

BY: - January 4, 2019

U. S, Rep. Charlie Crist will literally lead the way for those in St. Petersburg to register to vote this coming Tuesday, when the new Florida Constitutional amendment automatically restoring voting rights for some 1.4 million felons goes into effect. When he was governor, Crist wasn’t able to get automatic clemency for felons passed. But […]

Florida Phoenix

Legislators trying once again to suppress direct democracy

BY: - January 4, 2019

Over the past few decades, Floridians frustrated that the Legislature won’t advance important reforms have gone directly to the ballot box to pass amendments to the Florida Constitution. But that could get harder under a new proposal by two Republican legislators. Central Florida Republican Dennis Baxley has introduced a resolution in the Florida Senate that […]


From campaigning to governing: Inauguration frenzy hits Tallahassee

BY: - January 4, 2019

After all the campaigning, debating and vote counting last fall, Ron DeSantis will be sworn in as Florida’s 46th governor on Tuesday and start governing the third-most populous state in the nation. Whether voters supported or opposed his candidacy and praised or bashed his far-right ideology, DeSantis will take on the difficult work of managing […]

Michael Bloomberg gives St. Petersburg $2.5 million to combat climate change

BY: - January 3, 2019

Former New York City mayor and potential 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg came to St. Petersburg on Thursday to give the city $2.5 million to support efforts to combat climate change. Bloomberg and California Governor Jerry Brown announced in June 2017 that they were launching “America’s Pledge,” an initiative aimed at keeping the greenhouse gas […]

Army Major General will head Florida Department of Corrections

BY: - January 3, 2019

Gov.-elect DeSantis has appointed a former U.S. Army Major General and former Trump staffer to head the Florida Department of Corrections. It’s retired United States Army Major General Mark Inch, who is also former Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Inch’s appointment is one of a string of DeSantis appointees with military backgrounds. DeSantis […]

DeSantis picks new secretaries of Children & Families and Juvenile Justice

BY: - January 3, 2019

Incoming Gov. Ron DeSantis has picked two state government veterans to head key social service agencies. Former state official Chad Poppel has been tapped as the new Secretary of Florida’s Department of Children and Families. According to information provided by the transition team for incoming Gov. Ron DeSantis, Poppel has been working as an executive […]

Confederate monument in St Augustine

FL lawmaker files bill to make it illegal to remove Confederate monuments

BY: - January 3, 2019

In the past few years, local governments throughout Florida have gone through excruciating public discussions about whether or not to remove Confederate monuments from public lands. Now a Florida Republican is proposing legislation that would eliminate those contentious debates by making it illegal to remove the monuments from public property. “The Heroes’ Monuments and Memorials […]

Florida’s biking problem

BY: - January 3, 2019

No state has been more dangerous than Florida for bicyclists over the past decade, according to federal statistics. Just ask Alan Snel, a man whose frustration over the way Florida drivers endanger bicyclists led him to flee the state. A veteran Tampa Tribune journalist, Snel left the paper in 2006 and became an influential bicycle […]

marijuana plant

The trouble with legal marijuana money

BY: - January 2, 2019

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried isn’t the only supporter of medical marijuana in state politics who has been forced to find alternative ways to maintain campaign cash after being rejected by a financial institution. Pasco County marijuana activist Gary Stein is now looking for another provider to handle transactions associated with Clarity PAC, the political […]


The good and the bad of FL’s new bump in the minimum wage

BY: - January 2, 2019

In a boost for millions of low-paid hourly workers, 20 states increased the minimum wage for 2019, including Florida. The good news: Florida’s minimum wage increased from $8.25 to $8.46 starting Jan. 1, a 21-cent increase in hourly pay. The bad news: Florida’s new minimum wage stood out as the lowest of the 20 states […]