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Florida withholds funds from school districts over mask mandates

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By Jenny Goldsberry

Florida’s Department of Education announced Monday that it is refusing to fund two of its counties due to their mask mandates. Within the counties there are 10 schools currently with mask mandates. They also warned of more penalties to come.

“Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran announced that the Florida Department of Education has withheld the monthly school board member salaries in Alachua and Broward County, as directed by the State Board of Education,” the statement read. “Each district has implemented a mandatory face mask policy that violates parental rights by not allowing a parent or legal guardian to opt-out their child.”

Yet Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper ruled last Friday that the department could not level sanctions against districts. Even though Governor Ron DeSantis put into law a “Parents’ Bill of Rights” in June, Cooper ruled that mask mandates don’t apply. Instead, he ruled the department “must allow a due process proceeding of some sort to allow for a showing of reasonableness” before implementing sanctions.

At the time, DeSantis’ spokesperson said the governor planned to appeal the ruling. Then, the Commissioner Corcoran went on with his announcement. Since then, he retweeted the Florida Speaker of the House Christ Sprowls. “I stand firmly on the side of parental rights because parents, not local governments or school  boards, are in the best position to make choices for their children,” Sprowls tweeted.

“The Commissioner of Education and State Board of Education retain the right and duty to impose additional sanctions and take additional enforcement action to bring each school district into compliance with state law and rule,” the statement finished.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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Healthcare

CA to provide all low-income illegal immigrants health care at a cost of ‘$2.7 billion a year’

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On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $307.9 billion operating budget “that pledges to make all low-income adults eligible for the state’s Medicaid program by 2024 regardless of their immigration status” reports the Associated Press.

The guarantee of free health care for low-income immigrants here illegally, is a “move that will provide coverage for an additional 764,000 people at an eventual cost of about $2.7 billion a year” adds the AP.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care nonprofit, people living in the country illegally in 2020 accounted for roughly 7% of the population nationwide, or about 22.1 million people. The border crisis and number of migrants entering the United States illegally has skyrocketed to historic levels since 2020 when President Joe Biden took office.

Medicaid nationwide is the current combination of federal and state governments assisting Americans and low-income adults and children to receive free health care, but the federal government does not cover those living here illegally.

“Some states, including California, have used their own tax dollars to cover a portion of health care expenses for some low-income immigrants” reports the AP. “Now, California wants to be the first to do that for everyone.”

“This will represent the biggest expansion of coverage in the nation since the start of the Affordable Care Act in 2014,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a statewide consumer health care advocacy group. “In California we recognize (that) everybody benefits when everyone is covered.”

While 92% of Californians currently have some form of health insurance, “that will change once this budget is fully implemented, as adults living in the country illegally make up one of the largest groups of people without insurance in the state” the AP concludes.

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