Gov. Ron DeSantis

DeSantis smiles while holding the signed copy of the Fairness in Women's Sports Act
Sydney Boles / WJCT News

Governor Ron DeSantis visited Jacksonville Tuesday to sign a controversial bill banning trans girls and women from girls and women’s sports. The ban comes on the first day of LGBTQ Pride month, but DeSantis denied the ban had anything to do with discrimination. 

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried
News Service of Florida

Florida’s lone statewide elected Democrat is urging Gov. Ron DeSantis to veto a handful of bills sent to him by the state Legislature.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference.
Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is suspending all local COVID-19 emergency orders.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks Tuesday, March 2, 2021, during his State of the State address at the Capitol in Tallahassee.
Phil Sears / Associated Press

The Sierra Club of Florida has sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis urging him to veto twelve bills, including some that would make it harder for local governments to reduce fossil fuel emissions, the leading driver of climate change.

Climate Change In Fla. Is Forcing A Response From Republican Politicians

Apr 23, 2021
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks Tuesday, March 2, 2021, during his State of the State address at the Capitol in Tallahassee.
Phil Sears / Associated Press

Florida has long been known as an environmental contradiction. It’s mostly a peninsula at risk from the severe impacts of climate change, including rising seas, warming temperatures, and worsening extreme-weather events; yet it’s also a state governed by Republican leaders who have refused to even publicly utter the words “climate change.”

Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis and others after signing HB 1, often referred to as the 'anti-riot' bill, into law.
The Office of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Civil-rights attorneys are challenging a new set of state laws that establish a crime of “mob intimidation” and enhance penalties for riot-related violence and looting, arguing in a federal lawsuit that the measures unconstitutionally “seek to arrest the peaceful expression of free speech.”

Jacksonville Beach flooding is pictured on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 after Hurricane Matthew passed through.
Charlie Riedel / Associated Press


In a letter this month, the local climate advocacy organization Resilient Jax praised Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for supporting the funding of projects to address sea level rise and urged him to start addressing the fossil fuel emissions that are driving climate change.

Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando
News Service of Florida

House Republicans on Tuesday rejected Democratic efforts to increase unemployment assistance, days after Gov. Ron DeSantis opposed boosting benefits that are among the lowest in the nation.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis Transition Team

Gov. Ron DeSantis late Monday signed into law a plan to require out-of-state online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made by Floridians, with the estimated $1 billion a year in revenue going to curb a pair of taxes on Florida businesses.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has approved a bill he says will curb violence and property damage during protests. It’s a response to last summer’s protests following the death of George Floyd and calls to defund the police. DeSantis signed off on the measure Monday at a press conference in Polk County—the same place where he first introduced the proposal seven months ago.

DeSantis was flanked by local law enforcement, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, and Senate President Wilton Simpson—the same group who stood by him in September when he introduced his public disorder bill.

On Climate Change, DeSantis Focuses On Infrastructure While Ignoring Heat-Causing Emissions

Apr 15, 2021
Anticipating significant impacts associated with sea level rise by 2040, Satellite Beach is moving its public works building to higher ground.
Amy Green / WMFE

Brick by brick, the stucco shell of a new, flood-resilient public works building is taking shape blocks from the beach, the most visible sign yet of this small community’s enormous task of staving off the rising sea. 

Florida has put a halt to the administration of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines after the CDC and the FDA recommended a “pause” as they investigate reports of very rare, but potentially dangerous blood clots.

DeSantis accuses YouTube of censorship for removing video labeled as misinformation.
Sydney Boles / WJCT News

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis accused YouTube of censorship Monday for removing an earlier video in which he and some public health experts spread what YouTube has labeled as misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic. 

A man wades through flood water as he check out damage from Hurricane Matthew Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, in St. Augustine , Fla.
John Bazemore / Associated Press


Tens of millions of dollars a year would go to fight the effects of rising sea levels under bills passed by the Florida House and Senate this week.

