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The 5 on 1: Five ‘most interesting’ laws taking effect July 1

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Saturday is not only the first day of the state’s budget year, it’s also when a host of new laws go into effect. Here’s a capsule look at five of the more notable statutes taking effect July 1: — Religious expression in schools.  This new law clarifies that public school students can’t be punished for praying at school or incorporating “religious materials” into their classwork. Currently, students can pray before or after instructional time outside of the class room, on…

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Americans offer hope, prayer in assessing Donald Trump’s 100 days

in 2017/Top Headlines by

They are young and old: a high school student who can’t yet vote, a Vietnam vet who did so proudly. They hail from all corners of the United States and very different walks of life: a “downhome boy” from Kentucky, a third-generation Mexican-American from Texas, a stay-at-home mom in Pennsylvania, an Iranian immigrant in Los Angeles. Some oppose Donald Trump and all that he stands for, while others voted enthusiastically for him. Now, they are critiquing him. One hundred days…

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Randy Fine: Bill bolsters local businesses, not victimize LGBT community; detractors not buying it

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Rep. Randy Fine introduced HB 17 simply as a measure to keep commerce moving on an upward trajectory under the leadership of local governments, flourishing enough to bring prosperity to their respective communities. “Its intent is to help businesses thrive and grow – that’s its purpose,” Fine told FloridaPolitics.com by telephone on Thursday from Tallahassee. “There are folks that think business should be left up to local government and then there are folks like me who think the nexus of…

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Fed lawyers deciding next step in Donald Trump travel ban fight

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Government lawyers fighting to defend President Donald Trump‘s executive order on immigration said Friday that “all options” are being considered after a federal appeals court ruled against the president’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations. A Justice Department lawyer who spoke at a hearing in Virginia said the administration was weighing whether to challenge a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld a temporary block on Trump’s ban, saying it was unlikely to survive a legal…

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Donald Trump nominee decried criticism of judges, senators agree

in 2017/Top Headlines by

President Donald Trump insisted Thursday that comments by his Supreme Court nominee criticizing his own attacks on the judiciary were “misrepresented,” even as Republican and Democratic lawmakers vouched for the veracity of the remarks. Trump responded after private rebukes from Judge Neil Gorsuch, who said in meetings with lawmakers on Wednesday that the president’s comments about federal judges were “disheartening.” Gorsuch, who was nominated by Trump last week to the nation’s highest court, made the comments in meetings with senators…

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Activists: Charities must move galas from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Since President Donald Trump opened the gold-infused ballroom at his Mar-a-Lago resort almost 12 years ago, it has been a popular rental for the American Red Cross, hospitals, medical researchers and other charities for fundraising galas where the wealthiest donors are wined and dined, often netting $1 million or more. But Trump’s election puts charities in an awkward position over choosing the resort — recently dubbed the president’s Winter White House — for events they may have planned more than…

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Promises, pomp and protests as Donald Trump sworn in

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Pledging to empower America’s “forgotten men and women,” Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday, taking command of a deeply divided nation and ushering in an unpredictable era in Washington. His victory gives Republicans control of the White House for the first time in eight years. Looking out over the crowd sprawled across the National Mall, Trump painted a bleak picture of the nation he now leads, lamenting “American carnage,” shuttered factories and…

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