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Total Cost For Gov. DeSantis, Florida Cabinet's Trip To Israel Released

Jul 15, 2019
Gov. Ron DeSantis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Courtesy Governor's Press Office

By Ana Ceballos / News Service of Florida

More than a month after Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Cabinet members wrapped up a six-day trip in Israel, the price tag of the mostly privately funded trip was revealed on Friday. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis formally asked Wednesday that the statue of civil-rights leader and educator Mary McLeod Bethune replace the likeness of a Confederate general as a representative of Florida in the U.S. Capitol.

Put your phone down while you are driving to avoid getting a ticket in Florida.

Starting Monday, law enforcement officers can pull motorists over solely for texting while driving, thanks to a new law passed by the Florida Legislature. Before, texting while driving was not a primary offense, meaning officers had to have another reason to stop a motorist to cite them for texting and driving.

DeSantis Vetoes Warnings On Lottery Tickets

Jul 1, 2019

Lawmakers seeking to slap gambling-addiction warnings on state lottery tickets and advertising once again failed to scratch out a winner.

On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis, noting potential impacts to money for education, vetoed a controversial bill (HB 629) that sought to require the following warnings to be prominently displayed on the front of all lottery tickets: “Warning: Lottery games may be addictive,” or “Play responsibly.”

Florida counties can now authorize needle exchanges, after a bill aimed at reducing HIV and hepatitis C was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis.

‘Shared Savings’ For Health Programs Could Be Off To Slow Start

Jun 27, 2019

While Gov. Ron DeSantis and House leaders are enthusiastic about "shared savings" health-care programs, state economists are not so sure the programs will have a big immediate impact. 

The new executive director of the environmental group Friends of the Everglades is not that impressed with Gov. Ron DeSantis' environmental record thus far. 

Needle Exchange Bill Hits DeSantis’ Desk

Jun 14, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday received a bill that would authorize needle-exchange programs across the state. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law Wednesday that will allow insurance companies to offer incentives to patients who use a database to find lower-cost healthcare services.

Hospital Projects Get State Go-Ahead

Jun 13, 2019

More than $324 million in new hospital construction was given tentative approval by health-care regulators this week in what could be the last batch of hospital projects subject to Florida’s “certificate of need” requirements. 

DeSantis Signs Death Warrant In Jacksonville Murder

Jun 12, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed a death warrant for an inmate convicted of committing three murders in Florida, including a Jacksonville murder that sent him to Death Row.

The execution of Gary Ray Bowles is scheduled for Aug. 22 at Florida State Prison, according to documents the governor’s office filed late Tuesday afternoon at the state Supreme Court.

Drug Importation Plan Signed As Questions Remain

Jun 12, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis, acting on one of his top priorities during his first year in office, signed into law Tuesday a measure that gives the state the go-ahead to pursue approval to import prescription drugs from Canada and other countries. 

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.

Drug Importation Bill Goes To DeSantis

Jun 11, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis could be on the verge of signing a bill aimed at allowing cheaper imported prescription drugs from Canada.

DeSantis, who made the issue one of his priorities during this year’s legislative session, formally received the bill (HB 19) on Monday.

It’s almost six months into Gov. Ron DeSantis’s first term, and the biggest shift from the Rick Scott administration has been his focus on the environment.

JERUSALEM – At the end of the day for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, it was about building relationships, making new connections and checking in with familiar political allies.

DeSantis spent the last day of his marathon mission to Israel meeting with embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu along with the Cabinet and several lawmakers before placing a prayer in the Western Wall for Florida’s safety this hurricane season and a prayer from a Panhandle girl who lost her house in Hurricane Michael.

Governor, Cabinet Sued Over Plans To Meet In Israel

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

An open-government watchdog group and several news outlets are suing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and members of the Cabinet in an effort to stop their planned meeting in Jerusalem. 

Questions Raised Over Florida Cabinet Meeting In Israel

May 22, 2019

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is going to Israel with a large contingent of business leaders — not surprisingly, especially as the GOP woos Jewish voters ahead of the 2020 presidential election. But DeSantis' plan to hold a meeting with his elected Cabinet while he's there has raised concerns about whether officials are violating the state's open-meeting laws. 

In a call with reporters from across the state on Friday, Florida Chief Science Officer Tom Frazer said he recognizes Florida’s ongoing struggle with harmful algal blooms and will make water quality issues his priority moving forward.

Feds To Release Hundreds Of Immigrants In Broward, Palm Beach Counties

May 17, 2019
Group of immigrants waiving small United States flags.
Obama White House Archive

The federal government plans to release hundreds of migrants into Broward and Palm Beach counties starting next week, blindsiding Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has been an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration. 

DeSantis Calls For Pre-K Improvements

May 16, 2019

Pointing to a new report showing 42 percent of children who participated in the state’s voluntary pre-kindergarten program were not ready for kindergarten, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday directed Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to come up with a plan for improvements.  

DeSantis, State Contingent Ready For Israel Trip

May 9, 2019
Gov. Ron DeSantis, seen in a file photo.
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

In his quest to become the most “pro-Israel” governor in the nation, Gov. Ron DeSantis this month will lead a first-ever Florida Cabinet meeting in Israel as part of a week-long trip in which he is also scheduled to talk with executives who might want to do business in the Sunshine State. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis favors a House plan to crack down on texting while driving, as the Senate on Wednesday delayed for at least a day a separate measure that would only allow motorists to use hands-free wireless devices while on the road.

The Florida Cabinet is planning to hold its next meeting in Israel next month.

 

Gov. Ron DeSantis said the trip’s main purpose is to promote investment in the state.

Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis Directs Action On Spanish-Language Ballots

Apr 12, 2019

Amid a federal court battle involving 32 counties, including several in Northeast Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday directed the state’s elections chief to begin a process to address the availability of Spanish-language ballots and Spanish-language voter assistance.

DeSantis To Lead Trip To Israel In May

Apr 10, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday his first international excursion on behalf of the state will begin May 25, as he makes a previously announced trip to Israel after the legislative session.

UF Dr. Scott Rivkees Named State Surgeon General

Apr 2, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday named a top University of Florida doctor and professor as the state’s next surgeon general.

DeSantis, State Leaders Put Focus On Mental Health

Mar 29, 2019

Coming after the grim news that two survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre committed suicide this month, Gov. Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis held an hour-long “listening” session Thursday on mental-health issues.