Florida

Cities Giving Paid Leave to Employees to Work the Polls

Facing shortages of poll workers, some city officials are allowing employees to volunteer as election workers in exchange for paid leave.

Florida Lifts Covid Restrictions on Bars and Restaurants, While Prohibiting Local Mask Penalties

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Alaskan wildlife officials responding to more bear calls … Court cases could recognize more reservations in Oklahoma … New York City to allow al fresco dining past the end of October.

Florida AG Calls for Probe of Push to Help People Vote by Paying Off Criminal Debts

After Mike Bloomberg raised $16 million to help people with criminal records vote in the state, some officials said the billionaire is “buying votes” for Joe Biden.

Millions Raised to Pay off Debts so Floridians with Criminal Records Can Vote

The money, partially raised by Mike Bloomberg, will go towards paying off the court fines and fees of thousands of people with criminal records, allowing them to vote in the upcoming election.

Software Problems Disrupt First Day of Online Learning in Miami-Dade

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Wisconsin governor wary of Trump visit … New Jersey to reopen some indoor dining … Virginia county’s plan to use libraries as daycare facilities sparks controversy … Alabama mayor asks Mardi Gras organizers to consider parade alternatives.

Capital Budgets and Maintenance in Line to Take Hits, Local Government Survey Finds

The new poll indicates that public works is an area that will see less funding as the coronavirus pandemic weighs on state and local government budgets.

Judge Sides with Florida Teachers in Lawsuit Over Reopening Schools

The judge found that local school officials, not the state, should be able to determine when students and teachers resume in-person classes.

Florida’s Cautionary Tale: How Gutting and Muzzling Public Health Fueled Covid Fire

Even as Florida's population grew over the last decade, Florida slashed the funding of local health departments, leaving them with less staff to respond to the pandemic. And some were then told not to speak.

A Showdown Over Returning to the Classroom

An Iowa school district and teachers union have sued the governor over her mandate requiring schools to reopen for in-person instruction.

Florida Officials Keep Eye on Isaias as Tropical Storm Moves Toward State

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Texas AG offers opinion on health departments’ authority to close schools … ALEC lawmakers say they don’t want more federal Covid aid … D.C. mayor says businesses should call police on maskless people.

Family Members Raise Concerns as Florida Inmate Deaths Rise

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | "Pooled testing" could speed up results ... Minneapolis council votes to get rid of police PIO ... Los Angeles County sheriff slammed for sexist statement.

In Bid to Boost Tech Workforce, University of Florida Develops 'Fastest' Academic Supercomputer

The artificial intelligence-rooted supercomputer, built in part with funding from Nvidia, will be used in AI-centric courses. The university has to hiring 100 new faculty members who are focused on the evolving technology.

Florida's Largest Teacher Union Files a Lawsuit Challenging School Reopening Order

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Nursing home trade group calls current rise in cases "a category five-level emergency" ... California AG to investigate evidence destruction in police shooting case ... Atlanta mayor says governor trying to stop her from talking to the media.

From Hurricanes to Pandemics: Benefiting from Crisis Lessons Learned

COMMENTARY | Elected and appointed officials must anticipate a broad range of possible catastrophes and put effective plans in place now to meet challenges like Covid-19 and future disasters.

Florida Orders Schools to Make In-Classroom School Available in Fall

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Phoenix mayor wants FEMA to set up testing center … Houston mayor asks state Republican party to cancel convention … Georgia governor sends National Guard to Atlanta.

Florida Tops 200,000 Coronavirus Cases as ICU Beds Fill Up in Some Tampa Bay-Area Hospitals

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Principals told to quarantine after coronavirus exposure at meeting … Pennsylvania Supreme Court rules for governor on emergency powers … Portland, Oregon extends police union contract.

Texas and Florida Restricting Bars Amid Coronavirus Surge

Gov. Greg Abbott ordered Texas bars to close, while a state official said Florida is planning to suspend on-premises alcohol sales. Both states are grappling with trying to control the virus, while allowing businesses to operate.

Florida to Spend $240 Million on Rent and Mortgage Help

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Police officers fired in Wilmington after racist conversation caught on recording … Minnesota city could remove word “chief” from position titles … More than 20,000 workers in New York City could face furloughs or layoffs.

From Jacksonville to Louisville, Confederate Statues Are Coming Down

Calls to remove the statues, denounced as symbols of white supremacy, were reignited in the wake of national protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd.

Florida Can't Stop Ex-Felons From Voting If They Can't Pay Fines, Judge Rules

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Virginia's governor caught in crowds without mask ... North Dakota governor tearfully pleads for masks not to be partisan ... County fairs could go on in Nebraska.