It's About Florida

It's About Florida is a half-hour discussion program focusing on topical issues in the state, from roundtable discussions with news trackers to one-on-one discussions with leading newsmakers. It's About Florida captures the headlines and goes behind the issues with in-depth discussions on diverse topics such as immigration, the environment, and the economy, just to name a few.

It's About Florida will be broadcast monthly on Thursdays at 6:30 pm ET on 88.9 WFSU-FM & 5:30 pm CT on 89.1 WFSW-FM.

Listeners can email comments or questions about the program to wfsufm@wfsu.org.

It’s About Florida: Aftermath of Orlando

Jun 17, 2016

Terrorism came to Florida this week in the form of a massacre at an Orlando area gay nightclub. At least 49 people are dead, some are still fighting for their lives in hospitals. More than 50 others were wounded, and we’ll hear some of their stories this evening. We’ll also hear about some of the reaction to the shooting. That conversation ahead on It’s About Florida.

Host: Lynn Hatter

Guest: WMFE Reporter Brendan Byrne

The Florida Education Association has spearheaded a years-long fight against the state’s corporate tax scholarship program. The system lets businesses earn a tax credit in exchange for donating money to send low and middle income kids to private schools. The teacher’s union argues that is an unconstitutional diversion of would-be public dollars to private entities. Last year, a judge tossed out the suit—ruling the union didn’t have standing. But recently, the union was back in court. A judge is now deliberating on whether the union’s lawsuit can go forward.

It’s About Florida: Zika Virus

Apr 22, 2016
Oxitec

The mosquito-born Zika virus has been in the news lately. Scientists now say there’s a definitive link between the virus and birth defects in children. South America has become the epicenter of the outbreak,

Florida’s 2016 legislative session has come to a close. Lawmakers adjourned Sine Die last week after passing an $82-billion budget. Last year the House left the session early and lawmakers were forced to return to Tallahassee for a special session to complete the budget. In contrast, many would say this year’s session went off without a hitch—though probably not the governor. While House and Senate leaders saw some of their priorities pass early in the session, many of Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s priorities, including $250-million in economic incentives, didn’t pass the legislature.

It’s About Florida: 2016 Legislative Session

Jan 22, 2016

The Florida legislature is officially back in Tallahassee though for many watchers, it’s as if they never left. Last year the annual legislative session imploded due to a fight over whether to expand Medicaid under the affordable care act. That hurt relationships between the House and Senate as they returned to hammer out a state budget, and had to do two special sessions to redraw Senate and Congressional district maps. Now House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner are working to make peace and pass policy.

It’s About Florida: Gambling

Dec 17, 2015

Gambling is illegal in Florida. Or, is it? Florida is one of the largest states for gaming in the nation. But its patchwork regulatory structure has left many lawmakers, lobbyists, and government officials frustrated. Attempts to bring order to the gambling industry have failed time and time again. And that’s led new and dubious types of gaming to set up shop in the state. Meanwhile, Governor Rick Scott has signed a $3 billion dollar extension of a gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. But state lawmakers aren’t impressed.

It’s About Florida: Education

Oct 15, 2015

Florida lawmakers will head back to the drawing board when they return to the Capital in January. They’ll have to address ongoing problems with the state’s standardized testing system, and growing backlash against the use of the exams when it comes to students and teachers. They’ll also revive a massive charter school reform bill, and further plans to grow the state’s school choice system.

Guest: Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee/ Florida Association of District School Superintendents

It’s About Florida: Awesome Foundation

Sep 15, 2015

Six years ago, a group of friends in Massachusetts had an idea. According to the Boston Globe, they used the MacArthur foundation as a model for it. The MacArthur Genius Grant gives $500,000 to individuals to use however they choose—but, for a group of folks just starting out—that’s money they didn’t have. So they took the MacArthur Genius award and shrunk it down, to the micro level. And that’s how the Awesome Foundation got started.

It’s About Florida: Redistricting

Aug 20, 2015

Welcome to It’s About Florida. A monthly discussion program tackling the key topics of interest to our state. I’m Lynn Hatter. The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled against state lawmakers in the Congressional map, ordering the legislature to redraw 8 districts which they say favor a political party or the incumbent. Lawmakers are doing so, but they’re not doing it quietly. The proposals include splitting up old districts and overhauling one North Florida district that’s long been considered gerrymandered.

It’s About Florida: Redistricting

Jul 16, 2015

Welcome to It’s About Florida. A monthly discussion program tackling the key topics of interest to our state. I’m Lynn Hatter. Four years ago, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment attempting to stop political influence in the once-a-decade redistricting process. But since lawmakers drew new maps in 2012, they’ve been mired in lawsuits. The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled against state lawmakers in the Congressional map, ordering the legislature to redraw eight districts which they say favor a political party or the incumbent.

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