DeSantis’ Office: No ‘U-Turns’ on Decision to Strip Disney of Special Status

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has no plans to back down against corporate behemoth Walt Disney Co. after speculation that laws put in place in April to dissolve the company’s self-governing power were going to be scaled back.

In March, then Disney CEO Bob Chapek publicly opposed House Bill (HB) 1557, the “Parental Rights in Education Act,” which was designed to restrict the teaching of gender identity and sexual orientation in public schools from kindergarten through to third grade. The bill quickly became known in the media as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

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Florida Mulls Undoing Law That Revoked Disney’s Self Governing After ‘Woke’ Feud with DeSantis

Florida lawmakers are reportedly working to reverse a law that stripped Disney of its special tax status in the state after its then-CEO criticized a state law on gender classes in public schools.

The possible change, first reported by the Financial Times, follows Disney replacing CEO Bob Chapek who was in a feud with GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis.

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Florida Chamber of Commerce Releases Legislative Report Card

The Florida Chamber of Commerce, one of Florida’s largest trade associations, released their annual Legislative Report Card and also announced their Distinguished Advocates for the 2022 Legislative Session. The chamber describes itself as an organization that supports free enterprise policies and has historically backed Republicans over Democrats.

The chamber said that their calculated average grade for all of Florida’s lawmakers was a 68 percent, equating to a “D.”

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Florida Legislature Passes Congressional Redistricting Map, Democrats Protest

A number of Florida’s House Democrats staged a protest on the floor of the Florida House to voice their opposition to Republicans’ efforts around congressional redistricting yesterday. Due to the protest, the Florida House’s procedures were temporarily halted. However, the protest was short-lived, and the House proceeded to approve Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) proposed congressional map.

The Florida Senate had already approved the map, and the House was the map’s final stop.

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Will Draw Congressional Maps, Legislature Defers

The Florida Legislature announced they will not be drawing the redistricting congressional maps but will defer to the maps drawn up by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis interjected into the process earlier in 2022 when he submitted his own plans outside of the legislature’s recommendations.

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Florida Lawmakers Continue Working on the State Budget as Its Deadline Approaches

Florida lawmakers continue to be in budget conference reconciling differences between House and Senate budget proposals. So far, numerous agreements and billions of dollars have been agreed upon.

The Florida House approved a $105 billion budget and the Florida Senate approved a $108 billion budget.  

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Florida House Redistricting Proposal Backs DeSantis’ Recommendations

A map from the Florida House proposes that Florida’s congressional redistricting process will see Congressional District 5, currently held by Representative Al Lawson (R-FL-5), eliminated as it currently sits. According to the new map, Lawson’s district would only encapsulate an area in Duval County.

The recommendation to shift the boundaries of District 5 come from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The rest of the voters in the Tallahassee and North Central Florida area would be incorporated into District 2, held by Representative Neal Dunn (R-FL-2).

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Florida Lawmakers File Immigration Enforcement Bill

Florida Republican lawmakers Sen. Aaron Bean (R-FL-4) and Rep. John Snyder (R-FL-82) filed companion bills to enhance Florida’s illegal immigration enforcement. The bill would expand an already existent ban on sanctuary cities, municipalities that protect illegal immigrants from immigration enforcement.

The bill would also prohibit state and local government from contracting with transportation companies that have been transported illegal aliens across state lines into Florida.

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Florida Lawmakers Looking to Expand Health Insurance for Children

Florida’s lawmakers are considering expanding state-funded health insurance for children. The idea has gained traction among Republicans and Democrats, and two competing proposals would increase the amount of money beneficiaries can make.

Currently, families making less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for the state’s program, KidCare. However, the same families do not qualify for Medicaid.

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Florida Supreme Court Calls for Additional State Appeals Court

Florida Supreme Court Building

The Florida Supreme Court is calling for creating a sixth state appeals court. One of their reasons for making the call is “serious underrepresentation” of appellate judges from Jacksonville.

“The creation of a new district court, like any other significant change in the judicial system, would be accompanied by some degree of internal disruption, but we conclude that any such internal disruption in the district courts associated with the creation of a sixth district court would be short-lived and would be outweighed by the benefit of enhanced public trust and confidence,” said the Florida Supreme Court’s majority opinion shared by Chief Justice Charles Canady and Justices Jorge Labarga, Alan Lawson, Carlos Muniz and John Couriel.

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