Leftists Pounce on DeSantis After Accidental Death During Pride Parade

Pride Parade with group of people under large rainbow flag

After a person was struck and killed by an automobile at the Stonewall Pride Parade in Wilton Manors Saturday, the political left immediately jumped to blame Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) before the facts surrounding the incident became known. 

“This is a terrorist attack against the LGBT community,” Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis (D) said. “This is exactly what it is. Hardly an accident. It was deliberate, it was premeditated, and it was targeted against a specific person. Luckily they missed that person, but unfortunately, they hit two other people.”

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Nikki Fried Denies Cannabis Conflict of Interest

After a scathing report from The Orlando Sentinel tying Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried to the cannabis industry, the gubernatorial candidate has denied that there is any conflict of interest. 

“One of the sources of her income increase is from Ignite Florida, a consulting firm where she is sole proprietor and lobbies the marijuana industry. Specifically, she amended a 2018 financial statement on May 28 indicating she received $351,480 from the firm. Previously, she had to amend the same 2018 statements on January 30, 2020 saying she received $72,000 in 2018 income,” The Florida Capital Star reported. 

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Florida Will Not Vote on Marijuana Legalization in 2022

The Florida Supreme Court Thursday struck down a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would have put marijuana legalization up for a vote in 2022. 

The Court ruled that the language proposed for the ballot did not match the language in the amendment itself. 

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DeSantis Social Media Warrior Triggers Florida Media Outlets

Christina Pushaw

The Press Secretary for Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) tussled Monday and Tuesday with two prominent Florida news media outlets, accusing them of political bias.

Of [South Florida Sun Sentinel]’s last 10,000 Tweets, ONE (1) was positive about [Gov. Ron DeSantis]. And it was a Letter to the Editor. Not written by Sun Sentinel staff. This is absolutely incredible. And they will still say the bias is all in our imaginations,” Christina Pushaw said, citing an account called District AI that claims to be run by an artificial intelligence engineer. 

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Florida Rep. Crist Proposes Gun Control Measures on Campaign Trial

The former Republican governor of Florida turned Democrat congressman, who is once again mounting a gubernatorial bid, made his case for gun control during a Friday campaign appearance. 

“One of the most common-sense things that we can do is ban assault weapons,” Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) said in Miami Beach. “It is hard for me to imagine why we already don’t do that.” 

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DeSantis Wants Bill Banning Chemical Castration of Minors

In a Monday interview with Daily Caller, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) continued to bolster his chops as a social conservative, saying he would happily sign a bill preventing doctors from prescribing sex-changing hormone treatments to children. 

“I’m very much opposed to chemical castration of minors, I honestly didn’t know this existed until a few years ago,” DeSantis said during the interview. “That would be something I would sign for sure.” 

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Ohio Attorney General Sues to Make Google a Public Utility

A lawsuit filed on Tuesday by Ohio Attorney General David Yost aims to make Google a public utility, limiting the ways the search engine provides search results.

“Google uses its dominance of internet search to steer Ohioans to Google’s own products–that’s discriminatory and anti-competitive,” Yost said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “When you own the railroad or the electric company or the cellphone tower, you have to treat everyone the same and give everybody access.”

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Florida COVID Conspiracy Theorist Banned from Twitter for ‘Platform Manipulation’

Person holding smartphone

A conspiracy theorist in Florida who gained recognition for falsely claiming that the state was underreporting COVID-19 deaths was banned from Twitter Monday. 

Rebekah Jones was banned for the microblogging site for “platform manipulation.”

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DeSantis Vows Local Action Against Critical Race Theory

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) joined appeared Saturday night on “Unfiltered,” conservative commentator Dan Bongino’s new Fox News show, where he vowed to take local action against Critical Race Theory. 

“We’re not going to support any Republican candidate for school board who supports Critical Race Theory in all 67 counties or supports mandatory masking of school children,” he said in the segment. 

