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Florida Legislature

  • In the wake of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, we’ll explore what it could mean for abortion access in Florida going forward.
  • Governor Ron DeSantis announced the veto of controversial SB 2508, a Lake Okeechobee water supply bill that environmental advocates strongly opposed.
  • En las noticias de esta semana, una nueva encuesta de la AAA muestra menos gente pagando en la bomba, los estudiantes de secundaria en Florida toman cursos de educación financiera como un requisito de graduación, y el Departamento de Agricultura de EE. UU. aprobó una declaración de desastre para 27 condados de Florida afectados por temperaturas bajo cero récord en enero.
  • As the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act sits stalled in the U.S. Senate, Florida’s Senate Bill 90 has been challenged in a federal lawsuit. Each promises to enact several changes to how votes are cast and counted in the United States. This story provides explanatory context and background.
  • Florida’s annual legislative session wrapped up Monday with lawmakers approving a $112.1 billion budget. The session was largely dominated by contentious culture-war issues and legislators passed many of Governor Ron DeSantis’ priority bills. Other issues including Florida’s struggling property insurance market and the redrawing of the state’s Congressional district boundaries remain unresolved, and could signal a possible special session. We’ll get insight and analysis from a panel of Florida political science experts.
  • Florida lawmakers are reviewing the most controversial environmental bill to arise during the current legislative session. SB 2508 is the latest attempt by lawmakers sympathetic - or beholden - to the sugar industry to give it and the agricultural industry the key to the Everglades’ huge spigot by guaranteeing “existing legal users” continue to receive a huge amount of the water.
  • The proposed “Safe Waterways Act” by Calusa Waterkeeper would require the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) to issue health advisories and post and maintain warning notices at “public bathing places” where the water has been found to contain fecal bacteria.
  • A Florida House panel advanced a bill, Wednesday, that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy with some exceptions.
  • FGCU political scientists provide insight and analysis of what to expect in Florida’s 2022 legislative session which begins Tuesday.
  • The Florida Board of Education, next week, will consider taking action against 11 Public School Districts with mask mandates that are out of compliance with state rules and an executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis.Sarasota School Board members, next week, will vote on whether to repeal the district’s mask policy.A federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for hospitals is coming in October. Today marks the deadline for NCH employees to be fully vaccinated or risk losing their jobs. Sarasota Memorial Hospital and Lee Health are not imposing a staff vaccine mandate in advance of the federal mandate.Nearly 40% of COVID-19 deaths in Lee Health hospitals have been in the past two months amid the summer pandemic surge driven by the delta variant.A new report projects Florida will have a shortage of 60,000 nurses by 2035.With weekly unemployment claims rolling in at pre-pandemic numbers, state leaders say they remain optimistic about seeing results from a summer push to get people back into the labor force.Republican state lawmakers are sponsoring a bill that would exempt religious institutions from emergency orders.Florida families with children are now set to receive more than $1 billion in federal pandemic relief funds through a program created by Congress last year to assist children who lost access to free and reduced-price school meals when instruction shifted from in-person to virtual.