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The Point, May 12, 2023: Florida's governor signs dozens of bills into law

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Today's Florida stories

• News Service of Florida: DeSantis signs a bill targeting COVID-19 mandates. "With opposition to COVID-19 mandates a key part of his political brand, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed a bill that includes issues such as barring businesses and government agencies from requiring people to take COVID-19 tests or wear masks to enter their facilities."

• Politico: Ron DeSantis can’t quit Covid. "Now the governor will find out if he can sustain that strategy as he prepares to campaign more than three years after the pandemic began. Covid gives DeSantis an opening to attack former President Donald Trump, whose administration was responsible for the federal government’s early response."

• Business Insider: DeSantis signs law to cover up records of his travel and visitors ahead of anticipated 2024 presidential run. "Under the new law, details about the governor's trips — whether on state planes or private, chartered flights — will be (redacted), including names of staff and family members that travel with DeSantis. Visitor logs to the governor's mansion and his office also will be hidden."

• WESH-Orlando: Gov. Ron DeSantis signs Tyre Sampson Act on ride safety. "In March 2022, 14-year-old Tyre Sampson fell to his death from the FreeFall ride at ICON Park. The teen was visiting Orlando for Spring Break from St. Louis."

• Click Orlando: Disney monorail inspections tucked into new law signed by DeSantis. "The Florida Department of Transportation will soon have the duty to inspect Walt Disney World’s monorail system, one of several provisions enacted by the Florida Legislature as part of the state’s clash with the Walt Disney Company."

• Florida Politics: What’s in their wallets? Gov. DeSantis approves bill for more financial disclosure from local officials. "Starting Jan. 1, local officials will be required to file a form with the state showing their entire net worth, including income sources, assets, property and business ownership and debts. Currently local officials are only required to disclose the sources of their income and business interests, but not specific dollar amounts."

• WMFE-Orlando: Advocates say new immigration law could stop undocumented people from seeking medical care. "Immigration advocates gathered at Hope Community Center in Apopka Thursday to decry a new state law that would limit the rights of undocumented people here. The law increases the penalties for businesses who hire undocumented workers and for anyone who shelters or transports undocumented people."

• WFLA-Tampa: Federal flood insurance rates spiking in Florida, expected to double in Hillsborough County. "In the past, your rate was based on your zip code, but now it will be based on your specific flood risk. FEMA says they’ll look at the characteristics of your home, its elevation, and distance from rivers and lakes."

• NPR News: As conservative states target trans rights, a Florida teen flees for a better life. "Josie, 16, moved to Rhode Island in April to flee policies in Florida that restrict transgender rights. Her parents can't go with her yet, so she'll live with an aunt and uncle until she finishes high school."

• WUSF-Tampa: State wildlife officials now back more stringent protections for the Weeki Wachee River. "The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had proposed barring the mooring of watercraft along 20 sandbars in the river. They cited a springs protection ordinance that shows they have to prove that boaters are harming that stretch of the river."

• New York Times ($): Federal Judge Says Border Patrol Can’t Forgo Release Notices to Ease Backups. "A federal judge in Florida issued an order on Thursday directing the U.S. Border Patrol not to release any migrants without issuing them formal notices to appear in immigration court. The order does not affect the expiration of the pandemic-era Title 42 immigration restrictions, Lee Gelernt, the American Civil Liberties Union’s lead attorney in Title 42 litigation, said."

• News4Jax: Federal Title IX investigation polls students in St. Johns County schools on dress code. "The federal Title IX investigation was launched in 2021, following multiple complaints by parents and students who claimed that the code was discriminatory toward female students in both how it was written and how it was being imposed. The district later turned over a cache of documents and records which the OCR had requested as part of the investigation."

Today's sponsored message

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• Business: Adidas finally has a plan for its stockpile of Yeezy shoes
Ethan Magoc curated today’s edition of The Point.

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org
Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org