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January 29, 2021

Florida is facing a two-and-three-quarter billion dollar spending gap in the next fiscal. But that’s not stopping Governor Ron DeSantis from pitching a budget increase. DeSantis’s 96.6 billion dollar budget proposal will go before lawmakers who’ve already said they’re focused on spending cuts. Lynn Hatter takes a look at what would seem to be a disconnect.

A bill increasing penalties for crimes committed during protests is advancing in the Legislature. Governor Ron DeSantis is promoting the bill after nationwide protests against police violence sometimes became violent themselves last summer. Blaise Gainey reports the measure is receiving flak from those who believe it targets specific groups, such as Black Lives Matter.

Dozens of election law changes will be on the table when the Florida Legislative session opens the first Tuesday in March. Steve Bousquet looks at some of the ideas being pushed by lawmakers in both parties at the state capitol.

Last week, Florida’s state surgeon general began discouraging providers of the COVID-19 vaccines from giving shots without proof of state residency. It’s an effort to clamp down on people flying and driving to the state for vaccines that are in short supply. On WLRN’s Sundial this week, host Luis Hernandez spoke to health care reporter Veronica Zaragovia about this new layer to Florida’s bumpy vaccine rollout. Since it aired, state vaccinations have gone up to almost 53-thousand people and unknown is 13-hundred.

Two Florida lawmakers are once again backing a bill to create a task force to study how many abandoned African-American cemeteries exist in the state. Robbie Gaffney reports members of the task force would recommend strategies for identifying, recording and memorializing those cemeteries.

Governor Ron DeSantis is managing the response to the pandemic. Also a massive economic upheaval. The Legislative Session is about to start. And on top of everything else, as Steve Bousquet returns to tell us, the governor will have to find a new chief of staff. Quickly!