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April 29, 2022

It’s official, Florida lawmakers are heading back to the Capitol in May for the second special legislative session since the regular session ended in March. Regan McCarthy reports this session will be focused on addressing growing problems in the state’s troubled property insurance industry.

State government watchdog group Florida TaxWatch influences the governor’s veto pen every year with its annual Budget Turkey Watch Report. This year the group is recommending the governor slash 166 local projects totaling 281-million dollars from the legislature’s budget. As Valerie Crowder reports, several projects in the Panhandle were included on that list.

 State Education Commissioner Manny Diaz is the first Hispanic person to lead the Florida Department of Education. the state education board approved DeSantis' recommendation for Diaz to take the post, today. Diaz has worn many hats in his career, starting with teaching geography, history, social studies and psychology at public high schools in Miami. Today, he’s a Republican state Senator from Hialeah and works as the Vice President of Finance for Doral College. Diaz is also a staunch supporter of school choice, and, as he told Capital Reporter Lynn Hatter, just being a supporter of choice is sometimes falsely equated as being against public schools.

The Florida Legislature passed a number of bills affecting the state’s universities and colleges this year. Tom Flanigan spoke with Chronicle of Higher Education Chief Reporter Emma Petit, who has published several stories on the legislation.

Florida’s jobless rate is 3.2 percent. The unemployment report for March shows the number of jobless Floridians keeps decreasing – as businesses struggle to find and hold on to workers. Gina Jordan tells us the report suggests this is an unprecedented time of leverage for job seekers.