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DeSantis Signs Bills to Combat Chinese Influence in Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

At a press conference Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) blasted the Chinese Communist Party for stealing America’s intellectual property via corporate espionage, and signed two bills meant to combat the practice. 

He signed HB 1523, which imposes stricter penalties for corporate espionage. 

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Royal Caribbean Summer Cruises Will Not Require Vaccination

Miami-based Royal Caribbean, one of America’s largest cruise lines, will resume operations in July, and will not fight the state of Florida on its new law banning vaccine passports. 

Instead, the cruise vacation company recommends that its passengers are vaccinated against COVID-19. 

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DeSantis Press Secretary: Governor Has ‘Earned’ National Spotlight

Ron DeSantis

In response to an Associated Press story that describes Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) as “seizing” the national spotlight, his Press Secretary Christina Pushaw told the Florida Capital Star that the governor has earned his newfound respect among Republicans nationwide. 

“Governor DeSantis has earned the national stage by demonstrating real leadership. For elected officials facing a crisis like COVID-19, it’s tempting to abdicate decision-making power to unelected bureaucrats in public health,” Pushaw said. “Governor DeSantis did the opposite. He sought out expertise from health professionals and scientists, he did his own research, and most importantly, he made decisions that were harshly criticized sometimes, but more than a year on, the data has proven that his approach was the right one.”

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NCAA Threatens to Pull Competitions Out of Florida over Women’s Sports Act

The NCAA is threatening to pull key competitions and championships out of Florida since Governor Ron DeSantis signed the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” yesterday. The new law prohibits transgender women from competing in high school and collegiate women’s athletics.

“In Florida, girls are going to play girls sports and boys are going to play boys sports,” DeSantis said, speaking at a private school in Jacksonville.

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Miami Beach Mayor Asks Feds to Kill Gambling Compact

In a Thursday letter to Deb Haaland, secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber asked the federal government to reject the newly-signed gambling compact between the state of Florida and the Seminole Indian tribe. 

“I support the goals of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (’IGRA’), namely, to provide Native American tribes with a pathway to greater independence and economic vitality. But the Florida Compact you are considering was not crafted in pursuit of those goals,” Gelber wrote in the letter. 

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DeSantis Slams Nikki Fried After She Enters Race for Governor

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) slammed Florida Agriculture Commissioner and Democrat gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried at press conference Wednesday in New Smyrna Beach, after Fried announced that she is running against DeSantis.

“Nikki Fried has done nothing in office. She does nothing,” DeSantis said. “All she does is emote on social media, virtue signal to small dollar donors in California and New York. She put her face, spent millions of dollars to put her face on every gas pump across this state, purely to boost her own image at your expense as a taxpayer.”

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Florida COVID Numbers Are Lowest in Months

Florida is reporting the lowest number of COVID positive cases and hospitalizations in months. On Wednesday, Florida reported 1,234 new positive cases, which was the lowest 24-hour total since September. Florida also is currently only seeing 1,832 hospitalized patients for COVID.

The number of Floridians hospitalized was the lowest recorded single day number since the metric was initially tracked in July. The average of hospitalizations has declined 19 percent in the last two weeks and approximately 38 percent lower than one month ago.

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DeSantis Signs Record $101.5 Billion Budget

Florida’s Historic Capitol and Florida State Capitol

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) Wednesday signed into law Florida’s 2021-2022 budget bill, which he calls the Florida Leads budget.

The whopping $101.5 billion budget is the largest in state history, but the tax burden per individual Floridian is the lowest in the country, according to DeSantis.

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Defiant DeSantis Signs Bill That Bans Transgender Girls from Girls Sports

Women playing lacrosse

A defiant Gov. Ron DeSantis Tuesday signed a bill banning transgender girls – biological boys – from competing in girls sports. 

“At a bill signing event at the Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, DeSantis touted the ban as a way to protect the integrity of women’s and girls’ sports,” Tampa Bay Times reported, describing the bill as “controversial.”

