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March 24, 2021

The bill is called the Parents Bill of Rights. It gives parents the ultimate say in the direction of their child’s education, specifically with respect to public schools. The proposal allows parents to opt their kids out of immunizations and health exams. It also allows them to inspect class materials and provides unfettered access to their child’s records. Supporters argue the bill clarifies what’s already supposed to happen, but opponents worry the measure may open the door to discrimination against LGBTQ and minority students. Lynn Hatter reports the bill has been proposed for more than a decade in the Florida Legislature and backers hope this could be the year it goes through.

Maternal deathrates across the country are rising. Some call it a “maternity mortality crisis.” But officials say most of those deaths are preventable and many are happening months after childbirth. Florida lawmakers are hoping to fight that by extending the time mothers can receive health coverage through Medicaid from 60 days to a year. Regan McCarthy has more.

Politico Capital Reporter Gary Fineout gives his take on the multitude of national issues giving high priority by state lawmakers this year. He also has some observations on how lots of bills have no companion legislation on the other side of the Capitol.

Two Florida Senate bills that aim to reduce the number of children in the criminal justice system have so far glided through their committee stops, inching closer to a full chamber vote. One proposal would raise the age of children who can be tried as adults. The other would prohibit children younger than 7 years old from getting arrested. As Valerie Crowder reports, the measures have so far gotten bipartisan support in the Republican-controlled Legislature.