Florida state senator calls for free-fall ride to be taken down after teen’s death
ORLANDO, Fla. — Calls for change continue to grow at ICON Park in Orange County after 14-year-old Tyre Sampson fell from a free-fall ride and died. State Sen. Randolph Bracy sent a letter to the state demanding that the ride be taken down. He’s also pushing for more safety measures to make sure this never happens again. “We’re looking into possible safety measures that could be put into law so something like this doesn’t happen again,” Bracy said. Eyewitness News reached out to the SlingShot Group over the proposed safety measures and its response to the request to take the ride down.wftv.com
Happening Thursday: Food giveaway in Orlando
Some Orlando-area families will have a chance to pick up food items at no cost Thursday morning. ORLANDO, Fla. — Some Orlando-area families will have a chance to pick up food items at no cost Thursday morning. Farm Share, a nonprofit that aims to help food-insecure residents in Florida, will hold a food giveaway in conjunction with Sen. Randolph Bracy, Dedicated Senior Medical Center and Promise Seeds Initiative. Attendees must also wear a mask and arrive in a vehicle with a trunk or cargo bed. READ: Omicron BA.2: 9 things to know about the new COVID-19 strainThursday’s giveaway will operate on a first-come, first-served basis until supplies run out.wftv.com
Happening Tuesday: Food giveaway in Sumter County
Some Wildwood-area families will have a chance to pick up food items at no cost Tuesday morning. SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. — Some Wildwood-area families will have a chance to pick up food items at no cost Tuesday morning. Farm Share, a nonprofit that aims to help food-insecure residents in Florida, will hold a food giveaway in conjunction with New Covenant United Methodist Church and the city of Wildwood. The organization with team up with Senator Randolph Bracy, Dedicated Senior Medical Center, and Promise Seeds Initiative. Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, and click here to watch the latest news on your Smart TV.wftv.com
Local lawmaker pushes bill that requires instruction on significant events in Black history
ORLANDO, Fla. — A Central Florida lawmaker is getting ready to talk about a new effort to teach students about Black history. State Sen. Randolph Bracy wants to create what’s called a “special designation” for two notable days in African American history. Bracy is trying to push the bill through the state Senate right now. Legislation Bracy filed would require high school students to receive 45 minutes of classroom instruction on the history of Emancipation Day and Juneteenth. Bracy’s bill passed committee last week.wftv.com
Happening at 11 a.m.: State Sen. Bracy to highlight funding efforts for Jewish community safety
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida state senator said he’ll announce plans to get Central Florida’s Jewish communities ready for potential emergencies. It is in response to neo-Nazi demonstrations in part of Orange County over the weekend. Some local synagogues have already stepped up security in the last few days. Florida Sen. Randolph Bracy will be holding a news conference on Friday at the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. READ: Central Florida synagogues stepping up security after antisemitic demonstrationsHe is scheduled to talk about potential funding for organizations like the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando to improve safety measures.wftv.com
‘Icons before their time’: Meet civil rights pioneers Harry & Harriette Moore
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — The civil rights movement started in Central Florida with the murder of Harry and Harriette Moore in 1951 in Brevard County. By 1934, Moore had started the Brevard County NAACP, leading a movement to open branches across the state. READ: February is Black History MonthLocals advocated to have the Brevard County School Board reinstate the Moores. The hospital in Brevard County refused to treat Harry and Harriette Moore because they were Black. The Harry and Harriette Moore Cultural Complex is located in Mims and is open to the public for tours.wftv.com
Sen. Bracy announces plans to expand scholarship program for descendents of Ocoee Massacre victims
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State Senator Randolph Bracy (D-Ocoee) held a press conference Wednesday where he announced plans to significantly expand his Ocoee Scholarship Program. READ: A year-and-a-half later, impact of state’s broken unemployment system lingersBracy announced plans Wednesday to pass legislation that would expand the program to include up to 500 students. 12.01.2021 Press Conference: Today I announced specific efforts on how I plan to expand the historic Ocoee Scholarship Program. In remembrance of all that was lost during the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Massacre, I look forward to continuing to advocate for this priority. Posted by Senator Randolph Bracy on Wednesday, December 1, 2021He said it would make it the largest program in the country that pays some form of compensation to African-Americans.wftv.com
