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The Florida Legislature is poised to repeal a 56-year-old law that allows Disney to self-govern its 38-square-miles of entertainment space in Central Florida.
The move comes after the Disney company condemned the “Don’t Say Gay” law, a controversial piece of legislation supported by Republicans in Florida’s legislature that bans instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools.
The Legislature, backed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, will also most certainly pass HB5, which would strip Disney of special protections from social media regulations approved last year and now tied up in court.
Lawmakers have said they would reconsider measures against Disney if corporate officials rethink “how they behave” and withdraw criticism of the Legislature.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek vowed to repeal “Don’t Say Gay” when the bill was being voted on in March. DeSantis said Chapek crossed a line and does not “control this state.”
DOE student loan forgiveness plan could help millions
At least an estimated 40,000 borrowers will see their federal student debt canceled immediately Under changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, the Department of Education announced Tuesday.
PSLF cancels federal student loans for some public sector workers after 10 years of payments, but several thousand additional borrowers will also have their debt forgiven after 20-25 years of repayment through income-driven repayment programs.
“Student loans were never meant to be a life sentence, but it’s certainly felt that way for borrowers locked out of debt relief they’re eligible for,” Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement. Cardona added DOE will begin fixing years of administrative failures that denied loan forgiveness to certain borrowers enrolled in IDR plans.
The department also said it would take steps to end “forbearance steering,” in which a borrower is guided by loan servicers to choose forbearance to pause their federal student loan payments instead of other repayment plans. Reviews suggested that loan servicers violated department rules by placing lenders on surveillance when monthly IDR payments could have been as low as zero dollars. Under forbearance, interest continues to capitalize.
Under the new rules, officials will give borrowers credit for time spent in long forbearances: those more than 12 consecutive months or more than 36 cumulative months. DOE estimates at least 3.6 million borrowers will receive at least three years of credit toward canceling student debt.
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Real Quick: stories you’ll want to read
- WikiLeaks founder faces spying charges: A British judge on Wednesday formally approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States to face spying charges.
- Booted from the ballot: The Tennessee Republican Party voted on Tuesday to remove three congressional hopefuls from the primary ballot in the 5th Congressional District, including a Trump-backed candidate whose campaign riled some political insiders in the state.
- Mariupol continues to endure attacks: Ukrainian forces continued to fight in the besieged city of Mariupol after a Russian ultimatum to troops holed up in the Azovstal steel mill to lay down their arms passed without a mass surrender.
- A blunt message on cannabis: Indiana Democratic Senate candidate Thomas McDermott Jr. on Wednesday released a video ad showing him smoking marijuana in honor of 4/20, a cannabis-related celebration.
Inflation, not infrastructure, ranks highly important to voters, research finds
Six months ahead of the midterm elections and fresh off of the latest inflation report, voters in three battleground states are anxious about how inflation affects their daily lives – a worrying sign for Democrats who are attempting to hold onto control of Congress.
In the same week when March data showed US inflation had hit another 40-year high, voters in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Nevada said. the rising costs of fuelrent and groceries are critical issues that need to be resolved, according to focus groups conducted by Navigator Research, a progressive polling group, and GBAO, a progressive research firm.
USA TODAY observed the North Carolina and Nevada focus groups and got a first look at the results of the Wisconsin survey participants. All three of the groups stressed that bringing down inflation rates will be key to Democrats if they wish to make inroads with disaffected voters before the midterm elections.
Bryan Bennett, senior director of polling and analytics for Navigator Research, told USA TODAY the focus group’s pessimism on the economy is in line with past surveys the group has conducted. But he was caught off guard by how much inflation rates stood out with voters.
“I was personally surprised by hearing the news that the CPI was up 8.5% year over year. Typically, that kind of specific economic information doesn’t break through to that degree, “said Bennett.
What’s at stake in November? Democrats face an uphill climb to retain the 221-209 majority they have in the House and the 50-50 split in the Senate. Republicans only need a net gain of five seats in the House to gain control. A loss of control in either chamber will likely lead to Republicans blocking President Joe Biden’s agenda.
Russia and Belarus are getting no love from Wimbledon. Players from the two countries have been banned from the international tennis competition. – Amy and Chelsey