Trump’s Florida victory aside, Republicans upset two incumbent South Florida congresswomen, flipped five state House seats and could pick up a seat in the state Senate, making a mockery of Democrats’ hopes to cut into the GOP’s legislative dominance.
The Republican-dominated Legislature has passed a series of bills over the years aimed at placing more restrictions on abortions. For example, lawmakers in 2015 passed a measure that required a 24-hour waiting period before women could have abortions. That law has been tangled in a legal battle.
Opponents criticized the bill as an attack on local home-rule authority, while also raising concerns about coral reefs. It was one of 18 bills DeSantis signed in to law Monday.
Florida TaxWatch wants more than $136 million in projects cut from the proposed state budget, but the fiscal-watchdog group acknowledges that might be far less than what is needed because of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on state revenues.
State revenue was off $878.1 million in April from an earlier estimate as tourism and hospitality-related industries, along with car sales, were grounded by the coronavirus, according to economists.
Hundreds of call center operators are being rushed through training, paper applications are being made available and dozens of computer servers were brought from Orlando over the weekend to boost the online system’s capacity.
DeSantis has issued a series of executive orders aimed at voluntarily limiting face-to-face interactions but has avoided a more hardline statewide approach, citing concerns about intensifying the virus’ negative impact on the state’s economy.
Lawmakers agreed to put $400 million toward raising teachers’ minimum salaries and $100 million into giving veteran teachers pay hikes. DeSantis wanted $602 million to set a statewide $47,500 minimum salary for all public school teachers and $300 million for a new teacher bonus program.
The $100 million planned for Florida Forever isn’t the $300 million the program annually received more than a decade ago, but it’s a boost for supporters of the program, which got $33 million during the current fiscal year.
Amid a long-running legal battle, the Florida House on Friday moved forward with a proposal that could allow schools to offer prayers over public-address systems before events such as high-school championship football games.