Tag Archives: Florida

Florida House Republicans Advance Bill to ‘Deny the Legal Existence’ of Trans People

“Rest assured that the passage of this discriminatory bill would have a detrimental and real-life impact on the trans community,” said one Florida ACLU leader.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 3-1-2024 by Common Dreams

Capital Pride Parade in, Washington, DC 2018. Photo: Ted Eytan/CC

The ACLU of Florida on Friday led condemnation of a bill passed by the Republican-controlled lower chamber of the state Legislature that “seeks to deny the legal existence of transgender individuals by requiring individuals to identify as their sex assigned at birth instead of their gender on their driver’s licenses and ID cards.”

Dubbed the Trans Erasure Bill by opponents, H.B. 1639 passed by a vote of 75-33. The ACLU notes that the legislation “also requires health plans to cover the widely discredited practice of conversion therapy and creates additional obstacles for health plans to cover gender-affirming care.”

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Under Pressure From Angry Students, GOP Gov Reverses on Federal Summer Meals Funding

“It only took literally everyone in the entire state telling him that he was being a monster,” said one political scientist, “for him to do the absolute easiest thing and feed hungry kids.”

By Julia Conley. Published 2-13-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: USDA/Public domain

As the deadline rapidly approached for state governments to accept federal funds for summer food assistance for children, Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen announced Monday that conversations with students from around the state had convinced him to take the funding—leaving just 14 Republican-led states still refusing the aid.

At a news conference, the GOP governor—who previously said he didn’t “believe in welfare” and would be forgoing $18 million for the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (Summer EBT) program—said he had changed his mind after “an evolution of information” about how young people across Nebraska would be affected by his decision.

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‘No, This Is Not a Parody’: Florida School District Bans Dictionaries Under DeSantis Law

Webster’s Dictionary & Thesaurus and The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank are among the books that the Escambia County School District has yanked from library shelves.

By Jake Johnson Published 1-10-2024 by Common Dreams

A photo of a Florida K-8 school’s dumpster, filled to the brim with history and civics textbooks. As part of a new policy, schools must destroy all material not allowed by the state government. Photo: Yamasztuka/Wikimedia Commons/CC

Dictionaries and encyclopedias are among the more than 2,800 books that a Florida school district has pulled from library shelves in an effort to comply with a law that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed last year.

Judd Legum, author of the Popular Information newsletter, reported Wednesday that the Escambia County School District said the books that have been banned pending further investigation “may violate H.B. 1069,” which “gives residents the right to demand the removal of any library book that ‘depicts or describes sexual conduct,’ as defined under Florida law, whether or not the book is pornographic.”

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Florida Abortion Rights Defenders Surpass Target for Ballot Measure

Supporters of the Florida measure—similar to other initiatives across the country—say they are “confident that voters will approve our amendment.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 1-5-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: CBS News

As of Friday, Florida residents and groups fighting for a state constitutional amendment to limit government interference with abortion care have collected enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot this November.

The proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution states that “no law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider.”

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‘Unacceptable’: US Homelessness Hits Record High

“Without significant and sustained federal investments to make housing affordable for people with the lowest incomes, the affordable housing and homelessness crises in this country will only continue to worsen,” warned one campaigner.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 12-15-2023 by Common Dreams

A homeless encampment in Minneapolis January 2023 Screenshot: KARE

The number of people in shelters, temporary housing, and unsheltered settings across the United States set a new record this year, “largely due to a sharp rise in the number of people who became homeless for the first time.”

That’s a key takeaway from an annual report released Friday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

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McDonald’s Fined 0.0002% of 2022 Profits for Child Labor Violations

“Less than $1,000 per child,” said one critic. “For one of the biggest franchises on Earth.”

By Julia Conley. Published 11-28-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: _skynet/flickr/CC

McDonald’s, one of the largest employers in the world, was fined just $26,000—a tiny fraction of its profits—on Monday for violating child labor laws in Pennsylvania, with two franchisees found to be violating numerous rules in five stores.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division found that Paul and Meghan Sweeney, owners of a company called Endor, which runs five McDonald’s locations, employed 34 children who were 14 and 15 years old.

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University of Florida Pro-Palestine Group Sues DeSantis Over Deactivation

“This attack on free speech is dangerous,” said the head of Florida’s ACLU. “Today it is pro-Palestinian students, tomorrow it could be any other group the governor dislikes.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 11-16-2023 by Common Dreams

DeSantis administration alleges Students for Justice in Palestine is aligned with terrorists; leaders of the group decry a “disgraceful” assault on free speech. Screenshot: ABC Action News

The University of Florida chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine on Thursday sued state education officials and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis over their move to deactivate the group for its support of Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation, apartheid, and other crimes.

The lawsuit—which was filed by the ACLU of Florida and Palestine Legal—seeks a preliminary injunction to block State University of Florida System Chancellor Ray Rodrigues’ deactivation order, issued last month after Students for Justice in Palestine’s (SJP) national body declared support for Palestinian “resistance” to Israel’s war on Gaza.

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‘Congress, Do Your Job’: Gun Control Demands Grow After Dozens Shot in Florida, Illinois, and Indiana

“How many more times do we have to wipe the blood off our streets before action is taken?” asked the Florida Democratic Party chair.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 10-29-2023 by Common Dreams

Around 4000 high school students walked out of school and marched to the Minnesota capitol to demand that legislators make changes to gun control laws on March 7, 2018 Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/CC

On the heels of Maine officials confirming that the shooter who killed 18 people in Lewiston earlier this week was found dead, shootings in Florida, Illinois, and Indianapolis early Sunday fueled further calls for action by U.S. lawmakers to reduce gun violence.

Around midnight, one person was killed and at least nine others were wounded at a Halloween party in Indianapolis, Indiana, local police said. The victims are ages 16-22 and it’s not yet known who or how many people were shooting.

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In ‘Victory for Voting Rights,’ Federal Judges Adopt New Alabama Congressional Map

“Today’s order means for the first time, Black voters in two congressional districts will have an opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice,” said the head of the state’s ACLU branch.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 10-5-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Black Voters Matter

Following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and Alabama Republicans’ open defiance of a federal tribunal’s order to reconfigure the state’s racially gerrymandered congressional districts, a three-judge panel on Thursday adopted a new map that will be used in the 2024 elections.

Proponents hailed the ruling by U.S. Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus, District Judge Anna Manasco, and District Judge Terry Moore as a win for democracy. The move creates a second “opportunity district” where voters will have a fighting chance to elect a second Black member of Congress for the first time since Reconstruction.

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US home insurers are leaving climate risk areas. We need affordable housing now

When the US housing crisis meets the looming insurance crisis, only government intervention will avert catastrophe

By Chrissy Stroop. Published 9-27-2023 by openDemocracy

The Creek Fire burns vegetation near a road on Camp Pendleton, California, Dec., 24, 2020. Photo: Public Domain

Most Americans are aware that with housing costs on the rise, more and more of us are experiencing periods of homelessness. Based on the relative dearth of national coverage, I presume far fewer of us are aware that major insurance companies have begun pulling out of areas identified as being at heightened risk due to climate change, leaving homeowners in the lurch. I wrote about the impact on Florida in July, but it turns out the problem is much larger than a single state, with California also heavily affected.

Over the next few years, it seems likely these two problems – unaffordable housing and unaffordable insurance in at-risk areas – will spiral into a potentially catastrophic cycle. Not only will some Americans be forced to abandon their homes, but the housing in these areas at high risk of damage from storms or wildfires will likely stand empty (as long as homes continue to stand at all), all of which will further drive demand up in a housing market that already prices out far too many people.

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