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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.

FL Lawmakers Double Down on Voting Restrictions

Florida Republicans are proposing yet another sweeping change to state election laws. 

The new bill would establish an Office of Election Crimes and Security - a slimmed-down version of Gov. Ron DeSantis's "elections police" proposal. 

Sponsor, state Sen. Travis Hutson - R-Palm Coast - says it's meant to safeguard elections. 

FL Community Colleges Zero In on Dropout Prevention

New research shows six in ten Florida community-college students drop out before they finish - even with good grades and only a few credits shy of graduation. 

University of Florida researchers surveyed 27,000 former community-college students in the state, and found tuition and fees, living expenses, and no longer being eligible for financial aid were the top reasons for not finishing. 

Doctors Speak Out Against FL Fast-Tracking 15-Week Abortion Ban

Republicans in the Florida Legislature are fast-tracking a 15-weekabortion ban over the objections of activists and medical professionals. 

Last Thursday, students activists chanted "Let us speak," after the committee chairperson, Rep. Bryan Avila - R-Miami Springs - cut off public comment to give committee members time to debate. 

FL cracking down on anonymous political text messages

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Ever receive one of those irritating political texts during an election – praising or criticizing a candidate – and wonder who was behind it? 

The Florida Election Commission is cracking down on political texts that don't explicitly say who paid for them, with new rules intended to improve transparency for voters and stem the spread of misinformation.

US judge blocks ‘unconstitutional’ UF rules limiting professors from testifying against state

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A federal judge on Friday blocked the University of Florida from barring professors from testifying as expert witnesses against the state government, the latest development in a national controversy over efforts to limit the role of three academics in a voting rights lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Calling professors “priests of our democracy” who provide guidance in truth and informed citizenship, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in Tallahassee issued a preliminary injunction against the university. The school did not immediately indicate whether it plans to appeal and had no comment on the judge’s decision.

Dems, Advocates Urge More Public Input in FL Redistricting

On the Florida Legislature's opening day, House leaders scheduled separate redistricting committee meetings at the same time - and critics blasted it as another attempt to limit public input.
Republicans in the Florida House, who control the process of drawing new congressional and legislative district boundaries, held meetings Tuesday, specifically for public comment - but both were at 4 p.m. What was scheduled as a two-hour meeting ended in just eight minutes, after only two county commissioners spoke about the redistricting process.

‘Freedom works’: DeSantis mocks Covid restrictions, bashes feds on economy, immigration

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In his State of the State address Tuesday in the Capitol, Gov. Ron DeSantis laid out a red-meat 2022 legislative agenda on crime and immigration, and he ridiculed COVID-19 restrictions in other states as ineffective and anti-American.

DeSantis, a Republican who is seeking a second term in November and hasn’t ruled out a White House bid in 2024, called Florida the “freest state” in the U.S.“Florida has become the escape hatch for those chafing under authoritarian, arbitrary and seemingly never-ending mandates and restrictions,” he told a packed and largely maskless House chamber in Tallahassee during his 33-minute address.

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