The Scoop: WMNF’s daily digest of news headlines for Wednesday, May 24, 2023

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New College of Florida faculty censures board of trustees

New College of Florida faculty have voted to censure the college’s Board of Trustees. Faculty mentioned a long list of grievances in a letter sent to the school’s leadership.

DeSantis set to launch presidential campaign today

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is set to launch his 2024 presidential campaign on today. The 44-year-old Republican governor is an outspoken cultural conservative and has long been seen as Donald Trump’s leading rival for the Republican nomination. He plans to announce his decision in an online conversation with Twitter CEO Elon Musk. The audio-only event will be streamed on Twitter Spaces beginning at 6 p.m. EDT. DeSantis will join a crowded Republican contest to decide whether the party will move on from Trump in 2024 as it works to retake the White House from President Joe Biden.

Following new reporting from USA Today revealing that Ron DeSantis appointed Sandra Atkinson, a January 6 insurrectionist to a statewide regulatory board, Florida Democratic Party chair Nikki Fried released the following statement:

Fried said, “Coddling and promoting extremists and insurrectionists is par for the course with Ron DeSantis, who STILL refuses to acknowledge that Donald Trump lost the 2020 election to this day. His willingness to surround himself with people who violently rioted at the Capitol and lodged attacks on law enforcement just to boost his national ambitions shows that there’s no limit to how low he’ll go in the race for the MAGA base.”

Continuing to mold a conservative Florida Supreme Court, Governor Ron DeSantis also named Meredith Sasso to succeed former Justice Ricky Polston yesterday, who stepped down in March. Sasso, who is from Orlando, has served as a state appeals court judge since 2019 and is chief judge of the Lakeland-based 6th District Court of Appeal. With the pick, DeSantis has appointed five of the seven Supreme Court members, as the court has become dramatically more conservative since the Republican governor took office in January 2019.

Florida Wildlife Corridor expands

The Florida Wildlife Corridor will continue to grow by thousands of acres, following approval by the Florida Cabinet yesterday morning.

Employees fight back against call center layoffs

One of the largest federally contracted call centers that support Medicare and Medicaid Services is under fire for firing hundreds of workers for the second time in six months. Workers and former employees protested outside the Riverview location for Maximus.

Maximus is the latest call center criticized for low wages, short bathroom breaks and mass layoffs.

Maximus workers report that workers being laid off throws them and their families into financial crisis, threatening basic survival needs like housing, food, and health care. But she hopes that when more workers share their stories, While Florida is a right-to-work state, Maximus has a federal contract and offices nationwide, potentially making them the target of a larger organizing effort as the Communication Workers of America plan to win better working conditions for employees.

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

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