Local girl gets new law named after her preventing arrest of children 7 and younger
ORLANDO, Fla. — Kaia Rolle now has a law named after her. The new law is aimed at preventing the arrest of children 7 years old and younger as part of a much larger police reform bill HB7501. Bodycam video shows Rolle, then 6, crying and begging Orlando police officer Dennis Turner to let her go. Meralyn Kirkland, Kaia’s grandmother, worked with Senator Randolph Bracy on the bill for two years. READ: Records: Fired officer in 6-year-olds’ arrests had been accused of racial profilingThe officer involved in the incident has been fired.wftv.com
Democratic Sen. Bracy hints at run for Florida governor
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – State Sen. Randolph Bracy released a campaign-style video Tuesday strongly hinting that he’ll consider seeking the Democratic nomination to face Republican Gov. In the video, Bracy discusses problems facing the state because of the coronavirus pandemic, says the state needs to change course and needs a governor who will work with both parties to help Florida through the crisis. We need to leave behind the small fights at the Capitol and figure out how to work together to move Florida in the right direction. But in a phone interview, Bracy said the video posted on his website isn't an announcement that he's getting in the race. Bracy, 43, of Orlando, was elected to the House in 2012, where he served before being elected to the Senate in 2016.
Bethune-Cookman University president resigns
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Bethune-Cookman University’s president resigned Tuesday, according to the university’s board of trustees. AdChrite became president of B-CU in July 2019, as the university struggled with financial records. The university was at risk of losing its accreditation in October 2019. Bracy had started an initiative prior to the pandemic, aiming to secure additional funding for Florida’s HBCUs after leaders at Bethune-Cookman University expressed financial struggles. Ad“The Board of Trustees remains aligned and steadfast in its commitment to its fiduciary responsibilities of care, loyalty, and obedience to the institution,” the university’s statement reads.
DEO director set to present analysis of Florida’s aging unemployment system
Sources told News 6 DEO Director Dane Eagle had expected to make the presentation to the Senate Appropriations Committee to present the anticipated cost of revamping the system. They include retain the already existing system, custom development of a new system, a so called commercial off the shelf system, or another state agency system. One plan presented is spending about $155 million over the next two years to improve and modernize the current system. Stewart predicts the cost of revamping the current system could easily exceed $10 million that would be added to the $119 million the state already invested into the system last year. State Sen. Randolph Bracy plans to be all ears Monday when Florida’s DEO Director presents the findings of a recent audit regarding the state’s aging unemployment system.
Orlando lawmaker wants to expand scholarships for victims of 1920 Ocoee massacre
“This will be the second time in the history of this country, I believe, that a state legislature will pass a measure like this,” Bracy told reporters at the Capitol. click to enlarge Photo via Florida History ProjectJulius "July" Perry, an Ocoee resident, was lynched in Orlando by a white mob after encouraging his African American neighbors to vote. Black residents were killed in the riot, and others fled the community as homes, churches and a fraternal lodge were destroyed. Last year, Bracy led a successful effort to require public-school students learn about the Ocoee riot, similar to a requirement for teaching about the Holocaust. When he initially proposed the 2020 legislation, Bracy sought $150,000 per Ocoee victim, a funding level modeled, in part, on a 1994 decision by the Legislature to compensate African-American families because of the Rosewood Massacre.orlandoweekly.com
Florida senator wants to extend scholarship program to descendants of Ocoee Massacre
TALLAHASSE, Fla. – A state senator is seeking to expand a scholarship program set up more than 25 years ago because of a massacre in Rosewood to include people whose families were directly affected by the racially motivated 1920 Ocoee Election Day riot in Central Florida. Black residents were killed in the riot, and others fled the community as homes, churches and a fraternal lodge were destroyed. Ad[WATCH: 100 years after Ocoee Massacre city leaders apologize, honor victims]“I’m not under the illusion that people will think this is not enough,” Bracy said. Last year, Bracy led a successful effort to require public-school students to learn about the Ocoee riot, similar to a requirement for teaching about the Holocaust. When he initially proposed the 2020 legislation, Bracy sought $150,000 per Ocoee victim, a funding level modeled, in part, on a 1994 decision by the Legislature to compensate African-American families because of the Rosewood Massacre.
