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Today’s top Florida stories
• Associated Press: Florida Budget Discussion Begins With House, Senate Plans About $2B Apart. “As the Republican-led Legislature got to work on the budget, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced even more spending – $216 million for $1,000 bonuses to public school teachers and principals. The money would be drawn from the state’s share of school emergency relief funds from last year’s federal coronavirus relief bill.”
• WLRN: The Uncertain Future Of Bright Futures. “The Florida Senate has retreated from its controversial plan to punish college students who choose majors that “do not lead directly to employment” by reducing their scholarship amounts under the state-funded Bright Futures program. But as the Legislature grapples with a budget deficit brought on by COVID-19, Bright Futures is still in danger of cuts, after being partially restored only a few years ago.”
• News Service of Florida: Transgender Athletes Restrictions Move Forward In Florida Senate. “… advocates of the plans contend that preventing transgender females from competing in high-school and college athletics is necessary to ensure that “biologically” female girls and young women have a fair chance to win scholarships and excel in sports.”
• Miami Herald ($): After sugar’s $11 million investment, a bipartisan push to protect industry. “If the aroma of organic fertilizer repeatedly wafts into your yard from a nearby working farm and you try to sue to stop it, it’s likely to be considered a nuisance lawsuit and you’ll be barred by law under Florida’s ‘Right to Farm Act.’ If you live near the Everglades Agricultural Area and years of inhaling black ash and smoke from sugarcane burning have caused long-term health problems and you want to sue, Florida legislators are giving bipartisan support to a bill that considers those lawsuits a nuisance, too.”
• Associated Press: Florida Governor To Get COVID-19 Vaccine This Week. “DeSantis, 42, will join about 6 million people in Florida who have already received at least the first dose of a vaccine. The state has a population of 21.5 million people. He didn’t give details about when or where he’ll get his shot.”
• Florida Politics: Nikki Fried ‘very close’ to 2022 challenge to ‘egotistical’ Ron DeSantis. “Fried contended it’s increasingly clear DeSantis needs to be a one-term governor, and that he is already ‘focusing on 2024.’ Meanwhile, she said that she is ‘very close to making a decision’ regarding 2022.”
• WMFE: More Charges Filed Against Former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg. “Federal prosecutors say Greenberg set up a company called Government Blockchain Systems as part of a scheme to defraud the county. The indictment alleges he used his position as tax collector to embezzle more than $400,000 from the county.”
• WFSU: Florida Students Could Soon Be Required To Take CPR Training Before Graduation. “Florida is one of only about a dozen states that doesn’t require its students to learn CPR before graduating. But, this week lawmakers heard testimony in committee from members of the public whose family members and loved ones needed help from someone trained in CRP. They’re urging the state to put a CPR training requirement in place.”
• WJCT: Florida’s Consumer Confidence Grows Amid Vaccine Expansion. “As more Floridians are vaccinated and the economy returns to normal, a University of Florida survey finds that Florida residents are feeling more confident in their personal finances than they were just a month ago.”
• WCJB: “Justice was served” Investigator in the Anna Young case discusses death of former cult leader. “A few weeks ago, the former ‘House of Prayer’ leader pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. That was basically a life sentence for the 79-year-old. After a short stay within the Florida Department of Corrections, the former leader has now died.”
• WUFT News: UF Students Create ‘Music Meets Medicine,’ A Group That Integrates Art Into Patient Care. “Creating their organization in the middle of a global pandemic, Danielle DuPuis and co-president Nicole Bravo, 20, said their organization is structured on ‘the principles of integrating the arts into patients care.'”
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From NPR News
• National: N.Y. Gov. Cuomo Signs Marijuana Legalization
About today’s curator
I’m Ethan Magoc, a news editor at WUFT. Originally from Pennsylvania, I’ve found a home telling Florida stories. I’m part of a team searching each morning for local and state stories that are important to you; please send feedback about today’s edition or ideas for stories we may have missed to firstname.lastname@example.org.