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November 20, 2020

The Florida Legislature met for the first time since March on Tuesday for its organization session. Leaders of both chambers gave speeches. Within those speeches were possible clues as to what the leadership of both chambers are likely to focus on during the regular session that commences in March of 2021. Blaise Gainey has highlights from House Speaker Chris Sprowls opening remarks along with reaction from House Democratic Caucus Co-Leader Evan Jenne.

Passing a balanced budget amidst the coronavirus pandemic is shaping up to be one of the newly-appointed Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson’s main focuses for the upcoming Legislative Session. Regan McCarthy reports Simpson spoke during the Legislature’s organizational session about his plans for belt tightening and finding new sources of revenue.

As we heard at the top of the show, the Florida Legislature’s organizational get together is now history. New members were sworn in and both parties pledged to work in harmony. But that won’t last and it never does. Steve Bousquet reports on the challenges facing Democrats in Tallahassee.

Florida’s education commissioner is promising parents will have the option to continue distance learning for the rest of the school year. Ryan Dailey reports it’s not yet certain that districts will receive full funding for online learners.

Cases of the coronavirus are spiking again in Florida, as are hospitalizations. But deaths have yet to peak as they did during a similar surge in July. Daily cases are again average over 5 thousand, but deaths from the virus are less than half of what they were last summer. Health News Florida’s Daylina Miller spoke with Sarasota infectious diseases doctor Manuel Gordillo (mahn-WELL gore-DEE-yo) about what might be different during this surge.

Many businesses devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic are relying on holiday sales this year to keep afloat. But Black Friday is known for drawing large crowds, presenting health risks when coronavirus cases are spiking across the country. Robbie Gaffney reports the retail sector is trying to adapt.

The Florida Housing Finance Corporation has several new services designed for the state’s veterans and active military personnel. Tom Flanigan spoke with the corporation’s executive director.