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DeSantis quietly signs abortion consent, E-Verify immigration laws

DeSantis quietly signs abortion consent, E-Verify immigration laws

Gov. Ron DeSantis quietly signed into law Tuesday bills requiring parental consent for a minor to get an abortion and another that mandates governments and some businesses use E-Verify to check the immigration status of their workers. The governor’s signature on two of the most controversial bills of the 2020 legislative session came without any comment or announcement. The news came after lawmakers who witnessed the signings went public. Advertisement The Florida Supreme Court struck down a similar abortion law that required parental consent in 1989, but the newly conservative majority on...

June 30, 2020
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Tech, defense giants lobbying for tax break that would save them billions

Tech, defense giants lobbying for tax break that would save them billions

Some of the world’s largest companies are lobbying Congress to preserve a lucrative tax break that saves them billions of dollars a year, even as the federal budget deficit swells amid efforts to contain the coronavirus and revive the sagging economy. Aerospace and defense contractors Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Technologies Corp. would save $2 billion each in 2022 if lawmakers agree to keep the soon-to-expire corporate tax break, at . Advertisement Airplane manufacturer Boeing Co. would save about $2.5 billion, according to estimates by analysts at investment bank UBS. One of...

June 24, 2020
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Central Florida sheriff orders deputies to stop wearing masks: report

Central Florida sheriff orders deputies to stop wearing masks: report

Marion County’s sheriff sent an email Tuesday night ordering his deputies to do away with their face masks while on duty, and prohibiting the use of face masks within the sheriff’s office. That includes not only MCSO employees, but also visitors, according to a report by the Advertisement Sheriff Billy Woods sent an email Tuesday night stating “my order will stand as is when you are on-duty/working as my employee and representing my Office – masks will not be worn.” The email came after the Ocala City Council passed an emergency ordinance last week requiring people to wear masks inside...

August 12, 2020
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After noose found at Black-owned Clermont clinic, owner asks ‘Why so much hate?'

After noose found at Black-owned Clermont clinic, owner asks ‘Why so much hate?'

As Clermont police search for a suspect who hung a noose outside a pain relief clinic owned by a Black physician, the clinic’s owner and staff are grappling with the targeted expression of hate in what they perceived as a safe community. “It’s kind of unreal, to be honest with you,” said Dr. Daniel Saint-Elie, owner of Painalgia Relief Center. “These are things that I’ve read about. I’m 40 years old, and I’ve never heard anybody in my immediate circle experience such a thing.” Advertisement Staff found the noose on a tree outside the clinic at 240 Mohawk Road around 8 a.m. and sent...

August 4, 2020
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DeSantis protest crackdown grabs headlines, but he does nothing about the racism that leads to protests | Editorial

DeSantis protest crackdown grabs headlines, but he does nothing about the racism that leads to protests | Editorial

In 1965, Alabama Gov. George Wallace traffic problems as a pretext to halt the march from Selma to Montgomery to demand voting rights. The march was “not conducive to the orderly flow of traffic and commerce,” Wallace said in forbidding it. “[The] march cannot and will not be tolerated.” Advertisement On Monday, 55 years later, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared his state will not tolerate protest marches — peaceful or not — that obstruct traffic. Anyone who does could be charged with a , which puts blocking traffic on par with auto theft and aggravated assault. That’s quite a jump from the...

September 23, 2020
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Hugs and slugs: Gatorland does right by employees. DeSantis disturbs by hiring conspiracy theorist | Commentary

Hugs and slugs: Gatorland does right by employees. DeSantis disturbs by hiring conspiracy theorist | Commentary

It’s time for another round of hugs and slugs … though we’re going to do them all virtually this time, so nobody catches COVID. Let’s start with a big ol' scaly hug for the guys down at Gatorland. Advertisement Why? Because the old-school Orlando attraction that opened its doors back in 1949 has kept every one of its 190 employees on the payroll through the pandemic — even when the park was closed. In a community where attractions are laying off workers by the thousands, that’s worth celebrating. Advertisement Gatorland CEO Mark McHugh said stimulus money helped. But he also said the...

November 13, 2020
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Florida lawmaker seeks to limit $15 minimum wage approved by voters

Florida lawmaker seeks to limit $15 minimum wage approved by voters

Less than three months after voters approved a constitutional amendment to raise Florida’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, a Senate Republican has filed a proposal that could lead to some workers making less than that. The amendment, approved in the November election, will increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour on Sept. 30 and lead to annual increases until it is $15 an hour on Sept. 30, 2026. Advertisement But Senate Judiciary Chairman Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, filed a proposal Wednesday that, if approved, would modify that amendment to allow the Legislature to provide a reduced...

January 28, 2021
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Texts show Manatee COVID-19 vaccine site was set up to help DeSantis’ reelection

Texts show Manatee COVID-19 vaccine site was set up to help DeSantis’ reelection

The already controversial Lakewood Ranch COVID-19 vaccination pod in Manatee County was carefully choreographed by organizers and the governor’s office to help him win reelection next year, . Asked about the report Tuesday, DeSantis called it “nonsense” and suggested that the “partisan” news media didn’t want people in wealthy, Republican-leaning neighborhoods to get vaccinated. Advertisement The Lakewood “pop-up” site was limited to residents of two wealthy zip codes in Manatee County. Prominent Democrats have already called for an investigation after reports showed a Manatee commissioner...

March 9, 2021
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Dishonest Florida GOP manufactures election solutions to solve manufactured problems | Editorial

Dishonest Florida GOP manufactures election solutions to solve manufactured problems | Editorial

If you had any question about whether Florida’s Republicans were sincere in their quest for election integrity, the answer is found in the case of Frank Artiles. (Spoiler alert: No, they are not sincere.) Artiles, a former state senator, is accused of offering a fellow Republican $50,000 to switch parties and run as a phony, no-party affiliation candidate in a Miami-Dade County state Senate race. The phony candidate, Alexis Pedro Rodriguez, happened to have the same last name as the Democrat in that race, José Javier Rodriguez. Advertisement NPA candidate Alexis Pedro Rodriguez ended up...

March 24, 2021
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Many governors getting a huge approval boost amid coronavirus response — but not DeSantis

Many governors getting a huge approval boost amid coronavirus response — but not DeSantis

State governors across the country have seen their job approval ratings soar amid their handling of the coronavirus outbreak, with one notable exception: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. In compiled by the political statistics website FiveThirtyEight, DeSantis was the only one to not see a double-digit improvement on his baseline approval from the end of 2019. Advertisement DeSantis, who has been heavily criticized for his and , as well as for the state’s , actually saw his approval rating drop 7 points from where it was at the beginning of the year. , gathered from a number of recent in-state...

April 12, 2020
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