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The Board of County Commissioners for Manatee County hopes to decide between Rye Preserve and a portion of land off of Church Street to finally put the confederate monument.
Manatee County Government

Manatee County commissioners are tasked again with deciding what to do with a Confederate monument that used to stand in front of the county courthouse.

Protester Alexandra Ale and Trump supporter Gary Snow face off before Tuesday's announcement  that president Trump is launching his reelection campaign.
Danielle Prieur / WMFE

Correction: In an earlier version of this article, the Proud Boys were misidentified. The Federal Bureau of Investigation does not identify domestic organizations as extremist groups. The Southern Poverty Law Center designates the Proud Boys as a hate group. The founder of the Proud Boys is suing the Southern Poverty Law Center for defamation because of the label.

After an afternoon of pre-rally protestors rallied in downtown Orlando Tuesday, close to 20,000 supporters of President Donald Trump up in ‘Make America Great Again” hats and t-shirts to cheer on the commander in chief’s re-election bid.

Florida House District Map
Ballotpedia

Republicans increased their lead in the Florida House of Representatives Tuesday night, as Randy Maggard defeated Democrat Kelly Smith in a special election in Pasco County.

Maggard, of Dade City, works as a vice president for a discount appliance chain. House District 38 includes most of eastern Pasco, including Wesley Chapel, Dade City and Zephyrhills.

Trump, Outsider-Turned-Insider, To Sell Self As Rebel In Orlando Rally

Jun 18, 2019
Paola Chinchilla/WMFE

President Donald Trump captured the Republican Party and then the presidency in 2016 as an insurgent intent on disrupting the status quo. As he mounts his bid for reelection, Trump is offering himself as the outsider once again — but it's a much more awkward pitch to make from inside the Oval Office.

A planned passenger train connecting Miami, Orlando and Tampa is moving forward even as local elected officials raise concerns that the train is missing crucial stops.

Virgin Trains USA is also working on a line that would connect Orlando with West Palm Beach. That groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for June 24.

Virgin Trains USA engineer Adrian Share says the plan is to pick up passengers at the Orlando International Airport, make a stop at the Disney theme parks, and then head to downtown Tampa.

DeSantis Redistributes Election Security Money

Jun 17, 2019
Gov. Ron DeSantis stands at a podium surrounded by officials as he announces a plan to evaluate the security of Florida's elections systems.
Courtesy Governor's Press Office

A month after learning Russian hackers breached elections systems in two Florida counties in 2016, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday said his administration is focused on identifying “any vulnerabilities” ahead of next year’s elections.

The Republican governor announced he is redistributing $2.3 million in election-security money that went unspent by county elections supervisors last year. The funds are in addition to $2.8 million for elections cybersecurity Florida lawmakers earmarked in the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1.

People casting their votes at polling booths
WUSF Staff

Pasco County will be holding a special election Tuesday to replace former Representative Danny Burgess after he was selected by Governor Ron DeSantis to become the executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

President Donald Trump speaks at the Tampa Fairgrounds during a rally July 31, 2018.
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

A federal lawsuit alleging President Donald Trump kissed a former campaign staffer during a Tampa rally in 2016 has been dismissed.

Governor Ron DeSantis today signed off on a bill banning so-called “sanctuary cities” in Florida.  The effort sparked controversy during this legislative session, but its backers say it’s all about following the rule of law.

CHRISTINE CABALO VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Millions of dollars could be coming to Florida as part of a potential settlement of lawsuits filed over opioid abuse. But legal experts say strings should be attached to that money.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed 38 bills, including a controversial measure that will make it harder for groups and citizens to put proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot. 

Trump Signs Disaster Relief Package

Jun 10, 2019

President Donald Trump on Thursday signed into law a $19.1 billion disaster-relief package that Florida officials have sought since Hurricane Michael pounded the Panhandle in October. 

Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo introduces former U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson at the June 8 state party gala in Orlando.
Florida Democratic Party/Twitter

The new voter protection director for Florida Democrats told party activists on Saturday that they should assume there will be a recount during next year's presidential election.

The Supreme Court will decide this month whether the Trump administration can include a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census, and Florida Republican Congressman Greg Steube says he believes the court will decide to include the controversial query.

Rep. Steube of Florida’s 17th congressional district, the Sarasota area, said Friday on The Florida Roundup that opposition to the citizenship question amounts to "a lot of Democratic political posturing."

Later this month, the Supreme Court is expected to decide a brewing fight over the 2020 Census. It has to do with a proposed citizenship question the Trump administration wants to place on the Census.

