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April 1, 2021

With one half of this year’s legislation now in the rear view mirror, the urgency of getting down to budgetary brass tacks is ramping up at the Capitol.
Florida state lawmakers have begun budget negotiations for the upcoming fiscal year. Both the House and Senate have recently put together preliminary proposals that are still in the early stages. As Valerie Crowder reports, state lawmakers are waiting to receive more concrete revenue projections, which have changed during the pandemic.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against Florida in its multi-decade battle to have what it considers a fair share of water from the Apalachicola River. But Capital Reporter Lynn Hatter tells Tom Flanigan the fight may not be over yet.

Florida’s unemployment system nearly failed at the start of the pandemic and critics point to the low benefits as part of the problem. Now lawmakers in the Senate are looking to increase the amount of those cash benefits. Still, as Kevin Del Orbe reports, some senators are saying the proposed increase doesn’t do enough for those out of work.

The murder of a Florida State University professor nearly 7 years ago has some lawmakers revisiting state law regarding the rights of grandparents. Gina Jordan tells us a Senate committee held a workshop this week to discuss whether change is even possible. Our partners at the News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

Florida lawmakers are moving forward with legislation that would create a regulatory framework for peer-to-peer car rental. Regan McCarthy reports a pair of bills moving through the legislature would create rules about sales tax collection, insurance requirements and liability.

Identical measures in the Florida House and Senate would set up a statewide pilot program for farmers to be compensated after adopting climate-friendly practices. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried supports the legislation and President Joe Biden’s administration is proposing a similar federal program. WUSF’s Jessica Meszaros spoke with the House Bill Sponsor, Democratic Representative Kelly Skidmore of Boca Raton, about her bill.