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April 8, 2021

Governor Ron DeSantis will get final say on whether to require Florida’s public colleges and universities to conduct annual surveys on free speech. The proposal cleared the Senate on a mostly party-line vote and with little comment. The chamber adopted the House’s version of the bill, which cleared that chamber about two weeks ago. Lynn Hatter recaps the House debate over the proposal.

The Florida Legislature has passed a measure meant to permanently reallocate funds from the state’s affordable housing programs to help pay for the governor’s environmental initiatives. But as Robbie Gaffney reports, a compromise will cap future sweeps of the affordable housing trust fund.

Delayed U.S. Census data will push back Florida’s redistricting efforts. But voter advocacy groups are already working to ensure the process of redrawing the state’s electoral maps is fair. Valerie Crowder reports legislation has been introduced this session to make sure state legislative and congressional maps are drawn in the open.

Big changes are looming after the Florida Senate passed a measure to wean the state from its present “defined benefit” pension system. Kevin Del Orbe reports on the skepticism coming from unions and Democratic lawmakers.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic there have been few silver linings. But health experts say one good thing is an expansion of telehealth. Regan McCarthy reports a proposal to keep many of the state’s pandemic-era telehealth practices in place is moving forward, but some say a few important provisions appear to be missing.

A generation has passed in Florida since the state last had a Democratic governor. His name was Kenneth “Buddy” MacKay and he’s still around. Steve Bousquet paid a visit recently to get MacKay’s take on the current state of Florida politics.