We spent the full hour taking a closer look at what this might mean for Florida. Our guests for the discussion were:

Trump To Launch Re-Election Bid In Orlando

Jun 3, 2019
Donald Trump rallies at the USF Sun Dome in 2016.
Christopher Collier / WUSF News

As a sign of the importance of Florida in the 2020 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted that he will announce his re-election bid at a June 18 rally in Orlando. 

The number of people spending more money than they should on housing in Broward County, keeps going up. 

 

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Courtesy Governor's Press Office

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis met with Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, calling the embattled Israeli prime minister a "strong leader" on the governor's final day of a trade mission to Israel.

The meeting came the day after Netanyahu failed to assemble a governing coalition, sending the country into a political crisis.

2020 U.S. Census logo
U.S. Census Bureau

A group of local organizations is hosting a town hall meeting this weekend to encourage participation in the 2020 Census.

Florida KIDS COUNT, the State Innovation Exchange and Organize Florida will host the meeting on Saturday on the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida.

Florida Cabinet Meets In Israel Despite Illegality Complaint

May 29, 2019
The Florida Cabinet - Attorney General Ashley Moody, Gov. Ron DeSantis, CFO Jimmy Patronis and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried - met in Israel Wednesday morning.
United States Embassy in Jerusalem

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the independently elected Florida Cabinet met in Israel on Wednesday, waving away complaints that the setting was illegal. They presented a proclamation of support for Israel and heard from Israelis on several issues important to Florida.

ing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro traveled to Puerto Rico in January, as part of his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Castro shakes hands with supporters.
Julián Castro Campaign

Puerto Ricans who live in Florida need to register to vote here, in order to have a say in the island’s future. That’s the message from the chair of the Puerto Rico Democratic Party as he tours Florida this week. 

Updated at 1:14 p.m. ET

Special counsel Robert Mueller stepped down Wednesday after concluding not only one of the highest-profile investigations in recent history, but one of the most distinctive codas in the career of any top Washington official.

Mueller addressed reporters at the Justice Department in his first public statement since taking over the Russia investigation, ending two years of near-silence even under one of the hottest spotlights ever to burn on a public figure.

Department of Justice building
NPR live feed

Special counsel Robert Mueller is making a statement about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Watch his remarks at the Justice Department live.

Judge Turns Down Bid To Block Cabinet Meeting In Israel

May 28, 2019
Gov. Ron DeSantis, seen in a file photo.
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

A Tallahassee judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit brought against Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet by open-government advocates, who made a last-ditch effort to stop a Cabinet meeting in Israel because they argue it will violate the state’s open-meeting laws.

Florida Disaster Relief Blocked Again In Congress

May 28, 2019
Hurricane Michael was reclassified as a Category 5 hurricane.
NOAA

A second congressional Republican, arguing for a vote by the full House, blocked an attempt Tuesday to pass long-stalled federal disaster relief funding that would assist Florida’s hurricane-ravaged Panhandle.

The latest move came after a group of Panhandle residents targeted --- through a full-page ad in the Austin American-Statesman newspaper --- a Texas Republican who initially blocked the bill on Friday.

Ron DeSantsi
Flckr

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was on his way to Israel Saturday with a delegation of close to 100 people, a trip that will include a ceremonial meeting with the independently elected Cabinet.

Protestors gathered on a street corner in Downtown St. Petersburg Tuesday. The event was one of many "Stop The Bans" protests held across Florida and around the country.
Bradley George/WUSF Public Media

Protestors rallied in downtown St. Petersburg Tuesday as part of a National Day of Action against strict anti-abortion laws passed in several states. Florida lawmakers considered similar bills this year, but none of them passed.

Nearly a year after a federal judge’s ruling allowed early-voting sites on college and university campuses, state elections officials and plaintiffs in the case remain locked in a legal battle.

President Donald Trump on Sunday denied reports that hundreds of migrants would be flown from the Mexican border to Florida and other areas in the U.S. interior to lessen the workload at crowded Border Patrol facilities.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, also on Sunday, acknowledged that federal officials did initially alert local leaders of the possibility that migrants would be flown to two South Florida counties. But Trump appeared to blame the media for "false reporting."

DeSantis Says Migrant Flux Is 'Something We Don't Want'

May 18, 2019

A day after local officials said the federal government plans to send about 1,000 migrants a month to two South Florida counties, Gov. Ron DeSantis bemoaned the move, arguing that under his leadership the state has been “very cooperative” with federal immigration authorities.

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