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Today’s Florida stories
• City & State Florida: Florida election preview: Eight congressional primary races to watch in 2022. “The state’s new congressional maps loom large over several U.S. House of Representatives primary races to be settled in August. Florida’s redistricting shifted the balance of power even more toward Republicans. Within the new boundaries, 20 of the districts voted predominantly for former President Donald Trump in 2020 versus eight for President Joe Biden. The old map had 15 Trump districts and 12 Biden districts.”
• WFLA-Tampa: Crist slams DeSantis on property insurance crisis, says he’d fire insurance commissioner. “Florida narrowly avoided a new property insurance disaster on Monday when a ratings agency delayed the downgrade of more than 20 companies. Although Demotech backed away from the immediate downgrade of more than 20 insurers this week, the downgrades – which experts say would cause financial chaos – are still possible.”
• News Service of Florida: Lawsuit seeks to block Florida school boards from carrying out Parental Rights in Education. “Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued in the 53-page complaint that the law violates First Amendment, due-process and equal-protection rights and improperly chills discussion of issues such as gender identity and sexual orientation.”
• Florida Politics: Fla. Dep’t of Ed. to require schools to tell parents if overnight field trip stays are ‘separated by biological sex.’ “The rule is part of the department’s task to align its policies with the new parental rights law, which opponents dubbed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ measure, and which bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade ‘or in a manner that is not age-appropriate.’ The law also allows parents to sue a school if the law is violated.”
• Spectrum News: Officials provide update on giant African land snail detection in Pasco County. “The snail is called ‘one of the most damaging snails in the world,’ and experts say the large snails could be devastating to Florida agriculture and natural areas.”
• News4Jax: New cellphone data shows what happens when a major storm threatens Florida. “Researchers at the University of Central Florida tracked thousands of devices in the days surrounding hurricanes Matthew, Irma and Michael. They found on average only about one in four evacuated, meaning the majority of cellphone users stayed home.”
• WMFE-Orlando: Florida ranks second in solar jobs, new report says. “Solar jobs in Florida jumped 5% last year and 79% since 2015. Nationwide, the number of jobs has more than doubled during the past decade.”
• Florida Times-Union ($): Jacksonville Mayor Curry budgets $500K to remove Confederate monuments, faces split council. “The Confederate monument in Springfield Park contains a large statue of a woman reading a book to two children as its centerpiece. A second statue of a robe-draped woman holding a Confederate flag stands on top of the monument’s roof.”
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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.