Steven Lemongello
Steven Lemongello
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Florida Supreme Court kills amendment to legalize recreational marijuana

Florida Supreme Court kills amendment to legalize recreational marijuana

The Florida Supreme Court declared a proposed amendment to legalize recreational marijuana “misleading,” effectively ending the issue’s chances of getting on the ballot in 2022 and perhaps for good. If the GOP-controlled Legislature’s proposed changes to the state’s ballot initiative process become law, any future initiative would have an even bigger obstacle to overcome, said Miami attorney Ben Pollara, a supporter of legal marijuana. Advertisement “It’s unfortunate because I think Floridians would legalize marijuana for adult use tomorrow if given the opportunity,” said Pollara, who...

Apr 22
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Florida ‘anti-riot’ law is unconstitutional, federal lawsuit in Orlando contends

Florida ‘anti-riot’ law is unconstitutional, federal lawsuit in Orlando contends

An Orlando civil rights attorney filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Orange County Sheriff John Mina in what may be the first legal challenge to Florida’s “anti-riot” law that went into effect this week. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Orlando by attorney Aaron Carter Bates on behalf of the Lawyers Matter Task Force, a nonprofit advocacy group. Advertisement The suit claims that the law, signed by DeSantis on Monday, violates several provisions of the U.S. Constitution. “The purpose of these laws are nothing more...

Apr 21
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DeSantis suggests Chauvin jury was ‘scared of what a mob may do’

DeSantis suggests Chauvin jury was ‘scared of what a mob may do’

Gov. Ron DeSantis implied that the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial could have happened because “the jury is scared of what a mob may do.” DeSantis, a lawyer and former Judge Advocate General in the U.S. Navy, was asked by Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Tuesday night if fear of violence caused the jury to convict the former Minneapolis police officer of the murder of George Floyd. Advertisement She played video of an unnamed person in New York stating, “If you continue to allow us to be murdered in the streets without justice, we will raise hell in America.” “That’s really, really...

Apr 21
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Florida Gov. DeSantis signs controversial ‘anti-riot’ bill into law

Florida Gov. DeSantis signs controversial ‘anti-riot’ bill into law

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s controversial “anti-riot” bill into law on Monday, a measure that vastly increases law enforcement’s powers to crack down on civil unrest. The bill, which passed mostly along partisan lines, has been criticized by Democrats and civil rights groups as unconstitutional for infringing on the First Amendment’s right to protest. Advertisement “If you look at the breadth of this particular piece of legislation, it is the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country,” DeSantis said at a press conference in Winter Haven...

Apr 19
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DeSantis won’t support raising $275 unemployment benefit, calls it ‘fine’ as it is

DeSantis won’t support raising $275 unemployment benefit, calls it ‘fine’ as it is

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Florida’s maximum $275 unemployment benefit is “fine” and rejected bipartisan efforts in the Legislature to raise it. A bill introduced by state Sen. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, would increase weekly benefits by $100 to $375 a week and has received support from Republicans and Democrats alike. Advertisement But asked about it on Friday, DeSantis dismissed the idea to increase what is one of the lowest jobless payouts in the nation. “Increased benefits?” DeSantis said. “Well, no. ... Our unemployment is what it is, it’s fine.” Advertisement The governor said the state’s...

Apr 16
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DeSantis’ ban of vaccine passports could lead to showdown with businesses in Florida

DeSantis’ ban of vaccine passports could lead to showdown with businesses in Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban of vaccine passports could lead to a showdown with businesses in Florida. Vaccination passports have become a new ideological battleground of the COVID-19 pandemic, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis joining the fray by issuing an order banning their use by both local governments and businesses. But already, businesses ranging from cruise lines to sports teams have announced they’re planning to require some kind of proof of vaccination for entry into their ships or arenas. Advertisement And with the Biden administration ruling out issuing federal passports, that means...

Apr 15
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DeSantis agrees to pause Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Florida but calls risk minimal

DeSantis agrees to pause Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Florida but calls risk minimal

Gov. Ron DeSantis sai the state will heed the federal government’s recommendation to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine. Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday the state will heed the federal government’s recommendation to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, but he added any risk appeared minimal and urged Floridians to get the one-dose shot if and when it becomes available again. “I don’t think people should be freaking out,” said DeSantis, who received the J&J vaccine earlier this month. Advertisement “I think that what they’re doing is out of an...

Apr 13
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After YouTube pulls DeSantis video for mask fallacies, governor holds another COVID-19 talk with same docs

After YouTube pulls DeSantis video for mask fallacies, governor holds another COVID-19 talk with same docs

After YouTube took down a video last week of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ coronavirus roundtable because of misinformation about mask-wearing, DeSantis doubled down Monday and invited those same panelists back to the state Capitol for more discussion. The move plays into DeSantis’ recent push to punish “big tech” for censorship of conservatives, as well as continuing to cement DeSantis’ status as the top Republican advocate against anti-COVID-19 measures and a potential GOP nominee for president in 2024. Advertisement The most controversial panelist at both meetings was Scott Atlas, a former...

Apr 12
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DeSantis complains again about ’60 Minutes’ story, gets vaccinated off-camera

DeSantis complains again about ’60 Minutes’ story, gets vaccinated off-camera

For the second day in a row, Gov. Ron DeSantis took to the podium to attack CBS News and “60 Minutes” over its Sunday story on vaccine favoritism in Florida, this time for an entire press conference held without taking questions. Shortly afterward, a DeSantis spokeswoman said the governor had privately received his vaccination shot, . She did not say which vaccine he received or where he got it. Advertisement Many public officials have gotten inoculated on camera to promote the vaccines to their constituents, including state CFO Jimmy Petronis, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried,...

Apr 7
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Florida will gain 1 seat in Congress, not 2, after Trump’s census moves, COVID-19 pandemic

Florida will gain 1 seat in Congress, not 2, after Trump’s census moves, COVID-19 pandemic

Florida will only gain one new seat in Congress in 2022, not two, the U.S. Census Bureau revealed Monday. The lower-than-expected apportionment comes after months of concern that the Trump administration’s early census deadlines, thwarted attempts to add a citizenship question and the COVID-19 pandemic might have caused a major undercount of Florida’s population. Advertisement Florida’s population rose about 15% from about 18.8 million in 2010 to 21.5 million in 2020. In addition to having 28 congressional seats instead of 27, the state will also gain one Electoral College vote in...

Apr 26
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