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Senate Resolution Condemning White Supremacy Off To Rocky Start

Aug 18, 2019
Florida Senate seal
Wikimedia Commons

Senate Republican leaders say the first step toward preventing mass violence is condemning white nationalism and white supremacy as “hateful, dangerous and morally corrupt,” according to a draft resolution made public on Friday.

But Senate Democrats want to see the chamber do more. 

St. Petersburg Sen. Jeff Brandes
MyFloridaHouse.gov

St. Petersburg Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes is once again seeking to do away with the Florida Constitution Revision Commission, the powerful panel that sparked controversy last year for linking unrelated issues in proposed constitutional amendments.

Plastic straws
Wikimedia Commons

Governor Ron DeSantis said he wouldn’t vote for a plastic straw ban if he was a city or municipal leader.

The governor made the comments to local leaders at the Florida League of Cities conference Friday in Orlando.

Early Voting Here sign
WUSF

Early voting on college campuses was allowed in Florida for the first time in 2018. A new study suggests the convenience helped increase the number of young voters.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

"Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge," Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said Tuesday, twisting Emma Lazarus' famous words on a bronze plaque at the Statue of Liberty.

Some Florida Lawmakers Late In Disclosing Their Finances

Aug 11, 2019

Florida's Democratic lawmakers are proving to be much worse than their Republican colleagues in complying with a state law that requires they disclose their finances.

Gun control rally
WLRN

A Panhandle Republican is again asking the Florida House to repeal gun-related provisions of a law passed in 2018 after a mass shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Scott Maddox
Ryan Dailey/WFSU

Three days after admitting guilt to fraud-related charges, Scott Maddox, a former chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, was removed Friday from his position as Tallahassee city commissioner by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Four U.S. presidential candidates came to South Florida on Tuesday to address the National Association of Black Journalists. Senators Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders, Southbend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and former Massachusetts Governor and Republican challenger Bill Weld each spoke separately, in an evening that highlighted differences over how best to address institutional racism. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis asked the Florida Supreme Court justices to issue an opinion on whether felons must pay all fines and fees before they are eligible to register to vote.
Flickr

Florida's Republican governor on Friday asked the state's high court to rule on whether convicted felons must pay all fines and fees before getting their voting rights restored in a move that competes with ongoing litigation in federal court on that same question.

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

Smokey Bear, the U.S. Forest Service's symbol of fire prevention, turns 75 on Friday. Smokey is the longest-running public service ad campaign, first appearing on a poster on Aug. 9, 1944.

While his look has changed quite a bit, his message has shifted only slightly.

Smokey's roots go back further than his first post. In 1942, a Japanese sub attacked an oil field in southern California.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, left, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman urged Congress to act on gun violence.
CITY OF TAMPA; FLICKR

More than 200 mayors, including two anguished by mass shootings in Texas and Ohio as well as Tampa’s Jane Castor and St. Petersburg’s Rick Kriseman, are urging the Senate to return to the Capitol to act on gun safety legislation amid criticism that Congress is failing to respond to back-to-back shootings that left 31 people dead.

In an idea that has popped up repeatedly -- and been rejected -- in the past, a South Florida Democrat is asking lawmakers to consider moving the state capital from Tallahassee.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said it’s not productive to any gun-safety dialogue to focus on partisan politics, as Democrats continued to criticize President Donald Trump after two mass shootings over the weekend.
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Ron DeSantis pointed to “recesses of the internet” where people can share “vile” views and a need to look at white nationalism -- along with other causes -- when asked Wednesday about tackling mass violence.

But he also said, after a Purple Heart dedication ceremony at Tallahassee National Cemetery, that it’s not productive to any gun-safety dialogue to focus on partisan politics, as Democrats continued to criticize President Donald Trump after two mass shootings over the weekend.

The design for the now defunct Rays stadium in Tampa's Ybor City
Tampa Bay Rays

Commissioner Ken Hagan says Hillsborough County should be part of the discussion if the Tampa Bay Rays follow through on a plan to split seasons between Florida and Montreal. 

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET

President Trump visited survivors of the shooting in Dayton, Ohio, on Wednesday before heading to El Paso, Texas, the site of the weekend's other deadly violence. Trump remained out of public view during the Dayton stop.

On the ground in El Paso, Trump said, "We had an amazing day."

