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September 24, 2021

Throughout the early part of the pandemic, then-Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees was a bit like the invisible man. That was because some of his earlier statements ran counter to the policies of his boss, Governor Ron DeSantis. Now there’s a new surgeon general in town and his name is Ladapo. As one of his first official acts as Florida’s new surgeon general Dr. Joseph Ladapo signed off on a Department of Health Rule change—that effectively nullified mask mandate lawsuits filed by several school districts. Lynn Hatter reports the move puts Ladapo firmly in the camp of his boss—Governor Ron DeSantis.

So one important job – the job of Florida Surgeon General – is now filled. But it seems there are scads of other health care positions in Florida that are going begging. And that’s having a greater impact when it comes to the revenues needed to keep the system afloat.Hospital heads say the coronavirus has been rough not only on their workers but also their bottom lines. They’re calling on lawmakers for help. Regan McCarthy has more….

When Florida lawmakers last drafted the state’s election maps back in 2012, the state Supreme Court ultimately found they’d intentionally drawn them to benefit Republicans. Now lawmakers say they’re working to ensure that the process is fair and open to the public to avoid another lengthy legal wrangle. We get more on the story from Valerie Crowder.

Conventional wisdom is that a more diverse population usually means a more Democratic electorate. But that isn’t happening in the case of Florida and Steve Bousquet spoke with Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz about it.

If you thought the catastrophic collapse of that abandoned phosphate mine stack at Piney Point earlier this year meant the end of the line for that industry, think again. Phosphate, the lifeblood of Florida’s fertilizer industry, is gradually being mined out in the region where Polk, Hillsborough, Manatee and Hardee counties meet. Now, phosphate miners are coveting land to the south in DeSoto County. And, as we hear from WUSF’s Steve Newborn, a lot of people are fearful about the impact on the rural county, which is also a regional source of drinking water.