According to Wikipedia, Justice Louis Brandeis popularized the use of the term “laboratories of democracy” to describe progressive states.

Laboratories of democracy is a phrase popularized by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann to describe how “a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”[

Florida is now controlled by religious extremists who do not hesitate to impose their personal beliefs on others. Florida is our very own “laboratory of fascism,” where the governor and the legislature pass laws to limit the rights and benefits of their people. I will continue to follow the trajectory of nascent fascism in the Sunshine State because other Republican-controlled states see it as a model.

Today, the Florida Senate expanded the “Don’t Say Bill,” requiring teachers to use pronouns that correspond to their students’ biological gender. Surely, given the tiny number of transgender students in the schools (1%?), this cannot be an urgent problem requiring legislation. But Florida legislators have boldly restricted pronoun usage and made it easier to ban books.

In one of the most controversial education issues of the 2023 legislative session, the Florida Senate on Wednesday passed a measure that would expand last year’s “Parental Rights in Education” law — known to critics as “don’t say gay.”

The bill, which is ready to go to Gov. Ron DeSantis, also seeks to restrict the way teachers and students can use their preferred pronouns in schools, a provision that has drawn ire from LGBTQ-advocacy groups.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 27-12 along party lines to pass the bill (HB 1069), with Democrats arguing the measure is an effort to “legislate away the gay.” The House voted 77-35 to pass the bill last month. DeSantis is expected to sign it.

The Senate extended the Don’t Say Gay law from K-3 to K-8.

But Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book, D-Davie, said the bill “marginalizes children” and represents an insult to teachers.

“This bill insults the professionalism of educators. It takes away freedom of speech, freedom of thought and freedom to be treated equally in our public schools,” Book said.

Wednesday’s vote came after the State Board of Education last month approved a rule change that largely prohibited instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in all grades. The rule dealt with an educators’ code of conduct and spelled out that teachers could face suspension or revocation of their educator certificates for violations of the rule…

The bill also would require that it “shall be the policy” of every public school that “a person’s sex is an immutable biological trait and that it is false to ascribe to a person a pronoun that does not correspond to such person’s sex.”

Teachers and other school employees would be prohibited from telling students their preferred pronouns and would be barred from asking students about their preferred pronouns….

The law goes on to make it easier to ban books.

The bill also would build on another controversial 2022 law that increased scrutiny of school-library books and instructional materials. The bill, in part, would take steps to make the process of objecting to books and instructional materials easier…

In instances where an objection is made based on possible pornographic content or material that “describes sexual conduct,” the bill would require the materials to be removed from schools within five days of the objection and “remain unavailable to students of that school until the objection is resolved.”

Sen. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, described that part of the bill as a “ban-first, review-later” policy.