WMNF’s daily digest of news headlines for Friday, March 17th, 2023

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Bill that bans abortions after 6 weeks

A Florida Republican bill that bans nearly all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy had its first hearing in the state legislature yesterday. Regan McCarthy reports the measure would go into effect after the state Supreme Court rules on Florida’s current 15-week ban.

Cracking down on higher education

Florida’s government continues to crack down on higher education, and WMNF’s Chris Young reports that the new focus is on faculty unions.

Universal School Choice 

The Florida House and Senate are 430 million dollars apart on their cost estimate for a plan to bring what’s called “universal school choice” to the state. The Senate’s 640 million dollar figure for t

The voucher expansion is much closer to the price tag seen in other states with similar programs. Opponents like Leon Superintendent Rocky Hanna see it as a diversion of dollars away from public schools as kids leave to go to private ones. Arizona’s universal school choice program has gone way over budget—it’s at 300 million now and is expected to climb to nearly 500 million dollars. Meanwhile, a similar proposal in Ohio is estimated to cost a billion dollars.

College professor has been fired

A longtime Palm Beach Atlantic University professor has been fired — after teaching lessons on racial justice. Administrators at the Christian university terminated the contract for English Professor Sam Joeckel, who announced the news in a statement Wednesday. Here’s Joeckel in an interview earlier this month. University administrators notified Joeckel a month ago they were investigating a complaint raised by a parent that he was “indoctrinating” students. Joeckel has taught at the Christian school for two decades and said he has long included lessons about racial justice in the class. The former instructor also said in the statement he would pursue legal action.

Senate Bill 236

A new bill supported by Governor Ron DeSantis could deny crime victims civil damages. If passed, Senate Bill 236 would also shield businesses and insurers from liability. Gerard Albert the third has more.

California building houses for homeless

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says the state will pay to build 1,200 small homes to help house the homeless population. The Democratic governor made the announcement yesterday in Sacramento flanked by prototypes of the homes. It’s the first stop of his planned four-city tour which is replacing Newsom’s traditional State of the State address. Newsom said local governments will decide where the small homes will go. He said the homes could go on state-owned land if it is available and can quickly house people currently living in encampments.

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