Capital Report: 05-04-2018

May 4, 2018

Since February’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting, Florida’s school districts have been grappling with how to keep campuses safe without creating too much stress or disruption for students.  From member station WLRN in Miami, Jessica Bakeman reports that hospitals are now trying to strike that balance, too.  Hospitals in Broward County had to make some tough calls during the Parkland tragedy and the effects were felt well beyond the immediate community.

When Governor Rick Scott rolled out the first television ad in his campaign for U.S. Senate, it centered entirely on his desire to bring 12-year term limits to Congress. Meanwhile, this week saw the retirement of Senate President Joe Negron who says he is a “big believer in term limits.” The conversation has even reached the Constitution Revision Commission, with a proposal that would limit school board members to 8-year terms. Florida Public Radio’s Ryan Dailey recently talked with Professor Daniel Smith, Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Florida to talk about why the conversation about term limits is bubbling up in every level of Florida politics.

Teachers in several states have gone on strike in recent months, protesting for better pay and working conditions. But that’s not the case in Florida, and likely will never be. Still, once upon a time, Florida led the first teacher strike in the United States. Lynn Hatter turns back the clock to report on what the state of public education was like back then.

With diabetes and other health threats on the rise in communities around Florida, researchers are trying to address the underlying causes of those health disparities.  Davondra Alston reports what are called “food deserts” appear to be a serious contributing factor.  And researchers suggest education and access to healthier foods would greatly improve residents’ quality of life.

Across the country the number of people killed in bike crashes is on the rise. Triple-A reports in 2016 840 bicyclists died in crashes—the highest number since 1991. In Florida, the Department Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports more than 6-thousand crashes in 2017, 940 of which ended in fatality or incapacitating injuries. Regan McCarthy has more.....