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. 

Florida Sets Its Sights On A New Era In Space

Feb 24, 2019
SPACEX via WMFE

Could Florida be the base for a new branch of the military to handle threats in space?

Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis asked President Trump to place the headquarters for the new Space Force Combatant Command in Cape Canaveral, tweeting that it would be “a logical fit” for the state.

WMFE’s Space Reporter Brendan Byrne said Friday on The Florida Roundup that having Space Command headquarters in the state would indeed be a natural progression for a fast growing space industry in Florida.

This week, we devoted the full program to the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

AMY BETH BENNETT / South Florida Sun Sentinel via Miami Herald

On Thursday, Feb. 14, Gail Schwartz drove to the Star of David Memorial Gardens Cemetery in North Lauderdale to visit the grave of her nephew, Alex Schachter.

Schachter was one of the 17 people killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School one year ago. He was 14 years old.

The Future Of Prison Reform In Florida

Feb 10, 2019
Darrin Klimek/Getty Images

Attempts to reform the way criminals are sentenced and how much time they spend behind bars have made little headway in the Florida legislature in recent years.

But following the passage of federal criminal justice reform in December, it seems state legislators from both parties may be ready to take a new look at reforming the state’s prison system.

Almost 100,000 people are serving time behind bars in Florida state prisons, where there’s a shortage of guards and healthcare costs are expensive. We took a closer look at the state’s attempts to address its overcrowded and underfunded prisons with Health News Florida’s Julio Ochoa and John Kennedy, capitol reporter for GateHouse Media.

Airbnb

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Governor Ron DeSantis turned his attention to education last week, announcing that he is ordering the state’s Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to come up with new education standards and erase the “vestiges” of current standards, commonly known as Common Core.

On The Florida Roundup this week, we began with a look at the predicament of the state’s so-called “Forgotten Coast.” 

IStock

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced last week that he has asked the Legislature to change Florida law to allow smokable medical marijuana. He also wants to reduce restrictions on who can grow and sell cannabis products. And the new Agriculture Commissioner has plans to create a Director of Cannabis position.

So far, it appears that newly sworn in Florida lawmakers are taking a sharp turn from former Gov. Rick Scott’s approach to try to limit access to medical cannabis in Florida.

JACQUELYN MARTIN / AP

With six weeks until the start of the Legislative session, a Republican state representative from Pensacola introduced a bill last week that would ban abortions if a doctor detects a fetal heartbeat. That usually happens about six weeks into a pregnancy, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant.

Reproductive rights activists have denounced the law, calling it the latest in a series of assaults on a woman’s right to choose. Others point out its unconstitutionality.

This week on The Florida Roundup, we discussed Governor Ron DeSantis’ first few days in office – and what lies ahead – with Jim Saunders, Executive Editor for News Service of Florida and Ana Ceballos, who covers state government and politics for the USA TODAY NETWORK.

Ron DeSantis' Busy First 96 Hours As Governor

Jan 14, 2019
ASSOCIATED PRESS

From decisions on ethics, to the environment, to a Supreme Court pick, Ron DeSantis got a lot done in his first four days as Governor of the state of Florida.

Though it’s far too early to make conclusions about the way DeSantis will lead, it does appear the Republican governor is “trying to take some steps that will have broad appeal,” said Jim Saunders, Executive Editor for News Service of Florida, Friday on The Florida Roundup.

News Service Of Florida

Following a messy election, a fresh political season is set to begin in Florida. New state leaders will be sworn in Jan. 8, including incoming Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Although he still has a few decisions to make on key positions, DeSantis and his team have worked to fill hundreds of jobs in the administration, including for some of the state’s most prominent posts.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers are filing bills for the 2019 Legislative session that begins in March.

This week on The Florida Roundup, we discussed some of the state's biggest political stories to watch in the year ahead with A.G. Gancarski, a writer for Florida Politics and Adam Smith, the political editor for the Tampa Bay Times.

This week on the Florida Roundup, we looked back at some of the biggest statewide stories of 2018, such as the deadly school shooting in Parkland, which led to a landmark gun and school safety law; the election, which resulted in several mandated recounts; the blue-green algae and red tide that appeared in bodies of water around the state; and Hurricane Michael, which slammed into the Panhandle.

Photos By: Peter Haden, Caitie Switalski, Pedro Portal

The deadly February school shooting in Parkland led to a landmark gun and school safety law. The November midterm election lasted well beyond Election Day in Florida, with a mandated recount in a few races. Blue green algae and red tide swirled in waters around the state, and Hurricane Michael slammed into the Panhandle.

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