Florida legislators passed a bill that could permanently fund anti-abortion centers: On Thursday, the Florida Senate passed a bill that would fund organizations that offer "pregnancy support" through subcontractors. These clinics, often located near real family planning clinics, appear to be healthcare facilities, but instead provide false information about fetal development and women's health and often pressure women to undergo religious counseling. Democrats voted in opposition, saying that clinics claiming to provide health services should not be centered on denying some health services.
OIA could be the nation's largest airport to opt out of using TSA: Only a day after it was announced that Orlando International Airport is now the state's busiest airport, surpassing Miami International Airport, OIA is reportedly considering the option of privatizing the safety screening process at its security checkpoints. Airport executives have already begun to detail a proposal that seeks to replace the Transportation Security Administration with a private company. The move would be in response to the need to further secure checkpoints throughout the airport that, as of recently, have been bogged down with the increase in passengers.
Florida lawmakers look to ban university 'free-speech' zones: Free-speech zones would be banned and state universities and colleges could be sued for up to $100,000 in damages if students or others "willfully" interfere with campus speakers or protesters, according to a bill that was passed last Tuesday by the Senate Education Committee. "This is to address a flourishing of the limitation of free speech, particularly across the country. Many of our universities are restricting free speech to free-speech zones," said Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, who is sponsoring the measure. "And there's something antithetical about saying we're a free speech environment but you can only do it in this little square."
Pulse foundation will hold town hall on gun violence this month: The onePULSE Foundation, founded by Pulse owner Barbara Poma, will host a gun violence forum on Feb. 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Orlando Repertory Theater, at 1001 E. Princeton St. The organization says panelists will focus on holistic approaches to stem the tide of violence, like focusing on mental health awareness, community action and changing legislation. Admission to the event is free.
Publix reverses decision to deny coverage of HIV-prevention drug for workers: The Lakeland company came under scrutiny after a report from The Body, an HIV resource site, said that a former Publix worker in Georgia had been denied coverage to use the drug Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, which, when taken consistently, can reduce the risk of HIV infection in people by up to 92 percent, according to health authorities. Following public backlash on the policy and a meeting with Orlando Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, the first openly gay Latino lawmaker in the state Legislature, the grocery chain reversed its policy.