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Daylina Miller/WUSF News

A Florida voting rights group is asking a federal judge to let college campuses be used for early voting sites in this year's elections.

Hillsborough commissioners will allow voters to decide if they want non-partisan elections in the races of five county officials.

Commissioners voted Wednesday to hold a referendum in November. The proposal would affect races for county sheriff, clerk of the court, property appraiser, tax collector and supervisor of elections.

The vote was 5-2 along party lines with Republican commissioners in favor of nonpartisan elections.

President Trump and administration officials are walking a fine line on family separation at the border.

They argue they don't like the policy, but that their hands are tied — and instead are pointing fingers at Congress to "fix" it.

There may be good reason for that — the policy (and it is a Trump administration policy, despite the Homeland Security secretary's claims to the contrary) is unpopular.

Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to at least three "tender age" shelters in South Texas, The Associated Press has learned.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson accused the Trump administration of a "cover-up" after officials denied him entry Tuesday to a detention center for migrant children in South Florida where he had hoped to survey living conditions.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss legislation.

Recent polling shows there are four constitutional amendments poised for approval on Florida’s November ballot. Three of those deal exclusively with the issue of taxation. But there’s ongoing concern that determining tax policy through constitutional referendum isn’t in the public’s best interest.

John Sepulvado/KQED and Marfa Public Radio

More than 2,000 protesters marched Sunday in Tornillo, Texas where more than 100 teenage boys detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for immigration violations are being held in tent encampments.

The Father's Day march in Tornillo, about 40 miles southeast of El Paso, was led by Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke.

Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET

The Trump administration's decision to separate children from their families as a way to curb illegal immigration is adding fuel to an already fiery debate over immigration.

A group of House Democrats converged on an immigration detention facility in New Jersey on Sunday, days before a planned vote by House Republicans next week. Meanwhile, Trump administration officials alternately took credit and sought to distance the administration from the family separation policy.

When Congress approved giving $380 million to states to bolster the security of their elections, state officials were caught off guard but extremely grateful. Elections are notoriously underfunded and haven't seen a windfall like this from the federal government in more than a decade.

But getting that money out to all the states, and then into the hands of localities that run the elections, with enough time to have a meaningful effect on the 2018 midterm elections is a difficult proposition.

Over 4,000 Pasco County voters will be receiving potentially misleading voter registration forms.

It's a warning that comes from the county Supervisor of Elections, Brian Corley.

Saint Leo University Polling Institute

Saint Leo University Polling Institute recently asked Americans how patriotic they are. One thing that a majority of them agreed on when it came to patriotism is over how the National Football League plans to handle players who kneel on the field during the national anthem.

Updated at 9:35 a.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has visited Puerto Rico six times since the island was ravaged by Hurricane Maria last year. He's brought aid, advice, and on one trip, even a delegation of utility providers to consult on how best to restore the island's tattered power grid.

The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the country, wrapped up its annual meeting Wednesday on a partisan tone. The featured speaker was Vice President Pence, who spoke of the day he accepted Jesus Christ as his savior and of the importance of prayer, but mostly delivered a speech fit for a campaign rally.

In Washington, D.C., the U.S. Supreme Court building sits directly across the street from the U.S. Capitol. On Wednesday, the two branches of government those structures represent clashed over who should direct how the judicial branch deals with sexual harassment complaints.

Scott Treads Carefully About Obamacare Lawsuit

Jun 14, 2018

Despite being a fierce critic of the Affordable Care Act, Florida Gov. Rick Scott isn’t saying where he stands on the Trump administration’s refusal to defend the federal law against the latest legal challenge brought by 20 Republican-led states, including Florida.

Fried Tries To Parlay Pot Into Cabinet Position

Jun 13, 2018

Nikki Fried has spent the past three years trying to tear down barriers to getting medical marijuana to Florida patients, facing roadblocks from state health officials and lawmakers in the process.

Democrats and gun-control advocates took aim Friday at Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam after the Tampa Bay Times reported that a former employee of Putnam’s agency failed for more than a year to conduct national background checks on applications for concealed weapons licenses.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Democratic candidates for governor sparred over the big issues in Florida politics at the second televised debate Saturday night at Pinellas Park High School.

Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam announced his campaign plans for public safety with a focus on fighting crime and combatting the opioid epidemic.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Sen. Bill Nelson was in Tampa on Monday to announce an endorsement from former Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Rossello.

Pot Legalization Could Be Key Issue For Democrats

Jun 4, 2018

Three of the state’s top Democratic candidates for governor support legalization of recreational marijuana, and the fourth backs decriminalizing pot for personal use, showing near-consensus on an issue political rainmaker John Morgan said could determine the outcome of the August primary.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

A group of activists marked Gun Violence Prevention Day over the weekend with an annual speaking and voter registration event at The Portico in Downtown Tampa.

NPR.org

Has there really been more students killed in schools this year than U.S. troops killed in war zones overseas? And just how "independent" is Florida's Democratic Senator, Bill Nelson? WUSF's Steve Newborn looks into these claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida. 

The man who led the efforts to allow the use of medical marijuana in Florida two years ago implored Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday to drop the state's opposition to letting patients smoke it.

Former President George H.W. Bush is hospitalized in Maine — a week after he arrived in the state to spend the summer.

Spokesman Jim McGrath says the 93 year old was hospitalized on Sunday after experiencing low blood pressure and fatigue. He was taken to Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford which is about 20 miles south of Portland.

McGrath said Bush was awake, alert and not in any discomfort — adding the 41st president would spend at least a few days in the hospital for observation.

Flckr

Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday that federal funds will be used after all to beef up security for the state's voting systems in time for November's elections.

A reboot of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign, which sought to unite those of all races who live in poverty, had a presence in Florida’s Capitol Monday.

Longtime Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni died Sunday at the age of 63.

The Treasure Island Republican served on the commission since 2000. He also represented Pinellas County in the Florida House of Representatives for eight years, from 1992-2000.

In a surprise announcement that caught the candidate off-guard, President Donald Trump said he'll nominate acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to permanently lead the beleaguered department.

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