Biden Reverses Course on Cuba Policy, Florida Officials Condemn

Biden Reverses Course on Cuba Policy, Florida Officials Condemn

President Joe Biden (D) announced this week the United States will be loosening restrictions on Marxist countries, namely Cuba and Venezuela. Travel restrictions will be lightened to Cuba and flights will be authorized to Cuban cities outside of Havana and travel will be permitted for educational purposes.

In reaction, Florida Republicans and Democrats have condemned the actions saying that going soft on the dictatorial regimes will only embolden Castro and Maduro.

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Judge Lifts Stay in Florida Congressional Redistricting Case

Judge Lifts Stay in Florida Congressional Redistricting Case

Florida Judge Layne Smith lifted a stay on an injunction against his ruling related to Florida’s congressional redistricting case. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and the State of Florida appealed Smith’s original ruling that said the proposed and passed congressional redistricting maps were unconstitutional.

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DeSantis Signs Bill Banning Protests in Front of Private Residences

DeSantis Signs Bill Banning Protests in Front of Private Residences

The governor of Florida Monday signed a bill into law that bans Floridians from protesting outside of private residences. 

“Sending unruly mobs to private residences, like we have seen with the angry crowds in front of the homes of Supreme Court justices, is inappropriate,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said just before signing HB 1571 into law. “This bill will provide protection to those living in residential communities and I am glad to sign it into law.”

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Florida Gas Prices Hit New Record

Florida Gas Prices Hit New Record

According to AAA-The Auto Club Group, the Florida average price for gasoline reached a new record high of $4.49 per gallon on Sunday.

The latest price beats the previous record of $4.38 per gallon set back in March soon after Russia invaded Ukraine. Before this year, the record high was $4.08 per gallon, which was set back in 2008.

Florida’s average price jumped about 30 cents in the past week. The state average is now $1.60 per gallon more than a year ago. It now costs $67 for a full 15-gallon tank of gas. That’s $24 more than what drivers paid this time last year.

Based on the gasolinemiserindex.com website, Florida consumers are paying $889 more annually on gasoline when compared to spending last year. The is approximately 21% higher than the $735 the average American family is spending this year.

“Drivers are dealing with unprecedented pain at the pump and things could soon get worse before they get better,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “We saw more big gains in the gasoline futures market late last week, which could trickle down to yet another 10-20 cent jump at the pump in the near future.”

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Rubio, Demings Race Heating Up

Rubio, Demings Race Heating Up

The senatorial race between Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) and Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL-10) is beginning to heat up with each trading jabs. While Demings has not officially received the Democrat nomination, much Democrat support, fundraising, and polling is coalescing around Demings.

Demings recently went on the attack against Rubio calling him an abortion “extremist.”

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Florida Tourism Numbers Break Record in First Quarter

Florida Tourism Numbers Break Record in First Quarter

An analysis by Visit Florida, the state’s tourism-marketing agency, showed that Florida attracted a record number of tourists during the first three months of 2022. The numbers, which were released this past Friday, surpassed totals reported for similar time periods before the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the hospitality and leisure industry.

The analysis estimates that 35.982 million people traveled to Florida between the start of January and the end of March. Florida has now recorded four consecutive quarters attracting more than 30 million visitors.

“Our Q1 visitation estimates show that 2022 is shaping up to be another amazing year for Florida tourism,” said Dana Young, VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO. “In addition to breaking more pre-pandemic records domestically, we are seeing an exponential rebound in Orlando as well as our international numbers, which we expect to continue in the months ahead.

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Florida Judge Set to Block DeSantis’ Congressional Maps

Florida Judge Set to Block DeSantis’ Congressional Maps

Congressional maps proposed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and pushed through the Florida Legislature during the 2022 Special Session are set to be blocked by a Florida judge. Leon County Circuit Judge Layne Smith said he would make the order official either Thursday or Friday.

Smith said he would order the construction of new maps since, he said, the DeSantis-proposed maps were discriminatory against black voters in Congressional District 5, in North Florida.

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Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Filed Against DeSantis over Reedy Creek Special Status Abolishment

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Filed Against DeSantis over Reedy Creek Special Status Abolishment

A lawsuit filed be residents of Orange and Osceola counties against Gov. Ron DeSantis in the wake of the Governor’s battle with Disney has been struck down. 

Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida Cecilia Maria Altonaga Tuesday issued her order summarily dismissing the lawsuit, which challenged DeSantis after he stripped Reedy Creek, home to Disney’s theme park, of its special status. 

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DeSantis Sets Fundraising Record

DeSantis Sets Fundraising Record

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) set a new 2022 gubernatorial campaign fundraising record. During April, DeSantis raised approximately $10.5 million. Around $2.3 million was raised by his reelection campaign and $8.2 million was raised by DeSantis’ political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis.

In total, DeSantis has raised over $113 million for the election cycle, which is over 10 times the amount of his next closest competitor, Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13).

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State of Florida Attorneys Respond to Redistricting Lawsuit

State of Florida Attorneys Respond to Redistricting Lawsuit

Attorneys representing the State of Florida, particularly Secretary of State Laurel Lee, issued an 18-page document consisting of their arguments against the groups filing suit. Leon County Circuit Judge Layne Smith is scheduled to hear a request for a temporary injunction to block the maps from proceeding.

Much of the focus of the redistricting process has been centered around District 5 currently held by Congressman Al Lawson (D-FL-5). Civil rights groups and Lawson have said that the new map backed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is “infected by racial discrimination” for eliminating a historic minority majority voting district.

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Charlie Crist Rakes In $1 Million for April, DeSantis Polls Well in North Carolina

Charlie Crist Rakes In $1 Million for April, DeSantis Polls Well in North Carolina

Florida’s two likely gubernatorial candidates have had successful months in preparation for the 2022 election. Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) pulled in another $1 million during the month of April and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) finished second in a hypothetical GOP presidential poll in North Carolina.

Crist issued a press release and indicated the million-dollar month was from contributions from both his campaign and his Friends of Charlie Crist political committee. It is unclear how much money is coming from each entity. However, individual donors who give less than $50 consist of approximately 44,000 of the contributions and the large donations are funneled through the political committee.

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Florida at Center of Bid to Slow Musk’s Purchase of Twitter

Florida at Center of Bid to Slow Musk’s Purchase of Twitter

Florida is once again at the center of a Twitter war, this time by an Orlando pension fund attempting to slow its purchase after Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state was looking into ways it can potentially “hold accountable” Twitter’s board of directors.

The city of Orlando’s Police Pension Fund filed a class action lawsuit May 6 in an attempt to block or slow the sale of Twitter. It argues Delaware law prevents billionaire Elon Musk from immediately purchasing Twitter because it alleges he’s “an invested stockholder.”

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DeSantis: Florida Prepared If U.S. Heads into Recession

Gov. Ron DeSantis, when suggesting President Joe Biden’s economic policies will “plunge the United States into a recession,” says Florida will be prepared.

At a news conference this week announcing funding for flood control and water management projects in Lee County, he said that while inflation continues to worsen, Florida’s economy is strong, with revenue exceeding expectations.

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DeSantis Signs Largest Tax Relief Bill in Florida History with More Than $1.2 Billion in Savings

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed the largest tax relief bill in Florida history, delivering $1.2 billion in savings to Floridians.

DeSantis signed HB 7071 into law, which includes permanent tax relief through a range of sales tax exemptions, corporate income tax credit expansions, and ad valorem tax and exemption provisions. They are expected to generate an additional $190 million in tax savings over two years and $140 million annually thereafter.

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Florida Congressman Leads Letter to DHS Head over ‘Disinformation Governance Board’

A Republican U.S. Congressman from Florida Thursday issued a letter, signed by 170 colleagues, to the head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after that executive branch agency announced the formation of a chilling new board aimed at tackling “disinformation.”

“The creation of this Disinformation Governance Board is an alarming attempt by the Biden administration to use the Department as a political tool,” said Rep. Scott Franklin (R-FL-15) of the letter addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “DHS has no business determining what is and is not disinformation. This ‘Ministry of Truth’ will undermine the public’s confidence in the Department’s mission to protect the homeland and will tarnish its reputation. This is especially concerning as Americans continue to suffer a drug epidemic and have safety concerns with DHS’s failure to properly secure our border.”

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Abortions Are Down in Florida

Recent data from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) shows abortions numbers are down in Florida from year-to-year. Records indicate there have been just over 16,500 abortions so far in 2022, and if the trend continues, would be a 38 percent decrease from 2021.

During 2021, there were 79,811 abortions, which was a 6.6 percent increase from 2020. The data also showed that the overwhelming majority of abortions performed were elective which backs up other data points from across the country.