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Nikki Fried Bashes ‘Rigged’ System, Announces Gubernatorial Run

After months of testing the waters and teasing a run for governor, Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner has officially launched her bid to take on incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). 

Fried announced the run Tuesday afternoon, posting a video to her official Twitter account.

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DeSantis Not Backing Down on Cruise Vaccine Passports

After banning vaccine passports from the Sunshine State by law and by executive order, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is now tasked with bringing the cruise ship industry, a proponent of such passports, to heel. 

“We are going to enforce Florida law,” DeSantis said Friday. “I mean, we have Florida law. We have laws that protect the people and the privacy of our citizens, and we are going to enforce it.”

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DeSantis Seeks Approval of Importation of Canadian Prescription Drugs

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is asking the Biden administration to approve a plan that would allow for the importation of FDA-approved Canadian drugs to the Sunshine State, which would lower costs, according to the governor. 

“Today, Governor Ron DeSantis called on the Biden Administration and leadership at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to approve Florida’s Section 804 Importation Proposal (SIP) for Florida’s Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program,” a Friday press release said

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Big Tech Lobbyists Sue DeSantis over New Regulations

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

A pair of Big Tech lobbying groups, NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association, have filed a lawsuit against Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, along with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and other state officials, after DeSantis signed into law a bill that regulates Big Tech’s censorship abilities earlier this week. 

“Americans everywhere should oppose Florida’s attempt to run roughshod over the First Amendment rights of private online businesses,” Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice said, according to POLITICO. “By weakening the First Amendment rights of some, Florida weakens the First Amendment rights of all.”

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Florida Delivers Record $765 Million Budget for Teachers

Working with the legislature, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) delivered a record-setting $765 million budget for teachers in the Sunshine State.

“These investments include $550 million to continue elevating minimum teacher salaries, as well as $215 million to provide all of Florida’s eligible public school principals and teachers with $1,000 disaster relief payments,” a press release from the governor’s office said.

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Poll: Charlie Crist Leads Nikki Fried in 2022 Gubernatorial Primary Poll

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-13) leads all Florida Democrats in the 2022 gubernatorial primary in a recently released St. Pete Polls survey. In the poll, Crist came away with 55 percent of respondents, while likely candidate and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried only drew 22 percent.

Only 11 percent of voters are supporting other candidates and 12 percent are undecided.

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DeSantis Signs Bill Curbing Censorship by Big Tech Companies

Ron DeSantis at press conference

Yesterday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill, SB 7072, designed to limit the scope of Big Tech companies and their influence in Florida. The bill will fine companies $250,000 per day if they censor or suspend accounts for political candidates, with Disney World being a notable exception.

“This session, we took action to ensure that ‘We the People’ — real Floridians across the Sunshine State — are guaranteed protection against the Silicon Valley elites,” said DeSantis in a release. “Many in our state have experienced censorship and other tyrannical behavior firsthand in Cuba and Venezuela. If Big Tech censors enforce rules inconsistently, to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now be held accountable.”

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DeSantis Vows More Action Against Critical Race Theory

After a teacher in Duval County was fired for violating the ban on Critical Race Theory in the classroom, Florida’s governor has promised even more action against the practice.

“If we have to play whack a mole all over the state stopping this critical race theory, we will do it,” DeSantis said in a Friday press conference. “You can put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.”

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Florida House Democrats Elect New Leaders

Florida’s House Democrats have elected new leaders, each to serve a two year term beginning after the 2022 and 2024 elections. 

“Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee, and Rep. Fentrice Driskell, D-Tampa, will be the next two leaders of Florida House Democrats. The House Democratic caucus on Wednesday elected Alexander to serve as its leader for a two-year period starting after the 2022 elections,” according to The Tallahassee Democrat. “The caucus chose Driskell to serve as leader for the two-year period starting after the 2024 elections.”

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Christina Pushaw, Who Exposed Florida COVID Critic, Hired as DeSantis Press Secretary

Christina Pushaw

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has a new Press Secretary, a freelance reporter who exposed one of the state’s largest COVID-19 scam artist. 

