Editors’ picks: News that didn’t fit

New Immigration law sparks fear and worker exodus from Florida 
by Ana Goñi-Lessan and John Kennedy | USA Today | June 21 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1630
Florida’s new immigration law, which went into effect on July 1, is prompting many migrant workers to leave the state. The departures are sparking fear that a labor shortage will leave crops unpicked, tourist hotels short of staff, and construction sites idle. Even some of the governor’s supporters are starting to question the hateful new law, albeit because they’re concerned it’s bad for business and not because they’re concerned for the lives it will upend.

North Central Florida LGBTQ+ Town Hall (video)
Pride Community Center | Facebook.com | June 1 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1631
This is a video of the very informative town hall held at the University Club on June 1 to address the horrible anti-LGBTQ laws passed in Florida this year and how the community can remain resilient. It breaks down what the laws actually say, and don’t say. Great panel and Q&A, valuable for anyone to hear, whether here in Gainesville/Florida or elsewhere.

Samuel Alito’s wife leased land to an oil and gas firm while the justice fought the EPA
by Daniel Boguslaw | The Intercept | June 26 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1632
The wife of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito leased land to a fossil fuel company for oil and gas exploration (and stood to profit from any oil and gas produced on that land) around the same time the firm stood to benefit from a major environmental case before the Supreme Court. Justice Alito did not recuse himself from the case, even though his family stood to profit from its outcome. Alito ended up writing the 5-4 majority opinion in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, which gutted protections for U.S. wetlands under the Clean Water Act.

States are shrinking number of Medicaid recipients, but everyone would benefit from its expansion
by F. Douglas Stephenson | JuanCole.com | tinyurl.com/Iguana1633
When the COVID-19/pandemic-era “continuous coverage” federal requirement ended recently, states could resume eligibility checks that can purge people from Medicaid rolls. Many states are currently doing this, including Florida, with coverage being lost for hundreds of thousands of individuals/families. These cuts are mostly occurring for procedural reasons, not because enrollees actually lack eligibility. In too many states, political decisions by state legislators to deny health insurance to thousands of their citizens has resulted in an almost non-existent social and health safety net. We need to expand Medicaid now.

Tanzer: Big, boxy, bleak buildings
by Kim Tanzer | Alachua Chronicle | June 22 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1625
There is one aspect of Gainesville’s recent urban development about which almost everyone agrees: The city has been overrun with big, boxy, bleak buildings. Gainesvillians who travel recognize this as part of a broad national pattern, but Gainesville seems to have been hit especially hard by this phenomenon. What happened?

The end of affirmative action
by Jelani Cobb | New Yorker | July 10 & 17 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1634
Any proper obituary for affirmative action (1961–2023) in higher education would be obliged to note that it had been in decline for years before it met its ultimate demise in late June after the Supreme Court’s ruling. The policy had weathered successive legal challenges dating back to the nineteen-seventies. As with other untimely passings, the scale of what has been lost is difficult to assess in the moment. But not entirely impossible.

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