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Florida State Rep. Jason Shoaf Calls for Removal of Middle School Principal

Florida state Representative Jason Shoaf is calling for the removal of a Leon County middle school principal after the principal posted on Facebook that parents are “getting in our way.” Shoaf’s call for action is in response to a media report about comments in a Facebook post by Sarah Hembree, the principal of Elizabeth Cobb middle school, is located in Leon County.

On Tuesday, Tallahassee Reports published a story about the Facebook post by Hembree which stated in part, “Today I say – Parents, Quit pushing for stupid bills and getting in our way…schools are going to do what’s best for your students in spite of you..”

The “Quit pushing for stupid bills” statement appears to be a reference to the Parental Rights in Education bill that was recently signed into law by Governor DeSantis.

Hembree added that teachers “want to decide what they teach in their classroom based on the needs of the students in front of them….I am SO TIRED of being told we don’t know what we are doing or that we are messing with parents’ rights.”

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Florida Officials React to SCOTUS Leak

In the wake of the national news that an initial draft of a United States Supreme Court decision had been leaked to the public indicating the high court’s intentions to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case, Florida officials have both been chanting and jeering the news. Florida’s anti-abortion politicians have said this could be a good indicator, while pro-abortionists are worried this will lead to more restrictive abortion laws.

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Democrat Officials Think DeSantis Might Be ‘Unstoppable’

Democrat operatives are continually showing signs that they feel they cannot win in Florida in the 2022 gubernatorial election observing that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis seems “unstoppable.” A recent report from Politico showed that Democrats in Florida and Washington, D.C. are not feeling confident, the latter determining how many resources will be sent to the Sunshine State to attempt to unseat Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

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DeSantis Hints at Special Session for Constitutional Carry

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), once again, made a plea for the Florida Legislature to get a constitutional carry bill to his desk. He made the promise to get the policy push done by the time he is no longer governor and even floated the idea of a special session to get it done.

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Nikki Fried Campaign Consultant Acknowledges Overwhelming Republican Electoral Advantage, Says Fried Is the Answer

Kevin Cate, the campaign consultant for Florida gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, recently noted the Republican electoral advantage facing Democrats running for statewide office. Cate previously worked on the 2014 Charlie Crist campaign and the 2018 Andrew Gillum campaign for Florida governor.

In a series of tweets, Cate provided his “perspective on the Florida Democratic primary for Governor and the general election environment.”

Cate tweeted, ” I cannot stress enough how tough of an environment the general will be.”

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DeSantis Teases Additional Legislation Regarding Disney’s Tax Status

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) was a featured guest on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle hosted by Laura Ingraham and said his administration is working on additional legislation to address Disney’s tax status after the Florida Legislature repealed the 1960s-era law that established the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

The district allowed Disney to operate relatively autonomously with the ability to tax at its own rate, provide its own police, and supervise its own utilities. Florida Republicans have indicated that the repeal of the improvement district was long overdue.

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Petition to Discharge Rep. Steube’s Transgender Sports Bill Garners More than 60 Signatures in House

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives this week are working to force a floor vote a bill authored by a Florida Congressman that would ban biological males from competing in female athletics. 

“I, Jim Banks, move to discharge the Committee on Education and Labor from the consideration of the bill (H.R. 426) entitled, a bill to provide that for purposes of determining compliance with title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 in athletics, sex shall be recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth, which was referred to said committee January 21st, 2021, in support of which motion the undersigned Members of the House of Representatives affix their signatures…” said a Discharge Petition authored by Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN-03). 

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DeSantis Calls Out So-Called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Moniker and Migrating Californians Staining Red States Blue

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) was a featured guest with conservative commentator Ben Shapiro and participated in a Q&A segment. In it, DeSantis tells some of the back story behind the recently signed Parental Rights in Education bill as well as deriding Californians for their main export being ideology.

DeSantis specifically pointed out the number of California companies who are moving to states like Texas and Florida and who are bringing their employees with them.

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DeSantis Signs Election Integrity Bill

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill earlier Monday related to election integrity. The Florida Legislature prioritized the legislation in order to ensure Florida’s elections process is safe and secure.

DeSantis signed SB 524, which creates an Office of Election Crimes and Security within the Florida Department of State and will “investigate election law violations and increasing penalties for violations of election laws.”

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