Politics & Law

Senate panel backs Gov. DeSantis, OKs sanctions for participating in asylum airlift

BY: - January 24, 2022

Syliva Munoz pleaded with members of a Florida Senate committee on Monday to reject Gov. Ron DeSantis’ latest initiative against immigrants, including underage asylum seekers. Munoz, 75, came to the United States in 1961 as an unaccompanied minor under the Pedro Pan airlift from Cuba. She was among a number of people with that experience […]

Land acquisition: FL senator tries again to secure funds for conservation program mandated by 2014 voters

BY: - January 24, 2022

Despite a constitutional amendment in 2014 mandating a vigorous program to buy and preserve sensitive land in Florida, funding for the state’s Land Acquisition Trust Fund has been unreliable and by most accounts not what voters had in mind. On Monday, state Sen. Linda Stewart, an Orange County Democrat, reintroduced her annual effort to require […]

COMMENTARY
House

Stupid legislator tricks: Mendacity, malevolence, monkey business at FL’s Capitol

BY: - January 24, 2022

OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE — Well, that got stupid fast. The legislative session is only two weeks old and the reliably witless Sen. Joe Gruters (R-Somewhere Up Trump’s Rump) is moving a bill to fine professional sports teams if they don’t play the national anthem. Wait, you say, aren’t the Heat and the Magic, the Bucs and […]

COMMENTARY

In Year Two, no more Mr. Nice Biden, please

BY: - January 23, 2022

About halfway through his marathon news conference last week, President Joe Biden finally asked the only question in Washington that’s worth asking. With congressional Republicans standing in the way of the Democrats’ every initiative, including voting rights (which should be as bipartisan as it gets), what do they actually support? “What are Republicans for? What […]

University of Florida

U.S. judge raps U.F.’s knuckles; blocks policy silencing testimony by professors

BY: - January 22, 2022

A federal judge has compared the University of Florida to the Chinese Communist Party functionaries in blocking the university from preventing faculty from testifying in lawsuits challenging DeSantis administration policies. Ruling Friday, Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in Tallahassee opened his 74-page opinion with a reference to the “Pillar of Shame” statute, commemorating the […]

House panel splits on first redistricting map; critics say Latinos and Blacks are underrepresented

BY: - January 21, 2022

Florida Democrats and voting-rights organizations mounted strong opposition Friday to newly drafted legislative district boundaries that nevertheless passed 13-7 in a redistricting subcommittee of the House of Representatives. The vote Friday split on partisan lines, with 13 Republicans voting yes and seven Democrats voting against the draft map. Among the criticisms was testimony that growth […]

Feds approve FL’s delayed COVID plan for schools; state can access all $15.7 billion in relief

BY: - January 21, 2022

The U.S. Department of Education approved Florida’s plan outlining how the state will use COVID-19 relief funds to help schools recover from the impacts of the pandemic, releasing the final $2.3 billion dollars for the projects. The approval came after months of delays. Florida and other states were supposed to submit a COVID plan for […]

With voting rights stalled, some senators mull an update to the Electoral Count Act

BY: - January 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senators is exploring legislation to overhaul how Congress counts Electoral College votes, but backers of stalled voting rights legislation are lukewarm on the effort as a substitute. The Electoral Count Act is an obscure law that has come under recent scrutiny, a year after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol […]

Fulton DA requests special grand jury for Trump election investigation

BY: - January 21, 2022

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is asking a special grand jury to hear evidence of former President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 Georgia election election results. Willis’ request is for Fulton County superior court judges to allow the panel to be put in place on May 2 to determine if the former […]

DeSantis, needled by Trump, hints that he’s skipped out on taking his COVID booster

BY: - January 21, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis came as close as he has to date Friday to acknowledging he has not taken a COVID booster shot — this after former President Donald Trump denounced “gutless” politicians who fail to disclose their vaccine status. DeSantis and his aides previously had maintained that the question was a private one. And, certainly, […]

GOP-controlled Senate completes work on redistricting plans; even Dems praise process, outcome

BY: - January 20, 2022

The Florida Senate passed its plans to redistrict the state’s congressional and Senate seats, creating the political structure that will prevail for the next decade, on bipartisan votes Thursday. Not a word was uttered about the congressional redistricting plan that Gov. Ron DeSantis dropped over the weekend. “Because it’s not in play,” Democratic Sen. Linda […]

Agriculture secretary pressed about pandemic relief funds for farmers

BY: - January 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack faced questions on how his agency is doling out emergency pandemic aid and fostering collaboration with historically Black colleges during a Thursday hearing before the House Agriculture Committee. Committee Chairman David Scott, a Georgia Democrat, asked Vilsack for “critical updates on the implementation of pandemic relief programs, including […]