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ICYMI: Photos surface of Florida Rep. Anthony Sabatini in blackface and brownface, plus other news



Bill would force police to cooperate with ICE in detaining undocumented immigrants: SB 168, filed by state Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, demands that all state agencies, municipal governments and police departments not only comply with federal immigration law but also work with the agencies to impose it. The Florida House voted to pass a similar crackdown last year, but it failed in the Senate. The bill prohibits local elected officials from passing "sanctuary policies" that stop agencies from communicating or cooperating with immigration authorities, specifically around ICE detainer requests.

Photo appears to show state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, who's still dealing with a blackface scandal, wearing brownface: A photo of state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, who refuses to resign after photos surfaced of him in blackface, appears to show him in brownface, wearing a stereotypical "Mexican" costume. The photo was provided by an anonymous former classmate. It shows Sabatini dressed "as a Mexican," with darkened skin, a fake mustache, a serape and a sombrero-like hat. Another former classmate of Sabatini's corroborated the costume and was able to describe it.

Bill would allow cities to ban single-use plastic: State Reps. Anna Eskamani and Michael Grieco have filed a bill that would remove the state's pre-emption that restricts municipal governments' ability to ban single-use plastics and recyclable materials. HB 6033 would remove language from state law that blocks cities and counties from implementing their own rules surrounding use of plastics and polystyrene. A study in Science found that about 19.4 billion pounds of plastic waste is dumped into the ocean annually – a figure that's projected to double as the world's population density increases.

Almost half of Central Florida households struggle to cover basic needs, report says: A report from United Way found that 47 percent of households in Orange County, about 220,200, struggled to afford basic costs in 2016. In Osceola County, 57 percent of families, an estimated 55,614 households, earned less than the basic cost of living. The report includes households that meet federal poverty levels and also "ALICE" households, or "Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed," which comprises households of people who have jobs but can't afford the costs of living. About 44 percent of households in Lake County, nearly 56,711 families, were listed as financially insecure. Seminole County fared slightly better with only 39 percent of families, or about 65,344 households, who struggled to cover basic costs.

Central Florida will receive $7.8 million in federal funding for affordable housing, homelessness: More than $2 million of the funds will be provided to programs in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties that offer permanent housing to people with mental and physical disabilities, many of whom have been homeless for years. The remainder of the funds will be provided to help shelter homeless youth, support the rehousing of families and provide a boost to each county's housing programs.


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