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News Around Florida for Jan. 24, 2024

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, wants to help with the legal defense cost of former president Donald Trump. Patronis wants the former president to receive $5 million from Florida state funds.

He’s getting support from GOP members of the Florida Legislature.

State Sen. Ileana Garcia, a Republican from Miami is pushing for the move in the Florida Senate. If approved, $5 million from a fund that gives public money to qualified statewide candidates would go to a Florida resident like the former president. On the social platform X, formerly known as Twitter, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis implied that he would veto the legislation if it arrived at his desk.

UPDATE: Sen. Garcia announced she will withdraw the bill. Her move came less than two hours after DeSantis publicly posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that he did not support the measure.

“This bill was filed on January 5th amidst a crowded primary, including two Florida residents,” Garcia said in response to DeSantis. “My concern was the political weaponization against conservative candidates, and while @JimmyPatronis brought me this bill at a time when all candidates were committing to campaign through the primary, one frontrunner now remains, and he can handle himself. I will be withdrawing the bill.”

Requiring Driver’s Licenses in Florida to Label Sex at Birth  

Legislators are pushing a bill requiring transgender individuals to identify by their sex at birth instead of their gender on their Florida driver’s license. Another proposal would also remove “gender” from laws governing state-issued identification cards and replace it with “sex.”

Florida High School Graduates Graduating at Record Levels

Data for the 2022-2023 school year revealed a record number of high schoolers in the Sunshine State are graduating. According to the Florida Department of Education, 88% of high school students graduated last year, an increase of 0.7 points from the year before.

State education numbers also show, the rates of graduation for all demographic groups have jumped over the past five years. A 0.9 percentage point increase in graduation rates for economically disadvantaged students, a 1.7 percentage increase for Black students, and a 0.9 percentage point increase for Hispanic students compared.

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