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FL Officials Open Virtual Public Hearing on New Aquatic Preserve

This afternoon, members of the public will get to have a say on the management plan for the first new aquatic preserve created in Florida in 32 years. 

In 2020, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation to create the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve, which will protect some 400,000 acres of seagrass spanning more than 700 square miles along Citrus, Hernando, and Pasco counties. 

Book Bans, Censorship Met with 1M Free Books for Students, Families

As the state of Florida combs through textbooks to ban content with diverse views, a national campaign pledges to deliver a million free books with diverse titles to encourage students to understand more about the world around them. 
The "Reading Opens the World" campaign - launched by the nation's second-largest teachers union - is designed to promote literacy by giving away a variety of free books that highlight Latino, Black, Asian and other diverse sets of authors. 

DeSantis Wages War Against Anti-Racism, Corporate 'Wokeness'

Gov. Ron DeSantis has been confronting a lot of issues dealing with race and inclusion. The latest is his signing into law his version of Florida's new Congressional district maps which heavily benefits Republicans and slashes the number of Black districts in half, from four to two.
DeSantis claims the districts were racially gerrymandered, but his proposed "race-neutral" map caused a sit-in protest by mostly Black lawmakers in the Florida House at the end of the redistricting special session.

DeSantis Would Cut Florida's Black Representation in Half

Florida's redistricting saga continues Tuesday when lawmakers return to Tallahassee for a special session to essentially give Gov. Ron DeSantis what he wants.

Legislators passed their own version of Florida's proposed new congressional maps, but the governor vetoed them in favor of his own, which favor more Republicans and dismantle districts ensuring representation for Black voters.

'Embattled' FL Abortion-Rights Advocates are Hopeful

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a 15-week abortion ban into law, a major blow to overall abortion access in Southern states where Florida has been a beacon.

The governor's action comes just days after a Florida judge tossed out a challenge to another law calling for a 24-hour waiting period for an abortion after consulting with a doctor.

Report: Youths of Color 50% More Likely to Face Juvenile Incarceration

Almost a quarter-million American children were incarcerated in 2019, according to a new report called "Too Many Closed Doors" from the Sentencing Project, about five times more than the annual point-in-time counts reveal.

Josh Rovner, senior advocacy associate for The Sentencing Project and the report's author, said we have been looking at the wrong numbers.

DeSantis Urged to Save Sunshine State's Solar Industry with a Veto

The future of the Sunshine State's solar industry now depends on Gov. Ron DeSantis' veto pen.

Solar-power advocates want the governor to veto a bill the Legislature passed at the behest of the state's largest utility, Florida Power & Light, because they fear it would gut the rooftop solar industry.

"You Matter:" Messages of Support Follow Passage of 'Don't Say Gay' Bill

LGBTQ advocates are turning their focus to encouraging words for young people who are gay, following the passage of Florida's "Parental Rights in Education" bill.

Dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill by critics, it would limit what is taught about sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms and ban it "in Kindergarten through Grade 3, or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards."

Report: FL Children in Jeopardy of Becoming Uninsured

new report found Florida kids in the Children's Health Insurance Program could be at most risk of losing health coverage when the official public-health emergency for COVID-19 expires.

Researchers at the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families warned millions of children could lose coverage as soon as April, when states will have to recheck eligibility for everyone enrolled in Medicaid, including kids.

FL failed to pay health claims for sick, needy children

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida failed for nearly three months to pay tens of thousands of health-care claims for the state's sickest and neediest children due to software glitches blamed on the corporate merger of its two largest payment vendors, officials and executives said.

Families with critically ill children who relied on Medicaid-paid health providers were stranded in some cases.