Christina Pushaw is slated to handle the media on DeSantis’ behalf, according to a Monday report in The Capitolist. 

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Healthcare Industry Exempt from Vaccine Passport Ban

On May 3, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 2006 into law banning vaccine passports in Florida, with the lone exception being health care providers and facilities within the healthcare industry.  

DeSantis has been critical of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines (CDC) and vaccine passports being endorsed by states and governors across the country. He has said, long before he signed the legislation, vaccine passports being required for citizens to participate in society will not happen in Florida.

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Jeb Bush Comes Out Against Florida Gambling Pact

Jeb Bush

As the Florida Legislature reconvened in Tallahassee Monday for a special session to iron out the details of the state’s new gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe, one former Republican Governor spoke out against the deal.

“South Florida is on a roll!” failed 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush said in a statement. “Our great quality of life and an incredible surge of job creators to our region have put us on a path for rising income and prosperity for many more of our neighbors. At the time when our economy is poised for an unprecedented takeoff after taking a hit from the pandemic, now is not the time to expand casino gambling which will benefit a handful at the expense of many.”

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Major Florida Companies Drop Mask Mandates After CDC Announcement

After an announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 are free to gather without masks, several Florida staples have announced they will not require customers to wear masks this summer. 

“Visitors won’t have to wear face masks outdoors at any of Central Florida’s major theme parks, as Universal Orlando, Disney World and SeaWorld relaxed the COVID-19 rule effective Saturday, sparking a mixed reaction among some fans,” The Orlando Sentinel reported Saturday. 

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DeSantis to Pardon Floridians Who Defied COVID Rules, Says He Will Grant Clemency

In a Wednesday appearance on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced that he will pardon and grant clemency to those facing legal battles for breaking mask mandates and social distancing orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

DeSantis joined Laura Ingraham along with Michael and Jillian Carnevale, who own a gym in Broward County. Last summer, the pair became a target of the Broward County authorities, according to a GoFundMe  for their legal bills. They were both arrested and their business was shut down when they refused to comply with the county’s mask mandate. 

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DeSantis Fills Vacant Seat on Florida Public Service Commission

Gabriella Passidomo

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) Monday announced his appointment to fill the vacant seat on the five-member panel of the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). 

Attorney Gabriella Passidomo, daughter of state Sen. Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) was selected, according to POLITICO. The elder Passidomo is the Senate president-elect in 2022. 

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Florida Takes Feds to Court Over Cruise Ship Restrictions

Cruise ship next to dock

The state of Florida will argue before a federal judge Wednesday that the federal government should not be allowed to interfere with the cruise ship industry, which seeks to get back on its feet after the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent lockdowns. 

“Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, filed the lawsuit last month challenging restrictions imposed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and pointing to the economic impact on the state,” according to a CBS Miami report. “Moody’s office is seeking a preliminary injunction based, in part, on arguments that the CDC overstepped its legal authority in imposing the restrictions.”

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New Ballot Initiative Law Challenged in Federal Court

One day after Governor DeSantis signed a bill related to ballot initiatives, a federal lawsuit was filed on Saturday seeking to have the new law ruled invalid.

The new law limits individual contributions to groups promoting ballot initiatives to $3,000. The limit is in effect until the Florida Supreme Court approves the placement of an initiative on the ballot. In Florida, voters can change the constitution by getting proposals approved for the ballot and then receiving over 60-percent of support during an election.

Republicans who supported the legislation, argued it was needed to keep special interest money from influencing the initiatives that voters see on the ballot.

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Florida Universities Set to Return to Pre-COVID Norms in Fall

During the fall semester, Florida’s 12 public universities are set to return to normal, after a full school year of COVID-19 disruptions. 

“An early evening news release signed by Syd Kitson, chairman of the university system’s Board of Governors, and Marshall Criser, chancellor of the system, said the 12 public universities ‘expect to increase classroom occupancy to pre-COVID capacity by the 2021-22 academic year and return to pre-COVID operations. Further, we anticipate returning to full in-person participation in athletic and social activities on our campuses, including fan participation in stadiums and arenas,'” News Service of Florida reported.  

