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ICYMI: Orlando debuts a new farmers market, Florida House speaker stokes anti-immigrant fears and more



Parramore Farmers Market makes grand opening at Orlando City Stadium:

West Orlando residents now have better access to fresh fruits and vegetables with the grand opening of the Parramore Farmers Market last weekend. The market will be open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the soccer stadium on the east side. In the past, Parramore has been termed a "food desert," which is an area without ready access to healthy and affordable food at grocery stores. Two years ago, the city of Orlando was awarded a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand healthy food options in West Orlando by creating a farmers market and around a dozen "farmlettes" in residential front yards, and partnering with Hebni Nutrition to teach residents about nutrition.

Speaker Richard Corcoran wants to ban Florida's nonexistent 'sanctuary cities':

As the legislative session starts this week, House Speaker Richard Corcoran is making one of his first priorities the passage of a bill that would ban "sanctuary cities" in Florida, calling them a "threat to the safety of our communities." Florida, though, doesn't have any "sanctuary cities," which is a vague term for municipal governments that don't detain undocumented immigrants for immigration officials, reasoning that it would be unconstitutional to hold people in jail without a warrant. Corcoran's proposal, HB 9, requires local and state agencies to comply with federal immigration authorities – with a $5,000 daily penalty for those who don't comply and no state grant funding for five years. Elected officials who violate the law can be suspended and removed from office. The ACLU of Florida says the measure essentially requires law enforcement officers to "demand proof of immigration status from every single person they arrest."

Orlando representative re-files bill to decriminalize marijuana in Florida:

State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith refiled legislation to overhaul Florida's marijuana laws in the face of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinding an Obama-era policy to enforce federal marijuana law in states that had legalized the plant. HB 1203 would recategorize the misdemeanor criminal offense of possessing 20 grams or less of cannabis as a noncriminal civil violation. "It's time for FL to STOP arresting 39,706 Floridians per year just for smoking weed," Smith said in a tweet.

High school students who evacuated to Florida can earn Puerto Rican diplomas:

Puerto Rican junior and senior high-school students who evacuated to Florida to escape Hurricane Maria's devastation can earn a diploma from the island while finishing their curriculum in state public schools. Puerto Rico has different graduation requirements from Florida – the U.S. commonwealth doesn't require a minimum grade-point average or passing standardized exit exams.