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. 

We took a closer look at the final moves of the Florida Legislature - particularly those surrounding school vouchers and the implementation of Amendment Four.  

Our guests were:

TIFFANY TOMPKINS / Miami Herald

Florida lawmakers appear poised to pass legislation that would allow public and charter school teachers to be armed in classrooms across the state.

Last week, the state Senate okayed a bill that expands a school security plan put in place after last year’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The House is likely to pass the measure this week.

SAMATHA GROSS / MIAMI HERALD

In a move that’s ignited fierce debate, Florida lawmakers appear set to approve controversial legislation that aims to ban so-called "sanctuary cities" in the state. Bills in the House and Senate both passed their final committees last week and are making their way to discussion. 

The legislation would require local police to honor requests from federal immigration authorities to detain people who are thought to be in the United States illegally. The House version would fine local governments that don’t cooperate with federal requests.

On Friday’s Florida Roundup, we devoted the full hour to the debate over immigration and sanctuary cities in the Sunshine State.

On Friday’s Florida Roundup, we took a closer look at the debate over drilling for oil in Florida’s waters with Zack Colman, Climate & Energy Reporter, Politico and David R. Mica, Executive Director, The Florida Petroleum Council.

Manuel Balce / AP

The White House is reportedly considering plans to auction off Florida’s coastal waters to search for oil and natural gas.

But that may be a hard sell in the Sunshine state.

Offshore drilling is deeply unpopular in Florida, among both the general public and lawmakers. Even Republicans have warned it could cost the president support in a state that less than six months ago approved a constitutional amendment banning the practice in state waters. 

DAYLINA MILLER/WUSF

Floridians spend a lot on prescription drugs -- more than $30 billion last year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Now at least some Florida lawmakers say they have a way to save consumers money on drugs: get them for less from Canada.

In his first weeks in office, Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed the idea of the state importing drugs from Canada. State lawmakers quickly took up the idea. They say that could save Floridians up to 80 percent on what they currently pay for drugs.

Samatha Gross / Miami Herald

A controversial set of bills to ban so-called “sanctuary cities” in Florida appear to be on a fast-track to passage in Tallahassee. And that could be thanks in part to a secret deal made by lawmakers from both parties, according to Mike Fernandez, a billionaire healthcare magnate and prominent political booster in Miami.

Debate About Voting Rights Now Centers On Fines, Fees

Mar 25, 2019
Daniel Rivero / WLRN

Felons in Florida would have to settle pending fines and fees before having their voting rights restored, according to a proposal currently making its way through the legislature. Critics say that flies directly in the face of Amendment 4, the constitutional amendment passed in November, and amounts to a modern day “poll tax.”

Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who narrowly lost his bid in the gubernatorial race last year, has launched a push to register 1 million Florida residents to vote before the 2020 presidential election.

Steven Senne / AP

After dozens were charged in a wide-ranging college admissions cheating and bribery scandal last week, the former President of the University of North Florida said Friday on The Florida Roundup that he wasn’t entirely surprised by some of the tactics used in the scam  but was “stunned” by the scope and that it went on as long as it did.

DAVE DOEBLER

Beach-goers across the state of Florida largely agree that there’s far too much plastic in the waterways.

So why would the state want to pass legislation to stop local authorities from banning plastic straws?

Samantha Padgett, an attorney for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, said Friday on The Florida Roundup that local bans burden consumers and the hospitality industry and are “not a long-term sustainable solution.”

On today’s program, we looked at the environmental battle over single-use plastics in the Sunshine State with Holly Parker Curry, Florida regional manager with the Surfrider Foundation, and Samantha Padgett, general counsel with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.

We also got an update on Hurricane Michael recovery efforts as the Panhandle prepares for spring break from Jessica Foster with WJHG-TV in Panama City.

This week, we took a closer look at human trafficking in Florida. We discussed the issue, and efforts to combat it with:

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.

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