‘I’ll be glad to eat food tonight:’ Hundreds of families receive free meals at Apopka Farm Share food giveaway
APOPKA, Fla. – Hundreds of families struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic lined up at Apopka High School Saturday morning to receive free meals. “A blessing, a blessing, a blessing. I’ll be glad to eat food tonight and sit at the table with my neighbors and have a good meal,” Garrison said. State Senator Randolph Bracy and Apopka High School’s PTSA teamed up with Farm Share to hold the event. Tre Wade, Apopka High School’s PTSA president, said the community is hurting.
Orlando lawmaker targets mug shots, citing ‘lasting harm’
Pointing to “lasting harm” from booking photos posted online, a Senate Democrat has filed a proposal that would prevent the release of the photos taken when people are arrested. Sen. Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando, filed the proposed public-records exemption (SB 444) on Wednesday. It will be considered during the legislative session, which starts March 2. The bill would allow the release of booking photos in certain circumstances, such as if a person poses an immediate threat to the public. “In the absence of the special circumstances specified in this act, the potential for lasting harm from use or publication of an arrest booking photograph online far outweighs any immediate public benefit of viewing the arrest booking photograph of a person who poses no immediate danger to the public.”
Orange County Sheriff John Mina sits down to talk about Salaythis Melvin shooting
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Sheriff John Mina met behind closed doors with state leaders and a local activist on Tuesday to discuss the deputy-involved shooting death of a man at the Florida Mall. Salaythis Melvin, 22, was shot in the back on Aug. 7 as he ran from Agent James Montiel in the parking lot of Dick’s Sporting Goods. People want know what’s happening with the case, and we’re open to letting people know,” Mina told News 6 after the meeting. The meeting with Mina was held in Bracy’s Metrowest office with Rep. Travaris McCurdy, D-Orlando. Mulrain has helped organize many of the demonstrations that have happened around Orange County since Melvin’s shooting.
Family of 6 living on father’s part-time wages as mom waits for unemployment benefits
ORLANDO, Fla. – Brandi Simmons and her family are holding on to hope and her husband’s part-time wages to cover the mortgage and car payments as the wait for her unemployment benefits goes into week 10. “We’re at risk of homelessness, we can’t pay our mortgage,” Simmons said. “As soon as I would get disconnected (on the phone), I would call right back,” a frustrated Simmons said. I have contacted Ms. Simmons directly, and have escalated her concern to our liaisons with the Department of Economic Opportunity. We are hopeful that DEO will find some resolution to her issue.”If you would like to help Simmons and her family or you have an unemployment benefits issues, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How B-CU was able to get $17 million of Floridas new budget
Bethune-Cookman University, struggling with financial, legal and accreditation problems, was able to convince the Florida Legislature to invest in it to the tune of $17 million in annual recurring funds. That state budget, passed by the House and Senate Thursday, includes plans to spend $93.2 billion on running the government, proving new money for affordable housing, teachers pay and utility projects. In all, B-CU, Edward Waters College and Florida Memorial University will be getting a $33 million injection annually in recurring funds. Last month, Chrite had said he was attempting to close an $8 million deficit he said was necessary to meet the accrediting requirements. Also in budgetMuch of the Volusia and Flagler county delegation was pleased with the number of local projects that made it into the state budget.news-journalonline.com
Florida Senate backs college athlete pay plan
TALLAHASSEE An effort to allow Florida college athletes to make off-the-field money was approved Monday by the Senate and awaits House action. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, said gives the NCAA time to enact nationwide compensation rules for college athletes. The effective date of the Senate bill is a year later than what has been included in a House version (HB 7051). In a Senate committee, Perry, whose district includes the University of Florida, expressed concerns the proposal could affect athletic conference contracts involving Florida universities and colleges. The proposal also would prohibit college athletes from making personal deals that conflict with the terms of team contracts.news-journalonline.com
Senate backs college athlete pay plan