USF Prof. Mark Rains Named As State’s Chief Science Officer

Mar 30, 2021
Mark Rains (left) and Kai Coshow Rains (right).
Ecohydrology Research Group / University of South Florida

Mark Rains, director of the University of South Florida’s School of Geosciences, was named Tuesday as Florida’s chief science officer. 

Residents walk a flooded street to reach their homes, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, where Tropical Storm Eta caused severe flooding in areas already saturated from previous downpours.
Marta Lavandier / Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis would get more than he requested for Everglades restoration and water projects in the coming year under an initial Senate budget proposal that also would set up a grant program to address sea-level rise.

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaking outside at the podium, National Guard members with masks on behind him.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

Speaking in Jacksonville Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that 97 Walgreens around the state will begin offering all three vaccines beginning March 12.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announces vaccine distribution partnership with Walmart
Sydney Boles / WJCT News

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited Jacksonville Tuesday to announce a new coronavirus vaccine partnership with Walmart pharmacies. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaking in front of the Sawgrass Village Publix in Ponte Vedra Beach.
The Office of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ announcement this month that the state is partnering with Publix Supermarkets to establish COVID-19 vaccination sites across the state follows the grocer donating $100,000 to the governor’s political committee.

File photo of a Publix store
Scott Iskowitz / Associated Press

Governor Ron DeSantis has announced the state is partnering with Publix to establish COVID-19 vaccination sites at select locations throughout Florida and on Wednesday he said that several would be in St. Johns and Flagler Counties.

Wetland Preserve
North Florida Land Trust


The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday it is handing over at least some of its oversight of Florida’s wetlands to the state.

Duval County Courthouse
Excel23 / Wikimedia Commons

The public is being asked to weigh in on potential replacements for Judge David Gooding, who is retiring from Northeast Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit.

A sign reading "Still Open" hangs outside of a restaurant.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

An infectious disease specialist is warning that as Florida pulls back on business and capacity restrictions, more people are likely to die of the coronavirus.

Rapid Test Kits Headed To Fla.

Sep 29, 2020
Someone getting tested for COVID-19 at the drive-thru testing site, someone reaching into a car where a patient is, while dressed in a mask and gown and gloves.
John Raoux / Associated Press


Florida will receive 400,000 rapid-test kits a week that can be used to detect COVID-19 infections at schools, senior centers and long-term care facilities, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday at a news conference in Clearwater. 

Hungarian Jews on the ramp at Auschwitz II-Birkenau in German-occupied Poland, around May 1944.
Anonymous photographer / Auschwitz Album

A recent survey of U.S. adults under 40 shows a glaring lack of basic knowledge about the Holocaust.

Caridad Smith uses hand sanitizer before eating lunch at Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers of Dade County, Inc., on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Miami.
Brynn Anderson / Associated Press

With coronavirus-related restrictions at long-term care facilities being eased, an industry leader is warning that without protections against civil liability there will be more legal cases and eventually an increase in insurance rates.

A woman riding a horse on the beach at Amelia Island, featured in the "Day Trips in Florida" section of VisitFlorida.com.
Patrick Farrell / Visit Florida

Visit Florida is launching an advertising campaign aimed at encouraging in-state travel to try to help Florida’s tourism industry recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Florida Could Look At Loan For Jobless Benefits

Aug 11, 2020
Gov. Ron DeSantis speaking outside at the podium, National Guard members with masks on behind him.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

Florida might seek a loan through the U.S. Department of Labor to cover the state’s portion of a plan by President Donald Trump to extend federal unemployment benefits and have states put up 25 percent of the cash. 

A sign reading "Still Open" hangs outside of a restaurant.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

An executive order signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis loosens the criteria for restaurant employees with coronavirus to return to work.

The St. Johns River
The University of North Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law measures that include bigger fines for dumping pollutants into waterways and new rules for septic tanks and agricultural runoff, though environmentalists said the rules don’t go far enough.

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