The following news items were compiled from Associated Press reports.
TPS extended for eligible Haitians
MIAMI — The U.S. government has extended residency and employment benefits for Haitians displaced by a 2010 earthquake in their Caribbean homeland.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials said Monday that temporary protected status for eligible Haitian nationals had been extended through Jan. 22, 2016. Haitians who had been living in the U.S. before Jan. 12, 2011, and were previously approved to temporarily live and work in the U.S. have until May 2 to register for the 18-month extension. The immigration benefits had been set to expire in July. Temporary protected status allows immigrants from a handful of countries experiencing armed conflicts or environmental disasters to temporarily live and work legally in the U.S. Roughly 58,000 Haitians had approval for the benefits at the end of the 2013 fiscal year.
NAACP goes to the Capitol
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — House Democratic leader Perry Thurston says the hundreds that attended the “Moral Monday’” event at the Capitol are shining a light on “issues that matter,” though those topics have not been high priorities for the Republican majority. Thurston, D-Plantation, Senator Christopher Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale and U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, were among several speakers at the NAACP-sponsored event. Speakers addressed the topics of gun violence, medical expansion, public education, voter purging and the restoration of full voting rights. Thurston, who’s challenging incumbent Attorney General Pam Bondi, said, “Florida is a really divided state. So, if we let leaders that only represent a portion of the state control the agenda, then you’ve got the wishes of so many Floridians that are going unmet.”
Facebook post costs father $80,000
MIAMI — A Florida teenager’s Facebook post has cost her father an $80,000 legal settlement. The Palm Beach Post reported Sunday the father had sued a Miami-area preparatory school for age discrimination after he lost his job as headmaster. The school agreed to settle the case for $80,000 and the settlement agreement included a stipulation that the man and his wife not disclose details of the settlement with anyone. The daughter posted on Facebook that the money would pay for family vacation to Europe. The post invalidated the settlement.
Large hospitals to be hard hit by planned cuts
MIAMI — Large Miami-area hospitals serving many Medicaid patients and uninsured Floridians are expected to be hard hit under a new funding law.
The Miami Herald reported on Sunday that Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital could face $140 million in cuts after the law takes effect in July.
Jackson Memorial serves more uninsured and Medicaid patients than any other hospital in Florida.
Lawmakers passed the Medicaid funding reforms in 2011 with the intent of making the statewide distribution of funds more equitable.
Under the new law, health care providers throughout the Miami-Dade area will lose about $218 million in funding.
Broward County is among several counties that will gain funding under the plan, but officials at Broward’s largest hospitals said they do not support the changes.
Memorial Healthcare System Chief Executive Officer Frank Sacco said he is especially concerned about the effect the changes will have on Jackson Memorial.
“Why would we want to devastate the largest safety net provider in the state of Florida?” he said. “We wouldn’t want it to happen to us. We understand that we need to hold the line on this one.”