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Capital Report: 1-17-2020

Vice President Mike Pence made his first campaign trip of the year to Florida Thursday, targeting voters in the highly competitive I-4 corridor. His stops in Tampa and Kissimmee are a sign of who President Trump’s re-election campaign is targeting: older voters and Hispanic residents. WUSF’s Steve Newborn and WMFE’s Brendan Byrne asked voters attending Thursday’s event about the issues that matter to them. We start in Tampa.

Republicans and Democrats want to lay claim to Florida’s Latino and Hispanic votes. Republicans have been hard at work trying to paint Democrats as socialist. That is a loaded word in many Latino communities. Audriana Thomas reports Latino and Hispanic voters have been divided in recent years.

After years of pushing for the change, a plan to expand the scope of nurse practitioners is a priority for the speaker of the Florida House. But as Regan McCarthy reports, the Senate President says he’s not quite convinced.

When Fort Lauderdale author Dawn Davies moved to South Florida as a child... she wasn’t really a fan. She writes about her love-hate relationship with Florida in her latest book -- Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir in Pieces. The book is a collection of essays, and it's this month's pick for the Sundial Book Club. In her essays, she talks about postpartum depression, her love for music, her parent's divorce and raising a child with special needs. Davies talked to WLRN host Luis Hernandez on the station’s “Sundial” program.

Governor Ron DeSantis made it clear during his State-of-the-state speech earlier this week that education was something he planned to take seriously this session and hoped lawmakers would do the same.

Kindergarten is a crucial time for children transitioning from home to school life. During this time, students learn fundamentals that help them become successful in grades ahead. However, some teachers worry parents aren’t taking kindergarten seriously. And they say that can hamper a kid’s educational development. Sherneka Streater has more.