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.

Florida and the federal government are embroiled in dueling lawsuits over the state’s effort to purge its voter rolls. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner talks about juggling his role as the chief elections officer and planning for the state’s 500th birthday celebration.

 

Host: Trimmel Gomes

Guest: Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner

It’s About Florida: Corruption

Jun 19, 2012

A survey of the state’s political climate gives Florida the dubious distinction of being number one in the nation for public corruption.

Guests:
Dan Krassner, Integrity Florida State University
LT Lafferty, former Ethics Commissioner

It’s About Florida: Merit Retention

Jun 7, 2012

The Florida Bar is reminding voters that a number of judges will be on the ballot in the coming election. The Bar says many citizens don’t know they have a voice in whether judges and the state’s supreme court justices stay behind the bench and Sean Desmond, President of the Bar’s Young Lawyers Division, says that’s partly because they can’t campaign.

Host: Trimmel Gomes

Guests: Sean Desmond, President of the Young Lawyers Division for The Florida Bar.

Following the hazing death of Florida A&M drum major Robert Champion, FAMU President James Ammons discusses the changes being implemented to prevent a similar situation from happening again. Ammons says he intends to remain president until his Board of Trustees decides he is not fit to run the institution. 

 

Host: Trimmel Gomes

Guest: FAMU President James H. Ammons

 

It’s About Florida: FCAT

May 24, 2012

Following the release of unusually low FCAT writing scores, some say the state’s standardized test isn’t working and it’s time to stop wasting time, and taxpayer money, on it, but other say the test helps insure teachers are teaching the most important subjects.

 

Host: Trimmel Gomes

Guest: United Teachers of Dade President, Karen Aronowitz, and Foundation for Florida’s Future Executive Director, Patricia Levesque. 

After nearly 50 years at Florida A&M University Marching 100 Band Director Dr. Julian White has decided to retire. White’s announcement follows the death of Drum Major Robert Champion, and the exposure of the band’s long history of hazing.  

After six seasons without a hurricane making landfall in the state, Florida Department of Emergency Management officials says some of the state’s citizens aren’t taking the threat of a hurricane seriously, but as the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew approaches, they’re working to remind citizens of the importance of being prepared when one does hit.

 

Guests:

Department of Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon

 

It’s About Florida: Wildfires

May 3, 2012

Wildfire season is kicking off with as many as 90 fires burning throughout Florida. Forest Service Director Jim Karels says state and federal firefighters are working together to protect the state, but it’s hard to keep up, especially under the current drought conditions.

 

Guests:

Florida Forest Service Director, Jim Karels

It’s About Florida: State Archives

Apr 27, 2012
Florida Department of State

The state archives is filled with documents, audio and video from Florida’s past. But until recently those items were packed away in boxes. Now archivists are working to make those resources available to all Floridians online.

 

Guests:

Johnathan Grandage, Archives Historian

Katrina Harkness, Education Officer

 

70-percent of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities’ clients live with their family members. That’s well over the national average. Agency director Mike Hansen says keeping clients with their families is one of his agency’s goals because generally those are the clients who do the best, and also it typically costs the state less money.

Guests:

Agency for Persons with Disabilities Director Mike Hansen

Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law” has been pushed into the national spotlight after a 17 year-old, Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed by Sanford neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Prosecutors have long been against “Stand Your Ground” because they believe it makes it more difficult to prosecute serious crimes like murder cases. But with increasing calls to repeal the law, defense attorneys say that would be a terrible mistake. We hear both sides of the argument:

 

Guests:

State Attorney, Willie Meggs of the 2nd judicial Circuit,

It’s About Florida: Seniors

Apr 5, 2012

The 2012 Legislative Session came to a close with some saying lawmakers needed to do more for the people, especially Florida’s Seniors. Advocates for Florida’s elderly say a number of bills that would have helped them out, didn’t make it through the session this year, but it’s not as bad as it could have been…

 

Guests:

Barbara Devane, lobbyist for the Florida Association for Retired Americans

Dave Bruns, Florida a spokesperson for the AARP 

It’s About Florida: Medicaid

Mar 29, 2012

Part of Florida’s challenge to the federal health care overhaul law centers on the expansion of the  Medicaid program. Medicaid is one of the fastest growing budget drivers for the state. Now lawmakers are trying to get control of those costs by transitioning Medicaid Recipients into Medicaid Managed Care

 

Host: Trimmel Gomes

Guests: Representative Matt Hudson (R-Naples) and Florida Legal Services Advocate Anne Swerlick.

It’s About Florida: Budget

Mar 22, 2012

This year’s regular legislative session has come to a close, but some say the state could have done more to grow the economy by passing bills that would send money back to the tax payers. On the final day of session, The James Madison Institute and Florida TaxWatch discuss the highlights of the state’s spending plan.

 

Guests:

James Call, Chief Legislative News Producer

Bob McClure, president of the James Madison Institute

It's About Florida: Reporters Roundtable

Mar 16, 2012

Members of Florida’s Capitol Press Corps discuss some of the biggest issues that came out of the 2012 Legislative Session. Seasoned Tallahassee reporters say the reason lawmakers passed such a low number of bills this session is because their voting districts are still in flux.

 

Guests

James Call, FPR’s Chief Legislative News Producer

Dara Kam, Palm Beach Post reporter

Aaron Deslatte, Orlando Sentinel Tallahassee Bureau Chief

Senate President Mike Haridopolos and his allies have tried to advance an ambitious conservative agenda in the past year, only to have the chamber knock his priorities down. Senator Mike Fasano talks about how he led a push to block a measure aimed a privatizing a number of Florida’s prisons.

 

Guests:

Senator Mike Fasano (R- Newport Richey)

James Call, Chief Legislative News Producer

It’s About Florida: Parent Trigger

Mar 6, 2012

School Choice Advocates are pushing for a Florida version of California’s Controversial “Parent Trigger” Law – It would give a majority of parents a chance to “trigger” a plan to turn around a failing school by either getting rid of bad teachers, changing principals or turn it over to a private management company.

Guests

Shirley Ford and Linda Serrato with Parent Revolution

Mark Pudlow with the Florida Education Association

 

As several measures that would make it harder for women to get abortions move through the legislature—proposals some say attack women’s rights—Representative Lori Berman talks about increasing equality for women. 

As the supreme court prepares to hear oral arguments about the Federal Affordable Care Act, Former Attorney General Bill McCollum explains the basis behind the claim that the law is unconstitutional.

It’s About Florida: Renewable Energy

Jan 30, 2012

Environmentalists and those who represent the traditional fuel industry work to carve out their roles as states Agriculture Commissioner starts looking toward more renewable energy.  

Newly minted Department of Corrections Secretary Ken Tucker talks about his plans for reducing recidivism and how closing some state prisons will help the department stay within its budget.  

 

It's About Florida: Reporters Roundtable

Jan 19, 2012

Reporters John Kennedy and Jim Saunders rehash Florida Governor Rick Scott’s State of the State Address and talk about some of the biggest issues they expect to see this session.

Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson calls himself a connector. He says his job is to foster partnerships that work toward the department’s goal of supporting colleges, careers, commerce and creativity. Robinson talks on It’s About Florida about the special importance that last C "creativity" has taken on lately.

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