Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls

Seminole Tribe leader Marcellus Osceola Jr. is elusive, inspiring — but likely unknown to many Floridians

BY: - July 21, 2021

On a spring morning in Tallahassee, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ schedule included an in-person meeting in the state Capitol with a Tribe leader considered humble yet dignified, ready to transform the gambling landscape in Florida. When the new 30-year, multibillion-dollar gambling compact between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida was unveiled that […]

College campuses now required to conduct annual surveys to measure “intellectual diversity”

BY: - June 22, 2021

Under the auspices of intellectual freedom, Florida’s universities and community colleges will be required to do an annual survey to ensure diverse views on campuses, including conservative opinions. At issue is that some lawmakers believe that colleges and universities are liberal bastions and conservative voices have been suppressed on campuses. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB […]

Ocoee massacre of 1920: College scholarships and a feature film in recognition of Black history in FL

BY: - May 5, 2021

More than 100 years ago, a two-day riot took place in the small town of Ocoee in Orange County, where Blacks were killed and forced to flee their homes for daring to exercise their right to vote. During the 2021 legislative session, raising awareness of Black history and culture in Florida was a priority for […]

Florida Capitol

Massive 2021-22 state budget for FL approved: Pitfalls for some struggling families but major gains for others

BY: and - April 30, 2021

With the COVID-19 pandemic upending people’s lives, many Florida families are struggling to make ends meet — hoping for financial relief to cope with health care, homelessness, housing, rent, mortgages, food and other bills. But Florida’s spending plan for 2021-22 reflects a budget that may or may not help Floridians. The overall state budget is […]

For 19-and-20-year-olds, Medicaid will be a lifeline; lawmakers nix cuts in health care program for young adults

BY: - April 27, 2021

It looks like young, low-income Floridians will continue to be able to access affordable health care through Medicaid now that state lawmakers have nixed cuts in health care funding for 19-and-20-year-olds. The change comes as lawmakers wrap up the state budget for 2021-22. The legislative session is scheduled to end Friday. In a previous Florida […]

Medicaid expansion for moms and babies is now closer to reality in the FL Legislature

BY: - April 26, 2021

Republican House Speaker Chris Sprowls declared a plan in late March to tackle inequities in maternal health care that impact women by pushing for a one-year expansion for maternal Medicaid benefits, an inititative of the Biden administration. Now, the Florida Senate looks to be on board with the initiative, albeit, the Senate is pushing for […]

You’ll pay more for online purchases under legislation quietly signed by Gov. DeSantis

BY: - April 20, 2021

If you shop online, expect to pay sales taxes soon in Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis quietly signed a law late Monday night that means Florida consumers will pay around $1 billion in online sales taxes per year. The new law (SB 50) takes effect July 1. The good news is that you no longer will […]

Showdown: History repeats as Black Lives Matter supporters plan to protest hearing of GOP anti-protest bill

BY: - April 8, 2021

Racial tension and partisan rancor coloring the 2021 Florida legislative session is likely to be on full view Friday, when civil-rights advocates and their supporters expect to protest an anti-protest bill being fast-tracked by Republicans in answer to Black Lives Matter demonstrations last summer. In the background are daily news accounts of the murder trial […]

FL House proposes expanded Medicaid postpartum coverage for moms and babies, but Senate has not

BY: - April 5, 2021

The Florida House has included millions in its proposed 2021-22 state budget to extend postpartum care for mothers eligible for Medicaid to a period of 12 months or 365 days. Usually it’s been just two months. But so far, the Florida Senate has not moved on the budget issue, creating a standoff on Medicaid expansion […]

Black lawmakers push scholarships for descendants of 1920 Ocoee riot victims, but will there be funds?

BY: - March 30, 2021

A hundred years ago, dozens of Blacks in Central Florida were killed in a deadly riot for exercising their right to vote — a shameful episode of Florida’s history. A century later, Orlando State Sen. Randolph Bracy is pushing hard to bring awareness of the horrific events that occurred in the small Black community, through […]

Gov. DeSantis is saying no to Medicaid expansion, even though the massive relief package would help out

BY: - March 25, 2021

Tucked into the Biden administration’s massive federal relief package is a major provision to expand benefits for low-income people in Florida and other states that haven’t adopted Medicaid expansion, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The $1.9 trillion stimulus plan signed earlier this March provides financial incentives in the millions to expand […]

FL Democrats put pressure on Gov. DeSantis, Senate to support Medicaid expansion for pregnant women

BY: - March 24, 2021

Two Democratic leaders in the Florida Senate called on Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Senate President Wilton Simpson to support a proposal by the Biden administration for states to expand Medicaid coverage for pregnant women and their newborns. Wednesday, state Sens. Gary Farmer and Lauren Book praised efforts by House Speaker Chris Sprowls for his […]