Capital Report: 05-17-2019

May 17, 2019

Governor Ron DeSantis has approved a measure that could pave the way for the state’s first major highway expansion in decades. The effort has been led by state Senate President Bill Galvano who pushed the roads as a way to aid in evacuations, promote growth in rural parts of the state and help transport an ever growing population. But environmentalists argue the idea could be a disaster for fragile ecosystems. Lynn Hatter has more.

Environmental advocates are questioning whether Florida lawmakers see climate change as an urgent issue. Kevin Del Orbe [del-Or-bay] reports on a disappointing legislative outcome for those who were hoping this year’s legislature would do more to address problems related to a changing environment. 

As the dust settles from this year’s legislative session, school district superintendents are evaluating funding and new policies handed down from state lawmakers. Ryan Dailey reports in North Florida, superintendents in three counties have different takes.

State legislators agreed on making several changes to the state’s elections system to make sure all districts would have enough time to count vote-by-mail ballots. But, as Blaise Gainey reports, the security of those ballots may be an unresolved issue.

After lawmakers passed a bill to crack down on human trafficking by requiring more training for people like hotel workers who might interact with victims, Florida’s Statewide Council on Human Trafficking is looking for opportunities to teach more people how to spot the signs. Regan McCarthy has more….

The latest round of tariffs levied by the Trump Administration is taking a toll on the nation’s agriculture industry. In Florida, the tariffs threaten a trade deal that’s been years in the making. As part of a series on Florida farmers, Shawn Mulcahy reports on the state’s blueberry industry and its struggle to say afloat.

You can hear part two of this series next week, where we’ll discuss a problem that’s plagued the state’s farmers for years: the North American Free Trade Agreement and damaging foreign imports.