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Capital Report: 3-4-2020

A fourth Floridian tests positive for COVID-19.  Top state officials hold a conference call to provide reassurance, but also to discuss more response options.  Tom Flanigan has the latest.

The Florida House has passed a bill requiring public employees who are part of a union receive a form to renew their membership annually. Ryan Dailey reports proponents say the measure is a way to make opting out easy for employees. Opponents, meanwhile, call it “union busting.”

A bill aimed at making Florida schools safer just passed a full chamber vote in the House. The proposal includes penalties for school officials and adds members to a school safety committee, among many other changes. Robbie Gaffney reports.

The Florida House has approved a measure that includes a plan to curb the arrest of children under 10. It came after last-minute negotiations and a personal pleas from 6-year-old Kaia Rolle and her grandmother. Blaise Gainey has the story.

Florida is uniquely prone to climate change, and it's on the minds of a lot of people living along the I-4 Corridor. This region - stretching from Daytona Beach to St. Petersburg - is the focus of I-4 Votes,a collaboration reporting on what you consider the most pressing issues in the 2020 presidential election. 
This week, reporters from WUSF and WMFE in Orlando are taking a deep dive into a survey of people living in this region of Florida - a critical part of a key swing state.  WMFE’s environmental reporter Amy Green explains heading into the March 17th primary, the environment and climate are on the minds of I-4 corridor residents.

What happens when a seriously mentally ill person who acts out in public is given a jail sentence instead of treatment. That’s what happened to the son of former Washington Post reporter Pete Earley. As a result, Earley researched how the criminal justice system deals with mentally ill people. His journey took him inside Miami-Dade County jails -- a story told in his 2007 book titled “Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness.” Earley chats with WLRN Anchor Christine DiMattei about what's changed since then and about why he calls a Miami-Dade program "the gold standard" for keeping mentally ill people out of jail.

Florida’s Coalition Against Domestic Violence and its former CEO Tiffany Carr are now facing two state lawsuits in addition to investigations from the House and Inspector General’s office after questions arose about the payment and compensation Carr and other executives in the coalition received while handling tax payer dollars intended to help domestic violence victims. Regan McCarthy has more….