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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBSMiami/AP) — Democratic lawmakers in the Florida Senate are demanding new anti-discrimination laws meant to protect gays, pregnant women and former felons.

The senators also told a Tallahassee press conference Friday that they want mandatory paid sick leave for workers.

The majority Republicans have refused to pass several of the measures, but Sen. Arthenia Joyner of Tampa said the Democrats will keep trying.

Sen. Joe Abruzzo of Boynton Beach said a bill adding sex and gender orientation to current anti-discrimination laws is backed by some top employers including Walt Disney World, Florida Blue and CSX railway.

Sen. Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale wants to establish a law enforcement academy for minorities at Florida A&M and Florida Memorial universities to provide minority recruits for police departments.

The Republicans have a sizeable majority in both houses of the Florida Legislature.

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