The Florida Roundup

Fridays at 12 PM

Listen to a panel of journalists and newsmakers discuss every week with hosts Melissa Ross and Tom Hudson the issues that define the Sunshine State. 

This show is co-produced with WJCT in Jacksonville. 

Aileen Perilla / AP

A Florida bill that would require teenagers under 18 years of age to get parental permission for an abortion passed its final Senate committee this week. The legislation requires parents of minor girls seeking an abortion to have a notarized consent form before a doctor can perform the procedure. Florida law currently requires parents to be notified.

A doctor who doesn’t get the parents okay could face prison time. Democrats argue that the bill is an attempt to erode abortion rights. Republicans disagree—arguing the legislation protects minors.

DANIEL RIVERO / WLRN

The Florida Supreme Court ruled this week that former felons must pay all outstanding fines and fees before having their voting rights restored under a constitutional amendment passed in 2018.  The controversial ruling seeks to clarify outstanding questions raised in the execution of the amendment.

Supporters of the ruling, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, say voting is a privilege; and paying fines, fees and restitution is part a felon’s punishment.  Critics say requiring the payments amounts to a poll tax.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Teachers throughout Florida are making their way to Tallahassee to protest on Monday, the eve of the start of the 2020 legislative session. The teachers unions expects thousands of teachers, parents, and supporters of public education to take part.

Florida Education Association says inadequate funding has turned Florida’s public education system into one of the worst in the country. Despite Governor Ron DeSantis proclaiming this is the “Year of the Teacher” and proposing a minimum teacher salary of $47,500, and another $300 million in bonuses—Florida teachers want more.

Wilfredo Lee / AP

With the presidency on the ballot this year, there are real fears of attempts by foreign powers to interfere in Florida’s election. Increasing election security is a priority for local, state and federal officials.

Walter Michot / Miami Herald

The environment will likely be a top story in Florida in the upcoming year. 2019 has been one of the hottest on record. King tides were some of the highest recorded. And, while Hurricane Dorian skirted along the Atlantic coast, it was a reminder of how vulnerable Florida is as climate change fuels more intense and wetter storms.

ROBERT F. BUKATY / AP

About 200,000 children in Florida could lose their access to free lunches under changes to the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP.  The Trump administration plans to cut benefits in the program as it looks to reduce waste.

Nicole L. Cvetnic / Miami Herald

Despair, rage, and calls for help are coming from teenagers in Florida. Some are emotionally disturbed while others are obsessed with death or holding grudges. Even more disturbing—many of these young people have easy access to guns. 

On Friday’s Roundup, two members of the House Judiciary Committee from Florida joined us to discuss the latest in the impeachment inquiry, and how it’s playing out in the Sunshine State.

Mitchell Zachs / AP

Stigma, poverty, immigration issues and access to care are among the main causes to blame for Florida’s high rates of HIV and AIDS.

DAVID ZALUBOWSKI / AP

It’s been less than four years since Florida voters gave medical marijuana a green light but the plant could wind up on the ballot again next year.

There are three efforts hoping to ask voters to okay recreational pot use. The second Florida petition for recreational marijuana has gathered enough signatures to merit a review by the Florida Supreme Court. The "Make It Legal Florida" petition would allow Florida adults to possess and use marijuana.

This week on the Roundup, we took a closer look at the push to legalize recreational marijuana in Florida with Nick Hansen, Chairman, Make it Legal Florida; and John Kennedy, State Capital Reporter, GateHouse Media.

Citrus County Commissioners will decide later this month whether to purchase a digital subscription to The New York Times for the county’s library system. The last two commission meetings heard from residents who were outraged when commissioners joked about not approving a $2700 contract for a digital subscription to the paper.

On Friday’s program, we took a closer look at Florida’s Republican Party with Mike Haridopolos, author of  The Modern Republican Party of Florida and George Will, a columnist and the author of The Conservative Sensibility.

Scott Applewhite / AP

Conservative commentator and author George Will says Florida voters hold the key to victory in next year’s presidential election. Will says that without the Sunshine State, it would be difficult for any candidate to find a path to 270 electoral votes.

On Friday's program, we took a closer look at the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, it’s ties to Florida, and two new University of North Florida (UNF) polls. 

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