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January 15, 2021

When lawmakers return to Tallahassee in March, they’ll be facing at least a 2-billion dollar budget shortfall. And that’s DESPITE an infusion of more than 6-billion in federal money aimed at helping the state weather the coronavirus pandemic. Lynn Hatter reports the state’s chief economist noted that, while there are some bright spots in Florida’s economy, the state’s overall financial position remains precarious.

The pandemic isn’t only affecting the state budget. Florida lawmakers have divided the question of COVID-19 liability protections into several different proposals and the first ones - protecting against fraud and the other for businesses, are now rolled out. A third, dealing with health care, is expected soon. Blaise Gainey reports at issue is an effort to give business and service providers some comfort with operating in a pandemic, while still balancing consumer protections.

Florida is experiencing a resurgence of coronavirus cases in the wake of the holidays. Valerie Crowder reports the state is continuing to rely on its vaccination, testing and public education strategies to curb the spread of the virus, even as health experts predict another spike in deaths during the coming weeks.

As Floridians are clamoring to get coronavirus vaccines, state officials say a lack of supply and federal decisions are behind a perceived slowdown in the process. More on that from Regan McCarthy.

Florida lawmakers are calling for sweeping reforms after a Department of Justice investigation alleged a culture of “systemic” sexual abuse and cover-ups at a women’s prison in Ocala. From WMNF, Daniel Figueroa IV reports state legislators held a Zoom call with former inmates of Lowell Correctional Institution to talk about how to move forward.