The Scoop: WMNF’s daily digest of news headlines for Tuesday, June 13th, 2023

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Donald Trump will be in Miami Court

Donald Trump is making his first court appearance in a historical criminal case charging the former president with hoarding top secret government documents, boastfully displaying them to visitors, and trying to hide them from investigators who demanded them back. Trump approached his Miami court date with characteristic bravado, insisting as he has done through years of legal woes that he has done nothing wrong and was being persecuted for political purposes. But the gravity of the moment is unmistakable as he answers to 37 felony counts that accuse him of willfully retaining classified records that prosecutors say could have jeopardized national security if exposed.

Teachers’ Unions Call to Action

Last night the Pinellas Classroom Teacher’s Association held a phone bank to call teachers in an effort to help them retain their union memberships. Teachers and other government employees may have to write monthly checks if they want to stay in their union after Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill last month banning automatic dues deductions from public employees’ paychecks. Tracey McConnell is the vice president of the Pinellas Classroom Teachers’ Association.

After pushback from both teachers and the public about what detractors have called the Don’t say gay bill last year, and book bans, Governor Ron DeSantis has been waging culture wars against those in opposition, such as Disney, and teacher’s unions. Last month he signed the bill to end automatic deductions for public-employee unions. McConnell says DeSantis is making it easier for a union to get decertified, and that could adversely impact local teachers.

DeSantis argued that it would give teachers more control over their paycheck, but McConnell said not one teacher she is aware of wanted to stop the deductions.

More than a dozen phone bankers showed up to make calls to educators, in hopes that they can at least make sure that they maintain enough local union support so that teachers will have the ability to continue bargaining collectively for better working conditions and keep their union intact.

Legalize Marijuana Initiative

The initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in Florida could appear on next year’s ballot. WMNF’s Chris Young reports that a conference was held yesterday in Tallahassee to discuss the amendment’s potential financial impact on the state.

Wet season strategy after wastewater disaster 

The U.S. Army Corps has announced its ‘wet-season’ strategy for controlling releases from Lake Okeechobee and ensuring that there are no toxic algae releases. Kevin Kerrigan reports.

Information from the Florida Public Radio network, News Service of Florida, and Associated Press was used in this report.

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