Sponsor defends school prayer bill against charges that itā€™s ā€˜patently unconstitutionalā€™

A school prayer bill introduced by state Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, has caught the attention of national groups such as the Anti-Defamation League and the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The groups are calling foul and warn that the bill is ā€œpatently unconstitutional.ā€ Siplin, however, maintains that his bill is constitutional in a new interview with The Florida Independent.

Violence Against Women Act up for renewal amid threats to protections for undocumented women

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and this year the Violence Against Women Act, which provides immigrant women with legal protections, is up for reauthorization by Congress. As that process unfolds, an immigration enforcement bill that would limit the federal government's freedom to assist undocumented domestic violence victims is being considered in the House.

Rick Scott vs. anthropology

In a recent interview with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Gov. Rick Scott says that one of his top priorities for the upcoming legislative session will be higher education reform.Ā Though Scott has previously been vague in discussing how he wants to change the state's college system, he is now offering up some ideas: cutting funding for liberal arts education and degrees that, according to him, don't offer a good return on investment.