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News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced new education standards on Friday, a year after he vowed to eliminate the “vestiges” of the controversial Common Core standards.

Two French teachers and their American students sit in a classroom
Kerry Sheridan/WUSF

A House education panel on Thursday unveiled an early budget recommendation that includes $462 million for teacher pay raises after conducting a “budget exercise” for the coming fiscal year.

Florida is getting two grants totaling nearly $175,000 to combat animal diseases as part of the 2018 Farm Bill, the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced Friday.

The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments April 1 in a dispute about how much State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. should pay to a firm that provided MRI services to auto-accident victims.

Armed Guardians work at the Manatee School for the Arts.
Manatee School for the Arts

Two Democrats who are critical of Florida’s school guardian program have filed long-shot legislation seeking to redirect money earmarked for training and arming school personnel toward other school security measures.

House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, and Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, spoke to the House and Senate, respectively, on Tuesday to help open the 2020 legislative session. Here are their remarks.

A Senate Democrat on Friday filed a proposal that would make it harder for the Legislature to limit the power of local governments.

Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Fort Lauderdale, filed the proposed constitutional amendment (SJR 1674) for consideration during the legislative session that starts Tuesday. It comes amid efforts by cities and counties to fend off legislative attempts to “preempt” local regulations.

Students would get a day off from school to come down from their Halloween sugar highs, under a bill filed Monday by Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami.

With the Interstate 4 corridor always a political battleground, Vice President Mike Pence will appear at events Jan. 16 in Hillsborough and Osceola counties as part of President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.

Shadow Image of hand dropping vote in ballot box
Element5 Digital from Pexels

As a new year begins, and as we bid a final farewell to the past decade, Floridians should look out for a number of events in the next 12 months.

Florida hasn’t given up on landing the command center for the nation’s newest military branch, Space Force.

PICPEDIA

The U.S. Census Bureau on Monday released 2019 population estimates that showed Florida continues to be one of the fastest-growing states in the country. Here are some key comparisons:

The number of candidates for two seats on the Florida Supreme Court was updated to 32 on Thursday, as an initial list did not include an applicant who had submitted her information by a Christmas Eve deadline.

Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment that would overhaul Florida’s electric-utility industry continue to move closer to a key threshold for getting the issue on the November 2020 ballot.

Hepatitis
Pixabay

Florida had another 49 reported cases of hepatitis A last week, bringing the total this year to 3,327 as of Saturday, according to new figures from the state Department of Health.

With the end of the year nearing, the number of hepatitis A cases in 2019 has dwarfed the totals in past years as health officials have tried to combat an outbreak. By comparison, the state had 548 cases in 2018, 276 cases in 2017 and 122 cases in 2016.

Many Floridians will spend part of this week tearing into presents, sipping eggnog or gazing at blinking Christmas lights as they gather with family and friends to celebrate the holidays.

But some top-notch lawyers and judges will be polishing their resumes as they try to get appointed to the Florida Supreme Court. Wannabes for two seats on the high court face a Tuesday deadline to submit applications.

Donald Trump rallies at the USF Sun Dome in 2016.
WUSF News

President Donald Trump will hold a campaign event Jan. 3 in Miami to launch an “Evangelicals for Trump” coalition, according to an announcement Friday.

“The event will bring together evangelicals from across the nation who support President Trump’s re-election,” the announcement from his campaign said.

The event is scheduled for 5 p.m. Jan. 3, though the campaign did not announce the location Friday. Trump is expected to look for heavy support from evangelicals during the 2020 campaign. Winning in Florida also is important for his re-election hopes.

Florida’s unemployment rate approached the end of 2019 at a historic low.

The rate fell to 3.1 percent in November, down from 3.2 percent in October and putting it at a mark hit twice in the past 40 years, most recently in March 2006, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office.

Backers of a recreational-marijuana legalization effort announced Monday their proposal will not be on Florida’s 2020 ballot -- though a separate legalization drive continues.

Citizens Looks To Move Policies To Private Market

Dec 15, 2019
graphic of Citizens decreasing market share
Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

The state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp., considered an insurer of last resort, is again looking at ways to downsize its policy count.

Voting sign
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Florida’s application has been approved for membership in a program that allows exchanging voter-related data with other states, an effort long-sought by county supervisors of elections, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday.

Pointing to “the senseless act of violence,” Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday ordered that flags be flown at half-staff for a week to honor victims of a shooting a Naval Air Station Pensacola.

A Leon County circuit judge has rejected a request for a preliminary injunction against a state rule that largely bans anacondas in Florida.

Move over Puppy Bowl, the 2020 Super Bowl has a new sideshow.

In very Florida fashion, Miami-Dade County will host a Python Bowl, in conjunction with the Super Bowl, to hunt the invasive snakes in the Everglades.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and state Rep. Geraldine Thompson, D-Windermere, want exoneration for the “Groveland Four,” expanding on pardons granted in January by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Cabinet in a prominent case from Florida’s Jim Crow era.

Some counties across the Tampa Bay region would receive the most amount of funds under Gov. Ron DeSantis’ teacher pay plan.

Techniques to manage Florida’s black bear population over the next decade, including the possibility of regulated hunting, will be among the items the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission considers during a meeting next month.

People in line to vote
Mary Shedden/WUSF

Leaders of the Florida Republican and Democratic parties don’t agree on much.

But they --- along with Attorney General Ashley Moody --- are united on one thing: They want to scuttle a proposed constitutional amendment that would overhaul Florida’s primary-election system.

Picture of Planey Hollywood building in Orlando
Wikimedia Commons

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has filed a lawsuit against Planet Hollywood International, Inc., alleging the company did not comply with requirements after receiving $288,000 in state incentives to add jobs in Orlando.

Gavel and sign saying Public Records
Creative Commons - Alpha Stock Images

Seeking information as part of an effort to address “over-incarceration,” the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has asked a judge to require the state Department of Corrections to provide access to records about issues such as tentative release dates and demographic information of inmates.

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