Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson

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 […]

Gov. Ron DeSantis approves property insurance reform but some FL homeowners could see a spike in rates

BY: - June 11, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed a property insurance law aimed to reduce lawsuits and prohibit contractors from encouraging residents to file claims for roof damage. But critics say part of the new property insurance reforms could negatively impact homeowners who get coverage through the state-backed insurance company, allowing Citizens Property Insurance Corporation to incrementally […]

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 […]

Lawmakers wrap up state budget, failing to use $3.5 billion in federal COVID dollars to help Floridians

BY: - April 27, 2021

With just a few days left in the 2021 legislative session and COVID-19 still infecting and killing Floridians, the Legislature will not fully utilize federal coronavirus relief funds from the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan. About $3.5 billion will be used to bolster the state’s reserves rather than provide programs and initiatives to help Floridians, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Gov. DeSantis targets federal COVID relief money to undo some of the pandemic’s economic wreckage

BY: - March 16, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to spend $4.1 billion of the cash the state expects under President Joe Biden’s $9.1 trillion COVID rescue plan on an array of infrastructure, health care, tourist-marketing, jobs, and transportation projects, he announced Tuesday. The governor also proposed one-time bonuses of $1,000 to the first responders working on the front line […]

With a one-page form, doctors can approve vaccines for people ‘extremely vulnerable to COVID-19’

BY: - March 3, 2021

In an expansion of who gets to be vaccinated in Florida, the DeSantis administration will allow doctors, using a brief one-page form, to authorize COVID-19 vaccines for people below age 65 without having to specify any medical conditions. “The department has published a form for physicians to certify that they have determined an individual to […]

Voters who approved boosting the minimum wage likely won’t support FL Senate President’s comments

BY: - March 2, 2021

A ballot initiative to raise the state’s minimum wage incrementally until it reaches $15 per hour in 2026 received some pushback Tuesday from a top state lawmaker during the opening of the 2021 legislative session. In his opening day speech, Senate President Wilton Simpson touched on Amendment 2, which was narrowly approved by voters on […]

Gov. DeSantis opens COVID vaccine site in powerful GOP leader’s legislative district

BY: - February 24, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis continued his vaccine rollout plan on Wednesday by targeting seniors in a county that a top Republican leader represents, saying he wants to increase the number of seniors being vaccinated in Hernando County. Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson, who represents Hernando as part of his legislative district, attended the news conference, where […]