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News Service of Florida

  • The state is appealing decisions by Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson, who twice this week sided with the Florida Education Association and the Orange County teachers union in lawsuits challenging Corcoran’s July 6 emergency order requiring schools to reopen brick-and-mortar classrooms in August or risk losing state funding.
  • The proposed constitutional amendment, backed by the political committee All Voters Vote, would allow registered voters to cast ballots in primary elections regardless of party affiliation — a major change from the state’s longstanding system of generally limiting primaries to voters registered with parties.
  • Party-backed Senate candidates in a Republican primary in Southwest Florida and two Democratic primaries in Southeast Florida scored sweeping victories on Tuesday night, a relief for party leaders heading into the November election.
  • Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran is urging local school officials to be “very surgical, not sweeping” when responding to coronavirus cases, which he acknowledged are likely to occur as classes resume this month.
  • After moving the test online because of COVID-19, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners has called off a plan to hold the Bar exam on Wednesday because it was not “technically feasible.”
  • Florida’s vital tourism industry suffered an estimated 60.5 percent drop in visitors as the COVID-19 pandemic hit hard during the year’s second quarter, with international travel off more than 90 percent.
  • Many teachers feel that the reopening of schools amid the pandemic is forcing them to choose between their livelihood and their health, as Gov. Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran push school districts to offer in-person instruction to students in August.
  • A federal appeals court Tuesday rejected arguments by prominent National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer in a lawsuit centered on graphic emails she received from a California attorney after the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County.
  • Getting ready for the possibility of a special legislative session to balance Florida’s budget, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration and top House and Senate appropriations staff have called on state agencies to draw up ways to slice 8.5 percent from their current budgets to address “the expected shortfall” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • As Florida schools reopen this month, district superintendents are calling on state officials to address two major challenges: the need for rapid testing for COVID-19 and a statewide plan to handle students and staff members who test positive.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, while expressing hope that the coronavirus crisis could ease across Southern states in September, said on morning radio shows Monday that the pandemic will “loom” over every budget and policy debate during the 2021 legislative session.
  • TALLAHASSEE --- Nearly 70 percent of the state’s nursing homes will receive rapid test kits from the federal government in the coming weeks after being…