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The Florida Senate decided yesterday that ex-felons will have to fulfill “all terms of sentence” and no less to have their voting rights restored, meaning they must pay all fines, fees and restitution in order to vote.
How’d we get here? In 2018, more than 71 percent of Florida voters supported a ballot measure known as Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to felons “who have completed all terms of their sentence, including parole or probation,” excluding people “convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense.”
Since then, civil-rights advocates have argued in court that parts of the state law are unconstitutional, because linking voting rights and financial obligations amounts to a “poll tax.”
In October, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled that Florida cannot deny the right to vote to felons who have served their sentences but are “genuinely unable” to pay legal financial obligations. But the DeSantis administration appealed that ruling. And now, the Florida Supreme Court has backed him.
Justice Jorge Labarga, the last remaining member of what had been a left-leaning majority before DeSantis took office, said he agreed with the majority’s “ultimate decision” that “all terms of sentence” encompasses all legal financial obligations because of the extrinsic evidence presented to him.
“I dissent to the majority’s position that the phrase ‘all terms of sentence’ is unambiguous and that the voters would ‘most likely understand’ it to include all LFOs (read: legal financial obligations).”
In other news…
The father of Parkland shooting victim Joaquin “Guac” Oliver will be at House of Blues on Sunday to perform a one-man show called “GUAC: My, Son, My Hero.” Manuel Oliver says it’s a tribute to his son that’s full of art, humor, and emotion. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Get your tickets here. (95.3 WDAE)
Will’s Pub is celebrating the 14th anniversary of Southern Fried Sundays with some chicken sh*t bingo. Pay two bucks for a ticket, then bet on the bingo spot you think the chicken will pop a squat. Easy peesy. There will be live music and barbecue (but no fried chicken). (Orlando Weekly)
The fourth annual Women’s March is back this Sunday and it’s kicking off with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade through downtown Orlando. The festivities start at noon at Orlando City Hall. (Orlando Weekly)
Speaking of, there are dozens of events throughout the weekend and Monday too honoring MLK and we want you to attend one, some or all of them. WFTV rounded up a few in Orange and Osceola counties, and this Google search led to a dozen more. And if you keep reading, you’ll find more in our ‘Things to do” section below. (WFTV Channel 9, Google)
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🎟 See the Orlando Shakes' new show "Becoming Dr. Ruth" through Feb. 9 (Loch Haven Park)
🛍 Shop the monthly Evening Exchange at East End Market (Audubon Park)
🎟 Check out the annual Otronicon STEM event at Orlando Science Center through Monday (Loch Haven Park)
⛵️ Watch seven sailboat races in this winter regatta through Sunday (Sanford)
🌿 Discover talent and taste from local creatives at this evening exchange (Audobon Park)
🐶 Kick off the NFL Championships by showing out with your pack at this dog-friendly tailgate event (Mills 50)
⚔️ Prepare for the return of the Scottish Highland Games through Sunday (Winter Springs)
🙌 Ready your team for the 3rd Saturday Shuffle (SoDo)
🎶 Kick back with some beers and bluegrass (Milk District)
🥃 Celebrate 100 years since prohibition at this late night speakeasy (Sanford)
👯 Dance the night away with a view of your favorite city (Downtown)
🧁 Pack your sweet tooth for this five-course pastry bake-off (Baldwin Park)
🎶 Get jazzy at Timucua for the Jenny Wilson Trio show (SoDo)
🐶 Save a pup at this monthly yappy hour (Ivanhoe)
🎟 Watch "Bluebird" at Music Mondays at Enzian (Maitland)
🎟 See the "Jurassic World Live Tour" at Amway (Parramore)
📅 Celebrate MLK Day with a parade and all-day celebration (Ocoee)
📅 Get out and serve to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Callahan)
🎤 Belt your best T-Swift at this karaoke night (Mills Park)
🍿 It's movie night at A La Cart and we're watching "Hunger Games" (East Colonial)
🗣 Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at this community celebration (Winter Garden)
❓ Who knows Ross and Rachel better? Play "Friends" trivia at City Pub (Downtown)
🌱 Learn about Florida's landscape and ecosystem on this guided tour of gardens (Conway)
🍷 Enjoy a 5-course dinner paired with Australian wines (Sanford)
☮️ Take a Zumba class to benefit Puerto Rico (East Orlando)
☮️ Learn the ins and outs of the Enneagram (Winter Park)
🏀 Cheer on the Magic to a win over OKC Thunder (Parramore)
🔥 Dress up like Guy Fieri and head to Flavortown on this unofficial pub crawl (Mills 50)
🗣 Make plans for the next Orlando climate strike (Holden Heights)
😂 Laugh with Orlando's fearless funny women & support 3 empowering non-profits (Downtown)
☮️ Take this self-care workshop for tips on living anxiety-free (Baldwin Park)
🎟 See Aladdin the Musical at Dr. Phillips Center through Feb 9(Downtown)
🎟 Support Orlando Gay Chorus with a ticket to see "The Directors" (Thornton Park)
🍝 Elevate your microwave meals with a 3-course dinner and cocktail pairing (Oviedo)
We know we just gave you lots of options for things to do this weekend.
In case you get a rare case of event fatigue, here’s where you can find us:
Tonight, we’re Netflixing and chilling so hard.
See you on Monday, folks,