Connect with us

North Florida News

Progressive report card scores Democrats mostly “A’s” and Republicans all “F’s”



Democratic members remain sitting as Republicans stand and applaud while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses a joint session of a legislative session, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) (Phelan M. Ebenhack, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Public interest groups Progress Florida and Florida Watch today unveiled their 2023 “People First” Report Card, grading Florida lawmakers on key floor votes cast during this year’s legislative session. The report card’s grades take into account how each legislator voted across a wide spectrum of issues including reproductive freedom, civil rights, public education, government transparency, safeguarding democracy, housing affordability, environmental protection, and more.

The “People First” Report Card grades every state legislator on key floor votes cast in their respective chambers – 28 votes in the House and 27 in the Senate. To achieve a passing grade, lawmakers had to consistently vote to put “People First.” The report card provides Floridians with a valuable tool for determining if their elected officials in Tallahassee are fighting to put their constituents’ priorities first or are bowing to powerful corporate interests and anti-public interest partisanship.

Some of the votes factored into lawmaker grades include the near-total abortion ban (SB 300); the taxpayer giveaway to unaccountable corporate voucher schools (HB 1); the anti-immigrant bill (SB 1718); a new predatory fee for renters (HB 133); expansion of the “Don’t Say Gay” law (HB 1069); the radioactive roads bill (HB 1191); and an attack on public worker unions (SB 256), among many others. The complete list of bills scored and their descriptions can be found at

Here are the fourteen state legislators who earned a “People’s Champion” Award for their 100% “A+” voting records:

Sen. Lori Berman (D-Boynton Beach)
Rep. Daryl Campbell (D-Fort Lauderdale)
Rep. Joe Casello (D-Boynton Beach)
Rep. Lindsay Cross (D-St. Petersburg)
Rep. Anna V. Eskamani (D-Orlando)
Rep. Ashley Viola Gantt (D-Miami)
Rep. Rita Harris (D-Orlando)
Rep. Dianne Hart (D-Tampa)
Rep. Yvonne Hayes Hinson (D-Gainesville)
Rep. Angie Nixon (D-Jacksonville)
Rep. Michelle Rayner-Goolsby (D-St. Petersburg)
Rep. Felicia Simone Robinson (D-Miami Gardens)
Rep. Patricia H. Williams (D-Fort Lauderdale)
Rep. Marie Paule Woodson (D-Pembroke Pines)

“With Florida’s deepening affordability crisis and escalating attacks on the freedoms that allow Floridians to pursue the American dream and determine their own life’s path, it’s more important than ever to know how our state legislators are voting on key issues,” said Progress Florida Executive Director Mark Ferrulo. “The ‘People First’ Report Card offers an easy to access and understand tool for Floridians to educate themselves on what’s happening in the Capitol and how those decisions impact their quality of life.”

“This session was a punch to the gut for the people of Florida,” said Florida Watch Executive Director Josh Weierbach. “Too many legislators acted as little more than rubber stamps for Governor DeSantis’ non-stop assault on our freedoms, as illustrated by their passing of a near-total abortion ban, dangerous permitless carry of loaded, concealed guns that will make us less safe, and relentless attacks on LGBTQ+, immigrant, and Black communities. Now, taxpayers are going to be left to pay the bills for this relentless onslaught of unconstitutional legislation that did nothing to address the real issues facing everyday Floridians.”

Florida House and Senate Members Earning an “A” on the “People First” Report Card:

Sen. Rosalind Osgood (D-Tamarac)
Sen. Tina Polsky (D-Boca Raton)
Sen. Bobby Powell (D-West Palm Beach)
Sen. Geraldine Thompson (D-Orlando)
Sen. Victor M. Torres, Jr. (D-Kissimmee)
Rep. Kristen Aston Arrington (D-Kissimmee)
Rep. Robin Bartleman (D-Weston)
Rep. Christopher Benjamin (D-Miami Gardens)
Rep. LaVon Bracy Davis (D-Orlando)
Rep. Hillary Cassel (D-Hollywood)
Rep. Kevin D. Chambliss (D-Miami)

Rep. Fentrice Driskell (D-Tampa)
Rep. Lisa Dunkley (D-Lauderhill)
Rep. Jervonte Edmonds (D-West Palm Beach)
Rep. Michael Gottlieb (D-Plantation)
Rep. Christine Hunschofsky (D-Coconut Creek)
Rep. Dotie Joseph (D-North Miami)
Rep. Johanna López (D-Orlando)
Rep. Allison Tant (D-Tallahassee)
Rep. Susan Valdés (D-Tampa)
Rep. Katherine Waldron (D-Wellington)

Jacksonville state Representative Kimberly Daniels was the only Democrat to score an “F” (46%) on the “People’s First” Report Card.

“We applaud the legislators who put ‘People First’ one-hundred percent of the time, despite pressure from Governor DeSantis and powerful special interests. It is important Floridians recognize these lawmakers who fought for our families and defended our freedoms, not just with rhetoric, but with their votes,” said Ferrulo.

The interactive 2023 Progress Florida “People First” Report Card can be viewed at

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

North Florida News

Rep. Tant: HB 7063 Goes into Effect on Monday, July 1



TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On Monday, July 1st, HB 7063, Anti-human Trafficking will take effect and officially become law.

Part of this bill, Section 7, was worked in by Representative Allison Tant (D-Tallahassee) to create new language concerning contracts between governmental and nongovernmental entities in Florida. This language ensures that any nongovernmental entity wanting to do business with a governmental entity in Florida must confirm under penalty of perjury that they do “not use coercion for labor or services.”

