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ICYMI: Orlando Fashion Square Mall may be facing its final days, Florida GOP thwarts Amendment 4, plus other news

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Orlando developer wants to tear down the Fashion Square Mall after buying land for $23 million: Orlando developer Chuck Whittall wants to tear down the Orlando Fashion Square Mall if his agreement to buy the land underneath it for $23 million goes through. Local reports claim that while the Unicorp National Developments president has a contract for the 46 acres, Whittall still has to broker a deal for the mall with its owner, Bancorp Inc. The developer would also have to pull off negotiating individual deals for the real estate beneath anchor stores Macy's, Dillard's Clearance Center and JCPenney, which have 20- to 50-year leases on the property.

Florida Senate signs off on 'sanctuary city' ban: A sharply divided Senate voted to force local law enforcement agencies to fully comply with federal immigration authorities, and to punish officials who fail to do so. The parties squared off during the two-hour debate as immigrant families opposed to the proposal watched from the public gallery. Hispanic Democrats, some of them speaking in Spanish and in English, tried but failed to convince their Senate colleagues that the legislation is an affront to immigrants.

Florida House Republicans pass bill to make ex-felons pay fees before restoring voting rights: Last week, the House approved a plan to implement a constitutional amendment designed to restore the voting rights of felons who have fulfilled the terms of their sentences. Democrats spent hours criticizing the bill, contending that it would place too many restrictions on felons seeking to have their rights restored. They also repeatedly argued that the bill would thwart the will of more than 5.1 million Floridians who supported what appeared as "Amendment 4" on the November ballot.

A minimum wage hike in Florida would cost the state $540 million in 2027, report says: According to the Financial Impact Estimating Conference, the Sunshine State would be on the hook for roughly $540 million in 2027 if the proposed amendment to raise the state minimum wage qualifies for the November 2020 ballot. If successful, Florida's minimum wage would initially jump from $8.46 per hour to $10 in September 2021, to $11 in September 2022, to $12 in September 2023, to $13 in September 2024, to $14 in September 2025, and then, finally, to $15 the next year.

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