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January 13, 2022

Housing and rental prices continue to soar in Florida and wages are struggling to keep up. There are fewer and fewer options for affordable housing in the state. Groups like the Florida Housing Coalition are hoping lawmakers continue to put money designated FOR affordable housing, INTO affordable housing. Yet, as Lynn Hatter reports legislative efforts around the issue are a mixed bag.

Florida lawmakers are tasked every legislative session with passing a budget for the next fiscal year. And for the last nearly four decades the nonprofit, nonpartisan watchdog organization Florida Tax Watch has been working to make sure those dollars are spent responsibly. As Valerie Crowder reports, the organization and its supporters laid out this year's budget priorities at the think-tank’s annual State of the Taxpayer dinner.

Coronavirus testing is proving to be a sticking point as lawmakers consider how to allocate funds for the upcoming fiscal year’s health budget. Regan McCarthy during a recent meeting, Democrats pushed to ensure testing money would be included in the plan.

National Nurses United is calling on hospitals to boost staffing levels. WMFE’s Matthew Peddie reports members of the union for registered nurses protested outside hospitals in 12 states today / Thursday, including Florida. In a statement, Osceola Regional Medical Center CEO David Shimp said he was proud of how the hospital staff has worked together during the pandemic, and the N-N-U protest would not distract from the focus of caring for the community.

Florida already has an official state pie — it’s key lime. Now, there’s a move in the Legislature to designate strawberry shortcake as the official state dessert. Gina Jordan tells us the legislation is eliciting a lot of laughs and growling stomachs, while also supporting Florida’s strawberry farmers.