Audriana Thomas

Spring 2020 Intern

Audriana Thomas is a senior broadcast journalism student minoring in international relations. She currently serves as a staff writer for the FAMUAN newspaper and anchor for FAMU’s News 20. Audriana enjoys telling meaningful stories and strives to educate others through her writing. When she is not writing, you can find her perusing her love of photography or working out at the gym.

Thomas is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists.

 

The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is pushing the state clemency board to ease its rules and clear the way for more felons to regain their rights. The move comes amid an ongoing court battle over 2018's Amendment 4 which restored voting rights to most felons, and a law implementing the amendment which requires them to pay restitution, fines and fees before registering to vote.

A woman waring a jean jacket and shirt with bright organce hearts carries a grey backpack and pile of books.
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Florida may soon be adding to its list of scholarship programs. Rep. Shevrin Jones (D- Broward)  is sponsoring a bill that would help low-income students pay any remaining tuition their other scholarships and grants don't cover.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

 

All physicians in Florida could soon be required to write and submit prescriptions electronically. State Rep. Amber Mariano (R- Pasco), is sponsoring a bill that would cut the number of exemptions allowed in the current e-prescribing program. Mariano’s bill eliminates exemptions like financial hardship and one-year waivers.

“I think it makes sense for us as a state to have uniformity across the state, when it comes to prescriptions. Not having it be mandatory for some and not mandatory for others,” She said.

Florida democrats are pushing for changes in the state’s corporate tax scholarship program laws after an Orlando Sentinel investigation found some religious schools that accept the scholarships discriminate against LBTQ children and their families. Democrats are calling on Republicans to stop those practices, but one powerful Republican says there’s not a problem. Meanwhile, some observers say the Democrats’ plan clashes with the rights of private schools to run their programs as they see fit.

Local school board, city and county commissioners could soon be allowed to carry guns during public meetings. Rep. Mel Ponder (R-Fort Walton Beach) is sponsoring the plan; it cleared a key committee Tuesday.

Among the many public exemption bills that could come up in the Florida Legislature, some could have major implications on the First Amendment rights of Florida residents.

For Rep. Anthony Sabatini, (R- Clermont) house bill 615 is personal. “I actually went to teen court myself when I was sixteen for a fist fight and now I sit on the criminal justice committee. So I’m a very firm believer in rehabilitation,” Sabatini said.

Sen. Randolph Bracy wants to end racial discrimination based on the hairstyles. His Senate bill 566, dubbed the "C.R.O.W.N. (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) Act,"  prohibits housing, workforce and education discrimination against people wearing protective hairstyle like braids, dreadlocks and twists.