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Capital Report: 3-13-2020

Governor Ron DeSantis had the latest on the state’s corona virus situation this (Friday) afternoon.  Tom Flanigan has that story.

Amid all of the fear and uncertainty of coronavirus, Florida will hold a statewide election next Tuesday. It's the presidential preference primary, and most attention will focus on the race between Democrats Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. But the Florida Democratic Party says it will be on high alert for possible problems and is using the primary as a sort of dry run for the 2020 general election. Steve Bousquet reports.

Florida lawmakers’ work in Tallahassee this year is winding down, but it won’t be finished for another few days. The big issue remains ironing out a budget that will carry Florida into the next fiscal year. Lynn Hatter reports there are some key policy decisions that have been resolved while others are still in negotiations.

Controversial legislation mandating public employers use E-verify, with a carve-out for private employers to use other means of verifying employee’s citizenship status, has passed the Florida legislature. Ryan Dailey reports after numerous changes, the measure is a far cry from what some GOP backers wanted.

When a parent has abandoned their child, a relative can petition for temporary custody. Now, ‘fictive kin’ could soon do that as well if a proposal heading to the governor’s desk becomes law. Robbie Gaffney reports.

Vaping has become a problem amongst teens, so much so that the federal government has chosen to raise the legal age to smoke tobacco to 21, which includes vaping. Now, legislators in Florida are sending a law to Governor Ron DeSantis that would implement that federal change, and a lot more. Blaise Gainey reports.       

News about the coronavirus loomed large this morning (Friday) as Florida senators debated the confirmation of Scott Rivkees as the state’s surgeon general. Regan McCarthy reports Rivkees has been acting as surgeon general since Governor Ron DeSantis appointed him last year, but lawmakers didn’t make it official until now.