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Capital Report: 07-05-2019

Florida’s Historic Capitol lawn was the backdrop for a protest Tuesday calling for the closure of migrant detention centers. Ryan Dailey has more.

Thousands of felons throughout the state have the right to vote thanks to Amendment 4 and Governor Ron DeSantis signing the implementing bill into law. But to do so they will have to register first. Capital Reporter Blaise Gainey joined former Leon County Commissioner Bob Rackleff as he went door to door doing just that (registering felons to vote).

More people could face felony charges for hazing that results in severe injury or death. The state’s previous rules frustrated prosecutors for years, but as Lynn Hatter reports, the death of a Florida State University student prompted the change.

Floridians are working to gather signatures to get as many as 20 proposed constitutional amendments on the 2020 ballot. But as Regan McCarthy reports a new law creates new barriers for moving so called citizens initiatives forward.

After years of “just saying no,” lawmakers from across Florida’s mostly-conservative legislature okayed a bill this year that would legalize needle exchanges.  Those exchanges let injection drug users trade in their dirty needles for clean ones, thereby preventing the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C.  Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law last week and, as Sammy Mack from WLRN tells us, the new statewide program is being based on a pilot program in Miami.

Tom Flanigan talks with John Finch, the director of Florida’s ABLE United program, about the positive changes authorized by this year’s Legislature to the savings plan for people with disabilities.