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Judge Orders Spanish-Language Ballots In 32 Counties

May 13, 2019
Sign reading "Vote precinct precinto"
Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF

A federal judge Friday required 32 counties to provide Spanish-language ballots and other assistance to Spanish-speaking voters in Florida’s March 2020 presidential primary election. 

Legislation filed this week by Jacksonville City Councilman Garrett Dennis to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana is getting pushback from top city officials.

The FBI will brief Florida’s congressional members this week on Russian attempts to hack the 2016 election, after the Mueller report revealed last month that the election system of at least one Florida county was compromised.

But even before details emerge, a former supervisor of elections in Florida is saying he is not surprised that the state’s system was compromised. Ion Sancho, the longtime former supervisor of elections of Leon County, said Friday on The Florida Roundup that Florida’s election infrastructure is, frankly, “not secure.”

Petitions Top 42,000 For ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban

May 10, 2019

A political committee seeking to ban possession of assault-style weapons in Florida has submitted nearly 43,000 valid petition signatures to the state as it tries to get the issue on the November 2020 ballot. 

The First Amendment Foundation (FAF) in Tallahassee keeps watch over policy discussions that could impede the public’s right to know about government business.

“We track all bills that affect the public’s ability to oversee government and hold it accountable," says FAF president Barbara Petersen.

The foundation tracked 111 bills this year that would create new open government exemptions or extend current exemptions. 25 of them passed.

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. 

Trump Promises More Hurricane Relief For Florida Panhandle

May 9, 2019

President Donald Trump promised a swift infusion of federal aid to the Florida Panhandle seven months after devastating Hurricane Michael as he rallied supporters Wednesday for his re-election. 

DeSantis Signs Bill Allowing Armed Teachers

May 9, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday signed legislation that expands the controversial school “guardian” program to allow armed classroom teachers. 

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried ran on a platform of what she called 'the three W’s': weapons, water and weed. Within months of her swearing in, it’s that last W that’s already generating a buzz around the state. 

Florida Prisons Sued Over Solitary Confinement Practices

May 9, 2019

Florida is an “outlier” in prison systems across the nation when it comes to the use of solitary confinement, according to a 90-page federal lawsuit filed Wednesday that alleges the state Department of Corrections is violating the constitutional rights of inmates.

Rainy season in South Florida means it's also mosquito season. And now there's a new weapon being added to the arsenal against the insects in the Florida Keys.

DeSantis To Sign Felons’ Voting Measure

May 8, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday he will sign a controversial measure that would require repayment of financial obligations before felons’ voting rights are restored. 

Gun Control Groups Seek ‘Guardian’ Bill Veto

May 8, 2019
Man standing with weapon
Manatee School For the Arts

About a dozen activists with two gun-control advocacy groups dropped off a stack of papers with 13,000 signatures at Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office Tuesday as they urged him to veto a bill that would allow armed classroom teachers. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently announced that he will be heading a trade mission to Israel in May. He will be joined by Florida's Cabinet -- Attorney General Ashley Moody, Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. An official meeting of the Florida Cabinet will take place at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem during the visit.

ICE To Train, Authorize Florida Sheriff's Deputies

May 7, 2019
Pinellas County Sheriff Gualtieri pictured standing at a podium surrounded by law enforcement officers.
WUSF Public Media

The country's immigration enforcement agency has announced a new partnership in Florida to allow some sheriff's deputies to serve warrants on behalf of the federal government. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign a proposal would allow public and charter schools to carry guns in the classroom, although many school districts are unlikely to arm instructors.

DeSantis Signs Firefighter Cancer Benefits

May 6, 2019

After the proposal received unanimous support in the Legislature, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed a bill that will expand benefits for firefighters who are diagnosed with 21 types of cancers. 

Updated at 9:05 p.m. ET

In a stunning and historic Kentucky Derby upset, the horse that crossed the finish line first was not the one that was declared the winner.

Maximum Security, the favorite entering the race and the only undefeated horse in the field, outpaced the competition on the muddy track at Churchill Downs and appeared to have won the 145th Kentucky Derby with a time of 2:03.93.

Then an objection was lodged. For several tense minutes in Louisville, some 150,000 people in rain-soaked ponchos and fancy hats waited for a verdict.

The first All Things Considered studio in 1972.
NPR

While "Morning Edition" is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, let's not forget its older sibling, "All Things Considered." NPR's flagship news program made its debut May 3, 1971.

ProCon.org

Seeking to carry out a November constitutional amendment, the Florida Senate on Thursday passed a measure that would require repayment of financial obligations before felons’ voting rights could be restored, an issue that’s been a sticking point as lawmakers grappled with one of this year’s most controversial pieces of legislation. 

Lawmakers Pass ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Ban

May 3, 2019
Florida Capitol
Michael Rivera

Legislation that would give Florida one of the strictest laws in the nation against so-called sanctuary cities is headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis, giving him a chance to fulfill a key campaign promise. 

Governor Ron DeSantis says he backs Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido as President. This follows multiple conversations between DeSantis and National Security Director John Bolton.  

Partners across the state are recognizing May as National Foster Care Month in Florida. The state has about 5,400 licensed foster homes, and there’s a need for more. Now, two bills relating to child welfare have passed the Florida Legislature and are headed to the governor’s desk.

"Many of you know that I served for 20 years in the United States military, and I’ve learned a thing or two about moving,” said Rep. Spencer Roach (R-North Fort Myers), telling House members about moving 13 times and being deployed to various countries.

“That was my choice, and I at least had a chance to voice my preference during the assignment process," Roach said. "That is not the case in Florida for our 24-thousand children who are languishing in Florida’s foster care system. 60 percent of those children have been in the process for 12 months or longer.”

Killing a law enforcement canine or horse in Florida will now come with a more severe penalty, up to triple the prison time. Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law Wednesday flanked by officers and their four-legged partners.

forecasted rainfall for florida
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

A non-tropical disturbance is expected to approach Florida Thursday and Friday, producing summer-like downpours and thunderstorms across much of the state.

A non-tropical disturbance is expected to approach Florida Thursday and Friday, producing summer-like downpours and thunderstorms across much of the state.

The National Hurricane Center is not forecasting this disturbance to become tropical as it approaches Florida, although it does have a “low chance” of becoming a tropical depression or storm as it moves away from Florida this weekend.

Budget Chiefs Finalize State Spending Plan

May 1, 2019
State Capitol
News Service of Florida

House and Senate budget chiefs agreed Tuesday to a roughly $90 billion budget deal, but lawmakers will not end the 2019 legislative session on time. 

A key elections bill backed by the state’s supervisors heading for final votes. The measure is meant to address issues stemming from the 2018 election but Democrats say it doesn’t do enough.

greyhounds racing on a track
Cathy Carter / WUSF Public Media

On a recent afternoon at the Sarasota Kennel Club, the track’s grandstand is mostly empty, but for a handful of spectators leaning against a wire fence and sipping beer from plastic cups as a mechanical rabbit buzzes by.  

@pitbull / Twitter

Legislative budget negotiators have reached a deal to extend the life of the Visit Florida tourism agency, which had been set to expire in October. 

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