Connect with us

Politics

Florida and Louisiana Lawmakers Seek to Make Disabled Veterans Education Law a National Model

Published

on

Florida State Representative Daisy Morales (D-48) and Louisiana State Representative Beau Beaullieu (R-48) met virtually to discuss the Educational Opportunities for Disabled Veterans Bill. Photos: Florida House of Representatives and Louisiana House of Representatives, respectively.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Today, Representative Daisy Morales (D-Orlando) met virtually with Louisiana State Representative Beau Beaullieu (R-48) and staffers to discuss making HB 45 – Educational Opportunities for Disabled Veterans, a bill State Rep. Morales passed during the 2022 Legislative Session which Governor DeSantis signed into law, legislation in Louisiana and talked of a national model for disabled veterans on the state level.

The bill provides an education benefit to certain disabled veterans who qualify as residents to attend a state university, Florida College System institution, career center operated by a school district, or charter technical career center, but who do not qualify for the 100% eligibility tier federally, waiving the remaining tuition and fees from the institution attended.

Representative Daisy Morales had this to say, “It’s great to work as partners to help disabled veterans who have scarified so much for our country with educational opportunities to eliminate challenges they face when they have given so much for our country and allow them to support their families. My office will work closely with other State Legislators looking to pass legislation for educational tuition assistance. We love our veterans in the State of Florida!”

“Florida’s HB 45 of the 2022 legislative session could serve as a national model to provide educational opportunities to our disabled veterans and provide an avenue for their future success,” said Louisiana State Representative Beau Beaullieu.

“I’m excited that other states have already taken notice of this law,” Rep. Morales told FNN News. “It may very well become the model used throughout the nation to help our disabled veterans.”

State Representative Christopher Benjamin (D-Miami-Dade) worked alongside Rep. Morales to move HB 45 through committee to the House floor where it passed. The law went into effect July 1, 2022.

Politics

Biden to Announce Climate Actions at Ex-Coal Plant in Massachusetts

Published

on

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks during a session on Action on Forests and Land Use, during the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 2, 2021. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will announce new actions on climate change that he can take on his own just days after an influential Democratic senator quashed hopes for a sweeping legislative package of new environmental programs this year.

Biden is to unveil the latest efforts during a visit on Wednesday to a former coal-fired power plant in Somerset, Massachusetts, that is shifting to offshore wind manufacturing. It’s the embodiment of the transition to clean energy that Biden is seeking but has struggled to realize in the first 18 months of his presidency.

Wednesday’s executive actions include new initiatives to bolster the domestic offshore wind industry as well as efforts to help communities cope with soaring temperatures through programs administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a White House official.

 

 

The trip comes as historic temperatures bake Europe and the United States. Temperatures reached 115 degrees in Portugal as wildfires raged in Spain and France, and Britain on Tuesday shattered its record for highest temperature ever registered. At least 60 million Americans could experience triple-digit temperatures over the next several days as cities around the U.S. sweat through more intense and longer-lasting heat waves that scientists blame on global warming.

The actions that Biden announces on Wednesday will not include a national emergency declaration to address the climate crisis — something that has been sought by activists and Democratic lawmakers after Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., last week scuttled talks on a long-delayed legislative package.

White House officials have said the option remains under consideration. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday declined to outline a timetable for a decision aside from saying no such order would be issued this week.

Gina McCarthy, Biden’s climate adviser, said the president is not “shying away” from treating climate as an emergency. She told CNN on Wednesday that he will be announcing a series of actions “over the next few weeks” to address the threat.

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said he was “confident that the president is ultimately ready to do whatever it takes in order to deal with this crisis.”

“I think that he’s made that clear in his statement last Friday, and I think coming to Massachusetts is a further articulation of that goal,” Markey told reporters on Tuesday.

Biden has come under considerable pressure to issue an emergency declaration on climate, which would allow him to redirect federal resources to bolster renewable energy programs that would help accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels. The declaration also could be used as a legal basis to block oil and gas drilling or other projects, although such actions would likely be challenged in court by energy companies or Republican-led states.

Jean-Pierre declined to detail internal deliberations on such a declaration, which would be similar to the one issued by Biden’s Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, who declared a national emergency to build a wall on the southern border when lawmakers refused to allocate money for that effort.

Biden pledged last week to take significant executive actions on climate after monthslong discussions between Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., came to a standstill. The West Virginia senator cited stubbornly high inflation as the reason for his hesitation, although he has long protected energy interests in his coal- and gas-producing state.

 

For now, Manchin has said he will only agree to a legislative package that shores up subsidies to help people buy insurance under the 2010 health care law as well as allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices that will ultimately lower the cost of pharmaceuticals for consumers.

