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March 29, 2021

Fresh off its success in Georgia, a conservative think tank aligned with former President Donald Trump is now busy trying to change the election laws in Florida. The Heritage Foundation is pushing what it calls “best practices” for the next statewide vote in 2022. Steve Bousquet has the story from the Florida Capitol.

A controversial bill that aims to crack down on violent protests has passed the Florida House and is on its was to the state Senate. But an identical version introduced in that chamber has yet to receive a committee hearing. As Valerie Crowder reports, Democratic state lawmakers are calling the bill’s language vague and a threat to First Amendment rights.

A measure that would allow people to carry guns in churches, even when those churches are attached to schools, has passed in the Florida House. Supporters say it’s a property rights issue. But many Democrats are raising concerns about what the measure could mean for guns in classrooms. More from Regan McCarthy.

The American Airlines Arena is setting aside its lower level seats for those vaccinated against the coronavirus. The South Beach Wine and Food Festival will require either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test in order to attend events. And Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is adopting similar measures for passengers when it plans to restart cruising this summer from the Bahamas. Infectious disease epidemiologist Mary Jo Trepka (TREP-ka) chairs Florida International University’s epidemiology department. She joined WLRN’s South Florida Roundup back on Friday to discuss the rise of COVID vaccine requirements for events and the safety of that practice. She spoke with the program host, Tom Hudson.

Florida’s Sunshine Laws are often held up as a model for a transparent government. There is access to public records for anybody who wants to see them. The laws say it is the DUTY of every public agency to provide citizens with things like emails between elected officials, or police reports and body camera footage. But the BILL for those records can be exorbitant. WLRN’s Jenny Staletovich talked to attorneys who say it’s now time to drop those fees when it serves the public interest so that government can stay in the sunshine.