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Scott Keeler / Tampa Bay Times

On the last day of Florida’s annual legislative session, state lawmakers normally pass the budget for the next fiscal year and then adjourn “sine die” — which means, it’s over until next time.

Then dozens of people crowd into the rotunda between the House and Senate chambers in the Capitol building in Tallahassee, waiting to see the ceremonial ending: Each house’s sergeant at arms drops a handkerchief to the floor at the same time. It’s a tradition that goes back nearly a century.

Sherrilyn Cabrera / WLRN

Florida is holding its primary Tuesday as the state battles COVID-19, but only some South Florida voters are choosing to head to the polls. 

“We're definitely voting. They voted during the Civil War. We're gonna vote,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a press conference last week. 

WLRN has been hearing from listeners on social media from Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties who are choosing to take precautions during voting or not vote at all. 

Tuesday is the biggest primary day of the 2020 race, when 14 states are holding contests with 1,357 delegates at stake. Follow NPR's coverage for the latest news, analysis and results.

Nick Wagner / Austin American-Statesman via AP

Bernie Sanders’ remarks about Fidel Castro on “60 Minutes” Sunday night continued to set off alarms among Florida Democrats on Monday, as worries spread about the presidential front-runner’s views on authoritarian regimes and the effect on Hispanic and undecided voters in a swing state.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was in his element when he gave the opening speech last month at the national convention of the Federalist Society, the organization of conservative and libertarian lawyers.

Citing Federalist papers and 162-year-old U.S. Supreme Court cases, the Harvard-trained attorney made an articulate case against the branch of government he said felt “superior” to the others.

“I think judicial power is too robust right now,” DeSantis said. “And I think the checks upon it are just simply inadequate.”

As part of efforts to combat illegal immigration, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Department of Corrections are preparing to deputize state correctional officers as federal immigration enforcement agents.

Kim Mas / Vox

More than 60 years ago, a committee was formed in the Florida legislature with the purpose of identifying and removing LGBTQ students and professors on Florida college campuses.

Over the course of a decade, investigators with the Johns Committee - so named because former Florida state lawmaker and governor Charley Johns led it- stalked and interrogated hundreds of suspected gay individuals, leading to the firing or expulsion of at least 200 people from their schools.  

Sophia Cai / WLRN News

Republicans working to re-elect President Donald Trump sent volunteers to a voter drive at a gun show in Pembroke Pines over the weekend. 

Carolos Osorio / AP

This week, 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls debated the issues—and each other. Under Florida’s ‘closed’ primary system, only registered Democrats can vote for any of them during the primary election next March. But that could change in future primary seasons. 

The Florida Supreme Court is reviewing a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow all registered voters in Florida—including the 3.2 million who are unaffiliated—to cast ballots in a primary election.

 

Financial Squeeze Could Limit Florida's Victim Compensation Program

Jul 15, 2019
Sira Anamwong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A state trust fund used to compensate crime victims is struggling to stay solvent, prompting a proposal last week by Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office that would significantly reduce the amount of money victims can claim.

The proposal means that certain crime victims who want financial aid for out-of-pocket expenses like medical bills, lost wages or mental health counseling, will hit a lower cap on reimbursements from the fund.

Courtesy of Congresswoman Lois Frankel

U.S. Congresswoman Lois Frankel visited Lake Worth's facility for immigrant girls Monday. Frankel, who has also visited detention facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border, said the 37 girls housed in Lake Worth are "the lucky ones," compared to those staying in border facilities. 

"I found it very welcoming, very spacious, very clean," she said. "All the girls were in classrooms, some were learning English."

Tony Tur

Miami is at the epicenter of U.S. politics this week. Zoom in closer, and it's the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. The Democratic presidential debates are there Wednesday and Thursday. 

Roberto Koltun / El Nuevo Herald staff

In a move to end a "one way cultural exchange" with Cuba, the Miami city commission unanimously passed a resolution last Thursday asking Congress to allow states and local governments to ban contracting with Cuban artists and performers who do business with or are funded by the Cuban government. 

The commission seeks legislation that would prevent Cuban artists from performing in city-owned venues as a reciprocal response to Cuba’s policy of prohibiting American artists or Cuban expatriate artists from performing on the island. 

LYNNE SLADKY / AP/MIAMI HERALD

Governor Ron DeSantis leaves for Israel this weekend with a delegation of at least a hundred different lawmakers, lobbyists and business leaders.

DeSantis' trip will include a visit with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a Florida cabinet meeting next Wednesday. But many of the details regarding the trip remain unclear, including the itinerary and whether the cabinet meeting will be streamed for the public.

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