TALLAHASSEE An effort to allow Florida college athletes to make off-the-field money was approved Monday by the Senate and awaits House action. The Senate proposal wouldnt take effect until July 1, 2021, which Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, said gives the NCAA time to enact nationwide compensation rules for college athletes. The effective date of the Senate bill is a year later than what has been included in a House version. The proposal also would prohibit college athletes from making personal deals that conflict with the terms of team contracts.ocala.com
State Senate backs college athlete pay plan
TALLAHASSEE An effort to allow Florida college athletes to make off-the-field money was approved Monday by the Senate and awaits House action. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, said gives the NCAA time to enact nationwide compensation rules for college athletes. The effective date of the Senate bill is a year later than what has been included in a House version (HB 7051). Perry also noted that many college athletes come out of school with educations and receive scholarships that mean they dont have as much student-loan debt as non-athletes. The proposal also would prohibit college athletes from making personal deals that conflict with the terms of team contracts.ocala.com
Bill to prevent arrests of young children in Florida likely dead
ORLANDO, Fla. – A bill that would have prevented arrests of children under the age of 10 failed to be discussed in a key state Senate committee. The Orlando Sentinel reported that the measure is all but dead after failing to be addressed during the Senate Appropriations Committee final meeting this session. The push for the amendment to the state’s criminal justice bill came after the arrest of 6-year-old Kaia Rolle in Orlando. The main supporter of the bill, state Sen. Randolph Bracy is expected to hold a news conference Wednesday.
Florida lawmakers propose bill to prevent young children from being arrested
ORLANDO, Fla. – A Florida senator who filed a bill to prohibit children under 12 from being arrested has announced a compromise with lawmakers that is expected to pave the way for the legislation to pass. On Monday, Bracy held a news conference during which he announced that he had come to an agreement with other lawmakers to amend the bill to apply to children 10 and under. “It was heartbreaking to watch this young 6-year-old girl pleading for help and asking for a second chance as she was being arrested. [RELATED: Orlando grandma wants police to implement change after granddaughter’s arrest | Video shows officer who arrested children repeatedly tasing man]“It is shocking that no existing law prevented this unnecessary response to childhood misbehavior. No 6-year-old should be handcuffed and taken away from school in the back of a police car,” Bracy said.
College athlete pay plan wont include revenue sharing
TALLAHASSEE Florida college athletes won't get revenue-sharing paydays when they leave campus, as lawmakers continue moving forward with efforts to allow off-field compensation for athletes. The proposal called for athletes to receive pro-rata shares of 10 percent of ticket sales. Committee members questioned if the proposal would make college athletes essentially professionals, a charge that has confronted the main compensation measure as it has advanced through Senate and House committees. Bracy, Mayfield and other lawmakers filed bills for this years legislative session after California in 2019 passed a law that will allow college athletes to hire agents and sign endorsement deals starting in 2023. The proposal also would prohibit college athletes from making personal deals that conflict with the terms of team contracts.ocala.com
Florida Senate Panel Backs Reparations for Descendants of Ocoee Massacre Victims at White Mobs Hands
Some 60 to 70 black residents of Ocoee are believed to have been murdered. This is considered the bloodiest day in American political history and it happened right in Central Florida on the presidential election day, Bracy said. In the days following this violence, the remaining African-American residents fled Ocoee, leaving their homes and property, the analysis added. After an altercation with the local constable or a group of white residents, Norman went to the home of July Perry, another African-American resident, before fleeing Ocoee. Later in the day, some white Ocoee residents formed a posse and were deputized by the Orange County Sheriff and were charged with arresting Norman and Perry.flaglerlive.com
Proposal seeks compensation for descendants of Ocoee Election Day violence
