Charlie Crist Criticizes Florida Gov. DeSantis in Recent Interview

Charlie Crist on CBS interview

In an interview by Jim DeFede for CBS News Miami, former Florida Governor and current U.S. Representative Charlie Crist criticized Ron DeSantis while discussing his run for Governor in 2022. Crist criticized DeSantis’ actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the transgender sports bill and Medicaid expansion. He also indicated DeSantis was an “uncaring person.”

Crist was asked if DeSantis deserves credit for shutting down nursing homes and assisted living facilities (ATFs) that resulted in a low death toll for senior citizens. Crist deflected the question by bashing DeSantis for not advocating social distancing and wearing a mask while also putting an emphasis on the 36,000 Floridians who died from COVID-19.

After being asked again if DeSantis deserves credit for his decision, Crist stated, “Maybe so, it’s good to get a couple of things right, but it’s better to do more right.”

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Governor DeSantis Signs Bill Raising Smoking, Vaping Age

Jackie Toledo

On Friday, Governor DeSantis signed a bill that will establish a regulatory framework for the sale of electronic cigarettes. The bill (SB 1080), which will take effect Oct. 1, will also raise the state’s legal age to vape and smoke tobacco to 21. In 2019, Congress passed legislation raising the federal age limit to 21.

House sponsor Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, said during the debate over the bill that it is aimed at preventing minors from using electronic cigarettes.

“This bill is necessary to stop youth vaping,” Toledo said. “This legislation is a step in the right direction, demonstrating Florida’s commitment to work with regulators and stakeholders to combat underage use.”

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Extends Deadline for Unemployment Benefits

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

On April 25th, 2021, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), extended the deadline for work search and work registration waivers that made unemployment benefits more easily attainable to unemployed Floridians in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of the pandemic causing unemployment to increase, these unemployment benefit waivers were originally issued in March 2020 as part of the state of emergency that was established in Florida by Governor DeSantis that was originally set to expire on April 24th, 2021.

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Florida Bill Allows Students Athletes to Profit Beginning in July

In the waning moments of the 2021 Florida legislative session, elected officials amended a bill (SB 1028) that will allow college and university athletes to profit from their names and images beginning July 1, 2021.

On Wednesday lawmakers added a provision that would have pushed back the effective date of the name, image and likeness law until 2022 due to concerns with the NCAA.

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Governor DeSantis Announces Advancement of Everglades Reservoir Project

Earlier today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis met with Chairmen of the Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Chauncey Goss, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein, and CEO of The Everglades Foundation, Eric Eikenburg to announce a unanimously approved agreement between the SFWMD Governing Board and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that will advance the construction of phase two of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir Project.

The EAA Reservoir Project includes two major phases or ‘features’ according to Governor DeSantis: one being a treatment wetland that cleans water, and 10,500 acre above-ground reservoir that will store excess water from lake Okeechobee. Governor DeSantis noted that they “initiated the final phase of construction for the C43 reservoir” and were “near completion of the C44 reservoir and storm-water treatment area” that began initial construction in April of 2020 which was 12 months earlier than scheduled.

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