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April 15, 2021

A plan to term-limit local school board members is still moving in the Florida House following an affirmative vote in the chamber’s Education and Employment Committee today. Lynn Hatter reports the measure has undergone changes, but that may not be enough to get it to the finish line.

Following negotiations between the Florida Legislative Black Caucus and Republican House Leadership, a police reform bill is now moving in that chamber. Kevin Del Orbe reports the proposal is generating bipartisan support and even getting props from law enforcement.

A bill passed in the Florida House will give physicians’ assistants a broader scope of practice. But Regan McCarthy reports the measure is not the move to autonomous practice some P-As had hoped for.

Florida lawmakers are working to update the state’s unemployment system following website crashes as millions of jobless residents sought benefits during the pandemic. Proposals to modernize the existing system and to increase payments are advancing in the legislature. Valerie Crowder reports the proposed changes would boost the state’s national standing when it comes to how much money jobless residents receive in benefits.

Many Florida jobs were wiped out by the pandemic, leaving thousands of people without employment. That remains a problem, but now, as Tom Flanigan reports, there’s also the matter of recovering businesses without enough workers.

Health officials are seeing softening demand for COVID-19 vaccines in parts of Florida. It’s easier to get appointments at many sites lately and places that don’t require them often experience short wait times. Governor Ron DeSantis made assurances this week that the state has ample vaccine supply, despite the pause on administration of the Johnson and Johnson doses. Doctory Marissa Levine, public health expert at the University of South Florida, says we’re getting to the point where a lot of people eager to get a vaccine have gotten one or will soon. She tells Health News Florida’s Stephanie Columbini the state now needs to put a stronger focus on convincing those reluctant to get shots.

Injured police dogs would get priority medical help if they’re injured on the job. That would be permitted under a bill approved by the Florida Senate and now awaiting a floor vote in the House. Robbie Gaffney reports the measure would put the canine officers at the front of the line as long as no humans on the scene need medical attention or transport.