Members of the faculty senate at Florida Gulf Coast University and other schools across the state remain adamantly opposed to concealed weapon on campus legislation, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who are sponsoring the measure say now is the right time.
State Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, a Democrat from Tallahassee, said she once fended off a college campus attacker with the help of a handgun, and she believes it’s the quickest method for self-defense.
Rehwinkel Vasilinda, who traditionally falls in line with other House Democrats on issues such as state worker raises and the massive pension plan managed by the Florida Retirement System, said she was honored to stand behind HB 4001. She stands alongside Rep. Greg Steube, a Republican from Sarasota, who filed the plan.
“I am honored to stand with him on this bill,” said Rehwinkel Vasilinda, who never revealed at which Florida university she was attacked. Her resume includes degrees from the University of Florida, the New College of Florida and the University of South Florida.
The FGCU faculty senate continued staunch opposition to Steube’s bill in the wake of a mass shooting at a community college in Oregon that left nine dead and another nine injured. Steube said anyone on that college campus could have been a combat veteran with a concealed weapon permit, who likely had more gun training than police officers who responded.
“And they couldn’t do anything because that campus is a weapons-free zone,” Steube said, adding the man who dove in front of the shooter was a veteran who had a concealed weapons permit.
Check out NDN reporter Maryann Batlle’s story on the FGCU meeting here.
Planned Parenthood is fighting state complaints that clinics in Naples, Fort Myers and St. Petersburg perform second-trimester abortions in violation of their licenses.
The clinics have requested administrative hearings to fight citations issued in late July, which came after Gov. Rick Scott ordered inspections of 16 Planned Parenthood clinics statewide that perform abortions.
Scott’s directive was prompted by undercover videos that surfaced outside of Florida from a pro-life group that show Planned Parenthood directors talking about the sale of fetal tissue for research.
The administrative hearings sought for each clinic, likely to be consolidated as one case, will focus on an amended definition of a first-trimester abortion adopted in 2006. Planned Parenthood says the clinics have followed the definition’s terms for nearly 10 years with no problems during prior agency inspections until the governor’s involvement.
Advocates for early learning took more than two dozen community leaders on a tour of child care facilities in Collier County in an effort to boost awareness about the needs of the community.
Organizers said the event was meant to highlight the need for more money to serve Collier County families in need of child care assistance.
“It’s really to bring awareness that quality child care is important and that it needs to be properly funded,” said Niccole Howard, the executive director of Collier Child Care Resources and the chairwoman of the Naples Alliance for Children’s early childhood education committee.
The Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida received more than $19.5 million for school readiness programs in the 2015-16 state budget. The coalition, which serves Collier, Lee, Glades and Hendry counties, received more than $20 million for voluntary prekindergarten programs in the state budget.
Florida Gulf Coast University’s Faculty Senate on Friday approved a resolution to oppose two proposals that would allowed concealed weapons on the state’s college and university campuses.
The proposals – HB 4001 and SB 68 – would allow someone with a valid concealed weapons or concealed firearms license to carry a concealed weapon into any college or university facility. A version of the same proposal died during the 2015 legislative session.
“Passing this resolution in this body is the smallest thing we can do,” said Win Everham, a FGCU faculty senator and a professor of environmental sciences.”
While the discussion had been planned for several days, the vote Friday came one day after a gunman opened fire inside a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. At last count, 10 people are dead, including the man who took the gun to the college. Seven more are injured. Media reports indicate the killer may have targeted people based on their religion.
The discussion about allowing guns onto Florida’s college and university campuses came up earlier this year after a mentally ill gunman wounded three students at Florida State University in December.
Leading up to his abrupt resignation this week, Lee County Judge Frank Mann Jr. faced several personal and professional issues, including a judicial complaint filed by his estranged wife that accused him of improper campaign loans, according to court records obtained Wednesday.
Mann, who cited “a variety of personal reasons” in a resignation letter, has been going through a drawn-out divorce marked by allegations of election impropriety, claims of possible substance abuse and legal battles over his current residence, Lee County court records show.
Mann’s resignation, which was effective Wednesday and came with no advance notice, was laid out in an unusually long letter addressed to Gov. Rick Scott. Mann, 53, did not specify the personal reasons for his resignation, but addressed perceptions that he’s arrogant.
As of Thursday morning, Scott’s office had not yet received the letter.
Read the full story by NDN’s Jacob Carpenter here.
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