Wednesday, May 12, 2021
State Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, and state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, are working together across the aisle on a proposal to legalize the use of recreational marijuana. “There are millions, possibly billions of dollars for cannabis being bought...
The agreement requires BSC to pay more than $188 million to 47 states and the District of Columbia to resolve allegations that it deceptively marketed transvaginal surgical mesh devices to patients. Florida’s share of the agreement is $11.5 million.
Last week, U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, offered a bill to ensure “that no terrorist should receive a COVID-19 vaccination before any American citizen” with Bilirakis and U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY, as the main cosponsors.
Moody’s Price Gouging Hotline remains active and the office’s Consumer Protection Division continues to assist consumers and review complaints related to price increases on commodities essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19, along with other concerns related to the pandemic’s impact on consumer transactions.
With solid Republican majorities in both chambers, Gov. Ron DeSantis, state House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, and state Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, should not face many challenges from the Democrats. But there will be problems in the days to come, especially as DeSantis pushes a $96.6 proposed budget which includes $625 million for Everglades restoration and a new “Resilient Florida” program to deal with climate change with $1 billion in bonds over the next four years. 
The minimum wage has once again become a hot topic now that the Biden administration is looking to increase it nationally to $15 an hour – echoing the base labor rate that California lawmakers established a few years ago. Note that California has the highest poverty rate in the nation based on the Census Bureau’s cost-of-living-adjusted standard.
Lesser will be sworn in as president-elect at the Annual Florida Bar Convention on June 11, when current President-elect Michael Tanner of Jacksonville becomes president. Lesser will serve as president for the 2022-23 Bar year.
“To this day, the murder of Trayvon Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman haunts the African American community,” said Hinson. “We have seen throughout history various laws and legal principles enacted to preserve the status quo of white supremacy. Stand Your Ground is no different. It’s long past time for Florida to go in a new direction.”
Mason Dixon took a poll for Florida TaxWatch which indicates Floridians strongly support COVID-19 business and healthcare liability protections by 72 percent and 74 percent, respectively.
At the end of last week, the LeRoy Collins Institute announced the reappointments of former Coral Gables Mayor Don Slesnick and former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Katy Sorenson to its Board of Directors.