Florida

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This week, sheriffs across Florida publicly challenged the Department of Homeland Security for singling out agencies it says won’t help enforce immigration law. Meanwhile, sheriff’s offices are accusing DHS of misleading the public in a request, citing the agency for making requests that would violate people’s civil rights.

Here’s a short explanation of what’s happening:

Governor Rick Scott isn't waiting for the federal government to decide the future of the Affordable Care Act. His administration is proposing sweeping changes to the state's Medicaid program.  

Florida’s democratic gubernatorial primary now has two contestants. Orlando area businessman Chris King says he wants to be governor. King released his first campaign video Tuesday.

WMFE

Florida lawmakers are again urging the governor to suspend a prosecutor who won’t pursue the death penalty. But constitutional lawyers argue Aramis Ayala’s actions don’t warrant removal. 

Proposal To Drug Test Welfare Applicants Returns

Apr 5, 2017

Florida may again try to require mandatory drug testing for some welfare applicants despite legal battles that halted a previous program.

House Ready To Back ‘Stand Your Ground’ Change

Apr 5, 2017

A change in how "stand your ground" self-defense cases would be handled in the courts moved closer Tuesday to advancing out of the House, despite suggestions by critics that it could allow criminals to get away with murder.

Associated Press

Sheriffs across Florida say the federal government is asking them to overstep the law in a move that will violate people’s civil rights.

A bill requiring Florida schools to teach about the dangers of human trafficking is starting to advance in the Senate.

Miami-Dade Outlines Aggressive Mosquito Control Plan

Apr 4, 2017

Officials say no disease-carrying mosquitoes have been found so far this year in the Miami area.

Dry weather has caused the water level in Lake Okeechobee drop below the minimum range targeted for South Florida’s drinking water supply.

Senate Looks To Add Medical Marijuana Licenses

Apr 4, 2017

With the bill sponsor saying it "faithfully" carries out a constitutional amendment that voters passed in November, a Senate committee Monday approved a bill that would revamp Florida's medical-marijuana laws.

Severe Drought Developing in Florida

Apr 3, 2017

It’s the heart of wildfire season in Florida, and more than 90 percent of the state is in a drought. The National Drought Mitigation Center classified the situation as “severe” in nine counties Thursday.

Florida Forest Service reports show that wildfires have scorched almost 60,000 acres since January 1st. State Climatologist David Zierden attributes the active fire season to the shortage of rain, which he says is unlikely to improve anytime soon.

Sure, the news from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service arrived just a little late for Manatee Appreciation Day — but it's unlikely the gentle finned blimp will be too upset about the belated gift: The announcement that the agency is removing the West Indian manatee from the list of endangered species is welcome, no matter when it arrives.

One of the symbols of Florida is no longer an endangered species. That's according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which announced Thursday they're downlisting the manatee from endangered to threatened. Manatees have been classified as endangered since the first federal endangered species list was issued in 1967.

More manatees than ever - 6,300 - were counted during the winter, when they congregate around springs and warm power plant outfalls. But last year, more than one hundred manatees were killed, mostly by boaters.

Death penalty opponents rallied at Florida’s Capitol in support of Orlando State Attorney Aramis Ayala. Republican lawmakers are considering cutting her office’s budget due to her refusal to seek the death penalty in capital cases. But Ayala said a budget cut would hurt her office’s ability to prosecute crimes.

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