The White House has indicated it wants Congress to take that deal, and Biden will address the climate issue on his own.

“I’m going to use every power I have as president to continue to fulfill my pledge to move toward dealing with global warming,” Biden told reporters over the weekend in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, after the talks between Schumer and Manchin were derailed.

Biden on Wednesday will be visiting the former Brayton Point power plant, which closed in 2017 after burning coal for more than five decades. The plant will now become an offshore wind manufacturing site.

 

A new report says the U.S. and other major carbon-polluting nations are falling short on pledges to fight climate change. Among the 10 biggest carbon emitters, only the European Union has enacted polices close to or consistent with international goals of limiting warming to just a few more tenths of a degree, according to scientists and experts who track climate action in countries.

Continue Reading

Black Lives

Biden to award Medal of Freedom to Biles, McCain, Giffords

Published

on

FILE - Simone Biles, of the United States, poses wearing her bronze medal from balance beam competition during artistic gymnastics at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Aug. 3, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. President Joe Biden will present the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to 17 people, at the White House next week. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will present the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to 17 people, including actor Denzel Washington, gymnast Simone Biles and the late John McCain, the Arizona Republican with whom Biden served in the U.S. Senate.

Biden will also recognize Sandra Lindsay, the New York City nurse who rolled up her sleeve on live television in December 2020 to receive the first COVID-19 vaccine dose that was pumped into an arm in the United States, the White House announced Friday.

Biden’s honors list, which the White House shared first with The Associated Press, includes both living and deceased honorees from the worlds of Hollywood, sports, politics, the military, academia, and civil rights and social justice advocacy.

The Democratic president will present the medals at the White House next week.

Biden himself is a medal recipient. President Barack Obama honored Biden’s public service as a longtime U.S. senator and vice president by awarding him a Presidential Medal of Freedom in January 2017, a week before they left office.

The honorees who’ll receive medals from Biden “have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities, and across the world, while blazing trails for generations to come,” the White House said.

The honor is reserved for people who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values or security of the United States, world peace or other significant societal public or private endeavors, the White House said.

Biles is the most decorated U.S. gymnast in history, winning 32 Olympic and World Championship medals. She is an outspoken advocate on issues that are very personal to her, including athletes’ mental health, children in foster care and sexual assault victims.

Lindsay became an advocate for COVID-19 vaccinations after receiving the first dose in the U.S.

McCain, who died of brain cancer in 2018, spent more than five years in captivity in Vietnam while serving in the U.S. Navy. He later represented Arizona in both houses of Congress and was the Republican presidential nominee in 2008. Biden said McCain was a “dear friend” and “a hero.”

Washington is a double Oscar-winning actor, director and producer. He also has a Tony award, two Golden Globes and the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a longtime spokesperson for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

The other 13 medal recipients are:

— Sister Simone Campbell. Campbell is a member of the Sister of Social Service and a former executive director of NETWORK, a Catholic social justice organization. She is an advocate for economic justice, overhauling the U.S. immigration system and health care policy.

— Julieta Garcia. A former president of the University of Texas at Brownsville, Garcia was the first Latina to become a college president, the White House said. She was named one of the nation’s best college presidents by Time magazine.

Gabrielle Giffords. A former U.S. House member from Arizona, the Democrat founded Giffords, an organization dedicated to ending gun violence. She was shot in the head in January 2011 during a constituent event in Tucson and was gravely wounded.

— Fred Gray. Gray was one of the first Black members of the Alabama Legislature after Reconstruction. He was a prominent civil rights attorney who represented Rosa Parks, the NAACP and Martin Luther King Jr.

— Steve Jobs. Jobs was the co-founder, chief executive and chair of Apple Inc. He died in 2011.

— Father Alexander Karloutsos. Karloutsos is the assistant to Archbishop Demetrios of America. The White House said Karloutsos has counseled several U.S. presidents.

Khizr Khan. An immigrant from Pakistan, Khan’s Army officer son was killed in Iraq. Khan gained national prominence, and became a target of Donald Trump’s wrath, after speaking at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

— Diane Nash. A founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Nash organized some of the most important 20th century civil rights campaigns and worked with King.

Megan Rapinoe. The Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women’s World Cup soccer champion captains the OL Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League. She is a prominent advocate for gender pay equality, racial justice and LGBTQI+ rights who has appeared at Biden’s White House.

Rapinoe, who was at training camp in Denver when the White House called to inform her of the honor, thought she was getting a prank or robocall when she saw her phone say “White House,” U.S. Soccer said in a statement. She showed her phone to a teammate, who encouraged her to answer the call.

— Alan Simpson. The retired U.S. senator from Wyoming served with Biden and has been a prominent advocate for campaign finance reform, responsible governance and marriage equality.

