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Childcare and Florida’s economy; government shutdown; sports stories

Ehécatl Cabrera, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Childcare and Florida’s economy 

Pandemic-era federal funding supporting child care centers is due to run out at the end of this month. It may mean higher costs and fewer children as preschools scale back.

More than 8,600 child care centers in Florida have received federal money – called Childcare Stabilization Grants – through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act.

The looming ‘childcare cliff’ poses a challenge for Florida families, and for the state’s economy. The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s research arm estimates the state loses more than $5 billion a year because of challenges parents have with child care.

Guests:

  • Kyle Baltuch, Senior Vice President of Economic Opportunity and Early Learning for the Florida Chamber Foundation
  • Chabeli Carrazana, economy reporter for The 19th

Government Shutdown 

Like a stuck clock ... it’s late September and Congress is arguing over the federal budget. That discord threatens to shut down the government if there is no deal by midnight on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023.

A new federal fiscal year is set to begin on Oct. 1. But as of now, Congress has failed to pass any of the appropriation bills that are necessary to keep the government running.

Without any agreement on how to fund the government, we could be heading toward the fourth government shutdown in the past decade. We look at what a long term shutdown would mean for Florida and hear from two of the state’s members of Congress.

Guests:

  • U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-FL 14th District
  • U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz, R-FL 6th District
  • Kimberly Leonard, author of Florida Playbook and reporter for Politico

Hockey in the Sunshine State and other sports news 

Florida is becoming a hockey powerhouse.

The Tampa Bay Lightning brought the Stanley Cup to the Sunshine State two years in a row a couple of years back and went to the finals three years in a row. Then last year, the Florida Panthers made the championship series, making it four years in a row a Florida hockey team has skated for Lord Stanley’s trophy.

And apart from Florida’s two NHL teams, there’s a robust hockey scene across the state. Founded in 2002, the Florida Women’s Hockey League (FWHL), consists of 14 teams including Fort Lauderdale’s Lucky Pucks. WLRN’s Sherrilyn Cabrera and Alyssa Ramos tell us more about the hockey club made up of girls and women of all ages.

From the ice to the infield, The Tampa Bay Rays will stay in St. Petersburg to play baseball. There was a time when the Rays had a plan to play part time in Florida and part time in Montreal, Canada. The team has been wanting a new stadium in St. Petersburg, and this week it got it, as WUSF’s Sky Lebron reports.

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