Thursday, March 23, 2023

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A proposed flavored tobacco ban is back on the table in Minnesota, Trump attorney Evan Corcoran must testify in the documents probe, and a "clean slate" bill in Missouri would make "expungement" automatic.

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The Fed raises interest rates and reassures the banking system is sound, Norfolk Southern reaffirms a commitment to the people of East Palestine, and TikTok creators gather at the Capitol to support free expression.

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Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Floridians Want Lawmakers to End Culture Wars, Focus On 'People's Budget'

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Monday, March 6, 2023   

Florida's legislative session - which begins Tuesday - has already made headlines as a conservative majority pitches bills to expand gun rights, ban diversity programs, make it easier to sue the news media, and further restrict abortions.

One coalition says this isn't what everyday Floridians are asking for.

Ruth Moreno, deputy director of the statewide group "Florida for All," said the average person is looking for the opposite of what's about to happen in Tallahassee.

Moreno said she also wants Gov. Ron DeSantis and legislative leaders to end what she sees as a corporate-driven agenda that benefits the wealthy.

"We cannot get away with not paying our taxes in Florida, yet corporations in the state of Florida do all the time, right?" said Moreno. "And they don't pay their dues. So, with the People's Budget, it's asking the question. It's offering a platform for everyday Floridians."

Lawmakers are preparing to advance bills that would require private companies to check their employees' immigration status, along with sweeping changes to limit lawsuits against businesses.

Moreno's group and others planned a virtual news conference today at 11 a.m. - to highlight their demands for "a government that works for the people."

The groups are calling for solutions to rising housing costs. And Moreno said they want to see an end to political interference in schools and universities, and criminal justice reform, to name a few priorities.

"The culture wars, the anti-protest bill" said Moreno, "these are things that are not real issues for people, right? The real issues that are impacting folks are, 'Is the school that my child's going to well-funded?'"

The prospect of lawmakers curtailing their current agenda is slim during the annual session, which runs for 60 days.

With a Republican supermajority, lawmakers have so far given every indication that they'll grant the governor's wishes, to give him a broader platform for his expected 2024 presidential campaign.




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