click to enlarge Photo via Florida History ProjectJulius "July" Perry, an Ocoee resident, was lynched in Orlando by a white mob after encouraging his African American neighbors to vote. A pair of bills seeking compensation for descendants of the 1920 Election Day race riots in Ocoee will go before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday.The measures (SB 1262, SB 1264), sponsored by Orlando Democratic Sen. Randolph Bracy, would set aside $25 million to create the Ocoee Election Day Riots Descendant Compensation Trust Fund within the Department of Legal Affairs. Up to $150,000 would be available for direct descendants of each person "killed, injured, or otherwise victimized" by the 1920 violence, which happened after a black man attempted to vote in the Central Florida community.Based on differing reports, between three and 60 African Americans died resulting from the violence on November 2-3, 1920, acording to a Senate staff analysis of the legislation. In the days following this violence, the remaining African-American residents fled Ocoee, leaving their homes and property, the analysis adds.The bill lays out requirements for applicants to prove their relationship to an Ocoee victim. The 1994 action also set up the Rosewood Family Scholarship Fund, which awarded up to $4,000 for tuition to eligible Florida students, with preference given to direct descendants of Rosewood families.State Rep. Kamia Brown, D-Ocoee, has filed House legislation similar to Bracys, which would also gives qualified businesses in areas affected by the riots priority under the Black Business Loan Program.orlandoweekly.com
St. Cloud state Rep. Mike LaRosa supports letting college athletes cash in
It didnt say Tim Tebows name on there, but you knew it was Tim Tebow because he was wearing University of Florida colors on the University of Florida team, with number 15, and he's left-handed and he was six-three (in height) and he played like Tim Tebow.Following a 2019 law passed in California, two of the Florida bills (SB 582 and HB 251) are identical and have been filed by Sen. Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando, and House Minority Leader Kionne McGhee, D-Miami. The other two bills (SB 646 and HB 287), which are similar to each other, have been filed by Sen. Debbie Mayfield, R-Rockledge, and Rep. Chip LaMarca, R-Lighthouse Point.All the Florida bills would allow college athletes to be paid for use of their names, images or likenesses, an idea that has drawn support from Gov. Ron DeSantis. Because if you don't have that restriction in place, it destroys the distinction between college and pro sports.Jon Solomon, editorial director of The Aspen Institutes Sports and Society Program, pointed to a 2009 lawsuit by former UCLA basketball player Ed OBannon that challenged the uncompensated use of images of former NCAA athletes for electronic games. OBannon argued students should be able to be compensated upon graduation.This was a long, drawn-out case that showed, yes, athletes do have some value beyond their scholarship, Solomon said.Solomon, who expects the NCAA to challenge any state law, noted the phrase student-athletes was created in the 1950s to protect against students becoming employees and receiving compensation.Feldman said any state law would need regulations such as limiting the time students can spend off the field banking on their names.orlandoweekly.com
Proposals would help students at historically black colleges and universities
State House and Senate proposals would provide $25 million to help keep students unable to meet tuition and fees from withdrawing from three private historically black colleges and universities in Florida. Sen. Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando, filed a budget request (Senate 1376) on Monday for consideration during the 2020 legislative session, which starts Jan. 14. The proposals would provide financial assistance to students at Bethune-Cookman University, Florida Memorial University and Edward Waters College. The goal is to utilize these funds to prevent students from withdrawing from the university (stopping out) due to their inability to pay tuition and fees, Bracys funding request said. Fetterhoffs proposal is among 1,342 separate requests submitted in the House, with a combined total of $1.8 billion.ocala.com
Florida lawmaker files bill to prevent arrests of young children
ORLANDO, Fla. - A Central Florida state senator filed a bill to prevent young children from being arrested after national outrage was sparked when two 6-year-old children were arrested last month. The bill would prohibit law enforcement from arresting children under the age of 11. It prohibits the arrest of children younger than 11 years old unless it is a serious crime. Bracy said if the bill passes, Florida would join 23 other states that have similar laws. Kirkland is hoping the bill will get results and prevent this from happening to anyone else.