Week in review 1/28/17

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Here’s a week in review for the week ending on 1/28. These snippets of news pieces are geared towards Florida politics and underreported stories. I’m purposefully not writing as much about what Trump is doing, not because it’s not important but because we’re being bombarded with news of his actions daily. If you’re interested in tracking him, Politico has a running list updated multiple times a day.


    • I have an ongoing list of bills of interest in the Florida Senate here. I’ll be updating it periodically as new bills are filed. A big one sticking out to me is SB534 which would preempt local hiring preferences and nullify sections Gainesville Living Wage and Alachua County Minimum Wage Ordinances. It’d also hamstring dozens of progressive ordinances throughout the state.
    • ACLU Florida is holding rallies in Miami, Orlando, and other airports on Sunday in protest of Trumps Muslim ban. (link)
    • Lots of people participated in Florida for the Million Woman’s march. Over 10,000 in Miami, 14,000 in Tallahassee, 20,000 in St. Pete. Gainesville had 1,500 and even smaller communities like Ocala, Paltaka, and Live Oak had actions. (link)
    • South Florida Counties that protected immigrants are folding to Trumps attacks on Sanctuary Cities. Miami-Dade is changing their policies while Broward and Palm Beech Countys are saying they never were and have no desire to become sanctuary cities.  (link)
    • Fivethirtyeight has an interesting article out on the reasons for increased hate crimes. They ran the numbers and say income inequality has a strong correlation. (link)
    • The University of Florida is under Title IX investigation for the mishandling of a sexual violence report. (link)
    • Florida Democrats walked out on Mark Krikorian,, executive director for the Center for Immigration Studies, which is a Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a hate group. He was there, of course, to spread lies about refugees and immigrants. (link)
    • SB120, the anti-immigrant bill that would 1 criminal charges against undocumented immigrants passed a major chock point on Tuesday. The bill passed 5-4 along party lines after the Judiciary committee amended the bill to only apply to charges violent offenses committed by undocumented people. The bill is much more likely to become law now.
    • Sen. Rubio won’t take the lead on a Dreamer bill. Trump has made it clear he’s going to let Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order expire. A bipartisan bill is being pushed by Sen Graham that would supersede anything Trump could do to the Dreamers but it’s a shame that Sen. Rubio isn’t making it a priority for him. (link)
    • Poor elderly people in Florida are in danger of having their services cut. The Florida Council on Aging is asking for $10 more remove 1,287 at risk elderly Floridians from waiting lists. The Government’s response was to ask them to trim close to $13 million from their budget. (link)
    • Relief might be on the way for poor people caught in the criminal justice system. Currently people who can’t afford the court fees get fined more and often have their licences revoked.  And without a licence many people can’t work and so fall further behind. SB302 would change that by limiting the conditions on which a license can be revoked and limited payment to 2% of net income per year. There’s issues with the bill but it’s a big step in the right direction. (link)
    • The Stand Your Ground on steroids bill (BS128) passed the Judiciary Committee. This was the major choke point for the bill so it’s likely to become law. The bill shifts the burden of from in stand your ground cases from defendant to prosecutors making it more difficult to even have a trial. (link)
    • The Florida Democratic Party seems to be changing gears under Bittel. In years past the strategy has been to turnout in SE Florida, the I-4 corridor, and ignore the rest of the start. Bittel’s FDP is offering $100,000 grants to small and medium counties to do voter registration and become better organized. (link)
    • Florida union membership dropped from 6.8% in 2015 to 5.6% in 2015. This 1.2% drop was a lot higher than the national 0.4% drop in membership. It still pays to be a in a union though as non union workers make on average 80% the wages of union workers. (link)

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