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1. Here's what happens next with the stimulus:
The House of Representatives passed a massive $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package Wednesday, sending the bill to President Joe Biden's desk for final approval. Biden will sign the bill into law at the White House on Friday.
The bill will provide millions of Americans with direct funds — individuals earning less than $75,000 a year and couples earning less than $150,000 will be sent $1,400 checks from the U.S. Treasury. The White House those checks to go out by the end of the month.
It will also provide an additional $300 weekly benefits to those on unemployment, expand child tax credits and provide state and local governments with much-needed federal dollars.
2. President Biden first prime-time address of his presidency is tonight:
Marking a year of loss and disruption, President Joe Biden will use his first prime-time address since taking office to steer the nation toward a hungered-for sentiment — hope — in the “next phase” of the fight against the pandemic that has killed more than 529,000 Americans. He will begin speaking at 8 p.m.
Previewing his remarks, Biden said he would “talk about what we’ve been through as a nation this past year, but more importantly, I’m going to talk about what comes next.”
Biden’s challenge Thursday night will be to honor the sacrifices made by Americans over the last year while encouraging them to remain vigilant despite “virus fatigue” and growing impatience to resume normal activities given the tantalizing promise of vaccines. Speaking on the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declaration of a pandemic, he’ll mourn the dead, but also project optimism about the future.
3. Florida lawmakers beef up elections bill to eliminate ballot drop boxes
Wednesday morning, a Senate panel advanced a beefed-up version of SB 90 along party lines, sending it to its final committee before reaching the full chamber.
The bill not only requires voters to request mail ballots every election cycle, instead of every other, it also limits mail ballot pick-up and drop-off to immediate family members and eliminates ballot drop boxes. About 1.5 million Floridians used them last year.
Florida election supervisors have joined those frustrated with the bill. They took particular aim at the drop-box provision, calling it unneeded.
4. DeSantis cancels coronavirus fines after 'unprecedented local government restrictions'
The governor's order, signed Wednesday, states that any fines on people and businesses imposed by local governments in Florida since March 2020 because of "unprecedented local government restrictions" are remitted.
DeSantis' order does not apply to any COVID-19-related orders or enforcement taken by the state.
It also does not cancel fines imposed on assisted living facilities, hospitals or health care providers.
5. Report: Cuomo groped female aide in governor's residence
A report published by the Times Union of Albany on Wednesday says an aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he groped her in the governor's mansion. It's the most serious allegation against the embattled governor to date.
The three-term governor faces harassment allegations from five other women. The female aide was not identified by the newspaper, which based its reporting on an unidentified source with direct knowledge of the women's accusation.
Through a spokesperson, the governor again on Wednesday denied ever touching a woman inappropriately.
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On This Day In History
On March 11 1861, delegates from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas adopt the Permanent Constitution of the Confederate States of America.
The constitution resembled the Constitution of the United States, even repeating much of its language, but also contained substantial differences from the U.S. Constitution in its protection of slavery
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