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March 10, 2021

Florida’s 2020 election ran smoothly, compared with state where mail-in ballot results were delayed. Still, GOP state lawmakers are proposing changes to absentee voting. As Valerie Crowder reports, elections supervisors have been speaking out against a bill that would lessen the time voters have to request a mail-in ballot for an upcoming election.

Florida’s Republican lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to cap the percent of THC that can be included in medical marijuana products. The bill’s sponsor says the move is needed to prevent another pill mill scenario in the state of Florida. But Regan McCarthy reports Democrats say the plan puts the legislature in the middle of a doctor’s care relationship with their patients.

Florida’s Baker Act was never meant for children. Yet each year, the number of kids sent for involuntary psychiatric exams increases. More than 37,000 children were Baker Acted in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Last year, WFSU and Health News Florida partnered on a series of stories exploring the use of the Baker Act on kids. Among the findings? There’s no uniform policy on how and when referrals take place. And decisions are often made by local law enforcement when there are no other mental health supports available. The experiences typically do more harm than help. And rarely do kids and families get follow-up care plans. When referrals happen at school, parents can be the last to know. Now, as Lynn Hatter reports, there are bills in the legislature aimed at revamping the Baker Act when it comes to kids. But advocates worry those plans are already doomed.

A proposal meant to encourage the construction of more electric vehicle charging stations has passed its first committee in the Legislature. It would create a grant program that would allow state agencies, local governments and others to apply for and get funding to develop plans to install such stations. More on that from Robbie Gaffney.

President Joe Biden wants to reward farmers for using climate-friendly practices on their lands. Big agriculture companies are already paying growers in the Midwest to plant crops that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and use techniques to keep that carbon in the soil. WUSF’s Jessica Meszaros explores what the business of carbon may look like in Florida.