— Richard Trumka. Trumka had been president of the 12.5 million-member AFL-CIO for more than a decade at the time of his August 2021 death. He was a past president of the United Mine Workers.

— Wilma Vaught. A brigadier general, Vaught is one of the most decorated women in U.S. military history, breaking gender barriers as she has risen through the ranks. When Vaught retired in 1985, she was one of only seven female generals in the Armed Forces.

— Raúl Yzaguirre. A civil rights advocate, Yzaguirre was president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza for 30 years. He served as U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic under Obama.

Continue Reading

Politics

What are the Residency Requirements for State and Federal Candidates in Florida?

Published

on

A view of the historic Old Florida State Capitol building, which sits in front of the current New Capitol, on November 10, 2018 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – “Do you even live in the district?” This question typically flies at a political candidate during a campaign in an effort to invalidate him or her if the candidate’s address isn’t already in the district. Candidates have used this question for disinformation campaigns against their political opponents. Or if the candidate doesn’t make the attack, voters in the candidate’s base do. In some cases, voters supporting a candidate with this line of thinking are actually sincere–but they happen to be sincerely wrong and spread the disinformation to other voters. The truth is, whether a state or federal candidate lives in the district he or she is running for at the start of or during the campaign doesn’t affect their election qualification or their chance of winning.

Given the amount of documents required to run for public office (and properly qualify by the respective deadline), there is plenty of opportunity for errors, and all it takes is one single clerical error to disqualify a candidate. This happened most recently to Scotty Moore, Republican candidate for Congressional District 9. He filed early and would’ve vied for the chance to defeat incumbent Democratic Congressman Darren Soto in November, but Moore erroneously completed a State office oath instead of a federal one when he filed to run.

 

Does a Candidate Have to Live Within the District to Run for That Office?

For state and federal elections, the short answer is no. According to the Florida Division of Elections, federal candidates (U.S. House and Senate) don’t need to live in their respective district, only in the state. The same is true for Florida governor, lieutenant governor and the governor’s cabinet. State House, State Senate and judicial candidates are required to be a resident of the district upon taking office.

In other words, while a state candidate is running for that seat, he or she can in fact have an address outside of the target district. The important thing is that he or she makes sure to secure an address before their primary date (if theirs turns out to be a primary election-only scenario), or before the general election date, because in the event the candidate wins said election, that is the moment in which he or she “takes office.” Therefore, their address would need to have already been updated to somewhere within the target district by the applicable election day.

The time frame for living in the larger overall residency in question–be it U.S. citizenship for president, vice president, or U.S. House and Senate; or Florida state residency for governor, lieutenant governor, or Florida House and Senate–changes depending on the office being sought.

For local office (city and county), it’s important to reference the respective county’s Supervisor of Elections or city/town government website, since local jurisdictions have different requirements. For example, here’s what the Orange County Supervisor of Elections lists for its candidates.

 

Residency Requirements

According to the Florida Division of Elections website, here are the residency requirements:

  • President of the United States: a natural born citizen and resident of the U.S. for the last 14 years.
  • United States Senator: a citizen of the U.S. for at least 9 years and resident of the state when elected.
  • United States Representative in Congress: a citizen of the U.S. for at least 7 years and resident of the state when elected.
  • Governor and Lieutenant Governor: an elector and resident of the state for the preceding 7 years.
  • Cabinet Members: an elector and resident of the state for the preceding 7 years.
  • State Senator: an elector and resident of the district upon taking office and a resident of the state for at least 2 years prior to election.
  • State Representative: an elector and resident of the district upon taking office and a resident of the state for at least 2 years prior to election.
  • State Attorney: an elector and resident of the circuit upon taking office.
  • Public Defender: an elector and resident of the circuit upon taking office.
  • Justice of the Supreme Court: an elector and resident of the state upon taking office.
  • Judge, District Court of Appeal: an elector and resident of the territorial jurisdiction of the court upon taking office.
  • Circuit Judge: an elector and resident of the territorial jurisdiction of the court upon taking office.

 

Why Knowing Florida Election Law Matters

It helps for voters and candidates alike to be informed of what Florida election law says about candidate residencies. On the local level, it helps to know where to look. Law enforcement will tell anyone “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” and the same is true for elections. The more voters know, the better informed they are, and the better informed they are, the more mature political campaigns and elections can be, instead of the emotional parroting that’s become prevalent in state and federal elections over the past decade. The political landscape has just gotten a blank canvas with the recently redrawn districts. It’s important now more than ever before for voters to have factual, solid knowledge of the political process and the candidates on their ballots.

The Florida primary election happens August 23, 2022. The general election follows on November 8, 2022.

____________________________________________

Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | mellissa.thomas@floridanationalnews.com

Continue Reading

Trending