“Exposing more crimes in which people were trafficked will ultimately lead to a safer community for everyone,” says Representative Tant. “I was glad to see this language included in HB 7063 and I am hopeful for the changes it will bring.”

Brought forward by Leon County Commissioner Rick Minor, this same language was adopted by Leon County in 2021 and was brought before members of the Legislature this session. “Thanks to Representative Allison Tant, it is now harder for human traffickers to operate in Florida,” said Commissioner Minor. “With this new policy becoming law, we’re telling unscrupulous organizations which profit from coerced labor that they cannot do business with our state and local governments. Not only does it protect vulnerable workers from human trafficking, but it also supports the overwhelming number of Florida businesses that conduct business honestly and pay their employees fairly. We’re grateful to Rep. Tant for her leadership in the legislature and for working to make this a reality.”

Robin Hassler Thompson, Executive Director of the Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center also helped advocate for this bill alongside Commissioner Minor. “Everyone in our community has a role in ending sex and labor trafficking. This bill goes a long way to making sure that local taxpayer dollars do not end up in the hands of human traffickers,” said Ms. Thompson. “The Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center is extremely grateful to Representative Allison Tant for standing with human trafficking survivors and being their advocate in the Florida Legislature.”

This bill does many other things including extending the statutory authorization for the Florida Alliance to End Human Trafficking and ensuring that the hotline number is included on human trafficking signs.

Continue Reading

North Florida News

Senator Gayle Harrell endorsed by Kathleen Passidomo, GOP Senate Leaders for re-election



TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee (FRCC) announced in a press release that Senate leaders President Kathleen Passidomo, President-Designate Ben Albritton and Senators Jim Boyd and Jay Trumbull today endorse Gayle Harrell for Senate District 31.

Joint Statement from Senate Leaders Passidomo, Albritton, Boyd and Trumbull

“Gayle brings an unparalleled health care expertise, a relentless commitment to protecting our waterways and a steadfast drive for preserving parental rights to the Florida Senate on behalf of the hard working Floridians she serves. She is an advocate for doing the right thing, putting people first and ensuring access to opportunity for all. We are proud to endorse Gayle Harrell for the Florida Senate because no one will work harder to be a voice for Senate District 31.”

Continue Reading

North Florida News

AG Moody Shuts Down Fake Websites Scamming SunPass Users



TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Standing with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Department of Transportation at a toll plaza in Orlando today, Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a Consumer Alert warning Floridians about a concerning new smishing scam targeting drivers. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that scammers are sending fraudulent text messages to individuals claiming unpaid toll fees and providing links to settle the alleged debts. However, these links are malicious and designed to steal victims’ money. These scams are also being seen targeting E-ZPass users. Attorney General Moody’s Cyber Fraud Enforcement Unit, working with FDLE, recently shut down 10 imposter websites.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Cybercriminals are sending text messages to thousands of unsuspecting drivers in the hopes that some of them will be tricked into paying a toll fee for a violation that never occurred. While this smishing scam is happening across the nation, our Cyber Fraud Enforcement Unit worked closely with FDLE to shut down 10 fraudulent sites designed to mimic the official SunPass website and steal payments from drivers who received their fake text messages.”

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Deputy Commissioner Vaden Pollard said, “FDLE agents believe there could be hundreds of victims in Florida who received a fraudulent text message saying they owed money to SunPass. FDLE’s Cyber Fraud Enforcement Unit was able to quickly seize the fraudulent websites, stopping the victimization. Thanks to Attorney General Ashley Moody, FDLE has the investigative resources and expertise to move quickly when it matters most.”

Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared W. Perdue, P.E., said, “The Florida Department of Transportation and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise place our customer’s privacy and security at the utmost importance. With that at our core focus, we are grateful for Attorney General Moody’s immediate response to stop this scam in its tracks and protect Floridians from these criminals attempting to manipulate customers and gain access to their sensitive information. FDOT proudly stands alongside the Attorney General’s office and our law enforcement partners as we continue to go to bat for the people of Florida.”

Below is an example of the unpaid toll scam text message:

While the authentic Sun Pass web address is, the smishing messages direct targets to fraudulent URLs set up to mimic the official sight. Attorney General Moody’s Cyber Fraud Enforcement Unit recently shut down 10 of these fraudulent sites listed below:


Florida is particularly susceptible to this emerging threat as it is home to the most toll roads of any state in the nation—more than 700 miles. These roads are necessary to help the 22 million Florida residents and 130 million Florida visitors get to destinations safely and on time.

Attorney General Moody offers the following tips to Floridians to avoid toll smishing scams:

  • Avoid Clicking Links: Refrain from clicking on any links provided in unsolicited messages, especially those claiming to be from SunPass, E-ZPass or FDOT;
  • Verify the Source: Independently confirm the information by contacting FDOT or SunPass using contact information found on an official organization’s website;
  • Check Account Status: Regularly check an online toll account to add an extra layer of protection;
  • Protect Personal Information: Do not provide personal or financial information in response to unsolicited messages, emails or phone calls; and
  • Register Phone Number with Do Not Call List: To help block robocalls and spam text messages, register phone numbers at

To report suspicious activity related to SunPass or E-ZPass, Floridians can file complaints at FDLE’s Report a Cybercrime webpage.

To view other Consumer Alerts, visit Alert.

Continue Reading
Advertisement Ticket Time Machine ad
Advertisement Orlando Regional REALTOR Association logo
Advertisement Parts Pass App
Advertisement Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando
Advertisement African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida
Advertisement FNN News en Español
Advertisement Indian American Chamber of Commerce logo
Advertisement Florida Sports Channel

FNN Newsletter