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April 13, 2021

Following last summer’s police brutality and racial justice protests, Democrats in the Florida Legislature pushed police reform as this lawmaking session got underway. Kevin Del Orbe reports on the lack of support for many of these bills, as the legislature heads towards its final weeks of session.

Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson says negotiations with the Seminole Indian Tribe have been “productive,” hinting at the chance the state could hammer out a new gambling agreement with the tribe, allowing it to more kinds of gambling in tribal casinos. That would have the added benefit of allowing the state to once again collect money from the tribe. But this isn’t the first time those negotiations have started over the past several sessions and there’s no guarantee they’ll have more chance for success now. Meanwhile, Regan McCarthy reports the Senate is moving forward with a handful of gambling bills that aren’t related to the compact agreement. A Senate panel has advanced measures that would create a new gambling commission and would decouple “most” parimutuel gambling.

Despite some procedural delays, and the possibility of an NCAA boycott, the Florida Legislature seems on track to restrict or ban outright the participation of transgender girls and women in scholastic sports. Robbie Gaffney talks about it with Tom Flanigan.

Florida and other states are seeing growing efforts by governors and lawmakers to block or usurp local government authority. For people who follow governments in other countries, the trend feels uncomfortably familiar as we hear from WLRN’s Tim Padgett.

Local governments in Florida must publish legal notices in newspapers. These include notices of foreclosures, auctions, bids and public meetings. Two bills moving through the legislature would give agencies the option to post these advertisements online. As Valerie Crowder reports, newspaper publishers in rural areas where high-speed internet is scarce are taking issue with the proposed legislation.