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Capital Report: 3-20-2020

The business shutdown is putting a strain on tourism-dependent Florida. The closure of bars and reduction in restaurant capacity is causing a pinch on paychecks and leading to growing calls to temporarily stop evictions. Lynn Hatter has more.

Loan programs are opening up as Covid-19 is beginning to impact small businesses in Florida. Robbie Gaffney reports the strict measures taken to prevent community spread of the coronavirus are hitting some businesses hard.     

Students across the state of Florida will be learning from home for at last the next month or so. Classes at all Florida colleges and universities will now be moving online for the rest of the spring semester. And as Regan McCarthy reports K-12 students will be staying home until at least April 15.

In Bay County, local officials, who originally had welcomed Spring Break with open arms, were meeting today (Friday) to see if perhaps a different course of action might now be warranted.  Our Panama City reporter Valerie Crowder tells us this is happening as the students are reluctant to leave, even in the face of a global health catastrophe.

Lawmakers met in Tallahassee Thursday to finalize a spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year, their main duty when elected. Amid the coronavirus some members decided to not make the trip. Blaise Gainey has the details on what steps were taken to make sure elected officials who did attend stayed safe.

The growing impact of COVID-19 on the Florida economy will almost certainly derail the carefully crafted state budget that lawmakers passed a few days ago.  Paraphrasing Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Bousquet tells us, “They’ll be back!”