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Capital Report: June 21, 2024

Florida’s 116.5 Billion Dollar spending plan for the new fiscal year goes into effect July 1st. It’s smaller than the budget approved by state lawmakers after Governor Ron DeSantis made almost a Billion dollars worth of vetoes. 56-million-dollars worth of cuts were made to "legislative support services,” as Gina Jordan reports.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed off on two bills bringing more services to Florida veterans. The new laws directly impact service members and their families. And, as Adrian Andrews reports DeSantis says the measures will improve veteran benefits and create a military history program to preserve veteran stories.

Attorneys for the state and the American Civil Liberties Union battled it out in federal appeals court last week. The A-C-L-U is fighting to keep in place an injunction placed on a 2022 Florida law the governor dubbed the “Stop W.O.K.E. Act.” The law restricts how race-related concepts are taught in higher education. Before those arguments, WMNF’s Meghan Bowman spoke to A-C-L-U of Florida staff attorney Jerry Edwards, who is representing the plaintiffs.

A federal judge has temporarily blocked a new Florida law requiring mayors and other city officials to file a more rigorous form of financial disclosure this year than they have in the past. Margie Menzel reports.

Legislation on Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk could drastically change state and local ethics boards in Florida. Tristan Wood reports that it has ethics experts ringing alarm bells.

A dispute over the financial impact of Florida’s proposed constitutional amendment guaranteeing abortion access has been settled. Now, Regan McCarthy tells Tom Flanigan the measure can be appropriately reworded in time to make it onto the November ballot.

It’s been about a year since Florida endorsed new and controversial Black History standards. Since then, some efforts have been underway to find creative ways to learn Black History for public schools. Danielle Prieur took part in a recent Black History Bus Tour in the historic Central Florida town of Eatonville.