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ICYMI: Russian hackers may have succeeded in Florida, Orlando advocate Desmond Meade gets honored, plus other news 

The FBI won't tell Florida officials which county election system may have been hacked by the Russians: Florida officials say the FBI wouldn't immediately tell them which county election system may have been accessed by the Russians after a report from special counsel Robert Mueller said the federal agency suspected hackers breached "at least one" county's computer network. The Florida Department of State maintains that there was no evidence of a successful attempt in 2016.

Florida lawmakers still want to give guns to classroom teachers: A divided state Senate is prepared to sign off on another far-reaching school safety bill that includes a provision to allow classroom teachers to serve as armed school "guardians." SB 7030 incorporates many of the recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, which spent months digging into the Feb. 14, 2018, massacre at the Broward County school before finalizing a report in January. Republicans and Democrats support nearly everything in the Senate bill, which addresses school hardening, student mental health and school safety assessments, among other things.

Florida House passes bill forcing minors to get parental consent before abortion: The Florida House has approved a bill that would require minors to obtain parental consent before they receive abortions. Lawmakers voted 69-44 to pass HB 1335. The Senate is moving forward with the identical SB 1774. A parental consent requirement, if approved, would likely spark a lawsuit that could wind up before a revamped Florida Supreme Court, which struck down a parental consent law in 1989. State law currently requires parents to be notified if their daughters are planning to have abortions, but the bill goes further by requiring parental consent.

Bill targeting 'sanctuary cities' heads to the full Florida Senate: The Florida Senate Rules Committee voted 9-8 last week, with opposition from Democrats and Republican state Sen. Anitere Flores to approve SB 168 by state Sen. Joe Gruters. Gov. Ron DeSantis supports efforts to prevent sanctuary cities, but Senate and House Republicans have differences in their bills with weeks remaining in the legislative session. Both bills would require local law enforcement to honor federal immigration detainers. That would involve local officials holding undocumented immigrants in custody based on the requests from federal authorities, which are administrative requests.

Desmond Meade honored by Time magazine for his efforts to restore the voting rights of Florida felons: Among Time's annual list of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World" is local Desmond Meade, executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. Meade was an integral part in the 2018 passage of Amendment 4, an initiative which restored voting rights to over 1.4 million Floridians with past felony convictions. It was the single largest expansion of voting rights in the U.S. in half a century and brought an end to 150 years of a Jim Crow-era law in Florida.


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