HD 35 contest heating up
A second Republican contender, Scott Alan Moore from Orlando, has officially joined the race for Florida’s House District 35 special election in Orange and Osceola counties, to decide a replacement for former GOP Rep. Fred Hawkins, who stepped down to become the president of South Florida State College. Erika Booth, an Osceola County School Board member, was the first Republican candidate to enter the race last week. Notably, there are four other potential candidates who were ready to run for the seat in 2024, but who could now shift resources and campaign in the special election: Democrats Rishi Bagga, Marucci Guzman, and Tom Keen, along with Republican Ken Davenport. The special election is set for January 16, 2024, with the primary election scheduled for November 7th this year.
Hurricane watch: all clear in the Atlantic, for now
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is tracking a pair of tropical “disturbances” in the eastern Atlantic, but neither are likely to become more serious storms. NHC gives both instances less than a 40 percent chance of formation into a tropical depression or storm. The 2023 hurricane season is now two months old, with no serious storms yet to form. The hurricane season extends into November. Last year, Florida saw a pair of late-season storms come ashore, wreaking billions in damage.
State reaches settlement on medical supplies for adults with disabilities
The Agency for Health Care Administration has reached a significant settlement in a class-action lawsuit, aiming to extend Medicaid coverage for medically-necessary incontinence supplies to adults aged 21 and older with disabilities. The agreement, if approved by a federal judge, will require the agency to engage in rule-making to amend policies, ensuring the provision of essential incontinence supplies. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of two women with disabilities and supported by Disability Rights Florida, had accused the Medicaid program of violating federal laws by denying coverage for these supplies. The settlement marks a pivotal step towards a more inclusive and supportive healthcare system.
Conservative PragerU education curriculum approved by state education board
The Florida Department of Education has approved content from the conservative nonprofit PragerU to be used as supplemental teaching materials in schools across the state. PragerU, known for producing video content featuring prominent conservative figures, will introduce its PragerU Kids content in K-12 classrooms. The material covers topics such as historical events, religious stories, and America’s government system. Although Florida has officially approved PragerU’s curriculum, it was not included in the instructional materials adoption for social studies for the 2022-23 academic year. The nonprofit aims to provide educational and pro-American kids shows and has faced challenges from critics who label it as “far-right” and attempt to keep it out of schools.