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Capital Report: 12-20-2019

There’s an affordable housing crisis in Florida and housing advocates believe the legislature isn’t taking it seriously. Over the past two decades more than $2 billion has been stripped from the state’s housing trust fund. As Blaise Gainey reports some lawmakers are now trying to limit the sweeps, while others are looking to continue the practice.

Over coffee and breakfast, Florida Senate President Bill Galvano gave reporters a last look-ahead to the legislative session as lawmakers go to their respective homes for holiday break. Ryan Dailey was on hand to hear the outgoing chamber leader cover a laundry list of topics.

Florida lawmakers are interested in addressing climate change. But they’re not setting any sort of renewable energy goals—which is something democrats have proposed in the past. Instead, the Republican-led majority is focusing on making the state more adaptable to rising sea levels, and Lynn Hatter reports, lawmakers are outlining plans to shore up the state’s infrastructure with that in mind.

Fighting opioid addiction is a hard work for anyone. But Regan McCarthy found overcoming drug abuse can be even tougher for people in small towns.

The Tallahassee-based First Amendment Foundation has a new leader. Pamela Marsh took over this month from the retiring Barbara Petersen. Marsh is the former U-S Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. She has more than 20 years of legal experience and is a shareholder at the Ausley McMullen law firm in Tallahassee.  Marsh told Gina Jordan this job shares some similarities with her time as both a private and government attorney.

Mac Stipanovich, who helped lead the Republican Party to political dominance in Florida starting in the mid-1980s, has switched to the Democratic Party until the G-O-P finds its way back to traditional, conservative principles.  Tom Flanigan has that.