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Florida Democrats Criticize DeSantis for Banning Mask Mandates

Ron DeSantis

Despite the fact that every American over the age of 15 is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, Florida’s Democrats are not ready to return to normal. 

Instead, they are bashing Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who Monday signed an executive order banning local governments from requiring mask mandates.

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Florida Legislature Passes Voter ID Law

People voting

On the second-to-last day of the legislative session, the Republican-controlled Florida state Senate Thursday passed a new law aimed at election integrity. 

After SB 90 passed the Florida House Wednesday with a vote of 77-40, it did the same in the Senate Thursday by a vote of 23-17. It was passed mostly along partisan lines, with one Republican state Senator, Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg, breaking with his party and voting against the measure. 

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Report: Former Florida Governor Crist Considering Run Against DeSantis

Rumors are swirling that Florida’s 44th Governor, then a Republican, might enter the 2022 gubernatorial race, this time as a Democrat. 

“U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist has opened a political committee named ‘Friends of Charlie Crist,’ which would allow him to start raising money for a 2022 state-level election,” one recent report said. 

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Florida House Passes Bill Banning Vaccine Passports

The Republican-controlled Florida House of Representatives Wednesday passed a bill would ban “vaccine passports.”

SB 2006 passed by a vote of 76-40 in the House. It now heads back to the Florida Senate after the House added an amendment. 

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School Choice Voucher Bill Headed to DeSantis’ Desk After Passing Florida Senate

The Florida Senate Monday passed a bill that would provide $200 million in state funds for school choice voucher programs, sending the bill to the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

As reported by The Florida Capital Star last week, the Florida House passed HB 7045 by a margin of 79-36, with four Democrats joining the Republican majority. The voucher program will allow 60,000 more students in Florida to attend an alternative to public school, usually in low-income areas. 

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Florida Restaurants Face Labor Shortage as COVID Unemployment Benefits Flow

The federal government is standing in the way of Florida restaurants that are in desperate need of employees as the COVID-19 pandemic winds down, and Floridians look to dine out. 

“The biggest challenge out there is the federal government and the state government are going to continue with this unemployment, because that is truly creating the incentive to not work right now,” said Bill Casper, who owns 60 McDonald’s restaurants in the Tampa area. “And, how do you blame somebody? You can make more money on unemployment—and so, we’ve got to be at least above that.”

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DeSantis Cuts Deal with Seminole Tribe to Bring Sports Betting to Florida

Sports Book Betting

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is expected to reach an agreement with the Seminole Tribe to bring sports betting to the Sunshine State, as well as expanding current gambling rules.

“The broad parameters of the deal — as confirmed by multiple sources — are that the Seminole Tribe would control sports betting in the state and would offer it at their casinos, including the Hard Rock locations in Hollywood and Tampa,” according to POLITICO. “But sports betting would also be allowed at existing tracks and other poker rooms around the state where the tribe and other gambling operators would split the revenue generated.”

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Focus Shifts to Accountability as Florida House Votes to Expand School Choice Program

A bill that was both supported and opposed on the grounds of accountability passed the Florida House Wednesday. 

HB 7045, which will combine two school choice voucher programs and expand eligibility for parents too choose where their children go to school, passed by a vote of 79-36. It will expand Florida’s voucher program to enroll 60,000 more students. 

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Bill Thwarting Big Tech Censorship Headed to Florida Senate Floor

Florida Senate

A bill that would limit the ability of Big Tech platforms like Facebook and YouTube to ban political candidates passed the Senate Appropriations Committee Monday, and will head to the Senate floor.

SB 7072, which according to its summary is aimed at “prohibiting a social media platform from knowingly deplatforming a candidate,” along with establishing civil liability guidelines  for companies that do deplatorm candidates, passed the Committee with a 10-9 vote.

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