"The love, the respect, for the office of the presidency, it was — I wish you could have been in there to see it," he told reporters.

State Rep. Shevrin Jones’ proposal also specifies that juveniles arrested for possession of certain amounts of cannabis would be eligible for civil citations or pre-arrest diversion programs.
Florida House of Representatives

State Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, filed legislation Monday that would decriminalize possession of certain amounts of marijuana in Florida, a bill that could be a longshot in the Republican-dominated Legislature.

“We must restore justice to our broken criminal justice system. For far too long, communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana, and we must end this injustice once and for all,” Jones said in a prepared statement.

Prominent Orlando attorney John Morgan continues to put his money behind a proposed constitutional amendment that would gradually raise Florida’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Christian Simmons / WMFE

Supporters of legalized recreational marijuana in Florida just got a big-name backer: high-profile Orlando attorney John Morgan.

Senator Marco Rubio
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio condemned white nationalism Tuesday in the wake of the mass shooting in Texas. It is being investigated as a federal hate crime.

During a trip to St. Petersburg, he compared the ideology to that of radical Muslim jihadis, saying both groups claim everyone else is evil and dangerous, and need to be "crushed."

Fight For $15 An Hour Continues At Orlando International Airport

Aug 4, 2019
Pixabay

Workers contracted by private companies to handle luggage and push wheelchairs at Orlando International Airport rallied Friday for a living wage.

Tampa protesters showed up last month about the detention center in Homestead.
Carrie Pinkard / WUSF Public Media

A Homestead detention camp that has housed thousands of undocumented migrant children is emptying out, federal officials said Saturday.

Under Book’s proposal, Florida veterinarians that declaw cats unless it's medically necessary would face a $1,000 fine and be subject to disciplinary action by the Board of Veterinary Medicine.
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Declawing cats, unless medically necessary, would be banned under a bill proposed for the 2020 legislative session by Sen. Lauren Book.

The Plantation Democrat's measure (SB 48) mirrors a plan recently enacted in New York. The New York law, signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on July 22, imposes a $1,000 fine on veterinarians that perform the procedure.

Under Book’s proposal, Florida veterinarians that declaw cats unless it's medically necessary would face a $1,000 fine and be subject to disciplinary action by the Board of Veterinary Medicine.

Updated at 8:50 p.m. ET

Pedro Pierluisi has been sworn in as the new governor of Puerto Rico, succeeding Ricardo Rosselló who resigned in disgrace and appointed Pierluisi as secretary of state.

According to the island's constitution, the secretary of state is the first in line to succeed the governor. Puerto Rico's House of Representatives approved Pierluisi's nomination earlier Friday.

This week, 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls debated the issues—and each other. Under Florida’s ‘closed’ primary system, only registered Democrats can vote for any of them during the primary election next March. But that could change in future primary seasons. 

The Florida Supreme Court is reviewing a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow all registered voters in Florida—including the 3.2 million who are unaffiliated—to cast ballots in a primary election.

 

Weston Mayor Daniel Stermer plans to introduce an ordinance this month banning guns from public facilities in his Broward County city. Thanks to a recent court ruling, Stermer can put his proposal on the city commisson's agenda without being subject to a fine or getting thrown out of office.

Budget Cover
City of Tampa

The City of Tampa will hire a sustainability officer to create a long-term plan for dealing with the effects of climate change. It’s one of the proposals Mayor Jane Castor announced in her first budget.

You can read Castor's budget presentation here [opens in a PDF file].

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The second night of the Democratic debates in Detroit did not stray from its predicted script: It was open season on front-runner Joe Biden right from the start.

But it was also something of a free-for-all, with every candidate for himself or herself. And the intensity and outcome of the exchanges may have come as a surprise to some of the people onstage.

Follow NPR's live coverage for real-time fact checks and analysis of their remarks.
Angela Hsieh/NPR

The second set of 10 candidates made their case Wednesday as to why they should be the next president of the United States. Here is NPR's live coverage, including real-time fact checks and analysis of their remarks.

Follow NPR's live coverage for real-time fact checks and analysis of their remarks.
Angela Hsieh/NPR

Ten Democratic candidates each made the case Tuesday that they should be the next president of the United States. Here is NPR's coverage, including real-time fact checks and analysis of their remarks.

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